Thursday, February 28, 2013


Thursday==>Yes, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, Wednesday was a simply REMARKABLE day for your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, starting with, of course, the great results from my annual physical exam with my heart doctor, Fred Feuerbach, which I posted about yesterday afternoon after getting back.

And, yes, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting I have to admit that Billi Pod did, in fact, take a short nap after yesterday's posting. Hey ... don't judge me. 

Well ... anyway ... for the evening was one of the best-ever concerts by the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - “CAROUSEL”==>A+

Everything about this fully staged production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic was topnotch and I, as did my seat-mates, sat there in complete awe for the entire evening.

The onstage chemistry between the lead characters, Kelli O’Hara as Julie Jordan, Nathan Gunn as the doomed Billy Bigelow, Stephanie Blythe as Nettie Fowler, Jessie Mueller as Carrie Pipperidge, and Jason Danieley as Enoch Snow, was apparent.

The second act ballet scene, with Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild, got a well-deserved and earned roaring ovation. 

Yes, the staging, acting, singing and dancing was wonderful and all of this was brought together by the beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein score played to perfection by the 70+ piece New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Yes, my loyal and faithful readers and followers I left Lincoln Center with a huge smile on my face.

There are only 4 more performances, so my Tri-state readers and followers, go online and get a ticket ASAP because the chatboard buzz this morning is uniformly extremely positive and I have a feeling that the rest of the run will be close to selling out already.

Moving on ...

Had a matinee scheduled for today, something rather unusual for a Thursday. It was an Off Broadway show called HIT THE WALL playing downtown at the Barrow Street Theatre in The West Village. The ticket service had advised that the show was going to be taped.

Well, for whatever reason the show was canceled last night, meaning ... as of noon today Billi Pod’s evening is open. OMFG!!

OK ... OK ... don’t panic out there in the wastelands, hinterlands and boondocks ... I am considering several alternatives on my respective ticket services and ... maybe it is finally time to see the award-winning movie LIFE OF PI

Or ... maybe Billi Pod might be in the need of a night-off because he has already scheduled three consecutive doubleheaders for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What do you think?

And while you are thinking ... you know ... I have made references several times recently to the possibility (remember the operative word is POSSIBILITY) of eventually leaving The Big Apple and returning to Florida. Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, this is Billi Pod's upcoming entertainment schedule for the next 10 days/nights, already booked ...

Thursday - open at the moment 

Friday - 4:00==>DISTANT THUNDER (Off Broadway - reading);
8:00==>HOLLYWOOD PINAFORE @ The York Theatre (Off Broadway - Musical’s In Mufti Series)

Saturday - 2:00==>HIT THE WALL (Off Broadway - make up for canceled show);
8:00==>WELL-STRUNG: The Singing String Quartet (concert)

Sunday - 3:00==>MUSICAL OLYMPUS FESTIVAL CONCERT @ Carnegie Hall (concert);
7:00==>NEVA (Off Broadway)

Monday - 7:30==OUR TOWN (Off Broadway - Actor’s Fund Staged Reading)

Tuesday - 8:00==>ORATORIO SOCIETY OF NEW YORK @ Carnegie Hall (concert)

Wednesday - 7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall (concert)

Thursday - 8:00==>SUCCESS STORY (Off Broadway)

Friday - 8:00==>VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Broadway)

Saturday (March 9) - 3:00==>LOUD SPEAKER (Off Broadway);
7:30==>AMERICAN SHOWSTOPPERS: An Evening with Jule Styne (concert)

That is: 1 Broadway show; 7 Off Broadway shows; and 5 concerts, in 10 days/nights.

Yeah, I know==>how could I possibly even consider leaving this behind while I am still physically and mentally sound? How?

Anyway ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.31 miles (or, 11,607 steps)

Total mileage since 7/1/12==>1,185.32 miles


Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Billi Pod==>Doing Remarkably Well

BREAKING NEWS==>I just returned from my annual physical with my cardiologist, Dr. Fred Feuerbach, who I have been seeing since July 2001. Everything went extremely well and this is Dr. Fred’s summary, in his own handwriting ...

