While I still haven’t fully recovered from the unbelievable lineup of shows I hit over the course of one jam-packed week earlier this month, I need to share the highlights with y’all right now.
My winning streak started with the first preview of Summer, 1976, starring Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht. The draw for me was definitely Laura, seeing as I knew nothing of the show itself. The story of two mothers who befriended each other because of their daughters for one intense summer before drifting apart was touching and gave me all the feels. Not to mention, Laura and Jessica played their parts pitch perfectly.
From there, I headed into another first preview for a show I knew very little about…Good Night, Oscar, with Sean Hayes as the titular Oscar Levant. I was obviously eager to see Sean and had heard bits from its time in Chicago, but I ended up falling in love with everything about the show. Oscar was an extremely talented yet tortured soul, and seeing his story play out on stage really made me think about how society views mental health and success, and how those views have changed over time. Unexpected bonus, Sean can play the piano like nobody’s business…blown away!
Wasting no time, I rolled right into a 2-new-show Saturday the next day. Although I haven’t read the book on which Life of Pi is based, it was a riveting albeit at times depressingly sad story with absolutely out-of-this-world special effects. And by the end of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new show New York, New York that night, I was on my feet with the rest of the audience swaying and mouthing along to the Frank Sinatra classic with tears welling up in my eyes. In that moment, it felt like I really could make it anywhere.
I celebrated Easter Sunday in my happy place, the Al Hirschfield Theatre, bittersweetly watching as Aaron Tveit, Ashley Loren and half a dozen other cast members ended their runs in Moulin Rouge. The actors left it all on the stage, and the crowd’s energy was giving me life…bursting into applause and standing at every turn. An entirely necessary exception to a week of new shows, it was a night I won’t forget.
Rounding out my run, I caught Neil Patrick Harris’ first performance in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. I saw The Play That Goes Wrong years ago, and this was obviously the same concept applied to the story of Peter Pan. Fun times for all ages, Neil was a hilarious complement to the show built around Murphy’s Law. I quite literally laughed out loud more than once.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve picked up on a pattern of mine…I devoutly follow performers I like to whatever they do. This trait has proven to be the opposite of toxic, as it’s actually opened up a lot of cool doors for me. I’ve been introduced to so many incredible shows by branching out and going in cold just because of the cast. I’m looking at you, NPH and Into the Woods.