Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday Was AMAZING!! - Spring at the Willowbrook Inn - Billy & Ray - Naperville - Upcoming Events

Thursday==>You know, one of the amazing things about living in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, is how amazing things can be when least expected.

What am I talking about I know most of you loyal and faithful readers and followers are asking your inner selves? Well ... inner selves ... what your favorite blogger means is this ...

Yesterday was the coldest day thus far this Fall with wind chill down in the low teens. It was a day that called out for Billi Pod to remain in the warm and cozy confines of PHC.

Well ... as you know from yesterday’s posting, he had an entertainment doubleheader already scheduled, which he had to attend. No way to cancel without getting into real trouble with friends and his ticket service.

As it turns out each of the events were totally interesting (details below) and ... and a big AND ... when midnight came Billi Pod had recorded 5.02 miles on his Pedometer. Yeah ... that’s right ... 5.02 miles on the coldest day thus far in the Fall of 2014.

Pretty AMAZING, don’t you think?

So ... let’s now move on to Billi Pod’s report cards on his entertainment doubleheader ... starting with ...

The staged reading of ...

SPRING AT THE WILLOWBROOK INN, follows the lives of two men, Cooper and Joshua, from their first meeting in 1967 at a motivational conference through present day. They develop a deep relationship based on mutual understanding and love as their lives unfold separately==>THUMBS UP!

It has a lot of promise.

Remember, Billi Pod usually doesn’t give letter grades to readings or workshop productions, unless they totally suck.

This was an “industry only” staged reading that was directed by my friend Scott Wojcik. I saw an earlier version (fully staged) back on July 26, 2012 and gave it an A. It was also directed by Scott.

In this version, instead of having two actors play Cooper and Joshua through the entirety of their decades long “relationship” the creative team opted to have 2 actors play the younger characters and then later in the show 2 actors took over for the older version of the characters.

Legendary diving champion Greg Louganis played the older Joshua.

Honestly, I liked the original version better.

It was performed at The Pearl Studio at 500 8th Avenue, which, luckily is only 6 blocks south and 1 block east of my 42nd Street apartment.

I was seated with my longtime friend Michael Rodriguez, who is Scott’s husband-to-be. When the reading was over I also had contact with Jack Thomas, who is also a longtime friend and a successful producer. 

When it was all over I braved the elements again and came back to PHC for my usual fruit and cheese plate. Then, it was time to head downtown to the Union Square area for my second entertainment event ...

The Off Broadway show ...

7:00==>BILLY & RAY, a comedy charting the birth of the film noir genre, that follows literary odd couple writer-director Billy Wilder and novelist Raymond Chandler as they contentiously collaborate to adapt Double Indemnity for the silver screen. Set in 1940s Hollywood, this is a true story of how two brilliant and thorny artists battled the Hollywood censors and each other to create a groundbreaking movie classic==>B

The four person cast is outstanding ... Vincent Kartheiser as Wilder; the stage veteran Larry Pine as Chandler; Sophie von Haselberg (who is Bette Midler’s daughter) as the secretary/assistant Helen; and, Drew Gehling as Joe, the increasingly frustrated producer.

There are a lot of laughs at the beginning of the show as the relationship between Wilder and Chandler gets off to a very rocky start. Unfortunately, it is not maintained during the 2:15, with intermission, running time.

I can certainly understand why it received such mixed reviews.

IMHO it would have worked better as a 1:40, without intermission, production.

Having said this ... I am glad that I finally got to see it because its run at the Vineyard Theatre on East 15th Street ends on Sunday.

When I got back to the apartment I was just a bit tired and somewhat surprised that I had recorded 5.02 miles for this frigid day. The important thing ... I avoided hypothermia.

Yeah ... a totally AMAZING day!!

Now ... moving on to today ...

First of all ... it is a bit warmer this morning. Yep ... at 9:00am it is 40º, with wind chill down to 33º.

Billi Pod’s entertainment event for this evening is an Off Broadway show ...

8:00==>NAPERVILLE - “In this comedy about high school crushes, curfews (for your mother), sight, and how beauty reveals itself in the suburbs, Howard leaves his career in Seattle and moves back home to Naperville to help his mother Candice transition after an accident leaves her blind. At the local Caribou Coffee, they cross paths with Anne, Howard's old classmate and an expert on Naperville's founder, Captain Joseph Naper.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is playing at the Abingdon Theatre Complex on West 36th Street, has a running time of 1:40, without intermission, and runs through December 6th.

Moving on ...

I will close this posting out by sharing with you loyal and faithful readers and followers Billi Pod’s EXCELLENT entertainment schedule for the upcoming 9 days here in The Big Apple ... stay with me, please ... 

Thursday - November 20th - 8:00==>NAPERVILLE (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Friday - 8:00==>CAROUSEL (Off Broadway - $9.00 TDF ticket)

Saturday - noon==>FLORIDA/EASTERN KENTUCKY on SECN; then,

8:00==>UREUK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Merkin Hall (concert - complimentary ticket)

Sunday - 3:00==>THE BELLE OF AMHERST (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket); then,

7:00==>THE GAYEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER (Off Broadway - $9.00 TDF ticket)

Monday - November 24th - 5:00==>dinner @ MESKE with Dian Crystal, Marty Kosark and Robert Danforth; then,

8:00==>CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK @ Carnegie Hall (concert - complimentary ticket)

Tuesday  - 2:00==>THE UNDERCLASSMAN (Off Broadway - discounted TDF ticket)

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

Thursday - THANKSGIVING - noonish==>dinner and football with my AA buddies.

Friday - 7:30==>ORQUESTRA INSTITUTO GPA @ Carnegie Hall (concert - complimentary ticket)

Saturday - FLORIDA/HALF ASS U - time to be determined.

Yep, the above is why it’s gonna be hard to leave The Big Apple when the time comes to move on.

Stay warm everyone. 

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.02 miles (or, 10,974 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,307.57 miles (average 4.05 miles per day)


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

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