On the evening of August 4th, 2021 at 8pm Stacie (my GYGG partner in chief) and I had the good fortune to GO back to BROADWAY. Doors that had been shuttered for some 500 days were flung wide open at the August Wilson Theater to welcome us and our fellow giddy audience members back to the theater in the form of a play called Pass Over.
As you have perhaps gleaned the central goal of Grab Your Group and GO is to inspire experiences, and this was an experience all of us lucky enough to be in that audience (thank you Stacie) will collectively never forget. There was a Playbill! Forgot how much I loved Playbills! There was a super long line to get in that everyone seemed perfectly happy to stand in. There were cameras every where – some held by professionals to capture the historic moment and others held by fellow theater goers capturing their own personal historic moments. There were friendly ushers and a lush red curtain that waited patiently to go UP.
And there was an audience including the Playwright — Antionette Chinony Nwandu and Director Dayna Taymor both making their Broadway debut – brimming over with an enthusiasm concomitant to seeing a long lost loved one for the first time. Their play was terrifically well played by a trifecta of nimble actors: John Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood, and Gabriel Ebert.
An array of adjectives I would use to describe the performance: powerful, painful, surprisingly funny, polarizing, poignant, sad, uncomfortable, brain expanding, bold, important, frustrating, bewildering, challenging. appealing, timely and in the end cathartic and hopeful (all that achieved in 85 minutes – the magic of live theater!). I enjoyed watching the playwright – proud mother to this play she has birthed and raised and nurtured and evolved with the times – her arms frequently flinging into the air with abandon as our fellow masked and VAXED audience enthused right along with her.
The actors, the playwright, the director and all involved were rewarded with a rapturous and prolonged standing ovation. This was for the performance, yes, but much of the applause was no doubt in thanks to the experience. The experience of being back on Broadway. Together. As a group. Because life’s experiences are better in a group. It was collective effervescence personified. I look forward to hearing about your first experience going back to Broadway. Reach out!
Opportunities to convene as a GROUP:
East Enders – this Thursday 8/12. Have you been to Indy Home in Montauk? It is the BEST hostess gift and decorative home goods store on The East End. I love it so much I could live there. So if you have not been GO GO GO. If you are free Thursday from 5 to 7pm join me and Jill for a special art exhibit/cocktail party showcasing the work of 5 local artists. Think large format dramatic photos that can add the perfect Montauk inspired chic pop to your walls. COMPLETELY WORTH THE DRIVE. Promise!
This is what Indy Home has to say regarding the event…
The walls of our beachside boutique change constantly as we welcome new pieces from talented local photographers, painters, and surf artists who display and sell their art in indy home montauk. Landscapes, seascapes, overhead photos of Montauk, and surf-centered art and photographs by Montauk artists bring life to our store for the quick moment they hang before clients snap up the artwork to bring Montauk to their homes.
On August 12 from 5-7pm we will open our doors to shoppers and clients to mingle with the artists, Danielle Coleman, Tony Caramanico, John Madere, Erik Schwab and Rich Silver, and see some of their new works, and experience the art from their point of view.
City Folk – Anyone in town? If you are on August 17th you should most definitely grab any one who is around and go to Tavern on the Green to see our resident Piano Man Tom Kitt perform with friends. Lovely, intimate setting and Tom will be sharing some old favorites and new music with his illustrious and talented friends. So wish I could be there!! Please go and enjoy it for me. Click here to join. There are not many tickets left! GO! You could couple this experience with the show I highlight next – it ends right by Tavern on the Green! A perfect double punch of culture supporting the arts as it snaps back into action for us.
Experience ENDURE. On view until August 22nd. This is a solo immersive performance in Central Park – of all places that I have to experience. It’s a Run Woman Show. 🙂 Click here to learn more about it and grab your ticket. Joni G experienced it last week and had the glowing words below to say about it. We are going on the 22nd, but our show is SOLD OUT. Find another time and GO.
Endure: A Run Woman Show – Joni Grossman
When I purchased tickets for Melanie Jones’ Endure: Run Woman Show, I believed I would accomplish two objectives 1) support New York City’s theater community and 2) get my iWatch steps in for the day. What I didn’t know is that I would be intermittently laughing and crying – sometimes at the same time – as I trailed actress and runner Mary Cavett through Central Park for the next 75 minutes.
Upon arrival to Central Park’s Columbus Circle entrance, my friend Jen and I were greeted by a kind woman who took our QR ticket codes and helped us join the 15-member audience group just inside the park. We were fitted with sanitized earbuds and synchronized iPod mini devices and given instructions for the performance. New York Road Runners and other training groups were all around us, stretching and waiting to start their runs. When one of these in-shape, geared up individuals took off through our group, we realized it was our lead and the show had begun.
Narrated and written by Jones, we followed Mary through 26.2 scenic spots in southern Central Park which spanned 3 miles total. We heard our heroine’s inner thoughts, feelings, hopes and struggles as a young woman in New York City – brutal dating scene included. We understand what marathon trainees must feel as they attend a cocktail party, only to be chided for not drinking or passing on the canape. We experience the focus and discipline it takes to train, and how cathartic this experience can be for anyone suffering a loss in their lives. The show culminated in an aesthetic, calming finale, leaving my friend and I satisfied and full of hope – including hope for a sequel!
Endure: Run Woman Show is a must-see immersive theater experience. Bonuses: 1) The kind lady at the entrance to Central Park was indeed Melanie Jones herself. The audience was able to speak with her, Mary Cavett, and co-producer Suchan Vodoor after the show. 2) Endure is totally socially distanced – perfect pandemic theater. In fact, the show had gone on hiatus after a very long run (if you will) since 2011 and was brought back in 2020 to the delight of many. 3) Endure ends extremely close to the renovated, whimsical Tavern on the Green, which is a perfect place for post-performance outdoor drinks or dinner. 4) If you are on the fence about training for a marathon (or in my case a 5K), Endure is madly inspirational – and if you are a competitive runner already, the performance will truly resonate with you.
Next time I reach out I am hoping beyond hope to be putting some tickets on offer! Including tickets to a Curated Art and Park Walk in Riverside Park guided by my in the know Art friend Joyce and Yours Truly. OOOHH V. Exciting.
Really hope to see some of you at Indy Home on Thursday! Let’s grab some art and take it home.