Old (New) New York

There’s an old adage that the only thing New Yorkers can agree on is how much it’s always changing. There’s a loyalty to the past that N.Y. residents share, a common understanding that nothing is as good today as it was several decades ago. That goes for where the best pizza joints are, the price of coffee in a bodega, the cost of cab fare, the insidious infiltration of Starbucks outlets, the gentrification of Harlem, etc. etc. etc. Of course, no place is as emblematic of New York as Broadway. Isn’t it only fitting that a Broadway show makes light of a city’s fight against change?

That’s one of the undercurrents in the 2006 Tony award wranglin’ hit The Drowsy Chaperone. In the play, the nameless main character shares with the audience a nostalgic look back at when theater was always solid gold and a hit was really a hit. His favorite play (a mock 1920s production called, you guessed it, The Drowsy Chaperone) embodies everything that’s great about theater: mobsters, starlets, hand-wringing producers, suitors waiting in the wings. You get the gist. It’s all there. And the play soon comes to life on stage, sucking the audience into a kind of glamorous time warp vacuum. Be a part of Old (New) New York, when this production travels through the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Tickets range $23 to $67. (This show runs through the 13th.) Visit www.browardcenter.org.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 3. Continues through Jan. 13, 2008

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Jamie Laughlin