Yesterday I posted Playbills from the 1966 and 2006 Broadway productions of “The Apple Tree.” My Wordless Wednesday post featured a very young and handsome Alan Alda in the 1966 version.
I originally wanted to post a trilogy of Alan Alda plays (Art, QED and The Apple Tree) but couldn’t find the Playbill from Art. Yes, I am crazy about that Hawkeye, science-loving, happily married guy.
My husband is a collector of sorts. He has cartons of 1960’s Topps baseball cards, piles of championship New York Knicks NBA programs and every T-shirt, sweatshirt, pajama bottom and baseball cap from The University of Wisconsin.
He also held onto most of the Playbills from Broadway shows that we’ve seen together since we met in 1985. As I look through each cover, it reminds me of our life together, and the events that were happening in our lives at the time we enjoyed each show.
It’s no surprise how many Neil Simon plays we saw. To us, he is a playwright extraordinaire: Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Odd Couple (the female version – ugh), Barefoot in the Park (1996), Promises, Promises (2010) Rumors and Lost in Yonkers.
I love musicals. When I was 8 years old my mother brought me to my first play, Fiddler on the Roof. We sat in the third row orchestra, and I felt as if I lived in Anatevka.
I was hooked for life.
My husband always insisted he enjoyed only plays and didn’t care for musicals. I couldn’t understand how anyone could feel that way, especially because he is so crazy about jazz.
I made the mistake of taking him to see Will Rogers’ Follies starring Keith Carradine when our friends were in town from Wisconsin.
Big mistake. It was awful, and he kept reminding me of it.
But I remained undaunted, and
dragged brought him to more musicals despite that debacle. Les Miserables. Jersey Boys. Fiddler on the Roof. Guys and Dolls. South Pacific. He enjoyed them all.
Need I say more?
The play that was the one of the most meaningful to me was The Producers. Growing up, my brothers threw barbs around that I later found out were quotes from the movie The Producers starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.
When The Producers came to Broadway, my brothers and I decided to get tickers for the three of us and our spouses. We were excited to see Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the Mel Brooks zany comedy.
The show was a smash hit, and getting good seats wasn’t easy. The best we could get were three seats in one row and three behind them. My brothers sat in front of me, and I clearly remember that while I was laughing, I watched their heads and shoulders moving in every direction as they roared with uncontrollable laughter.
Broadway holds special magic, the kind that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. So if you decide to go, do me a favor. Get me an extra ticket, because I’m about due to see another show.
What was the best play you ever saw?