they told me it would change me?

January 4, 2010

What a weekend.

I spent this past Thursday to Sunday in New York City with my family. I had some of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. Experiences I surely won’t be forgetting any time soon.

We left early Thursday morning for out flight. Yes, flight. We were in the air for about 45 minutes, but for some strange reason it was cheaper than taking the train. And less hair-raising than trying to drive into the city on New Year’s Eve. So, as soon as we reached cruising altitude, we began descending. It was strange, but it worked. Oh, and luckily, my luggage wasn’t lost. That’s one of my worst fears.

New Year’s Eve We stayed in one hotel the first night and a different hotel the second two nights. The second hotel, the Marriot Marquis, wasn’t cheking anyone in on New Year’s Eve, and it was crazy booked, of course. So, we left the first, crappier, hotel around six in the evening to walk to Times Square, along with over a million other people. We started out right behind the ball (which is fucking tiny in real life, by the way) and walked up 6th Ave, asking at every crosstreet if there was any room. There wasn’t of course. At last, at 58th street, we were hearded into a standing pen, just like cows. We slowly moved forward, trying not to lose each other amidst running, pushing, and creepy people, and eventually made it to 54th street. We stood, in the on and off snow/rain, for just over four hours. It was cold. I was too close to strangers. But it was quite the experience. Maybe not something to do every year, but seeing the ball drop in Times Square live and in person, and screaming in 2010 with over a million strangers was something, I think, everyone needs to do at least once in their life. And the, after midnightm MADNESS. Running, screaming, drunk people everywhere, many not standing. It was a sight to see. And I loved every second of it.

Hair Friday, we all slept in. It was very necessary. We needed time to thaw out. We spent the day wandering around, shopping, doing some sightseeing, returning to the PHONEBI!! That night, Ava and I had tickets to see Hair at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Wow. What a profound, moving, fun, crazy night. We had seats in the second row of the left orchestra, just close enough to be waved at, yelled at. A lot of the times, actors would just chill out on a set of stairs right in front of us. They’d turn around, make faces, make comments. Gavin Creel, a man whose existance is known to th eminority of people who will read this, sang to us while climbed over the first row from about a foot away. Right then, I could die. The first asct was fun, upbeat, crazy, and hilarious. From the cast yelling at late people, to handing out daisies to the audience, to taking their clothes off. Yes, the finale of the first act included the infamous nudity. And it wasn’t done in a sexual or crass way, but to really make a point about how people detach themselves from the horrible things that go on in our world. It didn’t make me uncomfortable. It was art. And it was beautiful. The second act was where the show got really powerful. I couldn’t shake off the goosebumps and even found myself gatting surprisingly emotional as the show came to a close with “Let the Sun Shine In.” After their curtain call, the cast started beckoning to the first few rows of the audience to join them on stage. Ava and I, of course, obliged. I danced, clapped, and waved on a Broadway stage, looking out at the standing ovation of the full house. After singing “Let the Sun Shine In” again with the whole audience and cast, and hugging and thanking the few of the performers brave enough to stay out and mingle, it was decided. This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I want my view from work to be. Now that I’ve seen that view once, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it, and I don’t think I’ll ever have fulfilled my dreams until I have the privelege to see it night after night. The show was moving, inspiring, emotional, and so fun. The talent of the entire Tribe was unbelievable, and after meeting them after, it was great to see that they were all just normal young adults living their dreams and trying to spread love and hope to as many people as they could.

Next to Normal Saturday afternoon, my mom and I headed across the street from our hotel to the Booth Theatre to see Next to Normal, the modern rock musical about a “normal” family tring to cope with treatment, loss, and life. It was another unforgettable and moving show. We sat in the second row, center. I was, at times, about four feet away from Alice Ripley. Again, if you know who she is, or have seen the show – big fucking deal. The opening number ended with her “getting ahead on lunches” by dumping two loaves of break, lettuce, and some meats onto the floor of the stage. This isn’t your mother’s musical. It’s so real, and doesn’t try to hide anything. The show was funny at some points, touching, moving, very intense. It took the audience on a whirlwind of emotion and really had everyone in the room invested in and in love with the characters on the stage. From the mother who’s trying to hold herself together, to the father who’s trying to hold the world together, to the daughter who just wants to feel love. It’s a hard show to explain. And I guess a “rock musical about a crazy mother” is a bit of a hard sell. But I think this is a piece of fine art that everyone needs to see. I was inspired again, and can’t say enough, anout the performance given by Alice Ripley. She made the audience fall in love with her, feel for her, be angry with her, and really want to see her through. She was in tears for the majority of the show, acting, screaming, and belting her heart out. I could not even begin to fathom how a person could have the sheer emotional and physical stamina to do what she does eight times a week. All I can do is thank God that there’s someone out there who can, and who can share that with the rest of us. She was the epitome of a performer, and, along with the rest of the stellar six-person cast (which included Aaron Tveit, Tripp from Gossip Girl, my mother was thrilled) brought the house down with one of the most innovative, emotional, powerful shows to be on Broadway in years. I’ll burn the CD for anyone interested. See it. Look it up on YouTube. Listen to the music. You will be hooked. You will be moved.

What else is there to say? Plenty, but I can’t just write it all down. I had an amazing time, did something I may never do again, and had the two greatest theatrical experiences I’ve ever had, and perhaps ever will have. All I can say is how grateful and inspired I am.

Time for homework.

More exciting blog posts coming soon. Maybe.

Did I mention it was fucking freezing?

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5 Responses to “they told me it would change me?”

  1. marypopkens Says:

    i was going to like your status on facebook with this link, but then i thought that didn’t do enough justice. i loved this post.

  2. emmuhhs Says:

    i wish i was mark mauriello last weekend


  3. I want to see hair soooooooo bad

  4. TBABY Says:

    i loooooooove you mark. and love even more that this is what you will be pursuing. your smart enough to do anything else but i think this is what your made for baby. I think you have a better knowledge then me, but any info u need for schools, im here dog.
    LOVE U!


  5. […] Think back to December, what was the greatest memory you have? This. […]


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