By the time you read this, a Catered Affair will have closed on Broadway.
So, should this review make you want to see it, you are too late. Unless of course it should happen to tour, and then it may come to a city near you.
I thought the play was marvelous. It was more of a play with music than a musical. There were no rousing, overly choreographed numbers or a cast of hundreds. It was just a small group of people who lived everyday lives, and occasionally sing a soft song. It was a simple, perfect, quiet little musical.
It did get pretty tense at certain moments. The family had just lost a son overseas and was struggling to come to terms with his death. The daughter becomes engaged, and the mother wants to use the death benefits from the armed services to give the daughter a huge wedding. The father wants to use the money to buy into his share of a taxicab so he doesn’t have to struggle to make ends meet. The mother feels as though they favored the son and gave the daughter very little, so they owe it to her to give her this catered affair. The mother married at city hall and never was able to have her own dream wedding and sometimes feels that she was trapped in a loveless marriage. The play is set durning the 1950′s.
The acting and singing was top notch. Faith Prince stars as the mother, Aggie, and really was fabulous. Tom Wopat played the father and his struggles to hold the family together proved a meaty role and he did a wonderful job. And it was nice to be able to see Harvey Fierstein live, as Uncle Winston. You have to pay close attention to Harvey when he sings because of his gravelly voice, but he is a good actor. He also wrote the book of this musical and I think he did a fine job. I really enjoyed myself. Chris liked it too. We had a very nice time.
It was hot in New York and as always, we did a lot of walking. In the morning we stopped at Dean and Deluca for coffee and a muffin and then did a trek up to Central Park and wandered around the park for a bit. I love Central Park. It is always a hub of activity and it is nice to see so many people about, walking, riding bikes, playing with dogs, ect. I did have to sit on a bench for a bit as the heat started to get to me, but Chris was amenable to that.
We ended up eating lunch at the Iguana, our favorite Mexican food place and I had the brunch chilaquiles, and they were marvelous. I was a bit overheated and had to cool down and think I drank about ten glasses of water! But the food was good and by that time we were near to the theatre so we headed down for the play.
The play was only ninety minutes long and no intermission, so we were done well before four and then had two hours to kill before the bus took us home. So we walked back up almost to Central Park again to try and go to the Apple Store, but it was packed and we couldn’t get in. (I know, a STORE!) So we wandered around a bit, got a yogurt and something to drink and hung around in a coffee shop until we took the bus home.
Oh, and in the morning we went to FAO Schwarz and hugged some stuffed animals.
A good time was had by all, I think. Another successful trip to New York. I can’t wait til the next one!
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