What Matt and Paul Thought of On the Town

Written by | Entertainment

Last Thursday, Metrosource editors Paul Hagen and Matt Gurry saw On the Town on Broadway.

The strapping cast. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

By Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the 1944 musical is about three horny sailors with 24 hours to get laid in New York. And there’s dancing! A revival is now playing Broadway’s Lyric Theatre. Without once using the word “helluva,” here’s what Paul and Matt thought:

Lesson of the Show:
MATT: Ladies, you really need to reconsider the fascinator.
PAUL: If you’re worried that modern audiences aren’t sophisticated enough to appreciate three hours of pantomime ballet, send in Jackie Hoffman every few scenes to wake them up.

New Yorkiest Moment:
MATT: “Lonely Town.” In what dumb city can you live on top of 8 million people and consistently feel so alone?
PAUL: That was also the most high-school theateriest moment as the cast gathered in the aisles to sing along. However, unlike high school theater they were, you know, on key. My New Yorkiest moment would be a toss-up between the wild cab ride featuring a full-stage video game style animation of careening through Manhattan and the subway rides, which reminded one why they have announcements today like, “A crowded subway car is no excuse for inappropriate sexual contact.”

Tony Yazbeck sings "Lonely Town," originally titled "Matt Logs On to OKCupid." (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Gayest Moment:
MATT: “Paul! OMG! I think Tyne Daly is sitting two rows back.”
PAUL: The 1,001 gay jokes. I particularly appreciated the visual ones, in which gayness was telegraphed through aggressive mincing and ambitious sweater/shirt color combos.

Second Gayest Moment:
MATT: Jackie Hoffman’s bow, when Paul screamed the loudest yasss in the history of yassses.
PAUL: “I forgot. Tyne Daly has gray hair now. Wait — was she Cagney or Lacey? I know the other one was Sharon Gless.”

The Costumes Were:
PAUL: Guys and Dolls meets West Side Story.
MATT: Not available for purchase in the lobby 🙁

Biggest Letdown:
PAUL: The bathroom line was handled with a military precision that prevented the exchanging of meaningfully lingering looks with fellow audience members in the queuing.
MATT: It wasn’t Tyne Daly.

I Was Perplexed By:
PAUL: The fact that “Gabey” was at no time used to refer to the child of a same-sex couple.
MATT: Finding that a Bing search of “on the town you got me” brings up so much gay porn. And Samantha Jones.

Most Effective Way to Get Jackie Hoffman to Notice You:
PAUL: Scream until you injure yourself during curtain call. Tweet about it. Wait breathlessly for her to notice.

MATT: Call her Beyoncé.

Themed Supper Club Where Jackie Hoffman Should Be the Entertainment:
MATT: Earl’s. They only serve tea. And it closes at 9pm. No children.
PAUL: New York’s Hottest Club is “Stop Making Out in Front of Me.” This former Boston Market turned 24/7 foam party has everything – piercing stations, a courtesy bottom, Jackie Hoffman in a progression of increasingly architectural wigs, and Human Barber Poles – it’s that thing of where you take a pale, tweaked-out twink and stand him on a turntable near someone with an open wound.

I Would Love To See [BLANK] in the Role of [BLANK]:
MATT: Hedda Lettuce in the role of Miss Turnstiles.
PAUL: Adam Lambert in the role of Gabey. Oh, and me as the busty taxi driver Hildy, of course.

Megan Fairchild is a great Miss Turnstiles, but might a green-haired drag queen with no ballet training be better? We're all thinking it. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Other Service Corps Who Need Dance Musicals:
PAUL: The Peace Corps Musical — now serving Bollywood realness.
MATT: The MTA: “the people wait in a hole in the [inaudible muffles].”

Moment in Your Life Most in Need of an Extended Ballet Sequence:
PAUL: That moment when you realize your soul-raping New Year’s Day hangover has passed.
MATT: Any day in the office when Paul is hungover.

Megan Fairchild and Tony Yazbeck in one of the many glorious extended ballets. Our fact checker could not confirm if they were hungover here. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Member of the Opposite Sex You Most Want to Ballet-Box:
MATT: Helen Mirren. In her coronation gown from The Audience. She can also wear one if she wants.
PAUL: P!nk. She’d knock me the hell out, and I am totally okay with that.

If “Come Up to My Place” Were Written in 2015:
Chip: “I want to go to Chelsea so that I can see the gayborhood!”
Hildy: “The gayborhood?”
Chip: “The gayborhood!”
Hildy: “The neighbors all complained and made the place urbane.”
Chip: “Take me to the Lower East Side so I can see the bar The Hole!”
Hildy: “The bar The Hole?”
Chip: “The bar The Hole!”
Hildy: “But that place was no longer rockin’ — they closed The Hole and brought The Cock in.” #truestory

Jay Armstrong Johnson and Alysha Umphress sing the 1944 lyrics to "Come Up to My Place," which use the word "cock" less. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

On the Town plays Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, 213 W 42nd St.

Last modified: March 9, 2018