Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lame Adventure 318: The Lion in Summer

This week, on Wednesday, my close personal friend Milton bade farewell to the coveted 18 – 49 age demographic six days ahead of his obvious counterpart in the hairline department, Tom Cruise.

Milton.

Milton had a good day.  He had entered the ticket lottery for one of the handful of front row $26 seats to the matinee performance of Wicked, the always sold out musical on Broadway.  He won!

Milton loved the novel written by Gregory Maguire that is the basis for this show, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, but he was certain it would be watered down.  During intermission he emailed me.  I asked:

Me: How’s the show?

Milton: It’s empty, but has its moments.

Me: Oh, it’s the story of my life!

Afterward, when we got together at Bettibar, an adorable theater district pub upstairs from the Hourglass Tavern, Milton admitted that he was very impressed with the show’s overall production.  Had he seen it when he was nine he thinks he would have been in such a state of bliss he would have instantly become obsessed with Broadway shows.  He seemed pretty happy about it at the half century mark or maybe it was the shot of tequila he had just pounded talking?

Initially, Milton was afraid to get together with me for he was with a few other dear friends the night before celebrating at the Cheesecake Factory in Westbury, Long Island.  They arranged to have Happy Birthday sung to him.  He was now irrationally worried that I might subject him to the same fate, something he could not endure twice.  What could I say to assuage his fear?

Me:  Are you insane?  Do you know me at all?  Is this the first time we’ve met?

Only if faced with the prospect of torture that would lead to certain death would I ever subject anyone near and dear to me, or even someone far and loathsome to me (yes, I’m referring to you Dick Cheney), to that dreadful public humiliation.  I would not want to be subject to that pain myself so why would I inflict it upon one of my VIP-level friends?  If I had past lives, I highly doubt that any of them included me being a sadist.

Yet, I will admit I did have one noisy trick tucked in my satchel.  When we had moved to a table, I gave him the sound effect birthday card that I bought for him three years earlier in anticipation of his milestone.  One glance at those glitter-coated Audrey Hepburn eyes and I knew this was the perfect card for him.

Audrey Hepburn eyes.

I had no choice but to get it then and there and proceed to wait over a thousand days to give it.  In the intervening three years I misplaced his card twice and I lived in fear that when I would finally present it to him on his natal day proper the battery would be as dead as Rafa Nadal’s 2012 Wimbledon hopes but fortunately, Papyrus uses some fantastically long shelf-life ultra battery.  When Milton opened his card to read the caption, “The Big 50!”, our corner of the establishment was consumed with the sound of a woman shrieking in terror at the top of her lungs.

He liked that.

I was not feeling so confident about his gift, a DVD of one of his favorite films, Fellini’s Casanova.

A slender slice of snafu?

Although he frequently lamented about it not being available on disk, he is a blu-ray aficionado.  Right now it’s not being produced in blu-ray so I anticipated one of two things – he already had it since it’s release last November, or he’d be disappointed that it was not in his preferred blu-ray format.  Much to my surprise he wasn’t even aware that it’s now available on DVD, and he didn’t care that it was not on blu-ray, he was so elated to finally have it.  Score!

I will end this post with a trademark Miltonian observation he shared with me last weekend. Milton was expounding on one of his favorite topics, the male animal, after reading an article in The New York Times called Normal as Folk written by David M. Halperin.  Halperin expounds that the current generation of gay men are blending in more in mainstream society as opposed to their elders.  Milton observed:

Milton: Gay people are not less gay.  Straight people are more gay.  They know it’s sexy so they’re now embracing it.  You can’t tell who’s gay … You can’t ask anyone out any more!

The next day we were in Greenwich Village waiting for the Pride parade to start when Milton discreetly confided to me:

Milton:  Look at that guy over there.  Oh my God, he’s so gay!  But he’s not; he’s straight — with his girlfriend.  Exactly what I was talking about.

I dyslexically looked in the wrong direction at the wrong gay-looking-straight-guy that was standing with his arms wrapped around a woman wearing a sundress.

Me:  He sure looks gay to me.  I feel for his girlfriend.  What’s that about?

Milton: You’re looking at a woman!

Me:  Huh?  [focusing my myopic eyes better on a very androgynous butch lesbian with her femme girlfriend] You’re right!

Pictured below is Milton’s straight metrosexual guy that personifies someone who’s embraced the gay male style.

