Following breakfast at Juniors, across from our hotel, we took a walking tour of the theater district. So many familiar plays and performers were in the descriptions that I was glad there wasn’t a test at the end. Theaters changed ownership and focus over the years. We’d all heard of the old timers dreaming of playing the Palace, of vaudeville performers, the Rockettes, serious performances by Olivier, the Barrymores, musicals with Fanny Brice, Ethyl Merman and Mary Martin. Our tour guide was informative, including in his comments titles of musical numbers that became famous after being in flops, and shows that have had multiple successful revivals. Our weekend included two of them.

We had the afternoon free, so four of us took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial. The subway. My second miscue of the weekend happened when my ticket wouldn’t work on the subway turnstile, both going and returning. The second time I had the guard open the emergency door to get me out. I began to feel like that little guy in the comics with a cloud over his head. The memorial was moving, and we learned so many details we’d not absorbed in the early reports of the disaster. The names carved in black marble around the two pools outside the building reminded me of the Viet Nam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. People inside the memorial itself were subdued as they walked into the depths of the site.

We’d made reservations for dinner at an Italian place recommended by the hotel concierge. That evening we saw a farcical musical called On the Twentieth Century starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher. It took place in three compartments on a train. Characters were in and out of doors from one room to the other. An older woman character reminded us of our local diva, Beverly. She played a woman who’d escaped from her caregivers and got the others all excited about money she wanted to give them to finance a production. Choreography was clever, and the music, unfamiliar, was performed well. It was another full, satisfying day.