One nice perk about being a cog in the corporate machine is that every once in a while, a cog in a different corporate machine will throw a bone your way in an effort to curry favor and more of your advertising dollars.
Such was the case for yours truly during a recent trip to Manhattan, N.Y.
After half a day of meetings with some big-shot Madison Avenue agencies, a major online advertising network took us out for the wining and dining. I can honestly say that the only thing that tastes better than lobster and filet mignon at The Palm is lobster and filet mignon at The Palm on someone else's expense account.
But the real treat came after dinner when our gracious hosts bought us tickets to the Broadway hit Chicago around the corner.
We had amazing seats. Dead center of the theater in the second row from the stage. Close enough to get hit by a spatter of sweat from the performers.
The show itself was untoppable. Granted, it took me a couple of minutes to make the necessary adjustments to my cultural frame of reference. But once you account for the underlying gayness of the male actors doing the "jazz hands," the show really takes off.
The overall production, music and acting was excellent. One hundred percent better than the movie. The staging was simple and the actors genuinely seemed to be having a good time. And it didn't suffer from the overproduction and Richard Gere of the 2002 movie. It had a much faster pace and got right to the action.
Not to mention the fact that there were some major hot actresses with major hot wardrobe (or should I say lack thereof).
One of the surprises was Christopher McDonald in the role of Billy Flyn. You may remember McDonald from such film classics as Leave It to Beaver, Grumpy Old Men and (my favorite role) Happy Gilmore as Shooter McGavin.
McDonald's singing voice is vastly superior to Gere's. The stage version didn't show off McDonald's dancing skills. But he showed terrific vocal range, especially in the puppet scene.
The simple but flawless production, amazing music and enthusiastic cast made this Broadway show well worth the price of admission -- which for me was free, but still.
tagged: culture, entertainment, Broadway, Chicago, Christopher McDonald, Shooter McGavin, musical, Richard Gere, Manhattan, The Palm, food