Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Princeton Day Trip to Run a "Gatz" Marathon - Part I

PJ's Pancake House, buckwheat pancakes, Princeton Record Exchange, McCarter Theatre
As I pulled into Princeton Junction on NJ Transit, I gazed at the autumn trees unadorned and unashamed...waiting like me for spring to return. I located the "Dinky" shuttle and made my way to Princeton to experience the Elevator Repair Service's Gatz at the McCarter Theatre.

For sustenance, I had a large breakfast comprised of buckwheat pancakes and eggs at PJ Pancake House. As I then walked to the Princeton Record Exchange, I spotted on an outdoor sale table at Labyrinth Books Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and wondered if I should purchase it...give it another chance and read the play this time since I found the Broadway production earlier this year absolutely boring. In the end I passed.

At Princeton Record Exchange, I picked up several cheap used CDs including the soundtrack from the motion picture film Once (in preparation for the hit I am sure the adapted Once A New Musical will be when it hits Broadway in February 2012), a Cy Coleman compilation The Best is Yet to Come featuring pop singers such as Fiona Apple, et al, an import of the actual The Million Dollar Quartet, and the 1980 Broadway cast recording of 42nd Street. More CDs I am sure will not have a chance to enjoy. I then strolled on to the theater.

Before the house opened at the McCarter Theatre, a gentleman asked his theater companion why they chose to come to a production that was so long. The companion thought that it would be different. I secretly hoped the evening worked out for them, since the gentleman did not look happy. As I took my seat, a young woman to my left - perhaps a student - pulled out a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I could see notes scribbled throughout the novel. How cute! I remember those days.

As I browsed through the program, I took note that F. Scott Fitzgerald attended Princeton university but never graduated. He left to serve in the army in 1917. So I thought, here I am at Princeton, where the author attended some eight years before publishing the novel I was about to see read and dramatized on the stage.

Please, please - let the show begin...

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