Tumblr, meet Ares.

Two weeks ago, Justin and I went to Koneko Cat Cafe on the LES to meet a cat named Sammy who seemed like he’d be an awesome fit for Playbill. He’d been at the cafe the longest, and I felt bad for him because he was (is) super adorable. We arrived to hear that an application for him had just been approved but we were hurried in nevertheless and introduced to a four-and-a-half-year-old Tabby named Ares. We fell in love as he licked the dried tuna treats off our fingers and stared at us with his permanently grumpy face and said OK. I filled out an application and we picked him up from the UWS Petco last Sunday.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to integrate him into my apartment with Playbill, but it’s been a process. We were told to let her smell him in his carrier when we got home and we did. And she hissed so we rushed him into the bedroom, let him out of the carrier, and he immediately fell asleep on my bed.

Playbill’s area of the apartment has always been the living room, so he obviously gets the bedroom. He has his own food bowls, cat tree, and litter box in there. Justin stayed over most of the week to keep him company in the bedroom while I slept out on the couch with Playbill, so she’d know I was still here and she wasn’t alone, or being replaced. 

We bought a baby gate this weekend and that’s been helping. I try to feed them both at the same time on opposite sides of the gate and I always close the door when I leave the apartment. I have a (clean) sock that I will occasionally rub on Ares and then give to Playbill to smell. Oh, and I’m also using Jackson Galaxy’s ‘Stress Stopper’ serum. 

Playbill is still stressed, but Ares is a big loaf. He came from the cat cafe where he dealt with other cats all the time so he is not phased by her very occasional hissing. He will literally fall over and sleep anywhere (okay, mostly the bed right now). We might rename him Loaf, but his grumpy face just says ‘God of War,’ right?

So, it’s an ongoing process. If you have any stories to share, I’d LOVE to hear them! 

PS: If you’re looking for a cat, Sammy’s application sadly fell through and he’s still available for adoption through Anjellicle Cats! He was a sweet and active little kitty.

And next time on Broadway…

I went through Playbill’s list recently and there are a ton of plays, and some interesting new musicals coming up (as of yesterday) this season. So, here goes in case you missed it, because I definitely (almost) did, your next theatre season will include….

Anastasia – 1st prev. 4/24/17 – Even though they changed this quite a bit from the animated movie, I’m still excited for this. If not just for the costumes and the score. Between this and The Great Comet, there is a heavy Russian-vibe to this season in musicals so far.

A Bronx Tale the Musical – 1st prev. 11/3/16 – I went to the final dress rehearsal of the play based on A Bronx Tale in 2007, but the musical version should be interesting. It’s based on the movie, obviously. 

The Cherry Orchard – 1st prev. 9/15/16, RTC – I’m not a Chekov fan. But this has a pretty awesome cast with Chuck Cooper, Tavi Gevinson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, etc.

Come From Away – 1st prev. 2/18/17 – Interesting premise, awesome cast: Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, Rodney Hicks. I saw a production photo today and it looks like the second incarnation of Once

Dear Evan Hansen – 1st prev. 11/14/16 – I kicked myself for not catching this off-Broadway at Second Stage, but I’ll definitely see it this time around. Jennifer Laura Thompson is back!

The Encounter – 1st prev. 9/20/16 – So this will be on Broadway. I know nothing more. 

Falsettos – 1st prev. 9/29/16 – This show is fine. It’s sad. It’s moving. I guess it’s an appropriate time for it to be revived. Great cast: Stephanie Block, Andrew Rannells, and Christian Borle.

The Front Page – 1st prev. 9/20/16 – Jefferson Mays! John Goodman. John Slattery. Nathan Lane. So seeing this!

The Glass Menagerie – 1st prev. 2/14/17 – I don’t know why this is being revived again so soon after an exquisite revival a couple of years ago but Finn Wittrock, from The Big Short, is in it!

Heisenberg – MTC – 1st prev. 9/20/16 – This doesn’t really sound interesting but you know who is interesting? Mary Louise Parker. 

Hello Dolly – 1st prev. 3/15/17 – I guess it’ll be nice to see this show live? Bette Midler and David Hyde Pearce are in this, which I guess is nice. I’m not really excited though.

Holiday Inn – 1st prev. 9/1/16, RTC – I’d go see this solely for Bryce Pinkham because he is lovely.

In Transit – 1st prev. 11/10/16 – This sounds really cliche and bad. I’m not sure you could pay me to see this. 

Jitney – MTC – 12/28/16 – August Wilson! Yay! 

Les Liaisons Dangereuses – 1st prev. 10/8/16 – Liev Schreiber! 

