Monday, March 31, 2014

The Most Deserving/Broadway By The Year/Gators/Yankees/Breaking News


Monday==>At the start of this new week here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, it is still cold and windy outside. At noon it is overcast with temperature of 41º, wind chill down to 33º, with gusting winds coming off The Hudson River. Rain is a possibility.

Happily, there is also the possibility that the temperature will reach the upper 50s later on in the week. Hope this happens because I am so fucking tired of the cold weather and all the crap that goes with it ... oh well ...

Let’s move on in this errands and chores Monday with your favorite bloggers report card on yesterday’s Off Broadway show ...

THE MOST DESERVING, a county arts council in Kansas, giving away the largest individual artist grant in its history, must decide who is the most deserving==>C+

I found this show to be only mildly entertaining because of its basically un-involving story line and unlikeable characters.

You know you have a less-than-inspiring show when the biggest laugh comes from an on-stage prop goof (a wheel came off of a beverage cart, spilling stuff all over the stage).

It is also needlessly profanity ridden and at 1:45, without intermission, is 15-minutes too long.

This was an early preview performance so maybe it will get better.

It is playing at Stage 2 at the New York City Center on West 55th Street, has a running time of 1:45, without intermission, and runs through May 5th.

Moving on to today ...

Tonight’s entertainment event is ...

8:00==>BROADWAY BY THE YEAR: BROADWAY MUSICALS OF 1940-1964 @ Town Hall -  “A talented cast performs a song from a Broadway show from each year.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This well-reviewed series is written and hosted by Scott Siegel. It is usually well-performed and a lot of fun. Since it is on a Monday night, when most Broadway shows are dark, the audience will have lots of “theater-type” folks in attendance and that is always nice.

If the past holds true, my comp. seat is gonna be in the very rear of the balcony. Well, as “they” say ... it goes with the territory.

Now ... some sports ... just for you Marty ...

As most of you loyal and faithful readers and followers know, my Florida Gators have advanced to the Final Four and will play UConn in Arlington, TX, on Saturday, April 5th, at 6:10pm, carried on TBS.

It is kinda ironic that these two teams are meeting each other, since the last Gator loss was back on December 2nd, a 65-64 heartbreaking loss to UConn.

For this game the current line favors The Gators by 6.5 points.

Trust me on this==>we are gonna kick butt big time.

Moving on some more for a little bit of baseball ...

Today is the season opener for most teams, except the Yankees.

We will open tomorrow night @ 7:10pm down in Houston, carried on YES.

Our titular ace CC Sabathia will be on the mound.

My current plans are to stay in the warm and cozy confines of PHC and watch the season opener.

Now ... I know you are all anxiously awaiting Billi Pod’s predictions ... so ... here they are, limited only to the American League ...

AL East
Rays
Yankees* 
FuckSox
Orioles
Blue Jays
*Wildcard

Yankee record 98 - 64 (.605)

These are the only predictions I feel comfortable with at this time ... sorry ...

Moving on some more ...

Breaking news==>I have just made my plans to go down to Columbia, SC, to celebrate the upcoming birth of my second great-granddaughter and to be with her parents Alex and Gina Falletta, her darling older sister, Saylor, and my daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband, Dr. John.

It is anticipated that the baby will be born around the middle of April, so my plans are to head down there on Friday, April 25th and return on Tuesday, April 29th.

More details later.

So ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace, Billi Pod has things and stuff to do today ... so ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.15 miles (or, 9,068 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>23.46 miles (average 3.35 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2014==>298.48 miles (average 3.35 miles per day)

GO GATORS & GO YANKEES!!

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

IT’S GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!!


Sunday==>IT’S GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!!

Yes, my Florida Gators turned Dayton’s Cinderella glass shoe into broken pieces as we won, as most of you loyal and faithful readers and followers know, by a score of 62-52

With the win we advance to the Final Four on next Saturday to play the winner of the Michigan State/UConn game. 

This will be Billy Donovan’s 4th appearance in the Final Four.

Yesterday’s Yankee/Marlins game was rained out so the Gator win turned what was an otherwise blah, gloomy and nasty weather day into a totally AWESOME day!!

Yeah, it rained all day and most of the evening and it was just plain ugly out so Billi Pod remained in the warm and cozy confines of PHC for the entire time.

He did manage to log in 2-miles on his Pedometer by walking relentlessly around the apartment and out in the hallway. Man, is that boring ... anyway ...

It is still rather dark and gloomy out but at least the rain has stopped.

So ... what about today?

Well, today’s entertainment event is an Off Broadway show ...

2:30==>THE MOST DESERVING - “A county arts council in Kansas, giving away the largest individual artist grant in its history, must agree on who is the most deserving. When a professor from the local community college makes a case for an unconventional outsider, the council braces for battle.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is in early previews, is playing at Stage 2 at the New York City Center on West 55th Street, has a running time of 1:40, without intermission, and runs through May 5th.

The upcoming week is going to be pretty AMAZING because I have already booked 3 Broadway shows, in previews. This is my schedule as of today ...

