Rocking out of a Rut

There is a fine line between a ritual and a rut, and I’m not sure I know the difference. The thing is, I like rituals. I like knowing that if it’s Wednesday at 10:00 pm, I’m watching “Damages” and that if it’s Saturday afternoon, I’m walking in the park. Tuesday afternoons are for trying on clothes. Having half an English muffin with peanut butter and honey while watching an episode and a half of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” helps me sleep, though lately I’ve been wondering if reading would be more relaxing. But the time I clock on my sofa sometimes feel less like a ritual and more like a rut—write a little, check my favorite websites, send an e-mail, play Super Text Twist. “Barefoot Contessa,” evening news, evening shows. Ritual or rut?

Late Friday afternoon when I got a message from my new friend J while I was on the phone with my oldest (in longevity not years) friend Nish, I decided that getting off the couch and accepting J’s last minute invitation to a play was the right thing to do. Saying no seemed like staying in a rut.

It’s not like I didn’t have plans for the evening. After all, it’s Friday. Friday means “BSG” while IMing with two long-distance friends. Fond as I am of them, I’ve spent too much time at home with long-distance friends, so, with 16 minutes notice, I went from yoga pants to the only outfit that currently fits (everything else is too big) to the train across the street from my apartment and to New York City to see “Rooms: A Rock Romance. “ Now, I love musicals. LOVE them, but I’m not so into the so-called “rock musical.” And the idea of “Rent” meets “Spring Awakening” was not as appealing as my sofa. J is cool and fun, though, and the tickets were free, and I didn’t realize how cold it was outside, so off I went.

Get this: the show was fantastic! It was so great that even though I had to pee rather desperately through more than half of it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The story feels a bit predictable, but Leslie Kritzer as Monica is irresistible. Think early Barbara Streisand but cuter. As a “Scottish Jewish Princess” determined to make her mark as a rock star, I had no problem believing how effortlessly she seduces Ian (Doug Kreeger) out of one room into another, in London and then in New York, but I hope in future shows that Kreeger can find another note to play—not musically as he has a lovely voice but in his character. Nuance matters as much as a Scottish accent, and I left the show wondering why this charming, ambitious woman could get so attached to a man who is so obviously not what she deser….oh, never mind. I get it. Art imitates life.

The “rock” part of the romance was perfect. I suspect that a lot of hip, young New Yorkers will be singing those songs in the future. I’m happy to have them lingering in my head, even the morning after the show.

The show was in previews (thus the free tickets), but it opens on March 16. If I see it a few more times while it be a new ritual or a musical rut?


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