It used to be called Old Amsterdam
2006-03-09, 9:05 p.m.
Before the trip
Much quoting of Michelle Shocked's lyric from her song "Anchorage":
Hey Girl, what's it like to be in New York?
New York City - imagine that...
Tell me, what's it like to be a skate-board-punk-rocker?
Leroy says "Send a picture"; Leroy says "Hello"
Leroy says "Hey, keep on rockin', girl"
The whirlwind trip to NYC. A synopsis.
Woke up crazy early (the middle of the night practically) on a Friday to catch a flight to NYC. We went to our hostess's house in Washington Heights (a cute neighborhood still on the island of Manhattan but all the way up above Harlem) to "check-in."
My friend Robin wanted to go to Barrymore's for their grand closing weekend, so we met his sweet hippie friend Dave there and had lunch.
Then we went back uptown and changed and came back towards town, had a drink at the "Galaxy Diner" near the theater (it has no relation to the one near Times Square, it seems), noticed how close we were to Irving Plaza (where I knew the band that was playing but didn't even try to say hi to them at all), saw the play, loitered outside the theater to stalk, err, I mean, "say hi to" Ian Somerhalder, left and ate a huge amt. of sushi (at the place he recommended as "not too crowded or expensive" - he apparently didn't know what little hoglets we could be as we dropped $150 right there).
After buying some band-aids with Peanuts characters on them (see below for theme of the play Dog Sees God), we ended up at a sing-along piano bar called Marie's Crisis Cafe, where I met Chelsea Clinton (!), who was very charming, pretty, pleasant and more than polite.
Later we wandered about the Village and Washington Square Park a bit where I made some New Yorker types who were walking close-by laugh when I pointed into the park and said in a my best rural-Southern-sounding accent: "Heeey, look at them squirr'ls - whah don't thaay have bushy taaails?" (they were rats).
We sprang for a cab to get back up to the place we were staying in Washington Heights, went to The Monkey Bar there where we befriended a couple people and were all "best friends" for like 2 hours (read: drunk), and then Saturday we stayed in bed (or on the couches) till we had to take a car back to LGA to catch our flight right back.
The Play: Dog Sees God:
The play's title is a palindrome. I was already sold. The play imagines what the Peanuts characters would be like if they grew up to be really screwed up teenagers. "An unauthorized parody" they call it.
It starts with the death of CB's dog death - he had to be put to sleep - and before he died, he killed his little yellow bird friend in a rabid attack. CB wonders what happens to dogs when they die and asks his friends what they think. His sister Sally is a goth. Lucy is a pyromaniac and is locked up in a mental institution. Pigpen has done a 180 and is a germaphobe and homophobe. Schroeder is a sexually confused loner whose dad in in jail for, well, making him that way. Linus is a Buddhist pothead. Marcy and Peppermint Patty? Drunken slutty cheerleaders.
There were plenty of gags referring to ol' Peanuts strips and shows (like the voices of adults that sound just like ""wah waaah wahh wahh"). There was plenty of so-called cutting edge melodrama. And a few existential questions posed.
Ahh. Ian Somerhalder. I mean, I was looking forward to the play itself, but if you asked if I honestly would have hopped on a jetplane and flown to NYC to see it if it starred nobody I cared about? No.
Hey, let's talk about Logan Marshall-Green for a minute - he played Beethoven (Schroeder) and he was incredible. Amazing. Still adorable though they tried to nerd-up his look. Perfectly straddled the line between the cartoon-y-ness of the play and the seriousness of the play. Could tell he'd done a ton of method-acting type of study for his part. But did any of these complimentary and specific descriptions come out when I saw him on the sidewalk after the show? Hmm? Rather: "Oh, uh, hey, you were really good."
I looked it up - the "history of the spork" that Marcy tells is an urban legend. The US military did not introduce it to Japan to try to get them to stop using chopsticks. Though, as social commentary in the middle of a play that addresses the issues of accepting people's "otherness," I guess the story actually goes with the theme.
Post-show gossip discussion
Me: Have you seen the article in the New York Post?
Me: It says that the Executive Producer of Dog Sees God is being sued by the producers for sexual harassment. They're speculating that she drove off Ian, Eliza and America Ferrera.
Robin: GOD! *then, more quietly* Sees. Dog.
Me: *Green tea comes out nose.*