“Does this French sailor shirt make me look fat?”

Happy birthday buddy!

Lame Adventures 317: New York City Gay Pride March 2012

As we have done every year since I started writing Lame Adventures in 2010, Milton and I have watched the Big Apple’s Gay Pride parade from the sidelines.  We watch it from the sidelines because we have not been tagged to serve as the grand marshals.  What a shock!  This year we arrived armed with two cameras, three camera batteries, and his iPhone.  By the time the event ended, approximately five hours after it began, we had three dead batteries and one bar of iPhone power.  We shot over 2000 pictures and missed so many perfect moments due to our digital cameras’ slow shutter speeds.   We now have a whole new appreciation for sports photographers.  My fellow lesbian New Yorker and blogger-bud Natasia over at Hot Femme (who covered the Dyke March on her site) admires our fortitude.  She is unaware that to cap off the event, I broiled my formerly Casper-white left arm.

Ow.

Enough of my blathering, these pictures will tell the story of Gay Pride 2012 here in Gotham City.

Beautiful weather and blue sky on lower Fifth Avenue in Green Village.

Crowd waiting patiently for parade. Line in street was painted lavender.

Two nice guys that were next to us that were photographed endlessly prompting Milton to observe, “They know how to work it.”

First yike on bike for all you types that love your girls in uniform? The parade is about to start.

The parade is starting and the crowd is screaming.

The usual start – the yikes on bikes!

Lone rider.

Caped crusader.

Strutting his stuff.

Mr. Pansy is here wearing a live bird on his head.

Heritage of Pride marchers.

Rainbow balloons.

Grand Marshal Cyndi Lauper.  You rock Cyndi!

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, looking like he’d rather be elsewhere.

Maybe she’s why Bloomberg is scowling?

I suppose this sign is targeting Milton and me.

On second thought …

Flaunting her Pride!

Diet Coke float boys dancing.

Lady Liberty flies in with the Delta Airlines marchers.

Big cheers for LGBT hero Governor Andrew Cuomo marching with his partner Sandra Lee.

We love our governor!

30 years together and finally allowed to marry thanks to Governor Cuomo.

Pretty boy.

Butch and Femme lesbians.

Star Trek star, gay activist and 75-year-old Boy Scout George Takei.

Hollaback girls.

Dignity marchers.

Raising the rainbow flag.

LGBT Catholics.

NAACP marchers.

Smiling gladiators.

Be yourself in blue chiffon.

Pride chapeau.

Here comes the fuzz.

Faces in the crowd.

Proud NYPD marchers.

Hot yikes on bike, but ladies you’re way behind the pack! Maybe they planned it that way?

Firetruck Pride!

LGBT firefighters marching.

The King and I all-in-one package.

Marching Fido Pride.

Girl Pride.

Pumped!

Flaming Saddles Saloon float blasting “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”.

Tattooed chick.

Hipster hat boy and friend.

News to Milton and me.

“I like that idea … I think.”

Soft focus hot chick.

Striking a pose.

Obama 2012 contingency — yes, we can again (we hope)!

Obama marchers chanting, “Four more years!” Not adding to chant, “Or else we’re screwed!”

Pride and joy boy.

Waving flag in crowd. Milton said, “Thank God we’re not by them.”

Exuberant girl ignores me and high fives Milton. He asks, “What the hell was that for?”

Mercy for all animals, not just gay ones.

Seriously WTF?

Thank you for posing for us Naked Cowgirl and my number is 1-800-LUNATIC.

Here comes the Mr. Natural guys!

I know a good waxer … just sayin’.

Whole Paycheck Pride.

Food float!

Rainbow legs.

Drummer girls.

Jock strap Pride.

Pouting Pride, or maybe the crummy photographer just missed her smiling?

Mastercard happy guy.

Babelicious girl with flag.

Good idea — get rid of DOMA!

Gay dads with their kids.

Log Cabin Republicans — all five of them (the rest read the memo).

Sewing party hat marcher.

Oooooo!

Fairy tale fellas.

Even Snow White and the Wicked Queen showed up!

Letting it all hang out.

Stilted Pride.

Pride is the time and place to wear your pink hair!

Or your pink short shorts.

Pink short shorts with rearview message.

A nurse like no other.

For anyone that forgot his or her bath salts this marcher’s prepared.

Congratulations!

“Let me climb up here for a better view.”

This chap is a wizard with a baton.

