Broadway is the road I walk up on my way to work. My office is at 195 Broadway. It’s where the nearest free ATM is if I want to get cash, and it has a 24 hour McDonald’s that I’ve fallen in love with on more than one occasion after an irresponsibly late night.
Follow it in a straight line uptown a couple of miles, however, and things turn a little different. There are bright lights, innumerable tourists and a veritable symphony of hustlers trying to turn your heart to Jesus and your feet to a nearby venue which has cheap drinks and live comedy. It’s worth preparing a few answers to the inevitable questions along the lines of “Do you like beer? Do you like to laugh?” that you’ll be subjected to if you go for a walk up there; a simple “No, I hate both of those” isn’t enough to dissuade these predators.
Nonetheless, when a girl comes to visit you in New York, there’s nothing to be done but send her off to a shoe shop whilst you grit your teeth and prepare yourself for an evening of watching people prance around the set of a musical. Which, as it turned out, was fantastic.
Katie took Rob & me along to see Mary Poppins and, frankly, it was surreal. At some points I wasn’t sure if someone had spiked my drink or if everyone else really was seeing the same explosions of colours and general madness on the stage in front of me. But, the music and the dancing and the off-kilter humour were all wonderful. And, when things got a little bit too twee, there was always the ingenious set design and improbably tight orchestra to enjoy.
I’m not saying I’ll put ‘a love of the stage’ on my CV, or that I won’t complain next time I head to the theatre, but I think there might actually be something in this whole musicals idea. If they get around to doing one with robots or lasers or James Bond being overtly sexist whilst driving an Aston Martin, I may even head there without someone flying across the Atlantic first.
Goldeneye: The Musical. You heard it here first.