PLAYING in NYC… on and off BROADWAY …1957-1958
In my post of August 29 I wrote about "WORKING in the “Big Apple”. Now I will tell you how it was to PLAY there. We, at WABC radio, were often given tickets to Broadway shows and it was just my luck that 2 of the finest musicals ever written debuted in the late 50’s.
“My Fair Lady”, starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews was a treat. I remember how the audience insisted on 3 curtain calls at the end of the show. None of us in my party wanted to leave the theater but we finally danced out, singing “Get Me To The Church On Time”.
I also attended the opening of “West Side Story”. It was written by Leonard Bernstein, the most famous conductor in the world at the time and leader of the New York Philharmonic. The actors were mostly unknowns ...Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence, and Larry Kent, and this show launched their careers. Aside from the outstanding musical selections I was dumbfounded with the set changes. I loved the off Broadway shows too and it was a thrill to see “The Three Penny Opera”. Who could forget “Mack The Knife”?
Other fun things were:
The Staten Island Ferry… a ½ hour ride that provided a view of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of New York. It cost 5 cents in 1957 and I understand it is FREE now. (that’s a switch!)
The Central Park Zoo…A story-book zoo and a fun place to meet friends for lunch or coffee.
Rockefeller Center, …with the open-air skating rink and the huge Christmas tree. I was thrilled to attend 3 of the lighting ceremonies
Restaurants of every ethnicity...boiled, broiled, fried, barbecued, baked or served raw...whatever your taste, you could find it in the “Big Apple”. (and, of course, you had your choice of "the bubbly", too.)
And last, but not least, the MUSIC...from Radio City Music Hall to the Met and everywhere in between. Piano bars were prevalent and supper clubs provided another type of music. It was my “ once-in-a-lifetime” 2 years & I savored every minute, making sure to get in some work between play dates !