Swinging her necklaces.

Cheer leading squad.

Marching band cymbal player, also a good excuse to wear white gloves.

Happy marchers.

Feathered friends.

In case anyone was wondering, there was confetti.

Evita rolls into Pride, but without Ricky Martin.

Feeling confident.

Top hat and blue feathered boa, dressed for Pride success.

Yes, those are umbrella skirts.

“Do you want a piece of this?” Ask Milton.

Spreading his wings.

Anyone need an Adonis? They’re right here!

Gold lame ensemble (note: not wash n’ wear).

Naughty shameless flirts – and this float went by much too fast! Our interest was purely historical (hysterical?).

Dry clean only.

It’s not on a chain!

Ah, a friend of Dorothy’s!

Talented Asian drummer boys.

Frisking concerns.

In case anyone at home is wondering if she’s a lesbian and why she’s marching.

Miss, you on the right, is your name Deborah Harry?

Flaunt those blue lips and Mondrian influence.

Who is this masked man?

Impressive plumage requiring significant doorway ducking.

Winged creature but he did stay grounded.

Was this a do-it-yourself ensemble?

The Roadrunner look works well on this bloke.

Altogether say, “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!”

The very entertaining Flaggots are here!

He caught it! (But it surely would have poked my eye out.)

Flaggots are gender inclusive!

Here she comes, Miss Texas!

Not the type of frock or hat one would wear around the house.

Sunshine on heels.

Blue swirl.

Princess Leia’s hair-do lives on right here at Pride!

Mr. Mermaid or may we call you Neptune?

Gay Peruvians take their float very seriously.

Pants-less feathered pride, a CEO’s wish.

Bill de Blasio marching for votes.

Anti-fracking marcher’s poignant message.

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

The Alien.

New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. getting his groove on with the missus, Peggy McDonnell.

If you guys insist.

Who needs vanity plates?

To each her own.

Little sleepyhead with Mom. Milton and I know how you feel kid.

Crown available at your local florist’s.

Bear Pride!

Alright, smile for the camera!

Cycling for Pride to be followed with pounding water for Pride and scarfing a sandwich for Pride.

Is that a feather duster she’s wielding? Hm, there are a lot of feathers flying.

No longer closeted Segway rider.

Actual live singing and this guy was great!

Charlie the Matchmaker!

Are these the latest boy band heart throbs? Think again.

Whoever he is, he’s here!

“I gotta go, I can’t hold it. Sorry!”

Hello New York City!

Got sunglasses?

Lambda marchers.

Peacocks on parade.

Skipping a.k.a. how to twist an ankle where I come from.

She does not need to carry her flag on some stinking pole.

Google courts the LGBT crowd.

Crowd member (not Milton or me) pummeling Google Girl with questions.

Gay guy and gal pals.

Running for Pride to flaunt fitness.

Channeling Rock Hudson.

Pride-wear from the circus.

Fitness is no joke with these guys.

Milton and I could do this … in our dreams.

Milton’s shoelace voluntarily untied just watching those guys.

“C’mon, Milton, tie that shoelace!”

“Leave Milton alone, he tied it!”

Dalton school marchers.

Manhattan borough president Christine Quinn and possibly the first lesbian to be mayor of New York City. Go Chris!

Putting her best black boot forward.

Flirt with me – try black boot girl.

Suddenly, I’m in the mood to hear Spanish guitar.

Look, a quartet of matadors!

Never the matador, always the bull.

Olé!

In the event of a rainbow stripe shortage, here’s the reason.

Translatinas float (yes, we can read, too).

Macy’s shilling for shoppers in the name of Pride.

Multi-tasker – both photographer and marcher.

Merry Zip Car studs.

From Logo’s A-list: New York – Ryan Nikulas & Rodiney Santiago. Who knew? We didn’t.

Roman Empire boys.

We’ll keep that in mind.

Pretty young people.

Fabulous showgirls!

You came to the right parade fella.

At least they’re not nerds.

Definitely a geek.

Geek taking a bow.

Gay puppet Pride.

In case anyone missed seeing the 9,843 earlier rainbow flags, here are two more.

LGBT Bikram yoga lovers.

LGBT Russians!

Lez Factor (not related to Max Factor) marching.

Israeli guys marching.

She brings offerings but it’s not food so we pass.

Go girls.

Go Magazine float.

Occupy Wall Street marcher with Madonna issue (must prefer Lady Gaga).

