We saw Joseph and the Amazing Techincolor Dreamcoat on Sunday at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. It was a wonderful experience.
Joseph was the second live musical I saw. The first is Cats. We saw it on Broadway in New York City in 1998, the year before Benjamin was born. At the time, I was working for a consulting company.
My home office was in Chicago, so my stay in NYC was considered business travel. I was there for about 6 months. The company I worked for at the time rented an apartment for me on Wall Street (probably 110 Wall Street, not exactly sure now), about 100 meters from NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). Often I would walk to Borders Bookstore at ground level in World Trade Centre, browsing books, newspapers, and magazines. The dot com bubble was well and very much alive then. I was doing QA testing with a bunch of young folks like me. I struggled a bit but in hindsight, it was a great learning experience.
Since I was on company dime, I really lived a high life. I dined nicely in quite a few nice and upscale French restaurants. I often visited Chinatown in Manhattan. I also went to Flushing, Queens a few times. Both places have great Chinese food. Before my New York trip, when I read a restaurant menu, I would always look at the right column first;) That was totally changed after the New York City experience. So much so that we would joke that New York really corrupted the soul of a communist boy. (I am Chinese. By the way, if you still view China simply as a communist country, then you really should change your mindset.)
Maria visited me in NYC before we flew to Sweden, my first visit to that great country. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and probably a few other places that I don’t remember now. We also had a nice dinner with my sister-in-law, either somewhere close to NYU (New York University), or in the Village (Greenwich Village).
One day we had a good lunch at a fancy restaurant, whose name I cannot remember. The restaurant was on the top floor of a building, with NYSE almost dirctly across the street on Wall Street. It was said that it used to be J.P. Morgan’s private dining place. After lunch, we went to Central Park and had a horse carrige ride in Central Park, which was really great. After the ride, we bought some carrots to feed the horse. That was a lot of fun.
Before we walked into Central Park, we went by a building that looked very nice. I remarked that this is a great building, I wonder who lives there. Later, the horse carriage driver told us that is the Dakota Building. John Lennon was shot and killed there in 1980. Later, we saw the Strawberry Field in Central Park dedicated to him. I am not into idols and hero worshipping, but if you have to ask me who my idol is, I will have to say it is John Lennon.
At the time, there was a ticket office in Times Square that sells that day’s available Broadway tickets at a discount. Maria wanted to see Cats. I went along but wasn’t really looking forward to it. I thought, geez, a musical, I am gonna be bored to death, suffer silently for a couple of hours, put up a happy face, and act cultured and civilized. Are you kidding me?!
The show totally blowed me away. I don’t know how to describe it, except to say that it is something that is very, very beautiful. It turned out that I’ve listened to Cats theme melodies in cassete that belongs to my Elder Brother No. 2 in China. But I didn’t know then it was from Cats. I was then a high school student. My Elder Brother No. 2 was in college. He also brought back home some classical music cassettes during school break. And they are all very nice. Thanks brother for introducing me to classical music!
We recently saw the movie edition of The Phatom of Opera via Netflix rental. Let me tell you, that Andrew Lloyd Webber guy is a genius. I know I can never do things like that. We also saw the movie version of Chicago (I don’t think he wrote that, though). Once again, it was great.
It’s getting late and I will retire now, but it feels great to write this and get it out of my chest.