The Little Foxes – MTC – 1st prev. 3/29/17 Laura Linney AND Cynthia Nixon? Sign me up. 

Miss Saigon – 1st prev. 3/1/17 – I’m so excited for this. I saw the original production when I was 10, maybe 11. I loved it. It’s about time this is back with all the shit that’s seen revivals recently.

The Great Comet – 1st prev. 10/18/16 – Like I’ve said before, this show is great and I’m excited to see it on Broadway. 

Oslo – LCT 1st prev. 3/23/17 – Also kicking myself for not seeing this off-Broadway. Michael Aranov is great.

The Present – 1st prev. 12/17/16 – More Chekov! This time with Kate Blanchet. Still not excited for Chekov. 

The Prince – RTC – 1st prev. 2/16/17 – I don’t know what this is about, but John Tuturro!! After my fandom of The Night Of, I will certainly be seeing this.

Significant Other – 1st prev. 2/14/17 – I need to know who had money to burn because they can buy me a bigger apartment next time instead of bringing the Most Depressing Modern Play Ever Written to Broadway. Excited for Gideon Glick, who is adorable, but this play should stick to a small theatre. This way only small amounts of people can commit mass suicide when the curtain falls.

And that’s it (for now) folks. Happy theatre-ing! 

Firsts

I finally handled a possible medical issue with my cat calmly. It was a miracle.

On Tuesday night, after I put my cat down on her cat tower, I noticed there was a little bug on my shoulder. It could’ve come off my cat, for sure. It fell off my shoulder and I bent down to look for it. I found out and tried to balance it on my finger and take a photo of it to send to the vet (because I’m crazy). Unfortunately it fell again and I wasn’t able to find it again so I vacuumed the area.

Then I Googled what a flea looked like. It looked like the bug that I had been balancing on my finger. Then I called the vet. 

I calmly explained to the nurse who answered the phone that I had been administering the anti-flea medicine every month, as prescribed. I told her that I brushed her regularly, albeit with the Furminator and not a flea brush, and wasn’t seeing any fleas. And also that I checked the skin on her neck and didn’t see any fleas or flea feces. 

The nurse told me that if I have been giving her the flea medicine regularly, and if it was in fact a flea, it was on it’s way to die and not to worry. She also suggested that it could’ve been something other than a flea. 

I kept checking her neck periodically throughout the night and giving her extra pets. But I was proud. Mostly of myself. For not losing my shit. #firsts

This is Playbill’s “calm the fuck down, human” face.

Subway Anxiety

Sometimes when I’m almost home, like a couple of stops on the train away, I get anxious.

I get anxious and think: “I hope my cat is okay.” (There’s no reason she should not be.) “I hope the train doesn’t break down. What if it does?” (If it does, I could walk I’m so close.) “It’s so hot out. I really hope I don’t have to walk home if the train breaks down.” (Shut up.)

And on, and on, and on. 

I’ve never gotten anxious when I’m far away from home. Maybe that’s because I’m nowhere near it and so worrying is futile. Or I know someone is with Playbill, so no need to worry. I don’t know. I don’t know why I get so anxious when I’m so close to home I could (if I really wanted to) walk rest of the and it would take 20 minutes, max.

But yesterday, around 79th Street, I noticed it and instead of stewing in the anxiety and feeding it, I began to breathe into it and ask why I was feeling this way. I felt it and let it go. I told myself I’d be home soon. 

And it worked. It was nice. I got home and Playbill was fine. I was fine. My night was relaxed because I didn’t let the anxiety of my subway ride take over. 

The Cat I Wanted

image

Here she is keeping the package that my jeans came in warm. She’s so thoughtful. 

When I had toyed with the idea of adopting a cat, I thought I’d get one that loved to be picked up, would sit on my lap all the time (even though this would, after sometime, get annoying), and love to have her belly rubbed. Basically a cat that was really affectionate. 

I’m pretty sure I could tell that Playbill was none of those things when I went to have a one-on-one play session with her at Petco before she came home to my apartment. I mean, maybe it was the fact that I was a stranger and she wasn’t doing well living in a box at Petco, or it was just her personality not to run up to you and jump into your arms. But she’d stuck her paw out of the cage at J and I the previous Sunday and she really needed a good home. And she was so fucking cute.

So, I couldn’t say no. And home with me she came.

I kept thinking that was she still depressed when she wouldn’t sit on my lap and always liked to sit on the chair across from where I usually sit in my living room. She usually slept a lot. She basically acted like a skeptical, stand-offish cat. I remember telling my therapist these things and he said, “It sounds like she acts like her owner.How rude! But true. Touche. 

image

Cat with sass on her favorite bag.