Pride in a rainbow gown.

LGBT Mormons.

Pole dancer making it look uncomfortable; I’ll take the stairs.

Chief.

Mr. Pansy at the end returning to his own planet until we reconvene in 2013.

Lame Adventure 316: Home is Where the Heat is

A note to my devoted readership – and all seven of you know exactly who you are, if I seem to have had no adventures of the lame variety during my recent vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area, you are sorely mistaken.  I was in the throes of MacBook hardware-related technical difficulties, but now all is well again in Lame Adventures-land.  Actually I exaggerate a tad for I did return to the Big Apple in a heat wave and to a 19th century era garret that is not wired for air conditioning unless I fork over $600 to my landlady.  Since I lack the necessary six hundred clams for this home improvement, I am pounding the fluids and only making tai chi-style movements to avoid suffering heat stroke or dropping dead with an inelegant thud.  Fortunately, my personal sweat lodge has a northern exposure so it is easily three degrees cooler within these baking walls than the temperature outside.

The temperature outside when I returned home from work on Thursday.

Traveling back in time about a week to wonderful warm weather sans humidity, I was in San Rafael in the company of BatPat, my best friend from college, her husband, Mick, and their daughter, Hepburn.  We visited downtown San Rafael where there’s an excellent farmer’s market on Thursday nights with live music, a rock climbing wall, beautiful fresh fruit and veggies, delicious smelling Kettle Corn as well as more exotic foodstuffs.  We walked through it and quickly grew hungry as bears.  Hepburn suggested we continue our stroll and scarf some of the exotic eats, but BatPat declared:

BatPat:  I want to sit at a table.

Mick and I trampled each other in agreement.

We headed over to Sol Food, an oasis of excellent modestly priced Puerto Rican cuisine where a live band playing outside serenades the patrons within.

House of yum!

Sol Food’s live band — these guys are great!

If they opened a branch in my neighborhood, Manhattan’s Upper West Side, it would be one of those hot spots with a long line stretching down the street and around the block since we’re huge fans of both good food and waiting in mile long queues over here.  At the same time, the neighborhood crank would smack them with a lawsuit over the musicians playing music outdoors so a petition on their behalf would also be circulating.

Back in San Rafael’s Sol Food, the atmosphere inside is also packed with flavor.

Instruments displayed out of reach to discourage patrons from showing off the conga playing skills they lack.

Dual purpose green plantain — food and napkin weight.

Hepburn in foreground, hustle and bustle in background.

Our order, lucky number 38.

BatPat and I ordered the same dish, Pollo al Horno, baked chicken thighs seasoned with garlic and oregano, served with rice and beans, organic salad and fried plantains.

Pollo al Horno – simple but delicious.

The pink beans stewed with herbs and Spanish olives were great.

Mick had the Bistec Encebollardo i.e., the steak with the Mofongo, a mashed fried plantain seasoned with garlic and olive oil.

Bistec Encebollardo – pronunciation that eludes me.

BatPat and I thought the regular plantain, which is sweeter, had more character.

Hepburn, the family contrarian, ordered the Mofongo Relleno de Camarones, a.k.a. to this gringo-ette as tomato sauce-topped garlic prawns with the mashed plantains and fresh avocado.  It looked scrumptious but tomato sauce is on my Do Not Eat Ever Or You Will Die Painfully Even Faster list.  My gastroenterologist will not allow anything acidic to enter my fragile intestines, so I just stared at her dish and drooled shamelessly.

Mofongo Relleno de Camarones – oh, to be able to eat something like this again!

Everyone raved about the Limonada Fresca, fresh limeade made on site.

Chug a lug … not!

Since I suffer the trinity of gastrointestinal ills – esophagitis, gastritis and hiatal hernia, that I keep at bay via an insanely strict diet to avoid going back on meds and feeding that evil beast, Big Pharma, I had to settle for the House Agua.

Whoop-dee-do-less House Agua.

Sensational hot sauce, or so I’ve been told.

Overall being in the company of some of my most treasured friends on the entire planet and chowing down tasty food in a delightful atmosphere while listening to melodic live music, was one of those times that owns placement in my memory bank in The Good Old Days file.

We returned to the car parked in a public parking lot behind a Walgreen’s feeling mellow.

Mick observed:

Mick:  Hey, did any of you notice that dead guy lying in the bushes?

