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Day One Ramble

When Regina announced she was doing five special shows on Broadway, I decided there was no choice other than to go and as I was about to sell my house I’d have some money too, so could really enjoy myself. It would be a wonderful celebration of a pretty stressful almost 8 month long house sale and seeing my favourite artist doing her thing on Broadway would be the wonderful conclusion to a long drawn out ‘too boring to go into detail’ (don’t worry I will keep up my reputation for being tedious with other anecdotes in this piece) house sale. I booked the tickets, flights from England and then a lovely hotel room with a balcony just off Times Square.

I still hadn’t sold my house by the time of my trip (more ‘far too boring’ stuff to go into) and so with the length of holiday reduced, the hotel downgraded, credit card limit (somehow) increased and a diet of lobster and caviar (well not quite) being reduced to a ‘hoping people would leave a bit of their takeaway burger uneaten so that I could nab it’ (well not quite again but you know, got to make the writing dramatic) I found myself standing in the Box Office ready to pick up my tickets to the shows.

Hero: I’ve come to pick up my tickets

Person Behind The Counter: Have you got some ID

Hero: There you go, is there any chance I could swap seats as…

Person Behind the Counter: Nope

Hero: No problem, thought I’d ask… oh by the way can I pick up all five rather than come each day?

Person Behind the Counter: No, tickets are only issued on the day…

I always love it when having spent lots of money going to things the company make it as easy as possible to enjoy it. I accidently let Ticketmaster pick the best seat for me in my excitement on the first one… of course I wanted the seat furthest to the left!

I think I have rambled on enough for an intro… I like to test the dedication of my very tiny readership. If the smallness of my readership causing me fragility was the equivalent of Trump’s fragility over the smallness of his penis then Hero Tower would have to reach space, be gold and diamond plated and there wouldn’t be enough women I’d have to (I should add allegedly as I don’t want to get sued but how many woman is enough before some people need to consider he might be a bad man) mistreat to make up for it. However as it doesn’t (I kind of enjoy being the only person on the internet who’s every post is slightly more secret than that of someone’s secret diary) I don’t need to worry and can happily review these things for my own enjoyment. And now I have definitely rambled on too long…

The Show

The theatre was beautiful and intimate. It turned out it was impossible really to get a bad seat and even with the seat stuck as far out to the left as is possible it didn’t really make a difference. I went via the bar and realised that on being poured a glass of merlot and being asked to pay $25 dollars for the privilege that I would only be having one for all five shows (have I moaned about being broke?). Anyway not being an alcoholic (thankfully) and being able to enjoy music sober it was not too much of a hardship. I took my seat and waited…

Regina opened with Folding Chair and forgot half the lyrics (I think she might have been excited to be on Broadway (well you would be wouldn’t you)) but giggle-persevered through it and I was immediately immersed in my Regina ‘happy place’. She has a way of making the mistakes adorable which just adds to the performance. Having finished the song she then mused ‘this next song is rather appropriate’ and played Eet with the opening line ‘It's like forgetting the words to your favourite song’.

Grand Hotel and On The Radio followed before we had the first moment of her ‘Broadway’ show as Firewood played with a screen displaying images behind her. It was then that the true magic began to occur and the reason this trip was such a must do for a big fan.

The band disappeared and we were treated to the rarely played non-album songs of 8th Floor and Raindrops. This was then followed by possibly the highlight of the evening and one of the songs I’ll focus on for this day’s review ‘Prisoners’. A spotlight appeared not just on the piano but on a space to the side of it and into that arrived an unknown man with very noisy shoes otherwise known as a tap dancer.

Once you hear Prisoners with a tap dancer I don’t think you can ‘unhear’ it and an already incredibly dramatic song becomes more so. It was the perfect fit with each emphasised key stroke replicated in tap. The narrative expressed was reflected and enhanced and it’s not often your eyes are averted from the ever enthralling Regina but for this song they had no choice. Bar a couple of kinks of timing (if I am being critical (she was excited to be on Broadway (more on that later) (that were ironed out by night two))) it was perfect and the only issue Regina now has is that she is going to have to hire a ‘tappist’ (I’m guessing at the wrong term I’m sure) for all future performances.

Other songs that were special to that night’s performance (at time of writing) were Smile (a Charlie Chaplin cover dedicated to her father) and My Favourite Things with special guests Amanda Palmer and Lance Horne.

Regina was as I have mentioned was very excited to be playing Broadway and every so often would say ‘Broadway’ in a very ‘Broadway’ way. She wondered if she was the only one that did that when appearing on ‘Broadway’ (it’s hard to type the accent so I hope you are getting the idea). Anyway as she was on Broadway each night she stated she would be accompanied by a special guest/s helping her with a Broadway song and tonight’s was My Favourite Things.

This version was super playful as each artist flipped between playing the accordion, piano and singing. It was also fitting for me that the lady who introduced me to Regina as a recommendation a long time ago was now singing with her in possibly her finest hour.

There were of course many other highlights but I’ll save those for other nights to keep this review not short  but less long and move on to the main disappointment…

I hated Fidelity because having dallied in some rare and unexpected material this was the obvious ‘back to the hits’ sign that the show was drawing to a close. Usually the opening numbers and the ending few are delightful (and to be fair they still are really) but when you know what else you are getting for these special shows then they ‘relegate’ the hit songs to usual show material. Again they were fantastic and it’s not like I was disappointed it’s just compared to everything else we got today they were never going to be my highlights. For others however they still got the biggest cheers. If you have seen Regina as many times as I have then the rarer songs are bound to be the highlights but for those who haven’t of course the hits are going to get you the most excited!

After around two hours the show came to an end. Regina delighted to have played the hallowed boards of Broadway and us delighted to have been there. She mixed the hits with the delights and whilst there were a few mistakes and slips who really cares? The magic of the theatre took over the performance and for those two hours the world and it’s problems melted away. It might have taken fourteen hours and a chunk of credit to get here but only two to realise every hour and penny spend travelling and arriving was worth it.

NY Day One/Regina One - 20/06/19

Lunt Fontaine Theater - New York