My Real Life

February 2, 2015

Mamma Mia!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am


Since I was a kid, there are very few things in life that move me as much as seeing a Broadway show.

Even a show that isn’t fantastic just (to quote Monkey Girl) gives me the feels.

We live about 45 minutes west of NYC, and even still, I haven’t been to that many shows, which is a real shame, but they are incredibly cost prohibitive, and as an adult, I have four children and that’s time prohibitive.

I saw a lot of shows when I was younger and my parents were paying.

I’ve seen Phantom three times.

I’ve seen Les Miserables six.

I’ve seen Annie twice, once in the 80’s and once a few years ago, thanks to a generous invite from one of Monkey Girl’s friends.

My parents took me to see Cats, as a kid, and they both fell asleep until some of those Jellicle cats came out and perched on the edge of my Dad’s seat and scared the bejesus out of him.

Real Man and I saw Smokey Joe’s cafe with my parents, sat front row center, and my incredibly introverted Real Man inadvertently became part of the show, complete with a boa.

I saw Movin’ Out with Erin, which was INCREDIBLE.

And, a few years ago, I saw Mamma Mia with Erin, Kim, and Michaela…all born in the 70’s…all girls who know their Abba.

So, for an early birthday gift for Monkey Girl, Real Man and I bought tickets (through Broadway’s awesome 2-for-1 deal) to see Mamma Mia.

She really wanted to see Wicked, but guess what show sold out first?

Mamma Mia was her second choice, but she was thrilled and grateful and overwhelmed, because that’s the kinda kid she is.

So, she and I headed in on the train and the fun began.


I should mention that it was cold and the ground was covered in snow on the day we went in, so we were all bundled up.

Well, I was all bundled up.

Monkey Girl decided that she would wear capri jeans with flats.

Because “that’s all she had.”

I offered to loan her some of my boots and shoes, but they were too small, and by the time we were leaving, she said there were no other options and that her winter boots were ugly and she wasn’t wearing them.

I didn’t agree, but that was a battle I wasn’t going to fight.

As the parent of a teenager, sometimes the only way they will realize you are always right is to let them experience being wrong.

Even if it’s a very uncomfortable wrong.


On the train, we talked and she filmed the first piece of her Vlog assignment for her french class.

One take and she was done.

Or not…

Our plan was simple.

We’d head into Penn Station and walk to John’s Pizzeria…one of my favorite places to eat in the city.

I had called ahead and they had told me that we didn’t need reservations for a party under 15 people and had assured me that during the time in which we were arriving, we would have no trouble getting a table.

So, we arrived and…no tables and a one hour wait.

That would put us late for the show, so we decided to try Carmine’s, down the street.

And, as you can imagine…they weren’t accepting people without reservations.

So, we decided to hit the Hard Rock.

Monkey Girl was not excited, as she had her heart set on pasta, but time was ticking away and we were starving, so she agreed to give it a try, because I was not taking my girl to McDonald’s on her big night.

They gave us a wait time of 30 minutes, and we figured we could make that work.

We walked around and looked at the memorabilia and chatted.

I made her take a picture of me next to Adam Levine’s guitar and picture because…Adam Levine.


She was a little apprehensive while looking at the menu, so I decided that this would be the perfect time to introduce her to some haute cuisine.

Potato skins.

If it wasn’t so loud in there, the noises coming from our table as we devoured those potato skins could possibly have gotten us thrown out, but her education in the world of appetizers was a success, and she was on board.

With each song that came on, I fascinated (bored) her with tales of the artists.

Like the time I chatted with Joan Jett on a plane on the way to San Antonio to see my friend, Mark.

Okay…maybe chatted is a bit of an exaggeration.

We head nodded to each other as I moved past her in first class.

I like to think it was as memorable for her as it was for me.

I took this shot of her next to the Black Sabbath guitar because it was right at our table, and she wasn’t too keen on posing with Billy Joel’s motorcycle.

Which is crazy.


It’s a great shot of my girl.

But, upon closer inspection, we found that it’s an even greater shot of the woman behind her, who did not appear to enjoy the fact that she was being immortalized in our family photos forever.


We found it interesting that they followed up Joan Jett with “Let it Go” and then moved to Marilyn Manson, but applauded the fact that they were engaging a larger audience, and couldn’t help but notice the fact that at least one person at each table sang along with “Let it Go,” while a far smaller audience mouthed the words to most of the other selections.

A little girl of about 7 actually stood up and sang, standing next to her table and sang the whole thing…arm motions and all.

Gotta love that enthusiasm.

Our waiter, who was being shadowed by a trainee, asked us what show we were seeing, and then told his trainee to leave.

She was confused, but she left, and he then proceeded to lower his voice and tell us how he and Bradley Cooper are BFF’s.

Well, they WERE BFF’s, but they haven’t seen each other in years, but he was going to see him in The Elephant Man and was going to surprise him backstage.

Well, maybe not backstage because it’s a surprise and Brad won’t know he’s coming and may not give him permission, so maybe he’d surprise him outside the theater after the show.

But, they definitely are BFF’s.

I don’t know about you, but I smell a stalker.

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Then…the show.

Genetics run strong in that girl, because, although she looks exactly like her father, her emotions come from her Mama.

I have never been to a Broadway show where I haven’t cried my way through the overture at the sheer excitement of being there.

I turned to her, halfway through the overture and saw the matching tears on her cheeks.


Amazing show, once again, and after it was over, on the way to the train, we talked about which of our friends would be which characters, if the show was about our lives, our Broadway dreams, and, most importantly…she finally admitted she was, maybe, a little cold.

But only a little.

On the train ride home, she got a crash course in drunk people on a train, which, incidentally, would be an excellent Twitter hashtag, and she made a time-lapse video of the sights outside our window.

We got home and she thanked Real Man and I profusely for a wonderful experience, and I think we both had a hard time falling asleep for the wonder of it all.



Imagine being lucky enough to have your job be to sing your heart out in front of an audience night after night after night.


Imagine being lucky enough to be able to spend some quality time with your daughter in the midst of deadlines and due dates and paperwork and four children and life.

Even better.

1 Comment »

  1. I absolutely LOVED that play. Saw it about 10 years ago on Broadway and was crying throughout the entire show. But good tears!!

    Comment by Snarkfest — February 2, 2015 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

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