It was such a pleasure to spend the day yesterday in New York City with my beautiful 4-year-old Theo, my brother Eric and his husband Charles. Lee is not a city person and wasn’t interested in going so he decided to stay in Chestnut Ridge with Arthur, age 2 (I didn’t think I was up to handling two high energy boys by myself).
The day began early in the morning when Theo and I caught the No. 11 bus from Woodcliff Lake, NJ to Port Authority. To Theo, the bus ride was an exciting experience. He loved looking out the window and watching the changing scenery.
An hour later, we were met at the station by my brother Eric, who has lived in NYC off and on for more than 20 years. He ushered us on a subway and then to busy Columbus Circle. It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day with temperatures in the 70s.
Theo was thrilled to be with his beloved uncles and was entranced with all the sites of the city. We came that day because Eric had generously bought tickets for him and Theo to attend the musical “The Lion King.” It would be Theo’s first Broadway show.
But before then, we went to his apartment to catch up with Charles and then go to a delicious brunch.
Then it was time to go to the theater. I left the boys in the line and headed off to spend some adult time with Charles. On a whim, Charles suggested we enter the lottery for the Deaf West Theatre musical production of “Spring Awakening.” The lottery, held two hours before shows, gives you a chance to win tickets for $35 each – far less than the regular price of $59-$150.
Crazy enough- we actually won! And we got tickets in the first row! This made for an intense and engaging experience. This is a rock musical with both deaf and hearing actors performing in sign language. In some cases, two performers play the same character- with one signing and the other singing and saying the words. It was a powerful, moving experience – but not exactly fun. The story, about teenagers in a repressive German town in the 1890s, is deeply sad. Every adult in their lives abuses them or sells them out. Hard to watch.
Before the play we were able to fit in a quick trip to the Nicholas Roerich Museum uptown. This is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. It’s a museum dedicated to the work of an amazing Russian artist who painted transcendent spiritual scenes of monasteries and sacred sites in the West and East. It was great to see big original paintings that I had only previously seen as prints or postcards.
And Theo? He adored “The Lion King.” Eric reported that he sat quietly and was engaged the whole time. This was his first full-length production of any kind. He’s never even seen a movie before so I was glad he did so well. Eric generously bought him a lion doll of a character from the show and Theo never stopped playing with it and acting out scenes from the show the rest of the night. The most memorable scene for him was when the hyenas killed the bad king.
All in all, it was a fabulous day.