For our anniversary, our kids got us seats for The Producers. We drove in late Friday night, after working all day, me in my office and Carol trying to debox our apartment. We stopped at Pepe's just before they closed at 10:00 PM and had a pizza, but I think we are pizzaed out for a while. We got in around 12:30 PM and got a great parking space.
Saturday morning, we drove down to the East Village. Again, a great parking place. So far, it was a super weekend. There was Josie, ready to play.
She almost crawls now, lunging forward into a heap in order to reach something. And she can sing. If you sing, "Old MacDonald had a farm..." she answers at the top of her lungs with, "EE-II-EE-II-OOOO!!" Could you just die! She still loves to read and turn the pages.
We stopped for a bite to eat, dropped Josie off at the home of Dan and Adrienne Levy, whose son Raphael is Josie's friend, and a very sweet child himself.
We cabbed to the St. James Theatre, where Neal & Andy were waiting with the tickets. And what seats they were! Not just seats, but great seats! Right in front of the box beside the stage, where the Queen of England or Abraham Lincoln get to sit. The show is a legend, and deservedly so. No, we didn't get to see Nathan and Matthew. We didn't even get to see Brad Oscar, who took over for Nathan Lane. We saw his understudy, Ray Wills, who was absolutely wonderful. It isn't the stars who matter. It's the show, it's the ensemble, it's the choreography and direction by Susan Stroman. And above all, it's Mel Brooks. When Mel Brooks is involved, there is no one else! And besides, who could ever compete with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in the original movie? We laughed and hooted and nearly peed our pants. Everyone was wonderful! Everything was wonderful! Yes, you are hearing this from Farklempt, who hates most musical comedy. This is in a class by itself. When a stage full of little old ladies does a Busby Berkeley tap routine using their walkers, it brings down the house.
It does get a little scary when cohorts of storm troopers form a rotating swastika in the finale of "Springtime for Hitler."
How interesting to compare this low-class, slapstick, burlesque sendup of Hitler, Nazis and Germans to the effete, intellectual, highbrow exhibit at the Jewish Museum, Mirroring Evil. Everyone is outraged by making light of the Holocaust in the latter, while everyone loves Mel Brooks' prost over-the-top rendition of Hitler and his Nazis.
We returned to pick up Josie and went to a new restaurant named Supper for supper. This was a superb Italian bistro, informal, with a fabulous menu, inexpensive, and a great wine list with some real bargains if you know a bit about Italian wine. We had many different small dishes and shared. The salad caprese was as good as it gets, the sauces to accompany the bollito misto were extraordinary, the wines--a Morellino and a Sagrantino di Montefalco were superb and cheap, the pastas, the desserts--and since we arrived at 6:30 PM, the place was empty, and we could eat with Josie (whose favorite toy is now a spoon) in leisure and quiet. Moments like these with my family together are the happiest times of my life. When we left, they were lined up on the street to get in. Only in New York can you find dozens of restaurants like this in every neighborhood.
We went back to put Josie to bed, and Carol and I babysat while the kids went out.
In the morning, Neal and Andy rejoined us for a divine brunch at Teresa's, a Polish institution in the Polish-Ukranian section of the East Village. Wonderful borscht and blintzes, and great bloody marys.
Andy and Neal, just back from their honeymoon on Cape Breton Island, strolled off to the Gay Pride Parade.
And we headed north, stopping to drop off a few things at JTS, and home to do some more unpacking.