Ethan Coen’s Happy Hour: A Realist’s Dream Come True

Full Disclaimer: this isn’t a play with a happy ending. It goes well with the title though.

Happy Hour, is written by Ethan Coen and performed at The Atlantic Theater in Manhattan (until Dec. 31st, 2011).

Short synopsis:

Act 1 starts off with a drunk at the bar who hates technology/ever growing change in the world, and his fellow patron, who dismisses his rants as just another drunk who is paranoid and doesn’t understand/get with the times.
Act 2 is about a musician who can’t let anyone in and loses a package, a cab driver who is a wannabe musician who altruistically returns the lost package goes out of his, a woman who tries to understand the musician, and the woman’s friend who finds love in the most unexpected way.
Act 3 is about two men who are staying in a dingy motel during a business trip, one goes out and has fun with two women at a Japanese restaurant, and the other stays in with morbid results.

[Ed note: KRAKEN AHEAD!! aka spoilers in a more detailed synopsis…
Also, I’m not an expert reviewer, just going to write about what I saw and what I think I saw. You can read a professional’s review here.

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Hanging out once in a blue moon with your sister: a great way of ending 2011

To be honest, I am probably a horrid sibling. Not bad enough that they have black and white dreams of me throwing them overboard on a boat though. At least I don’t think so. But horrible enough because we never spend time together.

So to make it up, I took my sister to an off-Broadway play Friday night. It was pretty cool. We went to go see Happy Hour by Ethan Coen of The Big Lebowski fame. I ended up taking her because everyone I asked actually were busy, which was surprising because usually some are free in the evenings but understandably it was close to the new year (as well as Friday night), so no one wanted to share in the funness that is my company. Sister Dear, however was free enough and game to spend time with me. So off we went!

I wasn’t too keen on taking the (A) in the evenings. Yes I know it’s still decent around that time, it’s the coming home that I wasn’t so fond of. After 10PM, the (A) runs on the (C) line aka making all local stops, so it was bound to get crowded and full of fun people. At least the candy sellers are probably at home counting their change around that time, so all that’s left are the crazies, and assorted sellers. You know what seller I haven’t seen around? The ones that sell batteries and/or toys. Even though the batteries didn’t really last long, they were always useful in a pinch for the walkmans.

We made our way to 42nd, and after navigating through the sea of tourists, we got to The Atlantic Theater just in time. By the way, there’s got to be more contribution to the Google Maps Streetview, because I totally walked past the place since in their map, it showed the theater as having an orange facade. Not being a native Manhattanite, places past 8th avenue are foreign to me (with the exception of the Javits & the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum). Anyway being total theater newbs, we kind of meandered around inside and waited for people to start heading in one direction, because as nature will dictate, going in one direction usually means something good (or if you’re a lemming… off a cliff, although in reality they don’t all run off a cliff for funsies, but because they are in such a crowd that to turn back is futile so they just go with the flow and die) or something bad. Being in a theater, following others somewhere was a good thing, it just meant going inside to sit down and watch the show.

You can read the uber long “review” later, but I have to say, for blind tickets we had really great seats. We weren’t close enough to smell the sweat from the thespians, but we weren’t far enough that we needed opera glasses to see their facial features (yeah, there was a lady who actually brought binoculars to the show). Shoutout to Clark Gregg aka Koch/Buck [Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D./Richard from New Adventures of Old Christine] for being awesome and hooking me up with tickets, it was really swell of him.

Afterwards we just waited outside. Since the venue was so intimate, all the actors/actresses came out and it was very low key. Surprisingly there weren’t a lot of people waiting around afterwards. It reminded me of the time I went to see Bell X1, and no one really cared about them after. It was pretty cool and worked out great, because they were actually approachable, so I didn’t have to fight any groupies to talk to them. Of course being a bag of awkward, more or less I stammered while Sister Dear did more of the talking. Of course you know which has more of a nightlife if they were a Sim, and who would be the one that stays home all day looking out the window like a Nervous Nellie.

We did meet most of the cast though. I wish I had met Gordon MacDonald, he was really good even though he kept reminding me of my drunk racist neighbor. We ended up meeting the entire male cast of Happy Hour. Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet the women cast members. You know how sometimes after they take off their costumes, it’s really hard to recognize them? Daniel Craig was definitely right when he says he can take the trains without being approached, not because everyone’s off in a little movie in their head, but because they’re just barely recognizable sometimes. Works great though, if you’re an actor who doesn’t want to be recognized, and sometimes it doesn’t work out so great if you do want to be recognized.

Anyway, everyone was uber nice but in a rush because it was past 10PM and everyone wanted to go home after a long day of performance. Can’t blame them, but I appreciated them taking the time out to sign our playbills. They didn’t have to, but they were gracious enough to. We talked a bit with Joey Slotnick (there has to definitely be a 6 degrees of him for NYC, because apparently people I know have seen him around Manhattan, but I never did until that night). He was nice though, in a rush, but took time to chat with us both. We told him that we seen him on The Nanny, and he was like, “wow that long ago?” Hope that didn’t make him feel too old, maybe more accomplished. I, on the other hand, felt old. Remember how I said I was a bag of awkward? Yeah. So after everyone was pretty much gone, except two ladies who were I guess enjoying the scene of an empty street, Clark Gregg came outside. Hands down, nice guy. Apparently fedoras must be really in, because everyone’s been sporting them. Again, bag of awkward. Self deprecating humor doesn’t really work out sometimes when you’re nervous. It just makes you look like a weirdo. Sister Dear was much better conversationalist, and she even took our picture! Have to say though, at least I’m a much better camera wielder. Yes an awkward person with a camera, that usually floats on over really nicely.

Somewhat old-timey looking pic takes away the crazy in my eyes.

Signed Playbill! Bucket list one step closer to completion.

Afterwards against our better judgement, we decided to fight the wave of tourists along 42nd Street from 8th Ave to Broadway to see what they have set up for New Years Eve. Since the NYPD put down huge cement blocks, the bottlenecked the pedestrian traffic so it was even more of a sardine can-fest than usual. For the most part it looked alright, a lot of people, a lot of lights. I did like how the recruitment center on Military Island changed from the florescent tubing American flag to an LED version.

LED flag on Military Island

Typical touristy pic of the NYPD building, or so that's what Sister Dear called me.

We lucked out on the train, had somewhat of a bag scare when someone left their bookbag at Utica, and the police picked it up at Broadway Junction. Nothing as exciting as the brown sugar bag scare at the Comic Con, but it did wake me up from my Baldur’s Gate induced stupor.

Didn’t really feel like eating actual dinner so nomnomnom’d on the last three Macau Egg Tarts.


Happy New Years!

“Nervous Nellie” Sim Picture – Judith’s Sim Blog – Rumby Legacy 5.3