On Sunday afternoon, we got to enjoy one of the presents that I bought my boyfriend for Christmas (ostensibly for him, but really for me): tickets to see the latest Broadway incarnation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf

First things first … MAN, was that cool!

Okay, now on to the details.  My boyfriend and I actually saw a version of this show years ago when we were first dating, and that version starred Kathleen Turner as Martha!  So between that Broadway version and my beloved film version starring Elizabeth Taylor and (*SIGH*) Richard Burton, any version I see from now on has very big shoes to fill.   But the latest Broadway version, which stars Tracy Letts and Amy Morton as George and Martha and Madison Dirks and  Carrie Coon as the couple who come by to visit, is also astounding.  The first few minutes of watching the play are difficult for me, as I will always compare them against the film and think, “Richard Burton would have said it THAT way” and “Elizabeth Taylor emphasized the line THAT way.”  But after about five minutes, that comparison wears away and I become immersed in the story all over again.  There are several key differences between the movie and the play, and because I know the movie better, the play is always new for me.  And yet, in any medium I ALWAYS cry at the end of the story.  And watching George and Martha looking tired and broken on my TV screen is one thing, but seeing them from (literally) ten feet away on a Broadway stage clenches at my heart even harder.

Live theater has its highs and lows, as always.  Okay, I get irritated every time I hear someone cough, or start whispering to their neighbor, or start whispering to ME.  [Honestly, lady, listening devices are available in the lobby.  I am NOT going to destroy my enjoyment of this show by repeating the lines to you!]  But seeing a live show also has its perks.  During the second intermission, I heard the people behing me saying whisper whisper whisper Philip Seymour Hoffman whisper whisper.  So I turned around, and … there he was!  Philip Seymour Hoffman!  Sitting across the aisle a few rows behind us!  HOW FRIGGING COOL!!!  So I made sure that my boyfriend saw him, too, and then we basked in the knowledge that there was a celebrity sitting a stone’s throw away from us.  But that was it; we didn’t bother him, or anything.  I mean, what was I going to say?  “What did you think of the show?”  “Are you seeing this show to prepare for a film or theater role?” “Hey, I loved you in Capote!”  Anyway, we were good New Yorkers, which means that we quietly check out celebrities and then we LEAVE THEM ALONE.

So anyway, the show ended and then we made our way to the Shake Shack to get some treats to lift my spirits back up after my cry-fest.  We got some burgers and fries to take home, as well as some dark hot chocolate to enjoy on the way home.  Okay, it doesn’t have the same sublime level of delight as their Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (note to Shake Shack: PLEASE bring back your salted peanut butter hot chocolate!!!), but the Dark Hot Chocolate was both delicious and soothing to my body and my soul.