Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Night at the Theater

Since I'm anything but a Broadway feen, yet I get a lot of inquiries from readers around the country for theater recommendations, thought I'd share this informal review my friend Steve -- a brawny, black Siouxie Sioux fan-addict with a major crush on Morrissey -- wrote of "Fela!" (His write-up, by the way, is WAY more entertaining than most of the shows I've seen!) Here is it, enjoy!

so we took our young corsican guests (antonin & lola: cutest brother & sister ever, who came to see MUSE in newark on sunday) to see FELA! last night. the show's actually pretty good. the band is tight, the dancers' bodies are tight (some serious chocolatey goodness on that stage. and they work it OUT. bill t. jones' african choreography is no joke) and the show moves along at a pretty good pace.

but ok... PATTI LABELLE is in the show at the moment. kind of a distraction. her part is a relatively small but important one. she really only has two songs, but of course, she tears that shit UP. especially the second one. even i had to shout, "SANG miss patti!" with a gay finger wave. lol

we got pretty good seats, down near the front but off to the side. luckily, my buddy works at the theater and was able to upgrade us to the best seats in the house! the center aisle through which the dancers run during the show. i was informed that i sat in the very seat that madonna occupied when she saw the show. and no, i didn't sniff it. (but i do have an appointment at the free clinic this afternoon...) miss patti shook my hand as she went through the crowd! thanks, buddy!

the elderly french-speaking (haitian?) lady sitting next to lola turned out to be the grandmother of the guy who was playing fela. after the show, she had a nice chat with us (antonin & lola are french and richard is fluent), most of which i caught, in spite of my terrible french. while we were hangin with granny, we realized that some chairs were being set up on the stage and people were running down to grab front row seats. talkback!

not sure if they do it every night but several of the cast came out to answer questions. eventually, so did patti. she made sure to apologize for being late (do not mistake her for an aloof diva!), she was simply waiting for someone to tell her when to emerge.

the talkback couldn't last long, because they had to close the house. the poor house manager was trying to wrap things up and clear us out, but miss patti would not leave! she hung out, shook hands (grasped mine with BOTH hands the second time! i had to call my mom!), signed autographs and posed for pix. what wendy williams says about her is absolutely true: if you queen-out at patti, she will queen-out right back at you. several people gave her a "haaay miss patti! we love you!" and without missing a beat, she was all "haaay gurl. how you doin'? thank you for coming." so sweet. during the talkback she even talked about how she sweats a lot because she's menopausal. lol

if you're a b'way show looking for a way to sell tickets and you get a name like patti labelle in your cast, a talkback after the show is a great idea. they should publicize it more. miss patti WILL hang!

we capped the night off with dinner at our favorite times square spot to take visitors: the skybar at the novotel hotel. the terrace gives you a great view of times square. perfect for tourist pix and totally free (you don't have to eat at the restaurant or drink at the bar).

tonight, we're taking the kids to a dance piece in soho. (followed by jock strap night at the eagle? hmmm.... maybe not.)

anyway, fela! is definitely worth seeing.

No comments: