The Great Plotnik

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Broadway Shmroadway

Dance-Nik was talking today about having her semiannual NYC 'turnaround day,' as she calls it, the one that makes her stop missing someplace else and exult in the delicious maelstrom she's living in, 'a sensual stew, an artistic feast,' as someone once put it. All of us who lived for any amount of time in The Shmapple recognize it, remember it and miss it. There's nowhere else like it.

Plotnik was thinking about the same thing yesterday, but in reverse. He doesn't get to see rip-spanking new NY productions or Broadway shows while they're still on Broadway, but he does see some of those shows before they get to Broadway (and some that never make it), and first rate Bay Area theater companies taking innovative chances, and Broadway shows with excellent traveling companies, and he is privy to a renaissance of local theater that he would match against any other city in the country outside of The Shmapple itself. Even Shmollywood, with its sheer size and endless pool of creative talent cannot match Saint Plotniko's bubbling and creative surge on the legitimate stage.

Last night, Plot and Duck saw Jose Rivera's 'Boleros for the Disenchanted' (you can read the San Francisco Theater Blog review here) at the A.C.T. Theater, in one of the four grand old theater palaces still in existence in the city (the others are the Curran, next door, the Orpheum on Market St. and the Golden Gate in the heart of the 'Loin). A few nights before that they saw Sarah Ruhl's 'Dead Man's Cell Phone,' and in the next two weeks they'll see openings of Monty Python's 'Spamalot' at the Golden Gate, an Ann Randolph work-in-progress at the Marsh, Samuel Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape' at the Exit and a Word For Word presentation of short stories by Gertrude Stein, Armistead Maupin and Tennessee Williams at the Rhino. He turned down dance openings (sorry Dance-Nik) and a few other plays because he just can't do them all justice.

Unlike Dance-Nik, The Great Plotnik does not find himself missing his two previous homes, Stiletto City and the Big Shmapple. He misses the people he loves who still live there, but let's be honest -- he could move back to either city if he chose to. But no thank you. Please pass the organic Zinfandel.

Saint Plotniko is a ludicrous place to live -- it's cold and foggy, it is governed by ideologues who would rather demonstrate for the rights of LGBT cocker spaniels than fix our financial problems or fill in the potholes, it has three weeks of summer (in April and October), you don't even think about going to the beach without a thermos of scalding coffee and a parka and it has a baseball team that gives Plotnik the creeps.

But it ain't Broadway (where you line up for hours to get any seat at all for a new show and a seat and a sandwich at the Stage Deli on Seventh Avenue will set you back $150 EACH if you're lucky. Plotnik is blessed to receive great seats from the production company and then comes home to leftover seared ahi in a rolled black pepper and wasabi crust, a salad pulled from the garden and maybe a full moon and a view of the bay). Nope. It sure ain't Broadway.


At 2:47 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Ah, nice post. We are going to Bolero Sunday night and Cell Phone next Tuesday night. Great reviews...

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Karen said...

But you see. This is exactly what I'm saying. NYC is exciting, but I'd give it all up in a nano second for exactly what you describe. That however, doesn't seem to be my destiny. (And don't give me any of that crap about creating your own destiny.)

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Karen said...

The other thing is that when you live here you figure out how to go to shows on the cheap—and trust me, we don't eat at Stage Deli.


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