There are some nights that remind me how lucky I am to live in a vibrant, exciting city like New York. Friday was one of them.
It began with dinner at with my longtime galpal Sara and her friend Emily. A fixture for nearly 50 years, Victor’s serves up delicious Cuban fare complimented by swift, attentive service and live music. We shared Bartolito to start — sweet plantain filled with roast Berkshire pork, olives, and raisins over black bean sauce and goat cheese – and then all enjoyed ropa vieja. Yum.
After our delightful meal, we walked over to Times Square and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to see Ghost The Musical. The classic 1990 movie about a banker who’s killed but stays behind to take care of some unfinished business translates well to the stage, thanks to charismatic leads, beyond thrilling special effects and a book written by Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Oscar for his original screenplay. Having seen the movie multiple times, it was great fun seeing classic scenes – including, yes, the pottery wheel moment — brought to life once again.
Richard Fleeshman (Sam) and Caissie Levy (Molly) bring their own distinctive charms to the roles so famously inhabited on screen by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Having originated the roles in London’s West End, they have a sweet, believable chemistry together and powerful, dazzling singing voices. Tony Award nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph is a scream as Oda Mae Brown and Bryce Pinkham rounds out the ensemble well as duplicitous Carl.
Ghost’s score, written by The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, is pitch-perfect pop and I loved how the ubiquitous “Unchained Melody” is woven through the show. The special effects are amazing – huge digital projections capture everything from larger than life silhouettes of the cast to NYC subways and neighborhoods racing by, and bring an epic feel to the afterlife transitions that are so much a part of Ghost. One of my favorite musicals this year, for sure, and definitely worth seeing.
The show ended just in time for me to walk across to the Marriott Marquis, where a huge crowd had lined up to see Ricky Martin after performing in Evita. Within a few minutes of nabbing a spot, I caught a brief glimpse of Ricky, looking adorable in a black Members-only style jacket, sign a few autographs and wave before getting into his SUV.
Sigh. A truly perfect night in NYC!