In one of the New World Stages, well ermm, stages, we sat down on the front row not really knowing what to expect. We'd purposely avoided listening to the music from the show before hand for we had seen the adverts in London for the show when we were on our honeymoon a year before and it was our backup show on that occasion and we didn't want to spoil it.
This time it had been our first choice of show as we kinda knew we'd love it from the rave reviews from my sister-in-law and the briefest of explanations we'd allowed ourselves to hear.
Back in the theatre and it turned out that taking alcoholic drinks into the auditorium was positively encouraged. We didn't need much convincing and very soon we each found ourselves with a monster themed cocktail in hand.
Don't worry I won't spoil the show itself for anyone... especially since the UK version of the show is touring Belfast later this month (my tickets for the Grand Opera House sit alluringly on our mantel piece making me feel all happy when I glance at them).
However, there we were being introduced to some of the most memorable characters and songs of musical theatre.
As we were in the US, we were lucky enough to see the show (as it should be - like the original!) with a female Gary Coleman character. It wasn't the original cast but in retrospect it was hard to tell the difference between the CD version of the songs and the show we saw that night. The show was great, I won't say more though because I honestly can't think of a way to talk about it without dropping spoilers. What made the experience even better though was that instead of going to stand in a long queue, there were staff who came around to take orders from the bar and delivered it to your seat, well worth all that tipping!
After the performance had finished , our 1st Avenue Q experience still wasn't over.
As you may have read on Norngirl's blog, the cast of the show were fundraising for charity by selling signed playbills and posters and pictures with the cast.
How could you turn down an offer like that!? The only problem being, I didn't have enough cash left on my person and after asking one of the cast found out there was a cash point on the upper level of the building. It was a mad dash to find it, get some cash and make our way back.
Unfortunately, by the time we did all that, everyone had left. Luckily, there was still a guy closing up the merchandise stall. We asked if they still had any of the signed posters but they didn't have them out front any more. To our surprise, instead of hearing "sorry, go home now crazy theatre going tourists", we were advised to go through big doors and ask in the office about the posters. Perhaps a little timidly, we did indeed venture through the double doors and, after passing through a sort of holding room, something awesomely unexpected happened; we were backstage. In front of us in a small room were all the puppets hanging up and by them, the cast and staff were all cooling down and having a post show chat. As Norngirl said, we had a feeling like we really shouldn't be there but it was brilliant to see how it was all laid out behind the scenes. After looking a bit lost, we were found by a nice man who couldn't help us enough and managed to dig out a signed poster for us to buy and he even gave us a couple of badges with slogans on from the show.
I didn't take off my badge until we got back to the hotel so the whole of New York knew that 'It Sucks to be Me'... but it didn't suck to be me, I was having a great day!
The night didn't end there though... once we'd dropped off our bags and poster, we headed out for sustenance. First of all we brought back a bottle of wine to the hotel room from the local liquor store then headed out again for food. For a city that 'doesn't sleep', there are actually some limits and one of those is that not all restaurants have very late opening times.
We didn't find any of Norngirl's list of recommended restaurants open, or at least open for much longer.On our quest to locate the restaurants we didn't go to, we happened to witness (and almost took part in) a side-walk cycling accident. A dude on a bike flew down the pavement but had to dodge two delivery guys, a little unbalanced, he then had Norngirl and me to avoid; though we'd stood as far out of the way as we could having seen the near miss in front of us.
It wasn't long until the cyclist was on the floor anyway, behind us, a guy hadn't been so lucky as to have spotted the danger. Man Vs bike, we're not too sure who won, they both gingerly made it back onto their feet, so although it must have hurt, there didn't seem to be too many hard feelings or lasting injuries between the two. Maybe that sort of thing happens all the time but it was certainly noteworthy for us.
Feeling a hint of Schadenfreude related happiness (Avenue Q does that to you), we decided not to push our luck any further and so headed back to our 24 hour diner from earlier in the week.
We ordered what turned out to be the biggest meal I've seen outside an all you can eat buffet and it was delicious.
I had noodle soup for a starter followed by a gorgeous open pastrami sandwich with roast potatoes and cauliflower all doused in gravy - I was stuffed after only half of it.
The bread and gravy all soaked up together and this combined with as much free water, tea and coffee as you could get squeeze into yourself, it was probably the best meal I had during the whole trip.
We didn't have the wine in the end, that was put in the luggage to take home, instead we went to sleep very happy but very very sad that our last day was over and our New York trip all but at its end.