“Active 79 year old, doing remarkably well. History of A-Fib. Excellent blood work. Excellent activity. BP 130/70. EKG good. 164 lbs. See in 6 months to consider reduction in meds.”

To all of this I humbly say==>Thank You My Higher Power, who I choose to call God!

I have to admit to being somewhat emotionally drained though. I mean ... one never knows how the blood work and other tests are going to play out and ... the weather when I left the cozy confines of PHC @ 9:30am for my 10:30am appointment was terrible - gray, windy, rainy and cold.

Dr. Fred’s office is in the far Eastside, so I actually logged in 2.90 miles on the roundtrip. It was 12:30pm when I opened the door to PHC.

So ...  I will attempt to fulfill my obligations to my loyal and faithful readers and followers, starting with my report on last night’s entertainment event, the soon-to-close Broadway show ...

MARY POPPINS, the story of the uptight and disconnected Banks family and the magical nanny who turns their lives upside down==>TD<==for Total Disaster.

What do I mean? Well, to begin with my seat totally sucked. It was in the rear of the upper balcony, 4 rows from the back. The seat was tight and very uncomfortable.

Plus ... or perhaps minus ... seated all around me were parents with young kids who wouldn’t stop talking, no matter how many times they were told by Mom/Dad to hush-up. They also kept kicking the back of the seats of the adults sitting in front of them. Very very annoying.

Plus ... or perhaps minus ... I had forgotten how basically boring the story line is. I just couldn't get focused.

Man, the clock stopped moving. The show’s running time is 2:45 with an intermission.

When intermission finally arrived I was outta there in a nanosecond. A lot of people were also leaving.

Oh well ... you can’t win them all and now I know why I hadn’t seen the show during its 6-year run.

Moving on ... to something very much more positive ... tonight’s entertainment event ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - “If I Loved You," "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," "You'll Never Walk Alone" — these are just a few of the many joys of the musical Time magazine called "The Best of the 20th Century." Now, in the tradition of its sold-out productions of Company and My Fair Lady, the Philharmonic and an all-star cast, including Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Shuler Hensley, John Cullum and others present Rodgers and Hammerstein's immortal CAROUSEL. (full price ticket)

Carousel is one of my favorite musicals and I am really looking forward to this show. The advance buzz is very positive. It runs for 5 performances.

Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, I will post this and probably take a short nap (yes, I did say ... nap ...) because I, for whatever reason, still feel emotionally drained ...

Have an awesome upcoming 11 days already booked and will write about it in tomorrow’s posting.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.07 miles (or, 6,732 steps)

Total mileage since 7/1/12==>1,189.01 miles


Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Tuesday==>Good afternoon all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the hinterlands, boondocks and wilderness. Let’s get this posting started with Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s entertainment event ... 
NATIONAL FESTIVAL CHORUS @ Carnegie Hall, featuring the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, the USF Chamber Singers, the Bonita High School Chamber Singers, with the National Festival Chorus==>Wonderful

For me the highlight of the concert was the Youth Orchestra performing movements 1 and IV from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.

My comp. seat was awesome, in a center second tier box. Yes, this helped me leave the concert with a nice smile on my face.

Tonight’s entertainment event is a Broadway show ...
7:00==>MARY POPPINS - “Tells the story of the uptight and disconnected Banks family and the magical nanny who turns their lives upside down.” (Broadway - discounted ticket)

This musical, playing at The New Amsterdam Theatre, is closing on March 3rd and will have played 2,619 performances since opening on November 16, 2006. According to The New York Times, the show is closing to make way for Disney's next big Broadway musical, Aladdin.

With attendance totaling nearly 4,000,000 the show has been seen by more people in the last six years than any Broadway show except Wicked and The Lion King.

Last week it took in $1,022,585 and was at 93.8% capacity.

When it showed up on one of my services with a substantial discount I decided to give it a shot. Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why Disney is closing it.

Moving on ...

Tomorrow morning @ 10:30am I will have my annual physical with my heart doc, Fred Feuerbach, so I know in advance that the posting will be delayed. I had the blood work done last week.