Almost four months in and she still won’t sit on my lap – aside from the couple of times that I dared to sit in her chair. She came up to me and pawed at my stomach until I got up – shaming me, I guess, to get out of her chair. 

image

Sleeping in said chair. 

And she doesn’t love to be picked up. She’s gotten a little better, but she really doesn’t love it. She’ll let me pick her up for a few seconds, to appease me, I suppose, and then she’ll start squirming and jump if I don’t put her down first. 

She still won’t sleep on my bed with me. She’ll lay in the corner of my bed with me while I read and then once I turn the lights out, she’s gone. Her job is done so she can leave, I suppose? There are hedgehogs and fish to be hunted in the living room. Very important.

And her belly? Usually off limits, but she’s sometimes willing to compromise on that. If she’s rolling around on my bed playing with a toy and I start rubbing her belly. About 60% of the time she’ll swat at me, but sometimes she’ll let me give her a belly rub with a look on her face that says, “Okay, fine, just this once. But make it quick. OK, that’s enough. God, the things I do to make you happy.

So, she’s not the cat that I envisioned myself adopting, but she’s the one who won me over and she’s 8 (48 in human years) so I can’t change her. I could torture her and try to get her to act a certain way that I think she should act towards me, but that’ll make her miserable and in return, I’ll be miserable, too. 

So, the only thing to do is accept her for the kind of cat she is. She’s not super affectionate and doesn’t like being picked up, but she’s adorable and I love her, so who she is is just fine.

This mindset also applies to people. If someone isn’t acting the way you’d like them to, they don’t have to change, but you do. Otherwise your attempts to manipulate and shame them into acting how you want will be met with anger and brick walls. I think this is something that a lot of people won’t accept or acknowledge. We’d all be a lot happier if we did though. That’s for damn sure. 

To end this on a positive note, here’s another picture of my adorable stand-offish cat:

image

A really, really, really restful weekend.

I needed this weekend. After seeing a ton of shows these past few weeks, I needed a weekend off from dealing with any plans. J and I went to one of his childhood friend’s weddings on Friday night in Westchester, but we managed to be home by midnight (somehow!). It was a really pretty, simple wedding on the small(ish) side and we both had an awesome time. 

Then a weekend of nothingness commenced. We slept in on Saturday until 10-ish and then ordered in from one of our favorite diners and ate ourselves into semi-hungover oblivion. We spent the rest of the day watching Hush and a couple of episodes of Silicon Valley. And after we went for a painful run (french toast is not a good primer for running, FYI) before stopping off to buy a new kind of wet food at Petco (which my cat will totally not eat and will barely look at it) and eventually ending up at a bar to refuel and watch a basketball game. I started to kind of understand how basketball works but mostly I just watched the guys running back and forth in between bites of my rice bowl.

We slept in again on Sunday (though I admittedly did not sleep in as late, and I used the extra time to write) and made eggs and chicken sausage (and coffee, duh) for breakfast and lounged around for the next few hours. We watched the documentary The True Cost, which is a horrifying expose about the price that the poorest in other countries pay so we can buy a $5 tank top at H&M. Result: I’m halting my long-time obsession with cheap shit at Old Navy and expensive-except-when-on-sale shit at Gap. I’m OK paying more for clothing as long as people aren’t dying to make it. /end rant

We made a plan to meet up at the movies after I went to a yoga class and we saw Captain America. This really should’ve been called “Avengers 3″ as it was not solely about Captain America at all. And it was really long. I enjoyed some parts but watching a bunch of characters that you know won’t be killed off fight gets old really quickly. 

The night ended with Game of Thrones, which I didn’t really pay attention to. When I did look at the screen, it looked like a medieval version of The Walking Dead

I also finally bought a Roomba and although Playbill didn’t know what to make of it, she did enjoy the box and I caught this adorable shot. She totally has Pixar eyes. 

A Theatre Date with Myself

So, I’ve been whittling away at the shows I need to see this season and when Tuck Everlasting came up for the Saturday matinee last weekend, I said why not. I knew it was based on a book (or a movie?) and it had a great cast (Terrance Mann, Carolee Carmello, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, etc). The summary on Playbill did not make it sound enticing though: “When Winnie Foster discovers the magical secret of the Tuck family, she embarks on an extraordinary adventure that will change her life forever.” Snooze. It sounded pretty damn boring. I was already committed though so there was no turning back. I was hooked up by TDF in the fourth row of the mezzanine with a great view. 

