Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tales of the City
I've been cheating on you. I've found a new love and I just might have fallen in love. Is it possible to love two cities at once? His name is San. San Francisco, that is. I know, I know, you've always cared about me and my love for Broadway musicals. But you can be so cold, so impersonal, so busy. You're always too busy, it seems. San Francisco on the other hand, has this romance about it that I can't quite place my finger on. Maybe it's the fog that rolls in over the bay. Maybe it's the cable cars or the Golden Gate Bridge. Whatever it is, it's won me over and I found myself floating up and down its streets imagining myself living there, wearing a beret, having a coffee in the Castro, strolling about in its warm spring weather they're experiencing right now.
So I arrived on Friday morning and checked in to the hotel in Chinatown. Sure, it smelled like rice but at least it was't cochroach infested like the hostel I stayed at in Chelsea all those years ago. I walked around, went for lunch and had a drink in the afternoon. I visited the SF MoMA, which I guess you have the upper hand on, since the original MoMA resides in your town.
I went to see the Tobias Wong exhibit which is currently showing there. It's the first time his work has been collected together and shown like this. It wasn't a big exhibit, it just took up a small section in one of the rooms. But, still, it made me a bit sad to see all his work and to know he is no longer with us. A life cut short, and who knows what else he would have come up with had he not passed away?
Afterwards, I met up with a friend and ate dinner at the Sears Fine Food diner. Yes I know, you have tons of cool restaurants, and I give you that. I can't resist your Spotted Pigs and Shake Shacks, so maybe the way to my heart is through my stomach.
However, San Francisco did premiere the new Tales of the City musical, which I attended that night. The lead singer of the Scissor Sisters, Jake Shears, was in attendance, as he wrote it. I saw him leaning against a wall and I just had to go up to him. So I ran up:
Me: Hi, Jake?
M: I just wanted to say thank you for writing this musical, and also for writing the song I Believe In You for Kylie!
J: Oh, thank you! What's your name?
J: Nice to meet you. Are you going to go see Kylie?
M: Yes! Are you going to be there?
J: No, I can't. I have to stay here. (insert Jake Shears' frowny face here) I really wanted her to come see this but I know she's busy. I'll probably see her afterwards.
M: Well I'm really looking forward to this musical! I flew down from Vancouver just to see it!
J: (all apologetic) It's really long. I mean, it's still in its early days, but yeah, it's really long.
M: That's okay! I like it long!
We were then interrupted by another fan who wanted his autograph. I left, feeling great that he
was super nice. I was amazed that he was apologizing for the length of the show to ME. I mean, he's a rock star! And he wrote I Believe In You!!! I should have said that to him, "You know what Jake? I believe in you!" Darn.
The show itself was admittedly a bit on the long side. 2 hours and 40 minutes is not the norm for a musical, no. But still, it was fun, it captured the spirit perfectly of what San Fran must have been like in the 70s, and I think it did the Armistead Maupin book justice. Some of the songs I could have done without, but that's true for all musicals. With a simple set, the show managed to navigate the complex storylines from the book with humour and heart. If you're a Scissor Sisters fan, an Armistead Maupin fan, or a Broadway musical fan, you will not leave disappointed!
So, NYC, that was just my first day. Do you think you can keep up with that? I'm not so sure. I love you, but yes, I have been questioning our relationship lately. And wait till I tell you what happened the next day....