My First Show Since New York City Shutdown Last Year.
Last night was my first time back at attending a Broadway show. I was pretty excited since I am a huge theater buff. Before NYC shutdown I would go to at least two to four shows a month. Broadway is a big part of New York Culture and I’ve been waiting for it to come back. I have so many friends that are actors or work in the theater world, and I knew they were desperate to get back on stage. When New York started to lift the restrictions and Broadway started to light up again with rehearsals I knew it was going to be exciting. Officially the larger shows will reopen in September but there are a few smaller ones currently running. I was invited from the producers of Friends, The Parody.
It is currently playing at the Jerry Orbach Theater and it’s a small space but there are always interesting shows playing there. The Fantasticks was one of the original musicals that ran in this theater for 42 years. One of the longest playing shows on Broadway. I went with my theater buddy, one of my close friends that always joined me when I had a plus one. We took the elevator, and the lobby bar was buzzing. People were buying Friends cocktails themed drinks, people were taking pictures at their Friends, step and repeat. Many people seem to know each other, and I overheard how happy they were to see one another. Another reason to support small shows, it’s a community.
Before entering we were informed to keep our masks on but if we wanted to have our cocktail to use our straw under our mask. Another small change, instead of paper Playbill we had to scan the QR code at the door and the Playbill would pop up. We were seated on the second row by stage right, it’s a small set but they had the famous purple door and Central Perk sign. A tiny couch and corky table. The show began and the actors came out with the famous umbrellas and their own version of the theme song. The costumes were right on point too.
The actors were all so good, they really captured each character of the original so well. But I especially loved the actor, Sami Griffith, who played Rachel. Not only did she sound exactly like Rachael, but she also captured all her mannerism. They exaggerate guest characters, sang Smelly Cat but their own version since as they pointed out, copyright. And of course, poor Gunther was ignored but the hair was super blonde (or should I say wig). They managed to fit in 10 years of Friends into two hours, of course with their own twists and jokes.
If you are a Friends fan, then you will appreciate the silliness of this show very much. They make a few jabs to the 90’s, the obvious apartment that is way too big for NYC, how spoiled Rachael really was, how toxic Ross was, how Phoebe always talked about her dead mother and lived in the streets, how Monica was just always dating, how “Chandler” had a drug problem, and how dumber Joey got throughout the seasons. I didn’t give anything away because if you are a true fan of the original you pretty much know this is true. However, if you want a good laugh and see a cast that is right on point with these characters, I recommend you see it. It will be your warm up before going to the bigger shows and you will be supporting a small company and theater.