I don’t anticipate any problems because I have been feeling great. Of course, the worst part is ripping the thingys off my chest after the EKG is completed. Oh well, nothing I can do about it except perhaps shave my chest and I ain't gonna do that.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.01 miles (or, 6.582 steps)

Total mileage since 7/1/12==>1,176.94 miles


Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Awesome Dinner With My Lady

Monday==>Can you believe it? It is actually a nice day outside in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World - bright and sunny and 45º @ 12:30pm. Wow, almost time to break out the shorts and flip-flops.

Billi Pod hopes that each and everyone of his loyal and faithful readers and followers had a great weekend, because Billi Pod certainly did ... so let’s get right down to business with his report on what went down yesterday in his fabulous Gotham lifestyle ... beginning with ...

BUNNICULA, about whether an orphaned rabbit is possibly a vampire==>B+

Yes, it is a “kid’s” show, but there is plenty for adults to like, with a lot of topical humor. The ensemble cast is excellent and the 65 minute running time flies by.

Of course there were a lot of young kids in the audience but they all were well-behaved and really into what has happening on stage.

I had serious misgivings about this show after I booked it but I am happy to say that it was a totally enjoyable time and I am glad I took the chance and scheduled it.

Billy Pod says==>if you want a fun/happy time then see this show.

When the show was finished I walked over to Dian Crystal’s aka My Lady apartment in the Gramercy Park area. When I got there our dinner was ready ... eggplant pizza.

In the picture, my plate is the one of the right. Dian added some fresh avocado and pickled pineapple (yummy). It was great ... then ... OMFG! ... she fixed me a desert that was to die for.

She used her device known as a Yonanas to make me a frozen banana ice cream sundae, topped with hot chocolate sauce, frozen blue berries and assorted nuts. OMFG!! It was totally AWESOME, it really was ... and ... it was fat-free (virtually) and healthy.

Thank you sooooooooooo much My Lady. It was an awesome time!!

As I posted yesterday, my second scheduled entertainment event was a 7:45pm show called VGL 5’4” TOP down in The East Village. I decided I just wasn’t in the mood for it ... so ... I came on back to the warm and cozy confines of PHC to watch the Academy Award’s show.

I thought the show was OK but I had absolutely no emotional interest in the outcome of any of the categories. As is my custom, the mute button was used for every acceptance speech. 

I do think that Seth MacFarlane did an OK job as emcee.

Moving on ...

Tonight’s entertainment event is ...

8:00==>NATIONAL FESTIVAL CHORUS @ Carnegie Hall, featuring the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra. and the University of South Florida Chamber Singers.

The program will include works by Beethoven, Brinsmead, Dichau, Forrest, and others. (complimentary ticket).

As usual, I have no clue where my comp. seat will be, but no matter because the acoustics in Carnegie Hall are terrific.

Now some sports stuff for my theater-buddy Marty Kosarik, who remains isolated somewhere in the mountains of West Virginia.

It felt good to have baseball back on the tube even though the Yankees lost their game to Toronto by a score of 2-0.

But ... and a HUGE but ... something terrible happened during the game. Our outfielder Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch, fracturing his right forearm. He will be out for at least 10-weeks.

These are the headlines in today’s papers ...

“OUCH! Granderson breaks arm - out until May.” - front page of the Daily News

WORST PICTURE. Madden - Grandy’s broken forearm could be first scene of Yank disaster flick.” - back page of the Daily News

“GRAND PLUNK. Curtis’ broken arm has desperate Yanks searching for OF help.” - back page of the New York Post

“Broken Arm Sidetracks Granderson Move. The center fielder (and potential left fielder) will probably miss 10 weeks.” - sports section of the New York Times.

Last season Granderson hit 43 home runs and drove in 106 runs, to lead the team in both categories. His loss will greatly impact an already power-tepid starting lineup.

Oh, the drama.

In closing ... in response to several emails and texts ... yes ... in all honesty I am in a major funk about the situation regarding my expiring lease on PHC and I will soon be exploring all of my options. I am keeping my mind open to all alternatives and ... yes ... it does include packing my bags and heading back south.

Oh ... can you believe it==>by the end of this week Billi Pod Blogs will reach the 50,000 blog page views mark. AWESOME!!

The above is an alert to my friend Kim, who knows what I mean. 

On that happy note ... it is time to do a few errands and stuff ... so ... 

