Day 3. Our only rainy day starts like the first two…sleeping in. We will meet our travel partners at the Broadhurst theatre in the Broadway theatre district for the matinee performance of “A Beautiful Noise”, the Niel Diamond story. But first a bite to eat.
We decide to try Junior’s Cheesecake on the corners of 45th and Broadway. It is a classic looking diner that had plenty of diners at tables and classic counter seating. There was immediate seating at the counter, so we bellied up.
We sipped on coffee while perusing the menu. Classic diner fare. R Dub ordered a cup of matzoh ball soup and a corned beef and pastrami Reuben. How NY is that?! Beth? Chicken salad Sammy, it was good too.
It was a 6 minute walk from Junior’s to the Broadhurst Theatre to see the 2:00 matinee of “A Beautiful Noise.” Keri stood in line at the Times Square TKTS Booth on Tuesday and got us half priced seats for the show.
The show begins while the curtain is still drawn by the sound of a recorded live cheering audience with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” booming through the theatre speakers in concert, the music and cheering fades out as the curtain rises.
In deafening silence the stage contains two figures. Each sitting on lounge chairs angled to face each other (and the audience), an elderly man and a 40ish woman…silently staring at each other. At first glance I think it is Neil and his wife Katie. But no…
After what seems like forever, the woman speaks. “If you are uncomfortable answering questions, you are free to leave anytime you’d like Mr. Diamond.” The old man snaps back; “Tell that to Katie!” The woman is Neil’s therapist, assigned to help him through the pain of no longer being on stage with his adoring fans.
“A Beautiful Noise” tells the Neil Diamond story through a series of therapy sessions, live concert performances and real life reenactments.
Awesome singing, dancing and orchestration ensues. We didn’t know what to expect, we got more than we thought we would. It’s like a really great night of karaoke. With songs you know by heart:
I’m A Believer, Kentucky Woman, Into The Bitter End, Solitary Man, Cracklin’ Rosie, Song Sung Blue, Cherry, September Morn’, Love On The Rocks, Hello Again, A Heavenly Progression, Sweet Caroline, Entr’acte, Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show, Play Me, Forever In Blue Jeans, Soolaimon, Thank The Lord for the Night Time, Crunchy Granola Suite, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Brooklyn Roads, America, Shilo, I Am… I Said, and Holly Holy.
Next up, Gutfeld. Entertainment took many forms for the week. Broadway musicals, Radio City, Stand Up Comedy, Diners and Bars with singing wait staff, plus the studio audience for the taping of Gutfeld. TSA type screening at the building entrance, seating outside the studio for 30 minutes or so, ushered and placed strategically onto the studio bleachers by the producers, given instructions prior to the show on what will happen and coached how to react during entrances by the guests and star, plus before and after commercial breaks.
We and our travel companions have been part of many local theater productions, so the process was just as fascinating as the event for us. How do nationally broadcast shows happen, what goes on behind the cameras? The process is well choreographed and looks seamless. It was fun to see and participate, even in a small way.
The topics? We really do not remember. The guests? Tom Shilllue who was the host of Red Eye after Gutfeld left that talk show and is a regular skit actor primarily playing the part of Joe Biden. Jamie Lissow a Canadian stand up comedian who is a regular comic guest, he comes armed with a sheet full of jokes for tonight’s topics. John Moody who hired Gutfeld to be host of Red Eye. Finally, Kat Timpf; a rising star who, as a libertarian tends to be the voice of reason most nights. Quoting Kat; “The government in general for me… All they’ve done is, ya’ know, assign me a number to be identified by, tell me I can’t do stuff, and take my money to spend it on things I disagree with…” On this night’s broadcast she quipped that she tells people that she gets paid to hang around with a bunch of old guys.
Next up? The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The lines to get in wrapped around MANY NYC blocks. We had no intention of standing in line, so a walk around mid town and off to bed was in order.
We did see the tree at Rockefeller Center on Thursday, Day 4. Stay tuned!