Dateline New York, New York –
Vickie Rozell departed early this morning back to California and her beloved Dodgers heading to the World Series (see, I do know something about the Sportsball) while I slept in for a bit. Then, after a leisurely breakfast, I cleaned the apartment, did the laundry, and made sure things were in better shape than we arrived. I am a well trained house guest. While in the midst of these chores, the phone pinged… Delta airlines letting me know my flight home would be delayed. I thought perhaps it was the universe trying to keep me in NYC, but there are certain impracticalities with that. It did mean, however, that I had plenty of time to get up to midtown and catch one last matinee before heading to the airport.
My choice was Head Over Heals, the new musical using the Go Gos song catalog, marrying it to the Elizabethan verse of Sir Philip Sidney’s epic poetic romance, Arcadia. This is not the combination that would first leap to mind and the end result is, as one might expect, uneven. I don’t think it helped that there was a wholesale replacement of the creative team during the development process with Jeff Whitty, the creator/author more or less being dumped from his brainchild.
The plot is a farrago of nonsense about a shepherd in Arcady who falls in love with a princess, whose father, the king, is determined to outwit the Oracle at Delphi’s prediction of doom for his kingdom and family. There’s a lot of iambic pentameter, some of which is likely original to Sidney and much of which is modern parody, familiar songs which at least tangentially fit the plot, and a bunch of mugging from a fairly talented cast that includes Broadway veteran Rachel York as the aging queen.
I ended up enjoying the show, but not thinking it was terribly good and that it would likely collapse and be gone quickly were it not riding a current wave of 80s nostalgia. There’s a lot of genderbending/transexualism in it that wants to come across as hip, modern and relevant but which reads more as an older generation trying to reach a younger one but with outmoded language and false notes. I did like some of the choreography and was impressed with the scenic painting.
The one thing that sticks with me was a line from the second act. Rejecting pain is the thief of joy. (I may not have gotten it quite right but that’s what’s in my head.) I have certainly had pain in my life and it’s only when I’ve allowed myself to face it and embrace it, that I have been able to feel and find happiness again. It’s an essential truth, at least for me, and this was not the show I expected to find it in.
The flight back from Laguardia was uneventful, other than navigating an airport that seems to be under perpetual construction. The flight ended up being about an hour late, but I can handle that. I slept most of the way and now I have to gird my loins for a double clinic day tomorrow and the usual grind.
This will be my last daily update for a while. The next travel week is Thanksgiving week when I head for Seattle. I will check in from time to time before then. I’ve got to look over what I’ve written so far and see which stories I’ve told and which I have yet to tell. I wouldn’t want to bore anyone with too much repetition.
And so, in my best Samuel Pepys, to bed…