Hello!! And a very Happy New Year’s Eve to each of you, my loyal and faithful readers. When I woke up this morning the first thing that I noticed was how white it looked outside my bedroom window (ah yes, bedroom window - how nice to be able to say that) and then I discovered that it had snowed during the very early morning hours. This is what it looked like around 9:30, looking down from PHC to the intersection of 42nd Street and 9th Avenue. It has been lightly snowing since and it is reported that snow flurries will occur for the remainder of the day and into the evening. The high is predicted to be around 36 degrees with the low around 34 degrees so it will probably be cold, slushy and nasty out there.
In answer to your question(s) ... now calm down - no, Billi Pod will not be in the Times Square area tonight for the dropping of the ball that will usher in 2010 and end 2009 and the first decade of the 21st century. Been there, done that, more than once. I will instead go to a New York Philharmonic concert and then come back and watch all of the festivities from the confines of my warm and cozy apartment, known as Penthouse C in 420 W. 42nd Street.
I had a wonderful Christmas-time in Columbia, SC, with my family: Kathi and John Bendeck, Billy Norris, Alex and Gina Falletta. and Chris Falletta and his fiancé Sally Goldman. I went down south on Tuesday, December 22nd and returned to The Big Apple on Sunday, December 27th. The Norris Travel Curse did not appear on either flight. It was a great family time.
Kathi and John are embarking on a new adventure. They have just bought an awesome, and I do mean AWESOME, 3 bedroom 3 bath apartment on the top floor (5th) of a new high-rise condo complex in downtown Columbia, meaning they are moving from the ‘burbs to a trendy area adjacent to both the University of South Carolina campus and the state government complexes. They were their usual gracious hosts while packing and preparing for the arrival of the movers on Monday the 28th. THANK YOU GUYS FOR A WONDERFUL TIME!!
When I got back to The Big Apple I immediately began arranging my entertainment schedule, and, of course, it looks very very interesting.
On Monday evening, December 28, I saw the movie “Me & Orson Welles.” This is the plot synopsis: “In a whirlwind week in 1937 in New York City, a young aspiring actor named Richard (Zak Efron) is thrown into the middle of Orson Welles (Christian McKay - outstanding) Mercury Theatre Company on the eve of the opening of Welles historic staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. During this week he will find romance with a worldly older woman, become immersed in a creative experience few are afforded and learn the downside of crossing the imperious, brilliant Welles. Richard is about to grow up fast.”
This movie has had a very limited release and I am not sure it has been released nationwide yet and when it is I am certain it will only be in “arty” theaters. Regardless, if you get a chance, I highly recommend it. Zak Efron has a breakout performance and the guy playing Welles is amazing. If you have ever performed on-stage with an egomaniacal star/director you will really relate to what goes down. See it if you can.
On Tuesday at 7:30 was the New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Lincoln Center. The program was: Webern - Im Sommerwind; Webern - Symphony, Op. 21; Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 23; and Schumann - Symphony No. 2. (subscription series). Great as usual.
Last night @ 8:00 was the Off Broadway show - “Fascinating Aida is Absolutely Miraculous!” The press blurb for this show is: “Absolutely Fabulous meets Noel Coward, sung by the Andrews Sisters. There are three inspired women: irrepressibly versatile Dillie Keane, a sort of naughtier Angela Lansbury; statuesque, subduedly sexy Adele Anderson, deadpan poison-dart thrower; and the relative newcomer, curly-blonde Liza Pulman, sassy specialist in soprano pinpricks. These women revel in the here and now. They are bawdy and political; loopy and whimsical.” (complimentary ticket).
I had some misgivings about this show, for some reason. Boy, was I wrong. It was/is gut-busting funny and very very risqué. I had an absolutely fascinating time.
OK - enough about the past - what about the future you are no doubt breathlessly asking. OK, OK, this is what the next 9 days will be for Billi Pod in New York City, The Greatest City in The World:
Thursday - New Year’s Eve - Goodbye 2009 - 7:30 - New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Lincoln Center. The special gala program is: Copeland - Suite from Appalachian Spring and Old American Songs; Cole Porter - musical selections; and, Gershwin - An American in Paris. (full price ticket).
