But, if I go, at least I'll go out belting a Broadway melody.
Here's a repost, from January 2010, of a trip to Greenville for a Wicked good time.
A Truly Wicked Getaway
Well, as many of you know, I celebrated my farumph-humph birthday this week, and Carlos and I took a much needed midweek getaway up to Greenville, South Carolina.Well, the reasons were two-fold. One, we had never been up to Greenville and we'd heard lovely things about it; And Two [well, really the Number Two reason was Number One]Wicked was playing at the Peace Center, and I have loved it since I first heard tell of the Witches Of Oz...before that girl came to town.
Greenville, you say. South Carolina? Really?
So, with Wicked coming to Greenville, we were going to Greenville.
Carlos and I took a couple of days off from work, got the sister of Round The Way Gay, David, to pet sit the ShoeBox Dog and Los Gatos, and off we went.
into three sections: The Low Country....think Charleston; The Midlands....think Columbia or Smallville; and The Upstate....Greenville. Very close to the North Carolina border and seemingly a world away from Smallville.
Greenville is one of those rare small towns that has revived itself and is reinventing itself, thanks to things like a good strong university, and businesses like BMW and Michelin, which both have factories up there. Plus, Greenville seems to be able to bridge that gap between old town quaintness and big city life. There are all sorts of restaurants lining main street; art galleries; pet boutiques; gift shop; knickknack stores. And they maintain that sense of small town even with the new construction going on all over town. They respect the old and work with the new.
It really has become one of my favorite towns. And right here in little ole South Carolina!
We took his advice and ended up discovering some great places and some fun people.
That night we ate a pre-show dinner at High Cotton, right along the river. Two glasses of birthday Champagne; seared rare Tuna with a pine nut vinaigrette, for me. Salmon for Carlos. A wonderful Pinot Noir with dinner; birthday apple tart for dessert with cappuccino.
This production, the touring company, was really well done; though it helped that we had fabulous seats.
Heléne Yorke, as Galinda, before the Gah is silent, was hysterical; possessing the same gorgeous voice as Kristen Chenoweth, who originated the role. She was perky, and sweet, and sappy, and dorky. Totally Galinda.
Marcie Dodd, as Elphaba--the name comes from the original writer of the Oz books, L. Frank Baum--was spectacular as the misunderstood green witch. Her voice soared at all the right times, and she really captured the essence of both Idina Menzel and Margaret Hamilton; a tough feat.
Plus, it didn't hurt at all that, the Peace Center used a full orchestra for the musical; when we saw it last in Ft Lauderdale, it was sung to recorded instrumentals. Good, but not as good as having the musicians right down front.
If you haven't seen Wicked, you should go. It plays along nicely with The Wizard of Oz, and yet stands completely on its own.
Funny note, though; while leaving the theater and strolling back across the river to the car, I overheard two women talking about the musical. One said, I can't believe they didn't sing "Over The Rainbow!" it's one of the most popular songs ever!
This was after the show, and yet she still thought she was seeing The Wizard Of Oz. I felt like dousing her with a bucket of water.
Then Frank sent us off to Mia Dimora, a designer store with all sorts of things for the house. I found a great metal calendar--you use magnets to note the month, date and day--with a lovely pig chalkboard. it's a little bit country, and a little bit cool. We found a great ceramic baking pan for roasting peppers, and a stone you set in a bread basket to keep bread warm all through dinner. The owner of the shop, Elaine McCanless, and I talked kitchens and pets, Smallville and Greenville, while Carlos talked music and orchestra with Derek, who was unloading a shipment of new stuff. It's refreshing to walk into a shop and find the owners and workers so friendly, and willing to talk about, well, nothing really.
We continued our walking tour and found ourselves at the far end of town where the revitalization has just begun. Old buildings house new restaurants; new buildings look old and house....housing. There's baseball field, for the Greenville Drive farm team, and I thought, I'd love to come up to a game one weekend. But then I thought of the last time Carlos and I went to a ball game. To see the Marlins. We went with a group of his coworkers, and had a hot dog and drank some beer, and then, just after the first inning ended, Carlos stands up and announces, Well, that was fun.
I told him the game had six more innings. He sat back down.
Maybe we'll do the Shakespeare Festival in Greenville. I don't think they have innings.