Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day with a Pacific Flavor...

For months, Mary Lynn has been telling me about the return of South Pacific to Broadway and the universally great reviews it had received. She clearly let me know that original cast of Kelli O'Hara and Paolo Szot (an opera singer turned Broadway musical) were well worth the price of admission. Fortunately, I was smart enough to listen to her; the show was nothing short of fantastic. Mother's Day was about the only time over the next couple of months that I thought we could steal away and catch this Lincoln Center Performance.

I told her that I remember as a child, seeing Ezio Pinza on our black & white RCA TV set singing Some Enchanted evening. The musical first appeared on April 7, 1949. I admit my skepticism and doubting that this old musical could be any good today. Have seen too many revivals flop. Well, this one was great. The Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center was the perfect setting for this musical marvel which remained timeless in its story of love overcoming prejudice and fear.

What was truly amazing was the number of hit tunes that came from this single show. Some Enchanted Evening, There is Nothing Like a Dame, Bali Ha'i, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair, Younger than Springtime and more all found their genesis in the Rogers and Hammerstein classic.

To add an element of humor into the day, we had tentative plans to go to lunch with Elaine Kaufman (Elaine's on 2nd Avenue), but when Mary Lynn's boys said they wanted to do something with mom for Mother's Day, we went scurrying to make an alternative plan in one of our normal places. You can only imagine, even for a regular customer, there was no space anywhere at NY's top places that late in the day. Mary Lynn, then said (partly with tongue in cheek), I bet there won't be many
Mother's Day lunches served at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone. The night spot on Seventh Avenue and 48th Street serves food and drinks from attractive young ladies dressed in bikini tops and sarong wraps. I laughed, and said, "Are you serious? I am sure your sons, 19 and 13 would love it." Not that I would mind either. She said sure. As you can imagine, there wasn't a problem getting a reservation.

The girls couldn't have been nicer and some of the dishes were actually quite tasty. We did enjoy a most untraditional Mother's Day.

At least, we were in keeping with the theme of the day. It was a South Pacific Sunday and the Lunch was great and the show was even better. She was happy and we all had fun.

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