April 25, 2007

A Shout Out for "The Yeomen of the Guard"

There is a reason that people in New York pay half their salary for rent or maintenance fees and that they don't blink at eating in “reasonably priced” restaurants where the cost of an average check would feed a family of eight for a whole year in a Third World country. It's because there's no place else like New York if you love theater and music and art. And yeah, I'm talking to you, London. Even if a person retires early so that he's still vigorous enough to go out as much as he wants and has the stratosphere-is-no-limit resources of a Bill Gates so that he can afford to see and do anything he wants, he can only scratch the surface of what there is to do in New York.

Last weekend my husband K and I went to see The Blue Hill Troupe production of The Yeomen of the Guard. Blue Hill is a group that raises money for charities by producing Gilbert & Sullivan operas every spring. The cast and crew are volunteers, people who have day jobs as bankers and lawyers and teachers and real estate brokers. But the Heckscher Theater, where I recall seeing puppet shows and early versions of Joe Papp's Shakespeare productions when I was in grade school, was packed. Our friends in the Yeomen cast were terrific. But so were the other folks, some of whom would have no trouble landing jobs on Broadway. And that's the point. There are terrifically talented people doing their thing all over the city. I suspect there were Irish musicians in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan, Chinese opera singers in the Flushing neighborhood in Queens and multicultural performance artists in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, all entertaining equally appreciative audiences that night, and all just as good. And that's why no matter how old my husband K and I, both born and reared in the city, get we will never leave here. Our occupations (his as a pit musician) and avocations (mine as the writer of this blog) may define us as Broadway babies but even if you took away the show biz glitz, we'd still be New York kids at heart.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that you are commenting on this kind of production. As someone who travels to New York now and then, it's hard to get this type of valuable information. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll be in town next week and try to see it.

Anonymous said...

A small quibble, but isn't Sunset Park in Brooklyn?

Me said...

Thanks for the correction on Sunset Park. Geography, alas, has never been my strong point. I'll make the fix so that folks don't end up in the wrong place!