I saw some pretty fantastic things this weekend.
First off, The Improvised Shakespeare Company put on an amazing, foot-stomping, knee-slapping, laugh-out-loud production at the Barrow Street Theater on Saturday night. If you've never before seen a completely improvised Elizabethan-style play (and I certainly hadn't), I highly recommend you get thee to one, anon.
Beginning with an audience suggestion for a title (Saturday's was "The Taming of the Cougar") these fellows crafted the play's characters, plot, conflict, and resolution completely on the fly. What emerged was a lascivious (and downright deadly) cougar, a soldier-turned-drunkard-turned-hero named Claudio, his best friend - Perkyus - who fell victim to the cougar's siren song, a singing and dancing eunich who dared to defy his cougar mistress to help both young lads, a bickering Roman Senate, and two swarthy French mercenaries, who proved to be the undoing of everyone.
Not only were the players fantastic improvisers, but they improvised in Elizabethan English! Occasionally in rhyming couplets! Brilliant. And seriously funny.
I laughed 'til I cried. Then I laughed some more. Forsooth.
Several hours later, I saw an entirely different type of brilliance.
Yesterday was Manhattanhenge - the twice-annual event where the sunrise aligns perfectly with Manhattan's east-west streets. (The phenomenon is repeated by two sunsets each summer.) These photos were taken in midtown, looking east.
As I have to spend 45 hours in Midtown during the week, I generally try to avoid it on the weekends. But I was happy to spend some time on these streets this Sunday. The sunrise was something to behold.
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven - to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.