Did he make an inelegant thud?

No one got too close, but it was possible he had only passed out.  Hepburn whipped out her iPhone and called 9-1-1.  BatPat sensitively reasoned:

BatPat:  At least he chose to go near the recycling bins.

Lame Adventure 315: Out of The Comfort Zone

Yes, I am away from my beloved island of Manhattan.

Away from my neighborhood theater that staged the Tony Awards Sunday night.

Live from New York [last Sunday night], it’s Neil Patrick Harris!

Away from The Grind where I steadily pigeon watch the day away when I’m not being tormented by our new and evil fax machine.

We’re accepting carrier pigeon resumes if either of you would care to apply. We’ll pay you in Girl Scout cookies.

Away from the subway train with its special brand of surprises.

Looky here, some cretin stuck their gum on the overhead pole!

The time has arrived for a vacation. I may even read a book.

72 pages in; I may actually finish reading this one.

I am in The Land of My Ancestors — the San Francisco Bay Area.  This is my second Comfort Zone.  I‘m freeloading off my sister, Dovima and brother-in-law, Herb (with a silent h).  Friday, their daughter and my niece, Sweet Pea, is graduating high school. Sunday is Father’s Day so I’ll be with the man who gifted me with his narrow feet, significant nose and capacity to explode at the TV screen when my team or Rafa Nadal is losing.

Since I arrived a day early, Dovima was concerned that I would be bored out of the little brains I have left home alone with Thurber, the family hound.

“I’m not fun to hang out with doggie a mano?”

Dovima was also been worried that I might have difficulty making lunch for myself, but I assured her that I mastered the art of mediocre sandwich-making at age 45.  Meanwhile, Thurber and I were busy doing our own thing.

“You only power sleep on weekends? I do it daily!”

“Where’s the cat? He’s a great excuse to bark!”

“Put the camera down and lie on the floor like me! This feels sensational.”

I did.  Hopefully my pulled groin muscle will heal by the time I fly out.  Dogs are great but resist following their advice.

Lame Adventure 314: Broadway Unplugged

Broadway’s annual love fest to itself, the Tony Awards, will be broadcast this Sunday on CBS.  My pal, Milton, who has seen more of the nominated plays and musicals than me, has donned his critic’s chapeau and has written a witty and insightful post about all the contenders right here.

A few weekends ago I did the unthinkable — I cut short my power sleeping and headed down to the theater district where I photographed the facades of the buildings housing the nominated plays and musicals in morning light.  This is not exactly tantamount to snapping a gotcha shot of one’s girlfriend without her makeup, but I realized I had little idea about what most Broadway houses look like.  Absent the crowds clambering to enter under the sophistication of nightfall, many of these buildings are surprisingly quaint when viewed in the light of day.

Pictured below is the Ethel Barrymore Theatre located on West 47th Street.

If these walls could talk, would they scream, “Stella!”?

A much-ballyhooed revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman starring Philip Seymour Hoffman just closed there.  It will probably win big on Tony night.  This is the theater where in 1947 Marlon Brando originated the role of Stanley Kowalski screaming “Stella!” in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Currently, Blair Underwood is screaming “Stella!” in a revival of Streetcar featuring an African-American cast staged at the Broadhurst on West 44th Street.

“Stella!” screamed here eight shows a week until August 19th.

Back in 1935, Humphrey Bogart stood on those same boards making his acting breakthrough that led to Hollywood stardom when he appeared as an escaped killer in The Petrified Forest, a role he later recreated in the film of the same name.

The Pulitzer Prize winning social satire Clybourne Park (and my choice for Best Play where you can hear a terrific joke about white women and tampons) can be seen here at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

The neon lights burn 24/7 at the Walter Kerr who was a theater critic and playwright that died in 1996.

Back in 1929 when it was then called the Ritz Theatre (undoubtedly to differentiate it from the cracker which Nabisco would debut in 1934 but according to the Lame Adventures brand of (il)logic someone clearly had a premonition that this snack food was on the horizon), Bette Davis starred on this same stage opposite the slightly less well-remembered Etha Dack in a comedy called Broken Dishes.

Over at the Gerald Schoenfeld 81-year-old James Earl Jones and almost 87-year-old Angela Lansbury are energetically co-starring in the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

Living theater royalty can be found within these walls through September 9th.

Gerald Schoenfeld was a legendary Broadway producer.  Three years before he bought his rainbow in 2008, a theater was named in his honor.

