Moravian First Year Seminars in NYC
Thursday, September 8, 2011
"Broadway Baby" (Sondheim's Follies)
I journeyed into New York City with my FYS class in high expectation for the days events. As soon as our feet touched the ground, we were thrown into a scavenger hunt. My team was Emilie and Alex and we went everywhere in Times Square. We had to find multiple theaters, famous restaurants like Sardi's, and discover people and their achievements. We ate lunch on the big red steps right in the middle of Times Square and the view was outstanding! It was a grueling, but rewarding adventure when finding the correct places and I learned my way around the city.
After the scavenger hunt, the whole class gathered at the prestigious Marriot Marquis hotel and settled into our seat to see the preview for the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. I did not know too much about the show beforehand, and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this show! Bernadette Peters starred in this production along with three other talented actors and actresses. The set design was a stunning, ghost-like, open stage and the drama between the four main characters unfolded at a reunion party through the past and present. The production as a whole was beautifully and tastefully done. Details kept the audience engaged even during intermission when a whistling sound and tap dancing could be heard in the background and Follies girls remained on stage in their ghostly manner. The mood was consistent and the fluidity of the show was represented well with a balance between show stopping numbers and more serious scenes.
Some may argue Follies was geared towards an older audience with its theme of reflection, loss and mistakes in life, but there is something to be gained no matter what age you may be. The younger audience could relate to the younger versions of the four main characters when it went into the past and think of it as a warning to be conscious of the decisions you make in life. Musically, it was a typical Sondheim musical with his tricky wordplay, rhythmically challenging versus and quartets, which had four different parts being sung simultaneously. The show opened with a classic broadway number "Beautiful Girls." Overall, the production kept the beauty of the original show while also making it refreshing for the modern audience.
When the show was over, I had to get my street-side vendor hot dog and pretzel. My day in NYC would not be complete without that snack (a little tradition of mine!). With my hotdog and pretzel in hand, I boarded the bus back to Bethlehem, Pa with my thoughts still caught up in the world I just left. Going to the big apple is like entering another world, with all the people surrounding you, the big building high up above you, and everyone doing their own thing. There really is no place like New York City, it is one-of-a-kind. It is a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to travel and learn in this city for a class!
Posted by Lexis Petrella at 9:20 AM