Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring Break, Part 1: Spring Awakening

Friday night, Tom showed up at my door and began kissing me the minute I opened it. We kissed through the apartment and into my bedroom. It was almost 10 p.m. by the time we finally ordered and got our food delivered. It was pretty yummy.

The next day, we tried to go to Melba's for brunch, but it was closed, so we ended up at the utterly inferior Euro Corner. Meh.

After that, Tom said to me, "What do you want to do today?" I said, "How about a matinee?" He made a face, and asked, "Is there really anything out that you want to see?" "No, I replied, not a movie! A play!" He agreed enthusiastically, and as my internet connection was messed up (Grr!) we headed down to Times Square and wandered to some of the theaters that had shows we were interested in.

A kind man at the Spring Awakening box office told sent us to the TKTS booth. For the amount of cash that would have put us in the back row, we got seats in the eleventh row, center. Yow! And for once, the lines weren't horrific! It was still a little pricey, but worth it.

See photo at left of Jonathan Groth and Lea Michele, downloaded from They're both amazing. (However, he spits a LOT when he annunciates.) The show is based on a 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind. At the time, no one would put it on, because it was too racy. It explored the differences between bourgeois and bohemian values of the era. It suggests that when you try to shelter children, you often damage them. Turning a blind eye to their problems can be just as damaging. The adults in the play claim they're doing what's best for their children, but often it's just what's most comfortable for the parents.

The sets are beautiful, original and stark. (See photo below, downloaded from It's set in the round, with audience members flanking the stage on risers, and the actors sit among them when they aren't in a scene. That was interesting, though I'm still trying to work out the purpose of it. The choreography...well, most of it is awful. The actors are amazing actors with fabulous, rich voices, but most of them are NOT dancers. The choreographer, upon seeing this, should have toned things down a notch...or twelve. The arm motions remind me of some of the cheers our squad did in high school, only we made tighter, cleaner movements. The music is fresh and rousing, but the strongest numbers are in the first half of the show, as are the most exciting events. As a result, the play was really good, but anticlimactic. The thing is, without completely changing the events of the play, I don't know how it could be remedied. The upshot? I've always loved RENT, but its ending left me incredulous. Now, I forgive Larson everything. He had to end it that way to avoid the anticlimactic-problem Spring Awakening is experiencing.

The funny thing is, I've listed a ton of things wrong with the show, but Tom and I still really liked it. We thought that was actually one of the most remarkable things about it: this show has issues, but it's so charismatic and likable!P.S. as we were leaving, we saw Stockard Channing. She looked pretty.

Then we (Tom and I. Stockard didn't come.) went for Thai food on Nineth Ave. It was scrumptious, especially the chicken coconut soup. I was supposed to go out with Laura and Carolina that night, but I ended up going home and falling asleep right away. Tom went to his friend Terrence's birthday party. The next day, he called me to join him and his friends for grilled food and the Mets' opening game at Mike and Brit's house. I agreed, but first I had some packing to do for a somewhat spur-of-the-moment trip to Washington, D.C. we had planned. I met him in Brooklyn in a light rain, lugging a big bag of stuff. A cherry tree across the street was blooming. "Those will be everywhere in DC tomorrow," I said. "And it's supposed to be 80 degrees," he replied.

Tom's friends were lots of fun (Coincidentally, Brit and her sister, Afton, are Iowans.) and provided great food. I dozed a bit during the actual game, but I don't think anyone noticed. They're the kind of people who would have teased me if they had. But in a nice way.

Tom later told me,"Saturday night, there was a lag in the conversation, so I said, 'Guess what I did today? Erin and I went to a Broadway show.'" They were all surprised, and Tori said to him, "Can you talk to Dom about doing things?" Heh. Tom said, "To me, that's half the reason to have a girlfriend. So you have someone to do things with." (By "do things," we mean go to the park, a museum, a play, have a picnic, etc. Anything that gets you out of the apartment and enjoying your surroundings.) "No," I replied, "You're right. I definitely do more things now that were dating than I did when I was single. Well, I did things on my own, sometimes... especially in the summer... especially that summer when I didn't have air conditioning. But that's not the point. The point is, I love doing things with you."

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