I have done this New Year’s Eve Gala concert for the last 5 years and it is a great way to welcome in the New Year. The concert will be over around 9:00 and I will come back to PHC and settle in to watch the festivities on TV while drinking my Fresca and noshing on fruit and cheese.
Friday - January 1, 2010 - Welcome 2010 - 8:30 - Gators vs. Cincinnati - Sugar Bowl. (Fox).
Man, am I nervous about this game for several reasons: One is that the Gator’s are 11 point favorites over an unbeaten team: Two is the fallout of the Urban Meyer “I quit, no I don’t” soap-opera-like drama; and ... gasp ... Three is the bitter and unresolved dispute between Time Warner Cable and Fox which may result in the game not being carried in the New York area if an agreement is not reached by Thursday midnight. Oh please please get the damn things settled.
Saturday - 3:00 - “The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever” - Off Broadway. “It's time for the annual holiday production for a struggling gay theatre company in West Hollywood. Jim, the pot-smoking straight tech guy, offends M&M, the eclectic playwright, causing him to walk out and take his script with him. Now the crazy and drama-addicted team has just a few weeks to produce The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever. This holiday camp-fest is a fast-paced comedy packed with hilarious dialog and over-the-top characters.” (complimentary ticket).
I know, I know - Christmas is gone but this show has gotten really good reviews and I had planned to see it earlier but my complimentary ticket was withdrawn when the show sold out.
Sunday - 3:00 - “Smudge” - Off Broadway. This is the very brief press blurb about this show in very early previews: “The world premiere of a dark comedy about the changing face of the American family and the limits of love and cheesecake, as a hopeful young couple gives birth to a smudge.” (discounted TDF ticket).
Now, as required by fair and honest reporting - I have no clue what ...”gives birth to a smudge”... means. I have a feeling this show will fall into the Love It or Hate it category. We will see.
Monday - open at the moment. Will probably see a movie. Thinking about “2012” and/or “A Single Man.”
Tuesday - 7:00 - “Time Stands Still” - Broadway. The press blurb for this show in very early previews is: “James and Sarah, a journalist and a photographer, have been together for nine years and share a passion for documenting the realities of war. But when injuries force them to return home to New York, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life.” (discounted TDF ticket).
Wednesday - 2:00 - “Fela!” - Broadway. The press blurb for this very well reviewed show is: “This award-winning new musical portrays the extravagant, decadent, rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and features the music of this groundbreaking African composer and performer. In a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies, FELA! explores his controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician.” (discounted TDF ticket).
Thursday - January 7 - 8:00 - BCS Championship Game. Alabama vs. Texas (CBS). I’m for the SEC, so ... Roll Tide!! And, yes, I did honor my bet with my son Billyboy by wearing a Crimson Tide T-shirt and cap during Christmas dinner and then the exchange of presents.
Friday - January 8 - 8:00 = “Ernest In Love” - Off Broadway. “The musical of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. This adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic comedy features all of its beloved characters - Lady Bracknell and the creme de la creme of London society singing and dancing in this comic musical. The music and lyrics faithfully re-create a time when wit and grace ruled the world and the right address and proper behavior was paramount except when it came time to pay your creditors.” (discounted TDF ticket).
This show has gotten excellent reviews and I am looking forward to seeing it.
I am working on the stats for December and for 2009 and will post in the next several days. I do know that my preliminary draft supports, as might be expected, my love for this city and all that it has to offer. I also hope to be able to post some thoughts about the decade.
So, to those of you loyal and faithful readers who have survived to the end of this overlong posting - I
again wish each of you a happy and healthy 2010.
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”
PS: A big shout-out to S. L. and Mary Frisbie of Bartow, FL, as they begin their retirement years after serving multiple decades in the newspaper business - HAVE FUN ON YOUR NEW ADVENTURE!!