Some day I'm going to go to New York and just spend an entire weekend taking photos of places that have songs written about them.

In the heart of little old New York,
You'll find a thoroughfare.
It's the part of little old New York
That runs into Times Square.
A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built,
If you've got a little time to spare,
I want to take you there.

Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I'm taking you to,
Forty-Second Street.
Hear the beat of dancing feet,
It's the song I love the melody of,
Forty-Second Street.

Each time we go to New York, we tend to select a different theme for the weekend. Brushes with celebrity, seeing every museum in the entire city, eating our way from upper to lower Manhattan (oh, wait, that's EVERY trip to New York)...

This trip, the theme was shows. In less than three days, we saw six shows. Which is not really that impressive when you run the numbers, unless you consider that we did a lot of other stuff too. Plus, I could totally have fit one more in there somewhere, I'm sure of it. The first we saw was the revival of La Cage Aux Folles, with Kelsey Grammar. This one was at the Longacre Theatre. We saw Avenue Q here in on a previous trip and I love how small and intimate this theater feels. There really isn't a bad seat. It's become one of my favorite venues on Broadway and I would much rather drive to New York and see something here than stay in D.C. to attend the same play at the Kennedy Center or the National Theater where you watch tiny specs dancing on stage from the cheap seats which may or may not be stage hands. (And let's face it, cheap seats are all I'm ever really gonna be able to afford.) I loved The Birdcage; the performances in that movie I think are some the funniest ever filmed, but I'd never actually seen La Cage, weirdly enough. Kelsey Grammar was entertaining (though I wouldn't classify him as a singer and he was pretty much playing Frasier onstage) and Douglas Hodge was hilarious. Robin de Jesus was great, but I couldn't really support his version of Jacob, because I was constantly comparing it to Hank Azaria's Agadore Sparticus. Unfair, I know. What can I say? The real scene stealers, though, were the chorus girls.

The way we fit six plays into three days without it breaking the bank was by hitting the NYC Fringe Festival. What is the Fringe Festival, you ask? Well they have them all over the world. D.C. even has one. It's a great way to see local talent and outside the mainstream theater, but I won't always guarantee the quality of the events you'll see. We saw one really entertaining play, one that looked funny but really ended up being an attempt at social commentary in the form of a two-hour conversation between two people, and one... well... I still haven't figured out what that was. That's the allure of the Fringe Festival, you never know what you're gonna get.

We also managed to find some improv entertainment in the form of Amy Poehller's Upright Citizens Brigade. The show we happened to see was one where they interview someone in the audience about their dysfunctional family members and events and then do improvised sketch comedy about you for the entertainment of all who have come to see. Let's just say we're planning to go back to that one... with a prepared list.

The last play we saw was one I've been excited for since I first heard they were working on it: The Addams Family. I'm a huge fan of Charles Addams' cartoons and watched the TV show religiously in syndication. So that was a plus. I'd read a few pretty mediocre reviews of the show, but honestly, I've seen Nathan Lane live before and I don't care if he's just going on stage to do a dramatic reading his tax return, I'll pay money to see that. Lane, was, as expected brilliant. Bebe Neuwirth, who I'm also a big fan of, was great. (We had tried to see David Hyde Pierce in Curtains to accomplish the Cast-of-Frasier-hat-trick, but it had closed the month before - sadness.) The whole thing was thoroughly entertaining, new and nostalgic all at the same time - despite the Ugly American-type tourist sitting behind us who talked too loud and cackled in my ear through the first half. (Not to imply that she stopped during the second half; we changed seats at intermission.) I've often thought going to the theater and concerts would be so much more entertaining if I could only get them to perform the shows for me alone without all those annoying people sharing my personal space in the hall.

Now that we've done a museum weekend, a political humor weekend, candy store weekend and a theater weekend, restaurant week weekend, I'm not sure what else there is to do in NYC. Strip clubs, maybe?