Discovering Westchester County is like peeling an onion-anyone that views "the 914" as an amalgam of bedroom communities slumbering while all the action takes place south of us in Manhattan is missing out. For the last 37 years, Broadway has had an outpost right in Elmsford at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Just last night, Ann and I celebrated our 10 anniversary at a fantastic performance of My Fair Lady starring Jennifer Babiak and Tom Galantich with a great ensemble cast.
We love the arts. Ann is a Stuyvesant alum and plays three instruments, and I have it on good authority that my mention of Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews on our first date got me my second date. Before we got all tangled up in children and work we saw our share of shows, and as a matter of fact our first reception dance was from Rent. So, driving 10 minutes and parking for free to see an awesome musical with a great dinner is quite a luxury.
The Westchester Broadway Theatre has been around for 37 years. It was originally called An Evening Dinner Theatre, and when I was younger my parents took me there twice (Fiddler on the Roof and South Pacific). In 1991, it became the Westchester Broadway Theatre, and for the better part of the last 4 decades it has been a source for more great productions that I could list- Evita, Chicago, 42nd Street, and dozens more.
We had a wonderful experience last night. They start with a cocktail hour, dinner, and then the show. The place seats under 400, so it is intimate. We were in the 2nd row, with the stage centered with seats on three sides stadia style, so we could see the veins in their neck at the high notes. There is really nothing like a live performance, and this cast really brought it. You get chills.
Jennifer Babiak, a Long Island girl, was Eliza Doolittle and she was powerful. It is a tough role following Julie Andrews, Marni Nixon and Audrey Hepburn, but she was a good girl, she was! Just the right mix of vulnerability, passion, and what a voice. Tom Galantich, himself a Brooklyn product, was wonderful as Henry Higgins as well. It didn't stop there, and if you are in the sound of my voice you should pick a date in October and enjoy yourself.
10 minutes after we left the parking lot, we were home. As much as we love Manhattan, it is so nice that we have something so high caliber that is local for our own. The WBT is one of the great things about Westchester County, and as I have said many times, we feel blessed to live, work and raise our family here.