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.04 miles (or, 8,828 steps)

Total mileage since 7/1/12==>1,173.93 miles


Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yesterday's Doubleheader==>A Mixed Bag

Sunday==>Good morning to everyone out there in the morass known as cyberspace!! Billi Pod is happy to report to you loyal and faithful readers and followers that it is a much nicer day here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World. Yes, the temperature has risen to 39º at 10:30am. Summer is just around the corner.

This is in contrast to yesterday, which was majorly nasty with light rain for most of the day/night. It was one of those ... “do I get out my umbrella or just keep going?” ... kind of days. Mostly Billi Pod just kept going.

Anyway ... let’s get started with my report cards on yesterday’s mixed-bag of an entertainment doubleheader ... starting with ...

OFF THE KING’S ROAD, about an American widower who, while in London, embarks on a journey of self-discovery==>B+

The show has an interesting and thought-provoking story line, with excellent acting.

The only flaw in the show, IMHO, was the use of a blowup doll that was in the show only to get forced laughs, which it did.

The final performance was last night so I am glad I finally got around to seeing it.

When the show was over I came back to the warm and dry confines of PHC and had the usual fruit and cheese plate.

My second show was at the Theatre Row Complex right next to my building, and that was nice because it was still lightly raining.

CLIVE, about the self-destructive life of a dissipated song writer in the 90s in NYC==>D<==and that is giving it the benefit of the doubt.

This show is a disappointing misuse of a stellar cast, headed by Ethan Hawke. The plot line can be summarized as: "Clive drinks and drugs, Clive screws every female in sight, Clive treats all women as shit, and Clive dies" ... and nobody in the audience cares.

Watching 105 minutes of unlikeable people getting drunk and/or high is not fun ... this show is frustrating, annoying, unpleasant and just snooze-inducingly boring.

Before the show I ran into my theater-nut friend Mary Maggio and we had time for a brief catch-up. I saw her afterwards and we both had the same negative feelings about the show.

So ... Billi Pod says==>stay far far away from this piece of crap.

Moving on ...

Today is going to be a very interesting day and this is how it is going to play out ...

First, at 1:05pm will be YANKEES/TORONTO @ Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, carried on YES. 

This will be the first televised game for The Yankees. Yes, baseball is back even though after the 4th inning the game will be played by guys you never heard of before and probably will not hear of again after spring training is over.

Then at 4:00==>BUNNICULA - “Lock up your lettuce… Protect your parsley… Rescue your rutabaga! One dark and stormy night, the Monroe family brings home an orphaned rabbit with mysterious habits and sharp fangs. Could this new member of the family possibly be a vampire?” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Yeah, I know ... but it is playing at the Daryl Roth Complex and they usually have pretty good stuff.

The running time is only 65 minutes. When it is over I will walk over to East 18th Street to meet up with Dian Crystal aka My Lady at her apartment. We will eat in. Pizza. And, yes, I have agreed to have an eggplant slice.

Then I will head downtown to the East Village for my next entertainment event which is ...

7:45==>VGL 5’4” TOP - “Sick and tired of short jokes and snobbery amongst the gay population, Lucas, a sexually frustrated and vertically challenged young top, is ready to fight back. Armed with only a laptop and a quick wit, our gallant hero addresses the loaded topic of sex and how it divides us, rather than unites us, in a time of need.” (Off Broadway - $9 TDF ticket)

This show is written and performed by Lucas Brooks and has a running time of a little over an hour. I have very mixed feelings about this show and since I paid for the ticket ($9 TDF) I can skip it with no consequences. We will see how I feel when the time comes.

When this show is over I will come back to PHC and begin watching the remainder of the 85th Academy Awards show, carried on ABC.

I will follow my usual pattern of using the mute button for all acceptance speeches etc.

I know you are asking your inner selves why Billi Pod hasn’t made any comments and/or predictions about this event. Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, the reason is actually quite simple ...

Billi Pod could care less ... of all of the nominated shows and actors, Billi Pod has only seen one ... “Les Miserables.” Remember, he only saw 3 movies during all of 2012.

On this happy note ...


Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.13 miles (or, 6,848 steps)

Total mileage since 7/1/12==>1,169.89 miles


Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”