This Weekend Brought to You By Coffee, Decaf and otherwise (part 1)

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 Sorry if my recap isn’t as rapturous as it is wont to be, folk. I didn’t get a seat on the N train until after 34th street, despite being 20 minutes late, so I’m in a bit of a mood. I also don’t understand why weatherpeople feel the need to be so Personality Driven, and why clearly rich people insist on telling service industry people about their vacations in Hawaii amidst talking about the weather. But I kvetchgress.

 Saturday was a True NYC Day according to the Gospel of MKP. My evertheaterloving Mtastic former roommate and I decided we needed to see Finian’s Rainbow and Ragtime before they closed, so hied she to Times Square and hied I to Myrtle street in Brooklyn for TKTS seats (she totally won – first row center side of the left aisle for Finian’s Rainbow, while I got mid-mezz, mid-row for Ragtime).

I breakfasted at one of my favorite midtown diners on 48th and 8th, she even squeezed in a trip to MoMA, then we met up at the Broadway kitch/theater bookstore next to Finian’s Rainbow.

 ** Sidenote: Dear Playbill, PLEASE PUT “IN THIS THEATER” BACK IN THESE PROGRAMS

Ahem. Finian’s Rainbow is the alarming conjunction of Irish immigrant mysticism and Tennessee River Valley racial immigration politics. With a very charming score. Wicked’s original Boq played Og the Leprechaun, and was probably our favorite actor. The music is so pleasant, but the plot is so weird. I will say that it was a delight to see such a thoroughly integrated cast on stage, and it made every other production featuring 12 white chorus people and a token Black couple look really, really stupid. It shouldn’t take a production of Showboat or an innovation like In The Heights to get people of color on a New York City stage. It just shouldn’t. Also, I recognized one of the dancers from Curtains – he went to WTF college, but has apparently achieved enough Broadway credits not to list it in the program anymore. Hmph.

 With the aid of the Mtastic iPhone, we discovered The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was playing just around the block, just a half hour after Finian, so off we traipsed, got some snacks, enjoyed the whirling WTFery of Terry Gilliam’s film.  M made a good point about Heath Ledger’s presence working against the film in a way. On the one hand, this isn’t a performance I would have wanted to miss, even though it was really, really difficult to see him again. On the other, it’s only half a performance, and while we can see what Ledger was getting at, the last half hour of the film really suffers without him there to tie it up. Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell do a great job of subtly imitating eachother while credibly being just another face of Ledger’s psyche. I liked it because I love movies that are mashups of dozens of other movies and styles, especially when the ingredients are drawn from Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, Mary Poppins, Pinocchio, Yellow Submarine, Lord of the Rings, Batman and of course, Baron Munchhausen.

Then it was off to Chipotle, where the two cups of coffee I had for breakfast reared their heads and inspired me to get Really Annoyed by this woman who wouldn’t move her stuff when there were no seats, and by this guy who swooped into take our seats before we even finished piling up our napkins and standing up.

 

And then….Ragtime.

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