Day 195- Stanley Tucci

I’m going to label this vacation in New York “A Trip to Remember.” To describe it as anything short of an awe-inspiring miracle would be blasphemy of the worst kind. I still have some time to spend in the city tomorrow, as my flight leaves in the early evening.

Today, we got up pretty late (again!) and, after Dad bought breakfast from the friendly Armenian guy at a stand near our hotel, we got ready to go in search of Broadway tickets for one last show. Meanwhile, I called my cousin David, who I’d only seen one other time in my life, about three years ago. David is only a year younger than me, and yet the first time we met, we immediately clicked, as if we had grown up together! We watch the same T.V. shows, have similar career interests (he’s into screenplay writing, I’m into journalism), we both enjoy Broadway plays, and, uncannily enough, neither of us possesses a middle name. Freaky, right?

So, I called David up, and we met at my hotel. Then, we walked to the Museum of Modern Art with Dad, where we met up with Uncle Tom. We got to enjoy the museum for a bit, before heading back to get ready for the play. (Mom and I got tickets for “Lend Me a Tenor.”)

I was really sad to say bye to David, and to Uncle Tom, who I don’t know if I’ll get to see tomorrow. But in their presence, I realized how truly blessed I am. On one hand, I’ve got Uncle Tom, who’s been my Dad’s greatest friend, and a part of our family for years. On the other hand, I’ve got my “long-lost cousin” David, who I’ve only hung out with twice, but somehow I know I can count on him for anything.

Anyway, now on to the play. So, we had great seats in the second row (it pays to be a student!), where I could see perfectly. Mom and I have never laughed so hard in our lives! If you’re in the city, go see that show. It’s incredible! It’s a straight play (not a musical), but honestly, the clean, slapstick humor was so awesome that I didn’t miss the actors belting out into song every five seconds.

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In a tiny, brilliant cast of eight, the stars were Tony Shalhoub (of the USA series “Monk”), Justin Bartha (of the film “National Treasure”) and Anthony LaPaglia (of the CBS series “Without a Trace”). It was directed by the multifaceted Stanley Tucci, who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in “The Lovely Bones.”

As soon as the show was over, of course we dashed out to try to find a good spot near the stage door. But it was way too crowded. By the time we made it there, the crowd was overwhelming. Fortunately, one of the employees (a stage manager, perhaps?) noticed Mom and I were near the side of the road and told us to come forward, and he let us inside the barricade so that we could effortlessly get the actors’ attention!

It was obvious everyone was waiting for Tony Shalhoub. (They were all brilliant, of course!) So the anticipation was building up inside me. Little by little, they trickled out of the theatre. Justin Bartha (very cute and incredibly nice), was the first one I was photographed with. Then– out came Stanley Tucci! I was not even sure if he would exit through the stage door. He was amazing. Of course, everyone wanted an autograph. Then, finally, out came Shalhoub. He, too, was a class act.

The best part is– I gave flyers to all of them! I told them briefly about my quest to document my life with spina bifida to raise awareness and find a “hero.” Mom also remembered to ask them to consider “adopting the cause.” They seemed very adamant in their promises to check out “Holdin’ Out for a Hero,” and for that I could not be more grateful.

I left the theatre beaming. Really, it was God’s little touch of sense of humor on my last night in Manhattan. So, when I get back to Orlando, which will always be partly home to me, as is Puerto Rico, and as New York now also feels, I will write a nice letter to Mr. Tucci, thanking him for his kindness and sincerity.

One last thing– they say New York is “the city that never sleeps.” So, why is it the city of my dreams?

Good Night, and Good Luck,

Laurita ♥  (because I have to use my “dramatic” name on Broadway!)

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