A Memory of the Seventies

I was a kid when ABBA won the Grand Prix and got famous. I became a declared ABBA fan and with it an outcast. While for my parents this kind of music was much too wild for the other kids around me it was too good, to well-behaved. But I liked it – and somehow still do. So I finally went to see Mamma Mia on Broadway this Tuesday.

The Broadhurst Theater is definitely not the most comfortable one. Seats are narrow and even my knees touched the backrest of the seat in front of me. Letting people pass always means standing up and grabbing one’s bag stored underneath the seat. Next to me a Chinese couple was sitting, much too young to really know ABBA. He was checking for emails, she was playing Candy Crush Saga. When the show began and the usher walked through the aisles to ask people to put away their cell phones she hid hers underneath her scarf. Half the row in front of me stayed empty. So I was happy to have a very good view. But when the performance just had started a big and tall guy with a square head arrived with a blond doll next to him and sat down right in front of me. Bad luck! So sometimes I had to look around him to see everything. But in general it was fine.
The show was not quite what I had expected – but it was really good. The story is sweet, like a soap opera. 20-year old Sophie grew up with her mother on a Greek island. Now she is going to get married and had invited her three possible fathers to find out who is her dad. What happens then is told using ABBA songs. The actors vere very good as actors. Not allof them were real good singers as well. The stage design showed a Greek island hotel. It was simple but very flexible to use for all different scenes. Sometimes a bed was rolled in or the cast brought chairs and tables. In the end, after the curtain, the main characters put on ABBA costumes and gave a great show, singing and dancing some of the best known songs. It was fun and definitely worth seeing.

The day started with a little surprise. When I finished my shower and opened the shower curtain I saw a tiny something running across the bathroom floor. A mouse. Remember I am not in a country house somewhere upstate but on the 8th floor of a time-honored apartment building on New York City’s Upper West Side. How did that animal get there? Shoshannah, my hostess, was still asleep and I didn’t want to wake her up because of a mouse. So I closed the bathroom door to prevent it from getting somewhere else and attached a note. Later Shoshannah told me she caught the mouse and flushed it down the toilet. Pacifists can be cruel.

It was a rainy day but there were things to be done. My first errand was getting the ticket. I knew the prices at TKTS and went to the theater to compare. I am a bargain ticket pro now. They had tickets available at the same price, so I bought it there.
Then, as I was close I had a look at the tree at Rockefeller Center. And guess what, they were just removing the scaffolding. The tree is ready to be lightened. The lightning ceremony will be on December 4th.
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Next I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond on 19th Street to buy last travel size supplies of toothpaste and other stuff. I grabbed a slice of 1$ Pizza and walked over to 7th Avenue to catch the 1 train back to the Upper West Side.
There I got off at 79th Street to look for Thanksgiving presents. For Priya and Toya I got herbal teas at Teavana. That done I went to Barnes & Noble to see if I could find something for the kids. A friend at home had provided me with some ideas and Barnes & Noble gave me some more. So first of all I was confused and decided to check out a toy store the other day.
On my way home I got a Falafel Sandwich at Jerusalem, a takeout restaurant right at my subway station at 103rd Street and Broadway. It was not bad but I had better ones.

The rain had gotten stronger when I left again for Mamma Mia. At the theater people stood in line with their umbrellas. But they did not open the doors until 7:30. As always when it is raining an umbrella seller was walking the lines. One umbrella for 3 Dollars, 2 for 5.

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