Playbill’s elevator pitch was accurate but the story (and show!) was actually a lot more interesting and entertaining than the pitch would let onto. When Winnie runs away, she meets the Tuck family who, 100 years earlier, accidentally drank from a spring in the forest that Winnie’s family owns and they are now immortal. 

Andrew Keenan-Bolgar plays Jesse Tuck, the 17-year-old son of Angus (Michael Park) and Mae (Carolee Carmello) Tuck and brother of Miles (Robert Lenzi). He tells Winnie (the incredible Sarah Charles Lewis) his families secret which is less than ideal for his family. After some conflict, Winnie has to decide whether or not to drink the water that Jesse has given her when she turns 17 and live forever with him.

Terrance Mann plays “Man in the Yellow Suit.” He’s a strange old man that can tell people’s ages by looking into their eyes. You can probably tell what happens and he goes after the Tuck family, though unsuccessfully. Mann has always been one of my favorites and he certainly didn’t disappoint with his supporting role in this show.

I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It was really sad at times and really funny during others. It had a lot of heart and was really heavy. The one thing that bugged me was the ensemble choreography in the first few numbers of the first act. Maybe it was where I was sitting, but it looked so sloppy. It got better from there though.

This entire cast is uniformly strong and meshes really well together.

The buzz is that this show won’t make it past Sunday, which is sad but what can you do? If you’re skeptical about whether or not to see Tuck Everlasting, I’d recommend giving it a shot. It could surprise you the same way it surprised me. 

My New Roommate

I’d like to introduce the cat I rescued a week ago. I’ve named her Playbill. She’s a small 8-year-old tuxedo cat that I met at a pet adoption event at Petco with an organization called Anjellicle Cats two weeks ago. When J and I met her, she stuck her paw out of the cage at us and we melted. She’d been living in Petco for the last month and was becoming depressed and on a hunger strike. I went back to play with her a few days later at Petco in a stress-free environment (i.e. there weren’t 200 people walking in and out) and I said FINE, I’ll adopt her. This was such a big decision because I’m 100% indecisive, always. After attending the required “new pet adopters” seminar the following Sunday, I paid the adoption fee and asked if they could drop her off the next night. 

A woman from the organization came by last Monday with her in a carrier and let her out and she instantly started running around and sniffing. She hopped on the couch and tried burrowing into the pillows. She ran under the couch and the bed (she cleaned under my bed by pushing out all of the dust bunnies, so thank you, kitty) for a bit.

J met her (again) on Thursday night when he came over and she is not afraid of strangers at all. Various friends met her on Saturday afternoon and she sat said her hellos and then just watched us from afar.

On Saturday J and I went to Petco and bought a scratching post, a bed, a brush, and a couple of toys to go with the ones that my mom sent a few days earlier. (Her favorite toy is still the catnip-filled hedgehog that I bought for her on Thursday!) She figured out what her bed was for in less than a day and claimed a pillow on my couch. She knows how to use her litter box perfectly and I applause whenever I see her using it (positive reinforcement, right?). She eats a ton and runs around the apartment and hasn’t scratched anything yet (knock on wood). 

On her first night, she woke me up once; on the second night she won’t me up twice and I got up to make sure everything was okay. I emailed Anjellicle to make sure her behavior was normal (it was) and they said, “This is her way of checking to make sure her new human is still there. When she meows at night, she’s saying, ‘New human, are you still there, new human?’” Awe. So, now if she meows in the middle of the night, I tell her I’m still here and that’s the end of it. She hasn’t woken me up in the last three nights though, so that’s nice (again, knock on wood). 

So overall, I’d say this was a great decision. It’s nice having an animal around and, as you can, she’s super adorable. 

My friend Ben put it best on Saturday why he, and myself as well, likes cats: “I realize that most of my friends are like cats. They want your attention sometimes, but not all the time like dogs do. If you had a friend that needed your attention 24/7, you’d stop being friends with that person.”

Scandals and Secrets of the Supernatural: The Stories Behind Broadway’s Haunted Theatres

Some stories of the ghosts that haunt Broadway theatres to end your Halloween weekend with! 

Scandals and Secrets of the Supernatural: The Stories Behind Broadway’s Haunted Theatres

Broadway Stars and Signs of Support; Hundreds Turn Out at Lunch Mob to Save the Cafe Edison

I am now “Playbill Famous,” thanks to my friend Matt. Just click the above link. 

Broadway Stars and Signs of Support; Hundreds Turn Out at Lunch Mob to Save the Cafe Edison