Springtime in New York

Monday, April 11, 2005


I had a really cool day on Saturday. Pete took me to New York City in honor of my birthday. He bought me tickets to go see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway at the Majestic theater. The real thing.

We got up really early on Saturday morning and drove into DC (only getting a little lost because of a roadblock for some event or another--what can I say, it's DC!). We took the train from Union Station in DC to Pennsylvania Station in NYC. It was about three hours. When we got out of the train station, the smells of NYC hit me, and a lot of old memories came flooding back from the time I went to NYC with the FBBC Chorale.

There were so many people! Each one was going to a different place, living a different story--and in each of their minds, their story was the biggest and most important. It made me feel very small and insignificant. But being with Pete helped me not feel so scared and vulnerable. I just held his hand, and we went discovering!

It was very loud. We ate lunch at Europa Café on Fifth Street, then hoofed it toward the theater. I got to stand in Times Square, which shouldn't really be a big deal. *grin* Oh well, so I'm a more typical tourist than I would like to admit.

Bunny trail here: The Phantom of the Opera was Pete's and my first date. We went to see it in the movie theater. He didn't know until after I'd seen the movie that I had never seen the musical and didn't know the plot. But I was really glad that I got to see it with him for my first time. Our song is the one that Raoul and Christine sing together on the roof. It's a special song, and one that God has given me too. It fits us very much. In fact, I related a LOT to Christine, with a lot of stuff that has happened in my past--I have some phantoms.

I've heard people grump about how Christine should have ended up with the Phantom... but speaking as someone who knows the fear and darkness that comes with that sort of obsession, I understand her cry, "Too many years fighting the tears--why can't the past just die? Help me say goodbye!" Raoul in the movie reminded me a lot of Pete--his gentle tenderness, his desire to protect Christine--the fear in his eyes when Christine began to respond again to the Phantom in the Phantom's opera.

Andrew Lloyd Webber captures obsession--in his music as well as his story. Christine offers the Phantom the one gift that could have broken the cycle--true love, not sex, not simple feelings, not security. She chose to lay down her life for him, and his darkness could not reach into the light of the hope that she offered.

Anyway, all of that rabbit trail aside, the special effects on Broadway were definitely cool. The movie has a much grander scope than the play--but there were elements of the play that I liked a lot better. The Phantom had a really GOOD voice in the show we saw! Christine, however, did NOT. She should have played Carlotta. *grin* Carlotta had a great voice! Still, Christine managed to redeem herself in the last couple of scenes with her acting ability. Raoul completely overacted his part, which could be just because it was his stage debut. He ended up as a dominant alpha male--which actually matched this Christine, because she acted as a flipped out, giddy female.

There was a WOW kiss after the song on the roof. In the audience. *incorrigible grin*

After the play, Pete and I left the theater and went for coffee at one of the innumerable NYC Starbucks, and Pete choked on his coffee, which was really funny! We stopped at a card store, and we were the only two in there! So we gave each other cards without buying them and found a few birthday cards for a couple of people and a hot pink pig to play a joke on Kate!

We ate dinner at Café 34 near Penn Station--My feet hurt so bad!!! We headed back onto the train with a deck of souveneir playing cards. Pete beat me TWICE at war! It was horrible! But I kept beating him at poker. *hee hee hee* I didn't know how to play before that train ride! We got back home about 12:45 on Sunday morning.

It was a really, really cool day. I don't know exactly why--but it was just us, being us, exploring, laughing, talking, holding hands, being reminded why we're getting married. We even got to talk about God--Pete was reading Mark on the train ride up.

I think I'm going to remember that for a LONG time... Kudos to my fiancé for an unbeatable birthday present!

Let's see... Next year, he'll have to fly me to Europe to top it...? *innocent look*


the dork rules said...

Europe? No comment.
Good that the phantom had a good voice! Btw, I deleted the reprise from my computer 'cause I cannot STAND that guy's voice. It shakes me up too much. :)

Leeann said...

Wow, Kelly. That sounds like an amazing time. I’ve yet to go to New York, I keep saying “someday” and I know it’ll happen eventually. I heard similar critiques of the current “Phantom” in New York, but I’m glad that you still enjoyed it.
Maybe I’m going to be FAR too debateresque here, and while I admit I am one of the people you referenced – not that I think the Phantom and Christine should’ve been together, per se. In the book, she basically DOES lead him on, and then she freaks out and is a pansy about the whole thing. That colors my perspective of Weber’s Christine. Maybe I need to change that, but nonetheless, I’ve always understood the line you cite from “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” was about her father and his untimely death. She doesn’t wish the Phantom death, I don’t believe, in either the book or the musical. More than anything I think she sees his actions (the kidnapping) as a betrayal, hence her line in that amazing trio near the end: “Angel of Music, you deceived me…” And I agree he did.
I guess I think of it this way for the musical as I try to get over my preconceptions from the Leroux version: if it hadn’t been for the Phantom, Christine would NOT have been able to sing like that. If Christine hadn’t been able to sing like that, she wouldn’t have reunited with Raoul. So actually, Phantom of the Opera is simply a demonstration of God’s sovereignty. *wry grin*

Kelly Sauer said...

lol--Okay, point taken.

Just remember that as a girl, we have some emotional license to take things out of context to suit whatever we want to say at any particular moment to express how we feel.

Remind me *not* to read the book. :-D

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