Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Big Apple

Joey's cousin Will Swenson is playing Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway.   We felt like if we were going to make it to New York to see him it was now or never (since we vowed when we have 4 kids we will never travel again).  The ever-adventurous Mike and Lisa (Joey's brother and wife) joined us.  We love these guys.  We got to live by them during dental school and have missed them!
a terrible selfie in Times Square - Mike, Lisa, Joey, Katie

Our first day there we went to 9/11 Memorial.  It was beautiful and I thought a very fitting memorial.  They are just two big dark holes with beautiful water flowing but designed so you couldn't see the bottom.  All around were the names of every person who had died that day and where they were.  I counted 4 women who had written next to their name "and unborn child".   It was sobering and haunting and good to remember.



 This is called the "survivor tree".  It's the only tree that survived at ground zero.  A 6-foot stump was all that was left of it.  They replanted it at another park and it grew to 30 feet tall.  Now it's back at ground zero.  It's some kind of pear tree I think.  Pretty cool. -

That night we went to a fancy Italian restaurant to meet up with Will before the show.  Here he is in the flesh - with his awesome Javert chops and all.  I don't actually know him very well so it was fun to get to talk to him over dinner.   It was strange to be casually talking to him about his wife, kids and life and then walk over to the Imperial Theatre, take our seats and ....

... see him like this....


This show was truly amazing.  I was worried that I had maybe seen this show and heard the songs too many times for it to warrant a whole trip to NYC to see it again and that I wouldn't be able to truly enjoy it.  But boy was I wrong.  From the minute the orchestra started playing and the actors performing - I was 100% swept away and experienced that Broadway high with all the goose bumps and chills that come with it.  I forgot how strong and amazing talent can even be.  And Les Mis will forever be the best story ever told.  I was especially impressed with the acting - it made each song sound new to me.  They sang from the depths of their souls and of course we were brought to tears multiple times.   I could have gone home after that and been completely happy.  And I'm not sure if it is because Will is Joey's cousin but he was seriously my favorite.  I was just blown away by the whole thing. 

a taste of Les Mis.  this is the cast we saw - singing "One Day More" on Good Morning America...

http://youtu.be/FHdckSH44uY

So Will is married to.... um Audra McDonald....you might have heard of her. :) She has won 5 tony awards - FIVE!!  Which is the record.  Only Audra, Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury are tied for that record.


Well - we went to her show the next day called "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill".  It tells the story of Billie Holiday and is basically a one woman show.  It's set in a small bar in Philadelphia where she gave one of her last performances.  I think it took place about 4 months before she died.  Between songs she monologued and I felt like I got a really cool history lesson on Jazz and Billie Holiday.  Such a cool play. 

And we got to go back to her dressing room afterwards and talk to her.  I loved her so much.  After an exhausting performance she was so so nice to us and somehow had the energy to tell us all about what it was like to play this role and the research she did and about her daughter and her life and still ask about us.  Super classy and nice person. It was such a neat opportunity.  
Outside the theatre


Here's a video of Audra on Colbert talking about 'LADY DAY' and she performs two numbers from the show!!!
http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/videoplay.cfm?colid=742478
 
That night we met up with our good friend from high school Danny Larsen and ate some delicious Thai food.  We love Danny!  He's doing great things.  He filmed and wrote all the music to this award winning web musical called The Hinterlands - http://hinterlandsthemusical.com/cast-crew/ 
And he has a few other projects up his sleeve.  It was so good to see his face!

After dinner with Danny we saw the Broadway Musical -  Pippin!  It was really good but I think my pregnant and sick body just wanted a bed.  I felt like my physical body couldn't quite keep up with all the magic we crammed into 2 days.  Man, I sound old.
 
What did we do with our kids you ask? Let me just say that my bnf Amanda Cremeans is a hero and a saint.  She dealt with some pretty crazy diarrhea from our little Maryanne (oh, I feel so bad!) and a lot of whining and fighting from my other two - bless their little hearts.  So a big shout-out to her!  And I will be doing lots of paybacks to her to try to make it up to her. :)  

Also - thanks Will and Audra for being such good hosts to us non-famous people.
And thanks Mike and Lisa for being fun travel buddies and making food and hotel arrangements! 

3 comments:

Sarah C. said...

I loved this post! Thanks for sharing! That is a trip I want to take!!!

Amanda and Drew said...

So many goodies in this post! I look forward to talking about it more in person. I just have to say you give me way more credit than I deserve, and today Maryanne said she wanted to go to my house and I was elated! Then at movie night when she walked up to me and said, "I want to hold you," I just totally melted. I sure love that little miss to the core and I would lovingly clean up her messy presents, any time - with sunshine in my soul!

Lindsay said...

Amanda - you are too kind. Katie is lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor!!!
Katie - I love the idea of this trip. A long weekend in NY to sleep in, eat at restaurants, and see plays. Les Mis is my favorite, too. Each time I see it, I love it more!

Every story has a beginning...

Joey and Katie first met in Mr. Hawkes 3rd grade class at Valley Elementary. They became good friends in Jr. High and best friends in High School. Katie wrote to Joey on his mission in Tiajuana and Joey wrote to Katie later on her mission in Tokyo. Years later at the ripe old age of 25, these best friends finally fell in love... or maybe just realized they were already in love. They got married on January 22, 2004.

happy kids

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