Another day, another ticket stub, or maybe two or three, to talk about. But which ones? I’ll go with opera, rock, and comedy, in that order.
And no, I’m not talking about a funny rock opera, although that would be awesome. Has it been done? I don’t think so. Somebody, please write one.
Metropolitan Opera, New York City, 2002
Last time, I told you about seeing “Rent” in May, 2001. Well, a few months later, my daughter Erica and I found ourselves back in the Big Apple, and this time we were staying with my cousin Gina, an actress and dancer who lives about a block from where the story of “Rent” took place.
Gina was appearing on stage at the Metropolitan Opera, one of about a dozen dancers in Strauss’ “Die Frau Ohne Schatten,” and we had tickets. Walking into the classy Met was an unforgettable experience. Everything seemed so polished. We climbed several steps to get to our seats in one of the balconies. It was probably the top tier (the cheap seats). By the time we’d gotten there, my daughter had twisted her ankle.
The opera itself was unforgettable. It isn’t the music that I remember, but the sets, which were dazzlingly detailed. There was one scene that required an underworld and a celestial world, and this effect was achieved by means of a huge mirror that split the set horizontally.
I recall the dancers, too. From my seat in the upper atmosphere, though, I couldn’t really tell which one was my cousin. And I didn’t understand the plot, either. The words were in German, and even though they were translated into English in real time, on individual screens that sat directly in front of each person’s seat, it was like watching a movie with subtitles – a movie written in the early 1900s, no less.
We had to leave during intermission. My daughter’s ankle had begun to swell. Oddly enough, the next time I went to New York, I twisted my ankle, too. I’ll save that story for another day!
Jeff Beck, New York State Fair, Syracuse, 1999
I remember little about this concert, probably because I’m not a Jeff Beck fan. I know he’s thought of as one of the world’s finest guitarists, a “guitarist’s guitarist,” even. Maybe someday my taste will change, but for now I have to say he’s not my cup of tea. I wish we’d gone to see Lucinda Williams, who also performed there that year, instead. Britney Spears was at the fair that year, too … at the age of 17.
Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NBC Television Studios, 2001
My kids and I were big Conan fans (boy, is he ever funny!), so for our 2001 trip to New York, I got us tickets to his TV show. It was exciting for all of us. Conan came out and introduced himself to individual members of the audience before the show began. He stood right in front of me (boy, is he ever tall!), and shook hands with one of my daughters. Then, during his monologue, they cheered extra loud, and his response (“Thanks, ladies!”) was directed at them. Unfortunately, he put little air quotes around the word “ladies,” which was both funny and not funny. (We have it on tape.)
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