Sunday, April 24, 2011

Broadway Postcard No. 1: Scratch the dim sum brunch

By Hap Erstein

Whatever you’re doing today,‭ ‬you’re having a better day than I am,‭ ‬I assure you.

Today was my travel day,‭ ‬heading to New York for my annual end-of-season Broadway show trip.‭ ‬For the past month,‭ ‬I have been combing through the listings,‭ ‬strategizing,‭ ‬negotiating with press agents,‭ ‬planning eight days of theatergoing.‭ ‬And because I was starting with a Sunday matinee‭ (‬Sister Act‭)‬,‭ ‬I booked a‭ ‬6:30‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬flight out of West Palm Beach.‭

All I had to do was arrive,‭ ‬bleary-eyed,‭ ‬in time for the flight.‭ ‬What could go wrong‭?

I got there in plenty of time,‭ ‬boarding was orderly and efficient,‭ ‬but soon the pilot came on the PA system reporting that there was faulty,‭ ‬inadequate water pressure to the lavatories.‭ ‬There were New Yorkers on the flight,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬so you could hear mutters that we would all cross our legs and defer our bathroom needs until after we landed,‭ ‬but that apparently cuts no ice with the FAA.

So mechanics were called,‭ ‬or rather the one mechanic on duty,‭ ‬because this is Easter Sunday.‭ ‬And anyway,‭ ‬the one mechanic was busy working on an American Airlines snafu.‭ ‬By the time he got around to us,‭ ‬an hour had passed,‭ ‬so the pilot had us all deplane to‭ “‬stretch our legs.‭” ‬Not a good sign.‭ ‬Whatever happened to Delta being ready when you are‭?

So much for my planned jaunt to Chinatown for dim sum brunch.‭ ‬But if the plane took off in the next hour or so,‭ ‬I would easily make the matinee,‭ ‬not to mention the‭ ‬6:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬official opening of‭ ‬Born Yesterday,‭ ‬the revival with Jim Belushi.

And we waited,‭ ‬and we waited,‭ ‬or at least I did while other passengers started bolting,‭ ‬making reservations on alternative flights.‭ ‬Maybe they’ve flown on Easter before and know how scarce other seats can be.‭ ‬By the time I bailed out,‭ ‬all I could get that would get me to New York this day was‭ ‬--‭ ‬I’m not making this up‭ ‬--‭ ‬a‭ ‬4:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬flight from West Palm to Atlanta,‭ ‬followed by one from Atlanta to‭ ‬Detroit‭ ‬--‭ ‬then Detroit to La Guardia,‭ ‬landing at‭ ‬11:59‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Oy.

Mind you,‭ ‬none of these flights have happened yet.‭ ‬I’m just supposed to be delighted that I got the rebound reservations.

So scratch‭ ‬Sister Act and‭ ‬Born Yesterday.‭ ‬Still to come‭ ‬--‭ ‬if I make it to Manhattan‭ ‬--‭ ‬is the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition,‭ ‬The Normal Heart,‭ ‬Arcadia,‭ ‬The People in the Picture,‭ ‬Jerusalem,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon,‭ ‬War Horse and‭ ‬Catch Me if You Can.‭

I’ll be blogging about these shows and whatever else I encounter in New York during the week,‭ ‬plus more complete reviews when I return home.

All I can say is,‭ ‬after this morning,‭ ‬things have to be looking up.‭ ‬Don’t they‭?

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