(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 17)
You may or may not know that 'Waitress', now playing on Broadway, got its start at the A.R.T. in Cambridge.
Since we knew Sara Bareilles did the music for the show, Kathy and I were going to go to one of the performances there.
This was two summers ago, and we ran out of time.
By the time we figured out a possible date that worked, all of the shows were sold out.
We figured we'd just catch it in New York at some point...but didn't know when that point would be.
Then, a couple of months ago, the show had a big announcement.
Sara Bareilles announced that for a 10-week run she would be taking over the lead role in the show. So Kathy and I pounced quickly and bought tickets.
And I figured, if everything happens for a reason, the reason we missed the show at the A.R.T. was so we could see it with Bareilles performing in it.
On Friday we finally saw the show.
Now, I'm going to be honest with you: it's not the best musical we've ever seen. The story dragged a bit, and it was emotionally heavy (I had a faint idea of what the movie/book was about, but I wasn't entirely clear - I didn't realize the extent of the unhappiness involved).
But the music was outstanding. And there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours on a Friday night than by hearing Sara Bareilles sing on stage.
She's amazing. She was really good - she kept up as an actress with the others on stage, and even if her acting was terrible it would probably be worth it to hear her sing these songs. (Watching her sing "She Used To Be Mine", the single off the soundtrack that actually got radio play [and the song I called in to win the meet-and-greet from!] alone is worth the price of admission.)
The scenery was amazing as well. It's so cool watching how the stage can transform from a diner into a doctor's office into a living room and back. And the way they incorporated the band into the sets was great too.
If you get a chance to see Sara Bareilles in 'Waitress', I'd recommend it...but I'm not sure I'd recommend it otherwise. The music is good - but it's great with Bareilles singing it. Without her, I'm not sure it's enough to carry the show.
It had been a while since Kathy and I went out to a show like this together. It was a nice way to spend a Friday night.
It was even better with Sara Bareilles there.
*I told you last week I had three deadlines this week, when I was going to be away for part of the week. Met all three deadlines, but didn't get much else accomplished between vacation week and going to New York. But that's OK. Back to it this week.
*Fun week. Performed for the first time on the show at Limelight on Wednesday night - that was great. Had a really good time. Saturday did a show in Maine after coming back from New York, and that was a lot of driving. Not bad - I made it home before the end of Saturday Night Live, which is always a good indicator that I made good time. The show was fun - great crowd. My only issue with the night - 1050AM is a pretty strong Spanish radio signal up in that area, so I wasn't able to tune in the Rangers game for most of the ride from New York. I could hear enough to know the Rangers were winning but I couldn't listen to the action. (More on the Rangers in the notes below.)
*I even squeezed in an open mic Monday night - yes, Marathon Monday. I drove into Boston after the marathon was over (or so I thought - there was still very limited parking in the city), but I lucked into a spot and was able to get a few minutes in on a day I didn't think I'd be doing anything comedy-wise.
What I've Been Enjoying
*Years ago I used to run a baseball pool. It was like an NFL Survivor pool, in that you picked a team a week and couldn't pick a team twice during the season, but instead of elimination with a loss you just accumulated the record of the teams you picked over the course of the year. I loved it, but I did it all by hand and it got to be too much and I couldn't continue it. This year, after too long of not doing a pool like that, I joined a similar pool someone else runs. It is an elimination pool, but you pick a team every week and just need to go .500 or better in the week to avoid getting a strike - and if you get three strikes, you're out, of course. It's a lot of fun - I like having a little extra to watch for in the baseball season. It's been just three weeks, but so far I've managed to avoid a strike. I'd like to keep that up for as long as possible. I will, of course, keep you updated on my success...or lack thereof.
*I also love doing 'Beat the Streak', which I've done for years and have written about before. I pick a player a day and they need to get a hit and you need to build a hitting streak. It's a lot harder than it sounds. And that's so frustrating. But it's fun. Highly recommend.
*Didn't mention the upcoming week in comedy above...it's a bit of a quiet week. I'll try to get out to a mic or something during the week, but Saturday night gets my big focus: I'm doing a fundraiser at the school where I used to teach and I'm pretty excited about it.
*Didn't talk about the Boston Marathon at all last week...had one of the more fun Patriot's Days in recent memory. We watched the Marathon go by downtown Framingham for the first time and it was really great. I'll probably write about it next year. (It feels good to have the Sunday Paper for next mid-April planned out already.)
*Had Thursday night in New York free, and was going to go to a comedy show, but then the Rangers won on Tuesday night and there was a big Game 5 so I went to a bar with my dad and we watched the Rangers win in overtime as the. Mets lost with Noah Syndergaard pitching. It was a good non-comedy night. I will say this about the Rangers: I don't think they have it in them this year to win the Stanley Cup. But Henrik Lundqvist is playing out of his mind, which always gives them a chance. (And the Mets...yikes. Really rough week. Hard not to believe it's an indication of a rough year ahead, with injuries and offensive/bullpen struggles...but it's too early to make that declaration.)
*In case you're wondering how I feel about driving to a gig and missing a first-round clinching game...for hockey I'm OK with it. If it was a Game 7 situation I would have minded more. But a first round Game 6 I'm happy with following progress/catching bits on the radio, especially if the end result is a win.