Saturday, November 21, 2009

NYC Roadtrip, Ragtime & Les Mis Reunion

A quick re-cap for those newcomers to the blog. Back in June, I worked as a dresser at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA in their production of Les Miserables. It was a truly unique experience, to say the least, and I think even now that I have made some life-long friends from the cast and crew of this show.

Mark Aldrich, one of the cast members of Les Miserables and a good friend, is currently performing in the Broadway revival of Ragtime. Christen, Julie and I all worked on the Les Mis together and decided that we needed to make a trip to NYC just to see him, and along with Christen's sister, Kerry, did just that over the weekend.

The night before, Julie was in a car accident (don't worry, she's fine and we're all thankful for that!), so we ended up getting a later start than anticipated. Julie and I met at my house, I drove us over to Christen's and we were on our way to NY around 12noon.

Julie napping in the car on the way to nyc.

Christen and Kerry, singing along to showtunes on the way. Aren't road trips the best?!

We arrived in NY around 2:30, making great time.

We arrived at our hotel and had the car parked around 3pm. Christen booked our hotel and what we were going for was cheap and downtown. I even brought a sleepingbag in case I had to sleep on the floor!

hotel entrance - LOL!

Hallway. I was trying to figure out if it had formerly been a Chinese Restaruant... or a strip club! Yes friends, those are mirrored walls with frosted stripes and neon green snake lighting.

upstairs hallway to our room

Well, we definitely got cheap and convenient, and it was pretty clean (well, except for someone's laundry left in the closet....). Definitely not the Hampton Inn (where Julie stayed with her sister a few blocks up the street!) but really, you just couldn't beat it. A place to change and lay our heads for 5 hours it worked just fine!

Julie and Christen unpacking some things, standing in the walkway to teh bathroom door.

The king size bed. I.E. The entire room - I'm standing in the hall to even take the pics!

Closet. And Kerry.

Because we got there later than we had expected and Julie had to check into her hotel up the street, so we set aside our original plans and decided to just get purdied up and get ready for the show and be able to have a nice dinner together.

We went to Mother Burger for dinner (and $3 margaritas!) and I had their in-house made veggie burger which was FANTASTIC, and had a really great server. Mark met us ladies for a bit to say hello, give us our tickets for the show, and tell us about his crazy day.

And then, Off to see RAGTIME a the Niel Simon Theatre!

I insisted we get our pic taken out front. Thank you random lady for being nice enough to take one for us! L-R: Julie, Christen, Kerry & myself.

The show was amazing. I will tell you that I said 'that is beautiful' outloud, in awe, about 12 times - just during the opening number; I also may have found a halloween costume for next year; and Mark was more than sufficiently wicked as Willie Concklin (misunderstood my eye!). I could go on and on about it, but I'd rather you go see it for yourself. Go to to get tickets now!

After the show, Mark got us in backstage at the Niel Simon, and I think we were all in just a little bit of awe. Then, off to Vintage Martini Bar to meet up with Omar and some of the cast from Les Miz. This place was packed and we hadn't all seen one another in months so we ended up leaving and going to a pub down the street (can't recall the name - let me know if you remember!) where we could all sit around a big table, drink and enjoy a good portion of the cast, reunited.

Abby talking with Omar and Mark.

Christen with Dan in his duck hunting shirt.

We're a somewhat picture-happy bunch. Me with Dan.

After lots of chatting and catching up, we decided to head to Brandy's Piano Bar where Greg works to meet up with him, and were joined by even more of the Les Miz cast. We all snapped away again, of course - some of these are my pics, some are taken from others on facebook.

Myself, Julie & Brian, posing for a pic.

Omar and Heather have a love-hate relationship... that entertains us all.

Julie (right) with her sister Beth who joined us in New York.

Sisters Kerry & Christen.

Sneaking pics while they're posing for another pic. Mark, Dan, Abby & Brian.

Hello and goodbye hugs all around. This former cast is unbelievable. Love every single one.

Danny & Kate in mid conversation

Mark being sneaky.

Gregg singing his set of songs.

We all enjoy the music, with a certain amount of shouting, singing along, and cat calling that you would expect from friends. Heather particularly cracks me up.

Julie and I - Julie says "Smile!"

We both have a problem keeping our eyes open in pictues, hahaha!

The night started winding down all too quickly, and it was time for Julie and Beth to leave. But first, a few more pics of the girls together.

Julie, Myself, and Christen - The Three Musketeers.

And Kerry too!

Ah, New York. These are just two guys who were walking by, joked about being in our pic so I said 'come on in!'. I think we surprised them.

It was great to finally meet Julie's sister, Beth.

Once one goes they all decide to go. Mark had to go home too, so we made sure we got a pic of us all together. Goodbyes are the worst!

Back inside, Omar looks through Greggs songbook to pick out something to sing. This is about 3am, Omar is sick and has had, um, a few drinks that evening.

Omar & Christen

Kate & Dan, hamming it up for the camera.

Someone thought it was a good idea to give Danny a tambourine....

Omar serenades us with a song:

...and may have forgotten a few words....

And then another...

...Followed by Dan Spiotta...

We finally called it a night somewhere around 4am, had a hilarious Russain cab driver that kept us highly entertained on the drive home (should have video'd that!). Next morning, once again our plans where rearranged, so instead of going to Astoria to see a friend, Christen, Kerry and I decided to just walk around Times Square area for a bit.

We drove from lancaster, and found an amish market in nyc. made us smile.

It was around 1:15 and we weren't far away from the Niel Simon, so headed over before Mark's half hour call for a last quick visit.

Mark looking adorable, me not wanting to leave new york!

And then more walking around, and off to 5th Avenue to window shop!

Beautiful building across from the MoMA.

I think that Dan copied this window display for his look the night before...

I love window displays, especially really small ones for jewelry or perfume, like this one.

A fun window. Really i just loved the hat and mask and hot pink hair.


We walked around Bryant Park. Some of us in a daze, and slightly shocked that Kerry didn't know about this new york fashion mecca.

Just for laughs for the musical crowd.

So, we finally had to drag ourselves to the car and head back home. We got to Coatesville around 6pm, then I had to hop in my car and drive to University City in Philadelphia to strike the costumes from my show at University of Penn. Arrived around 8pm, struck the show at 11pm and finally got back to Lancaster around 1am.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. Incredible Broadway show, fantastic reunion of friends, and new special memories for everyone. We're already looking forward to our next visit - maybe in January!

But for now, I leave you with a preview of Ragtime...