Broadway has several theaters that were renamed for theatrical legends.  In the case of the recently renovated Stephen Sondheim Theatre, the theater had been originally named for Henry Miller.

Even if Henry Miller’s name is still carved in the facade, this is the Stephen Sondheim theater now.

Currently staging the revival of “Anything Goes” (including Henry Miller’s name).

In 1983 the Alvin Theatre was renamed for the playwright Neil Simon.  The last play staged at the Alvin was Mr. Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs.  The first play that opened under his name was Mr. Simon’s Biloxi Blues.  Currently a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar is being staged there, the exact type of production that must make this revered Jewish playwright gag.

Oy!

What about legends in the making?  Possibly one day a theater will be renamed for the 28-year-old powerhouse Nina Arianda currently starring opposite Hugh Dancy in Venus in Fur over at the Lyceum.

“Venus in Fur” is closing June 17th, but my superior, Elsbeth, managed to snag a pair of prized ducats to this show before it ends its run probably just to get me to stop my hounding.

Nina owned my vote for Best Actress in a play until I saw Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow at the Belasco.

“End of the Rainbow”, a show that was made for a post-performance stiff drink (or two or three).

Now I’m completely discombobulated over who should get it, but Milton reasons that even if Nina is stiffed, she’ll eventually win it, so he’s pulling for Tracie.

Does “Ghost” the new musical staged at the Lunt Fontanne have a ghost of a chance for much? Don’t ask me, I’m passing on seeing this one.  Dazzle schmazzle

In addition, I thought Best Actress nominee Linda Lavin was terrific as the mother that loathes both her children and her dying husband in The Lyons over at the Cort.

See and hear Linda Lavin roar!

Stockard Channing is another Best Actress nominee that can be found eight performances a week at the Booth Theatre as the mother in Other Desert Cities.

The Booth Theatre opened on October 16, 1913. Looking pretty good for pushing 100.

This show is another Best Play nominee that has scored a hit with both the critics and audiences.  The Booth was named for Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes.  Apparently, a grudge was not held against him considering whom his brother assassinated.

Across the street from the Booth is the Music Box where the raucous British comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” is being staged. Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut here in “I Remember Mama” in 1944.

A viable contender for Best Revival of a Musical is The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess over at the Richard Rodgers.  Full disclosure:  I loved this wonderful production and the stars, Audra MacDonald and Norm Lewis, blew me away.  Oh yeah, and the music’s extraordinary.

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” – an excellent production.

For all you sock puppet fans, in 1994 Shari Lewis commanded this same stage with Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse in Lamb Chop on Broadway.

Critics see a horse race between Porgy and Bess and the now closed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies that was staged at the Marquis Theatre.  Follies shuttered to make way for the revival of Evita, which is also nominated in this category, but it is not expected to win.  The Marquis is a theater that is literally a massive marquee.

I see the name. Where’s the entrance to see the show?

The first, and thus far only time I saw a show there (the most recent revival of Follies), I had no idea where to find the entrance.  It’s situated in a Marriott Hotel.  Since I was not a guest, I was denied the option to call room service to ask, “Where the hell’s the theater?”  Fortunately, Milton arrived first so I was screaming at him, and he was screaming directions at me on his iPhone.  I’m sure people unaware that we’re more queer than (accounting for inflation) a nine dollar bill assumed I was yelling at my husband and he at his wife.

Nicer work at the Imperial’s box office was when “Les Misérables” ran here for over 12 years of its 16 year run.

Certainly a living legend at the theater box office.

Considering that locating the Marquis easily shaved several minutes off my life, I much prefer a classic easy-to-locate Broadway theater like the Nederlander, which is currently staging the Disney production nominated for Best Musical, Newsies.

Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” debuted here in 1962 when it was called the Billy Rose Theatre. That production cost $42,000 to stage.

This is a big, brassy feel good show that has about as much appeal to me as a full body rash.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” – a fun show about lost boys. Brooks Atkinson was a theater critic for The New York Times from 1925 to 1960.

I’m hoping that Once over at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre will win Best Musical since I relate much more to miserable people in Dublin than singing dancing newsboys in lower Manhattan circa 1899.

Before the show starts, “Once” audience members can walk on the stage and purchase a drink at the on stage bar. Truly this is my kind of show.

