May 28, 2007
Judy had helped us buy tickets for Rent, they were reasonably priced ($57USD total) and I thought the seats were pretty good. We were in the middle, on the floor, about 15 rows back. The theatre itself was pretty small, I estimate 25 rows in total on the floor, plus some balcony seats; which is much smaller than the Princess of Wales. I was so tired from waking up so early the last few days that I started nodding off when the lights were dimmed; it didn’t help that some of the songs in the musical didn’t have a lot of point.
But overall, Rent was quite enjoyable. All the singers were mic’d but the sound and instrumentation was well-balanced and clear as only a live performance could be. The instruments I think were all electronic (i.e., synths, keyboard, electric guitar). The dancing and choreography was very good. The dancers were precise in their movements and it seemed like everyone was scripted to the last detail, even the people who were in the background. The story however, was difficult to follow. Part of it was because the story was sung, but another part of it was because there were too many plotlines and characters. I had tried to read the synopsis before going, but gave up because it was like reading a play. In retrospect, maybe I should have spent the time to read it beforehand.
In this trip, we had difficulty staying together. Joanna usually did her own thing, but she went along to see Rent. However, Richard and Victor decided to see another musical (Spelling Bee?) instead. We met up back up with Richard and Victor afterwards at the Virgin Megastore, but Joanna had magically disappeared again. I had also been texting my buddy from high school, Jon, to see if he was free and wanted to meet up, and fortunately he was so he also met up with us at Virgin to catch up.
We decided to split up again because I wanted to stay around Times Square, but the other people wanted to try a dessert place further south. So Pauline, Jon and I went to the Europa café to grab a drink. Here, I had yet another annoying experience with NYC washrooms, and had to wait 10 minutes just to #1. Afterwards, we walked around Times Square for a bit, took some pictures, and then on Jon’s suggestion went down to East Village for some food.
We went to this (actually) authentic Japanese place, which was surprisingly affordable (i.e., not a rip off). The food was quite tasty, and it was distinctly Japanese. They had Japanese b-movie posters on the wall, and part of their menu was written on the walls and priced in Yen (kind of how Chinese restaurants do it). The best part was that as part of paying your bill, they give you some cotton candy powder, which you can then use to create your own cotton candy from the machine outside.
It was getting pretty late, and having learned from Jon that the PATH does stay open past 12 (probably because it was a Monday at that point), we headed to the PATH station. But several of the stations were under maintenance so we actually had to walk pretty far to find an open station. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. Upon reach our room, we were surprised (not) to find that all the guys were in our room eating Popeye’s and playing 4-player Tetris on their NDS. We weren’t surprised because this was foreshadowed by their NDS-playing on the PATH earlier this morning.