Monday - 8:00==>BROADWAY BY THE YEAR (1940-64) at Town Hall - (Off Broadway)

Tuesday - 7:10==>YANKEES/HOUSTON @ Houston - Opening Day, carried on YES.

Wednesday (doubleheader) - 2:30==>VIOLET (Broadway); 7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall

Thursday - 8:00==>THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN (Broadway)

Friday - 8:00==>ACT ONE (Broadway)

Saturday - Time TBD==>FINAL FOUR - GATORS vs. ?

Sunday - open at the moment.

Yeah, kinda interesting isn’t it?

HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>2.07 miles (or, 4,530 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>294.33 miles (average 3.34 miles per day)

GO GATORS & GO YANKEES!!

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Marie and Lenny/LGBT Symphonic Band Concert/Yankees & Gators


Saturday==>It is a gray and gloomy beginning to the weekend here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

At 11:00am it is lightly raining with the forecast for more of the same for most of the afternoon and into the evening.

The good news is that it is somewhat warmer ... in the low 50s, and, while that ain’t Summer it is much better than it has been in quite some time.

So ... let’s move on ...

Had a great time last night with my new friends Marie and Lenny Taylor, who are my seat mates at one of my New York Philharmonic series.

Marie is a very successful real estate agent/broker and Lenny is a retired college professor.

We met for an early dinner at Manhattan Diner on Broadway between 94th and 95th streets. It is located directly across the street from Symphony Space where my evening’s concert was scheduled.

It was a totally enjoyable time and the food was acceptable. We shared a lot of background stories and that was nice.

They have invited me to be a guest at their Sag Harbor beach cottage when it gets warmer, and, of course, I accepted their generous invitation.

When we had finished we split and I had time for a brief walk and wander session. As usual, when I am in this area, I was struck with how different it is from my Hell’s Kitchen ‘hood.

Now ... about the concert ... 

LESBIAN & GAY BIG APPLE CORPS SYMPHONIC BAND @ Symphony Space - “'Coloring Outside the Lines' - featuring the music of American gay and lesbian composers, including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Travis Cross, George Gershwin, Jennifer Higdon, and Stephen Sondheim.”

My comp. seat was decent, row P in the orchestra section, far house right. The house appeared to be about 3/4s full and that was a bit of a surprise since the previous concerts that I had seen were each sold-out.

In the name of fair and unbiased reporting I have to share that the orchestra just didn’t sound as good as they had at previous concerts. The weak link at the beginning was the brass section, particularly the french horns.

As the concert progressed the sound from the stage got better and better so it ended up being a decent experience, although not to the level that I had anticipated/expected.

Moving on to today ...

Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, today is going to be a total couch-potato sports day for your favorite blogger, starting with ...

1:00==>YANKEES/MARLINS @ Tampa, carried on YES.

This is the final spring training game for The Bronx Bombers and Ivan Nova will be the starting pitcher.

Last night the Bombers got excellent pitching from Hiroki Kuroda and Masahito Tanaka, who combined for a shutout 3-0 win over the Marlins.

Then ... for the evening is ... tada ...

6:00==>GATORS/DAYTON, Regional Championship Game,  carried on TBS.

The Gators are favored by 10-points but my gut feeling is that it is gonna be a much closer game. The winner advances to the Final Four on next Saturday.

The local media is treating Dayton as the “Cinderella” team of the tournament. 

Well, that’s OK, but they are gonna be Gator bait when the game is over ... jus sayin’ ...

So ... 

HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE WEEKEND EVERYONE.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.02 miles (or, 8,803 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>292.26 miles (average 3.36 miles per day)

GO GATORS & GO YANKEES!!

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

Friday, March 28, 2014

No Exit/American Symphony Orchestra/Gators Win/Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band


Friday==>TGIF EVERYONE!

We will get today’s TGIF posting started with Billi Pod’s report card and comments on yesterday’s AWESOME tripleheader here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World ... beginning with ...

The excellent revival of Jean Paul Sartre's existential classic ...

NO EXIT, about three strangers who cross paths in the afterlife while awaiting their ultimate fate==>B+

The show is very well performed by the 4-person cast: Bradford Cover; Pete McElligott; Jolly Abraham; and Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris.

Cover’s character is named “Cradeau,” which sounds like “Godot” from the stage. Interesting.

The story line is thought-provoking as it asks the questions: “who are we, really?” and “just what is Hell?”

This revival received generally favorable reviews, is playing at The Pearl Theatre on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 1:40, with intermission, and runs through March 30th.

An additional plus for the theater event was running into my friends Bob & Lillian, confirmed theater-nuts like moi. We hadn’t seen each other in some time so it was nice to have the opportunity to do some catching up.

When the show was over I came back to the warm and cozy confines of PHC and had my usual pre-theater snack, a fruit and cheese plate.

The second part of the tripleheader was a classical music concert up at Carnegie Hall. As I posted yesterday, I knew that Billi Pod would be leaving at intermission so he could watch the third part of the tripleheader, the GATOR/UCLA game @ 9:40pm.

