Well today was exciting.
The museum was a frenzy of turning the basement, usually the home of the museum store and Sarabeth’s, into some sort of pseudo-nightclub/display space for a temporary design exhibit involving, I think, sunglasses? I think the company is called Persol. I do not know the specifics of the temporary exhibit, just that it is a separate organization renting Whitney space. A party was held tonight–I actually got a last minute invitation, but had to turn it down because my sister had sat in line for hours (thanks Jess!) in Central Park to score us two tickets to see Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater. More on Shakespeare in the Park in a bit.
Anyhow, so the basement of the museum was being turned into a club, complete with leather coaches and velvet curtains and a bar. No kidding. In the meantime the documentation office, where I work, was also invaded by workers. The office houses a large display window which is used for video displays pertaining to exhibits and events happening at the museum. These displays block our view of the outside world, but it is probably for the best because that view is only traffic and gawking tourists. Today the display window was dismantled to allow a new display, and the construction and related noises of drills etc. were extremely loud and the workers were also loud despite the fact that they kept saying “Shh this is an office”–I guess that didn’t register, they seemed to find it funny. Diana’s desk was entirely dismantled, but luckily she was out today. She would not have been able to work had she been at the museum, because the construction was happening where she typically sits. I assume they finished the new window installation, but I left before the workers did, so we’ll see what is left of the office tomorrow.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to most of us within the museum, Lou Reed was wandering around downstairs. Evidently he played at tonight’s party, though his performance was kept extremely quiet. At one point one of the other Registration interns busted into the office all: “LOU REED IS DOWNSTAIRS DOING SOUND CHECK.” So of course we all took a necessary group bathroom trip to catch a glimpse of Lou Reed who was, indeed, soundchecking.
We didn’t gawk for long, but I was actually able to witness Lou Reed play through most of a song as I was leaving the museum. The lobby is configured in such a manner as to allow people to look down at certain parts of the basement, and I got a great aerial view of Lou playing his guitar and singing his song–until he broke off to shout at the sound people. Ah, celebrity. Still, it was really awesome and unexpected. Lou Reed. Man.
It was then time to reap the fruits of my sister’s labor. Again, thanks Jess! We grabbed a quick and light (we’d had a heavy lunch with Theresa on Madison) dinner and then walked over to the Delacorte. I’d really wanted to have dinner at Danny Meyer’s concession stand, Public Fare, but Jessica is a picky eater. We did, however, try some of the desserts, because everyone loves desserts. The stand carries gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato as well as baked goods. We each got a scoop of gelato–I got strawberry, which tasted of fresh strawberries but had problems with the texture, while Jessica got vanilla which was amazingly pure and had the creamiest consistency and was awesome–and split a whoopie pie, which is evidently Danny Meyer’s new dessert obsession. The whoopie pie did not have an adequate cake-to-filling ratio: too much cake, not enough cream cheese filling. If the cream cheese filling were increased, the dessert would be a real winner. See below for pictures of an utter failure of nutritional sense and willpower.
So after getting appropriately hyped up on sugar I headed to the ladies’ room to wash up before the show. While I was waiting in line an extremely butch red-headed woman walks by me and I think to myself: “Hm, that looks like Cynthia Nixon’s partner.” And lo and behold, it was, as Miranda herself was holding the red head’s hand. I stood in line for the ladies’ room with Cynthia Nixon. How cool is that?
Twelfth Night was really fantastic, probably the best production of the play I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen it done five or six times. Anne Hathaway is an extremely skilled young talent and brought much energy and heart to the cross-dressing Viola. Raul Esparza was appropriately manic as the love-sick Orsino. Audra MacDonald, who I had never before seen live, turned Olivia, a character I usually hate, into a really multi-dimensional, funny, heartbreaking engaging character. Audra is a true force, it is nearly impossible to take your eyes off of her when she is onstage, and probably my biggest complaint about her performance is that she didn’t sing more. The comedic characters, especially Hamish Linklater’s bizarre stoner knight and David Pittu’s singing fool, were really fabulous, and Julie White is an added bonus as Maria. The music written for the show was really lovely and the staging was engaging and inventive without being too “I’m going to re-invent Shakespeare by setting it in the wild west/the future/under the sea!” weird. This production is really fabulous and if you want to see it this summer get in line now. The show is still in previews and opens officially on Thursday, and if advance buzz is any warning the reviews should be fantastic. I’m glad I saw this show early, before it really explodes and the line for tickets becomes impossible.
Even Jessica enjoyed the show, and she dislikes Shakespeare. As she puts it: “I don’t like what I can’t understand.” Honestly, I don’t think the girl gives herself enough credit. Shakespeare, if done well as it was in this production, is as clear as day.
I really love seeing the shows mounted at the Delacorte. Even if the production is less than excellent, which can happen, the setting is really magical and the backdrop, the Belvedere Castle, cannot be improved.
Bed now. Tomorrow is another long and busy day, and will culminate with the opening reception for the Dan Graham retrospective.