Any time spent with my son Kyle is time well, um, spent, but road trips are the best. Here’s a sample of highway banter with the boy:
Kyle: “Dad, do you know Celine Dion is one of 14 children?”
Dad: “Wow! Really? Which one is she?”
Kyle: “She’s the youngest.”
Dad: “No wonder she’s so skinny.”
Kyle: “Dad!” (as he whacks my arm)
Dad: “Fourteen kids. That’s amazing.”
Kyle: “Her father is dead.”
Dad: “Yeah, I bet he is…”
“Gentlemen, you have a package in Shipping,” noted the front-desk dude who’s actual occupation eludes me. The package turned out to be a beautiful box of cookies for my wicked cool boy care of a female admirer, an older woman no less. That was so cool, yet only part of what “Goldilocks” had in store for Mr. Broadway…
Gotham was fully brined this past weekend, and the rain not absorbed by the Apple was absorbed by me every time the deluge flowing atop Kyle’s “Mary Poppins” umbrella collapsed onto my head and shoulders. Kyle meanwhile, remained dry and humored under my functional shield.
While the edge of wetness crossed the slender island, the boys retreated to the lobby bar of our Millennium Broadway digs. After napping (me, not Kyle) nearly past our dinner reservation, we bartered a 15 block bicycle rickshaw ride for $20 and headed to Luna Piena on 53rd, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Kyle musseled through a pre-show meal of a shellfish appetizer, then a seafood risotto. Based on the barrenness of the china shortly after their arrival, I guess he liked them. I had a just-right portion pasta special with homemade spaghetti, zucc’s, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and sautéed chicken. Overall, the food was good and a good value, and our waiter was competent, but without personality other than the “I’m Italian” accent.
Only cool, comfortable fall air accompanied our mile walk to the Gershwin Theatre for “Wicked,” and the show did not disappoint. Although there was some unevenness to a few chorus numbers, the chops of Dee Roscioli as the emerald “Elphaba” and Erin Mackey as “Glinda” were amazing. Their acting and comic instincts (especially Ms. Mackey) were wonderful, but their singing (most notably Ms. Roscioli) will stay with me awhile. Kyle was beaming and wildly clapping after every number, so I know his 18th birthday will stay with him too…
I had a spring in my step on the post-show walk, probably due to the fact I was $18 dollars lighter for a Maker’s on the rocks and a coke! Well, the coke did come in a 4 cent souvenir cup… We headed back to drop off our $8 cup and Playbills when we were jumped by 4 large “Happy Birthday” balloons in our room, planted by the notorious “Goldilocks.” I think we were both stunned by this incredible thoughtfulness, so we headed back out into the concrete jungle for a nightcap that turned into a slice and a lemonade for junior and a couple more hours of bliss for his happy dad.
Sunday morning was warm and bright for our short stroll to Grand Central Station via Starbucks and an Egg Nog Latte. Our last few steps down 42nd street were quiet, and ended with a short exchange:
Kyle: “Thanks for taking me to New York, Dad.”
Dad: “You’re welcome, my boy. Did you have a nice birthday?”
Kyle: “Yes. Thank you…”
Kyle: “What do you want to see next year?”