Thursday, June 5, 2008

Revisiting Manilow, Le Reve, Shark Reef

Hey kids. Miles and I are just now going to sleep after a treacherous travel day from Vegas to Long Island on that trailer park in the sky, Southworst. I didn't realize we were committing to two layovers -- in ABQ then BWI -- and in BWI we had weather problems that grounded us for five hours. Then we got on the plane and sat because, well, in five idle hours they forgot to make sure there was someone on hand to fly the bird. Sheesh. Anyhow, we're here now, will be in NY for a few days seeing some shows and unveiling my late grandfather's headstone, a Jewish year-after custom. So, for now, I leave you with this week's Weekly column about the spree of shows and attractions my niece and I saw last week and my thoughts on revisiting them.

The Manilow Principle

Why some shows are better the second time - and why some are not


About 15 minutes into Barry Manilow’s Music & Passion show at the Las Vegas Hilton last week, I received a mocking text message from my partner. Miles had ducked out of having to go with me, my 16-year-old niece, Courtney, and my mother because he had to go to work at the last minute, but he hardly seemed unhappy about that twist of fate.

“So, does it suck yet?” the message taunted.

I missed the message. To my utter shock, I was having much too good a time.

Yes. At Manilow.

But, faithful and puzzled readers might be thinking, didn’t you just a few weeks ago mention how much you despised that very show in that commentary about all that was wrong with the new Cher production?

Indeed, that is why I was so bowled over. When your family visits, you tend to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily want to, and my mother was, is and probably always will be a Fanilow. So off I went, preparing both myself and poor young Courtney to suffer. I prepped the teen for the idea that this would fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category.

Except it wasn’t. It was so good it’s good. Really. In my guidebook, Gay Vegas, I had given this production a “C” and complained that it was a “rush job” with “dancers who seem confused about what they’re doing.” Yet on this night, a good 75 percent of the songs were not in the prior edition, Manilow was unstoppably exuberant and energetic, and even the closing “Copacabana” was less grating and, so it seemed, mercifully a little bit shorter. Also, unlike Bette, Celine or most notably Cher, Manilow remained on the stage for all but about three minutes of the concert. Of course, his “costume changes” involved changing his sportcoat. But still.

This revolution in my thinking led me to a spree of revisiting shows and attractions I hadn’t seen in a long while.

Read the rest HERE


Roberta said...

I liked that article very much. Sometimes perspective is everything.

NutJob said...

loved it! i actually printed the whole article out for sisi n jodo