Now ... about the concert ... 

AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Carnegie Hall - The program was: Bruch - “Moses: An Oratorio.”

The orchestra was joined by The Collegiate Chorale and 3 excellent soloists.

My comp. seat was in the upper-nosebleed section (Dress Circle) but that didn’t matter because of the wonderful acoustics in Carnegie Hall.

I’m really sorry that I couldn’t stay for the entire program because it was an excellent performance. 

The text is in German but there was a printed translation in the program. Only problem, as usual in this venue, it was so dark in the auditorium that you couldn’t read the text unless you held the program right in front of your face, which is, of course, terribly annoying to people sitting around you.

I still don’t understand why Carnegie Hall doesn’t use super-titles like most of the other classical music venues do.

Oh, well ... as planned, I left at intermission and was back in PHC to see the third part of my tripleheader ...

GATORS/UCLA, won by The Gators, 79-68, in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.

I spent a goodly portion of the game-time pacing around the living room as the clock seemed to slow down to a crawling pace, with way-too-many time-outs and commercial breaks.

With the win The Gators advance to The Elite Eight for the 4th consecutive year. We will play #11 seed Dayton (who??) on Saturday @ 6:00pm, carried on TBS.

So ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers, when you consider the above events, plus some excellent walking mileage, I hope you will agree that your favorite blogger had a pretty AWESOME Thursday.

Now ... moving on to today ...

At 6:00pm I will meet up with my new friends Marie and Lenny Taylor for an early bite, somewhere in the Upper Westside, before my entertainment event, which is ...

8:00==>LESBIAN & GAY BIG APPLE CORPS SYMPHONIC BAND @ Symphony Space - “‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ - featuring the music of American gay and lesbian composers, including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Travis Cross, George Gershwin, Jennifer Higdon, and Stephen Sondheim.” (concert - complimentary ticket)

I have seen this group perform several times and they are very good. Symphony Space is an excellent venue and is located at Broadway and 95th Street.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Oh, as I posted above, yesterday was a good walking day mileage-wise ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.21 miles (or, 9,218 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>288.24 miles (average 3.35 miles per day)

GO GATORS & GO YANKEES!!

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Middle of the Night/No Exit/American Symphony Orchestra/The Gators


Thursday==>Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, I am certain you are interested in the fact that it remains cold here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

Yes, this morning at 8:30am the temperature was 25º, wind chill down to 18º, with sunny blue skies and steady winds off of the Hudson River.

Now we have that out of the way ... so ... we will move on to what Billi Pod was able to schedule last night for his entertainment event ... and that was ...

The Off Broadway show ...

8:00==>MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT - “A May-December romance set against New York in the 1950s involving an older Jewish widower and a young gentile married woman who fall in love and want to get married, to the dismay of their respective families.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Billi Pod’s report card==>A

This show has a stellar cast, headed by Jonathan Hadary as the 53-year old widower and Nicole Lowrance (yes, that is the correct spelling) as the 24-year old woman, that brings Paddy Chayefsky’s comedy/drama to life.

The story line is emotionally involving and, although dated (of course), it is very entertaining.

The show received mostly favorable reviews, is playing at The Theatre Row Complex on my West 42nd Street block, has a running time of 2:10, with intermission, and closes its run on this Friday.

I am so glad that I finally got to see it.

Today is going to be a very interesting day/night because it is going to be a tripleheader, so I need to move on rather quickly ... so ... first is ...

2:00==>NO EXIT - “Jean Paul Sartre's existential classic tells the story of three strangers crossing paths in the afterlife while awaiting their ultimate fate. Each with their own secrets to tell, each with their own lies to expose, the pressure-cooker spirals into a maelstrom of manipulation, mockery, and malice.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This revival received generally favorable reviews, is playing at The Pearl Theatre on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 1:40, with intermission, and runs through March 30th.

When the show is over I will come back to the warm and cozy confines of PHC for my usual pre-theater snack, a fruit and cheese plate, and then it will be ...

8:00==>AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Carnegie Hall - The program is: Bruch - “Moses: An Oratorio.” (concert - complimentary ticket)

According to the press info: “This musical journey takes us from the bequest of the tablets on Mount Sinai and the infamous worship of the Golden Calf, to the Israelites’ years of wandering and Moses’ death on the very eve of the entry into Canaan.”

The running time for this concert is 2:20, with intermission.

When I booked this concert I wasn’t aware of the scheduling for the NCAA Basketball Tournament and my Florida Gators involvement ... which is the third part of my tripleheader ...

9:40==>FLORIDA/UCLA @ Memphis, carried on CBS.

The Gators are 4.5 point favorites. It should be a very interesting and exciting game.

I will leave my concert at intermission so I will certainly be back in PHC in time for the beginning of the game.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, it is time to post this and then get ready to begin my tripleheader.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.29 miles (or, 7,425 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>284.03 miles (average 3.34 miles per day)

GO GATORS & GO YANKEES!!

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