This post is about two events: A Backstage Tour of the METROPOLITAN OPERA and lunch beforehand at the ultra-soignee Lincoln Center restaurant LINCOLN (the one with the grass patch on top!) on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20th and a family / couples outing to BELMONT RACE TRACK on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26th. There are a few additional notes at the very end of the post.
OPERATIC: Did your Mother ever say to you, probably when you were about 13 or so…”Stop, being so operatic !” This usually came on the heels of some adolescent eye-rolling, foot-stomping, moaning, bed-flouncing drama – but you got the point. You were over-the-top in the emotive department. Well, so it goes with all aspects of opera – not just with the performers – but in everything that is done to enhance and enlarge moments on-stage. Using scale, color, light, materials, sleight of hand and symbolism – the stagecraft behind opera is intrinsic to the experience because the extreme nature of it captures (some say, enslaves) your attention and demands that you leave reality behind. Movies use computers, soundboards, technology (good ol’ CGI), editing wizardry and gargantuan budgets to pump up the volume and envelop you – but opera does it the (mostly) old-fashioned way with overwhelming human artistry – set shops, prop builders, costumers, hair and make-up artists … and they do it over and over again, year after year.
And in our backyard, there’s that not-so little cottage industry called THE METROPOLITAN OPERA OF NEW YORK and, thanks to MWC Member Eloise Reddy the MWC is going to take one of the best backstage tours in the world. Seeing what goes on behind-the-scenes (yes, this year’s theme!) with all its vastness and skill and exactitude makes you appreciate what goes on on-stage even more. It’s a great opportunity to see the scene and carpentry shops, rehearsal rooms, and the stage area – looking out ! It’s also a lovely reminder to us all that magic is made – by people a lot like us. DETAILS: All MWC Members on the email list will be sent a payment link for the 3 pm tour – for those of you who want to join the group for lunch at 1 pm, capacity will be limited and spaces allocated on a first-come (RSVP)-first served basis.
ANOTHER OTHER-WORLDLY EXPERIENCE – OF A DIFFERENT TYPE: When’s the last time you went to the races? It tends to be an activity which attracts people at extremes of the social spectrum – either track touts and gamblers or horse owners and their hangers-on who relish “the sport of kings” (or queens, as in Queen Elizabeth II – perhaps the world’s most famous racehorse owner). But it’s a lot of fun for those of us in the middle who are unlikely to ever be regulars – and Belmont Park closes for the Fall on Oct 27th …. so we thought maybe we should try to go the day before, on Saturday, October 26th. There are so many aspects of going to the track which are interesting that it makes for a great, invigorating day: poring over the arcana of the Daily Racing Form, checking out the horses and the jockeys in the paddock, tracking the pre-race betting and scratches on the tote board, giving your betting superstitions full reign. And, then, in a set of literally pounding moments the race is on – and over ! So, yes, this is a tad late – but if you and your family and friends would like to get together for a day at the track, please, as soon as possible, send an RSVP email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “BELMONT” in the subject line – and if enough of us want to go we will quickly organize the outing. It may be a tailgate-ish picnic (there’s a very nice area at Belmont) or we may just go to one of the restaurants – we’ll figure it out.
MWC’s BIG FOUR: There are four events which have been on the MWC list for awhile that we just don’t seem able to arrange. – Which is saying something because the women in this group are helpful and well-connected and, generally, we get to do just about, well, everything. BUT, what we have not been able to do and now are sending out an all-counts, all-hands bulletin to get some help with are the following: 1) GOODYEAR BLIMP (OK, any blimp) – wouldn’t that be cool?, 2) a meal at RAO’s – the real one, uptown at 114th St and Pleasant Avenue (near Costco), 3) OPENING BELL at the Stock Exchange, and 4) the phantom CITY HALL SUBWAY STATION – there are tours of this but you either have to belong to the NYTransit Museum (and they won’t let you join as a group) or pay $10,000 to bring a group. So, if anyone of you can help us arrange to do any of these things – it will be much appreciated!
Speaking of Lunch: The MWC is starting a new group which will meet regularly called, THE LUNCH BUNCH. The point of this is to get together about once a month to try a new restaurant or new cuisine. MWC Member and General Enthusiast Kathleen Espinoza has volunteered to arrange the first one – as soon as the end of this month or soon thereafter. Organizing duties will rotate within the group on a monthly basis and will include arranging a reservation (some restaurants may limit capacity), payment and coordinating with MWC members. Interested? Pls. send in an email with “Lunch Bunch” in the subject line and you’ll be sent additional details and be included in the kick-off !