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On Broadway With Mother: NYC Part 6

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Over twenty years ago, my Mom and I caught one of Glenn Close’s last performances in the original Broadway run of ‘Sunset Boulevard‘. We were in the very last row at the Minskoff Theatre – one of the largest theaters on Broadway – but her performance was so big that it felt like we were right in the middle of the mansion at 10086. On this night, as a gift for my Mom, we sat in the front row at the Palace Theatre. It was a full-circle moment, and just before the lights went down, the disembodied voice of Norma Desmond sounded in the theater:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Glenn Close,” she began, in what I assumed was a recorded message to silence our cel phones. She continued, ‘Thank you for coming out on this rainy night…” Oh shit, this was happening right now. My one fear had been that Ms. Close wouldn’t be performing on this evening, and I held my breath for the remainder of the announcement. She said she was battling a cold, but was going on to do her best at navigating the wonderful score, and asked our indulgence. Before she had even appeared, she was greeted with thunderous applause. We were already on her side.

Had there not been an announcement, I’m not sure I would have noticed, so great and grand was her performance. There was one pause for a cough, and she made it through ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye‘ without holding the big notes forever, but that only added a poignance and vulnerability to the proceedings. It was another bravura performance, and the perfect culmination for our Broadway weekend 2017.

We had a nightcap until the Uber situation cooled down, then returned to our hotel for a final night in luxury. The next morning marked Mother’s Day, and we were scheduled to have brunch at Villard, conveniently located right at the Lotte New York Palace. It was the perfect way to celebrate the day and finish up our long Broadway weekend.

My Mom is the one who taught me how to travel, and we do so quite well together. This was a special Mother’s Day weekend on Broadway, something that has become one of my favorite traditions over the years. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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