In 1927, the first show staged at the Jacobs (then called the Royale) was a musical comedy named Piggy.  The producers changed the show’s name to I Told You So in the middle of the run.  Apparently, they resisted renaming the show I Told You So That Piggy is a Terrible Name and We’re Bleeding Money.

Lame Adventure 313: What Do I Know?

I love live theater preferably on a stage, not two hotheads having a yelling match at each other on a subway train.  One way I can afford to see as many off-Broadway plays as I do is I volunteer usher, something I do once or twice a month.  This allows me to see theater for free. The only downside to volunteer ushering is sometimes a show is a dud, but more often, they’re good.

“Peter and the Starcatcher”, a play I volunteer ushered off-Broadway that has transferred to Broadway and is now nominated for 9 Tony awards. This was not a dud.

Many volunteer ushers are retirees, students or aspiring actors. Most are pleasant, but when I worked my most recent ushering gig I encountered Sour Usher.  Sour Usher is a retired woman 10-15 years my senior that’s built like Sitting Bull. I have encountered her several times over the course of the 3 ½ years I’ve been volunteer ushering, but she has never given me a single nod of recognition.  When I say, “Hi,” she gives me the “Who are you?” look.

Together, we recently ushered a play that’s still in previews.  It officially opens later this week, so there might still be some tweaks made to it between now and then.  She’s a complainer-type who has been volunteer ushering forever.  Therefore, she thinks she’s an authority that knows more than everyone in the theater company combined.  When I last ushered with her, it was for a delightful musical at New York Theater Workshop called Once.   At intermission, she confided that she hated the show.  I told her that it was an adaptation of a film.  She was unfamiliar with the film and told me that she had no interest in seeing it.

Sour Usher:  Is this like the movie?

Me:  Yes, it’s following the story closely.

Sour Usher:  So the movie was lousy, too.

Once transferred to Broadway earlier this year and has since been nominated for eleven Tony awards.

People parked outside the Jacobs theater at 9 am hoping for tickets to the 3 pm matinee of “Once”.

The play Sour Usher and I ushered recently was one neither of us were familiar with.  The program had a preface that indicated that it has been in development since 2004.  Sour Usher zeroed in on the fact that its earliest origins were as a short film for a Food Network competition.

Sour Usher:  Can you believe this?  They’re staging a cooking show!  I know I’m not going to like this.

I thought:

Me (defiantly):  This is one of the most respected off-Broadway theater companies in the country.  We’re seeing this play for free.  Give it a chance.  It’s not like we’re witnessing an execution.

I said:

Me (weaselly):  Well, that sounds different.

When the house opened and we admitted audience members, the star who doubles as co-author took the stage.  She started cooking.  Sour Usher admitted that whatever it was that she was cooking smelled good.  She insisted that it was gingerbread, but we later learned that it was eggplant for baba ganoush.  Small difference.  The House Manager seated us together.  Sour Usher groused about her seat, even though we were in the fifth row and had a perfect view.  She resented not being seated on the aisle.  At intermission, she refused to applaud declaring:

Sour Usher:  There’s nothing in this play for me.  It’s all cliché, predictable, pointless.  It’s too many stories happening at once and not a single one interests me.  When it opens, the Times will kill it.

I thought:

Me:  Like the way they killed Once?

I said (this comment slipped out like an involuntary fart):

Me:  You really think that?

She looked at me and sniffed.  Maybe I did involuntarily cut a silent-but-deadly.

Sour Usher:  You like this?  [disgusted] You did applaud.

I thought:

Me (defiant): I applauded because I’m entertained, I think it’s a novel play that’s well staged and I’m interested in what happens next.  Is that criminal?

I said:

Me (weaselly):  I applaud out of habit.

I know that Sour Usher thinks I’m an idiot, and possibly I am for not having the guts to say exactly what I think to her.  She’s one of those difficult, critical know-it-alls.  Arguing with her is pointless.  I save point-full bickering for women that matter that let me see them naked.  I wonder if Sour Usher even likes theater.  I thought that it was possible that the only thing she really likes is eating for I saw her inhaling a muffin at intermission.  I asked:

Me:  Is that gingerbread?

Sour Usher (mouth full):  No.

Me: What is it?

Sour Usher:  Terrible.

I should have known.

“Venus in Fur” debuted off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company in 2010 before transferring to Broadway last fall. It’s received Tony award nominations for Best Play and Best Actress (Nina Arianda).