Live Theater

What a night! I can’t even say it was like in the “old days” – it was better than ever! Or maybe I forgot. Or maybe I just haven’t been to a Broadway class show for a while.

My neighbor and I had a night out in the Loop on Thursday. We started from a dinner at the Italian Village where I hadn’t been for more than two years. These days, they have a very strict reservation policy: they allow 1 hour 45 min for dining, and they charge you for canceled reservations (you need to put a valid credit card when you make the reservation). But that worked for us, ensuring that there was no crowd at the entrance, the tables were filled, and everybody had enough time to dine. It was nothing extravagant, but it was a very nice and festive dinner with their homemade pasta, wine, and a seasonal dessert. 

Then, we headed to the Nederlander Theater. They have a very strict COVID protocol, and they really watch the patrons following it – and this allows them not to have any capacity restrictions. . 

The show was fantastic! It was a pre-Broadway run of “Paradise Square,” and everything about it Twas brilliant: the story, the music, the voices, the choreography!  Two and a half hours of celebration of people’s talent and creativity!

The story takes place during the Civil War in New York, at the time when President Lincoln instituted the first Federal Draft, followed by the Draft Riot. More educational resources can be found on the production website (I think that I am not the only one who knew nothing about the Draft Riot, and about the Five Points neighborhood. At first, I didn’t realize that the actors present the real interracial couples of the 19th century; I thought that the cast was race-blind. But as the story unfolded, I realized that it was indeed about Irish/Black couples.

Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures, even from rehearsals, but I hope they will add some images to the production website at some point.

The only bad part was that I was at home after 11 PM and went to bed about midnight. And then, on Friday, Igor and I went to see the “Bug” in the Steppenwolf theater. That show started at 8 PM, and once again, we had to wait for the train, and I was home after midnight, and two nights in a row with about 4.5 hours of sleep was not a good idea. 

The “Bug” is a play written by Tracy Letts, and it’s a very difficult thing to watch. Unlike most people, I didn’t see the movie and judging by the description on the website I didn’t realize how depressing it was going to be. It’s not that I am avoiding depressing plays, but with that one, I can’t even see what anybody in the world could do to prevent that tragic end…

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