Riding the subway can be a scary event. Especially if Harry's in your car. For some reason Harry decided that he was "too cool" to grab the bar so as the car lurched forward, Harry lurched backwards, into the arms of a stranger who looked affronted that a large WVian was now cuddled against his belly. Harry apologized, I cackled and we went on to find the big bookstore called "The Strand." Later, as we rushed to make the shuttle back to Times Square after a particularly wonderful dinner at Michael Jordan's restaurant in Grand Central, I hopped the doors as they were closing, wrapped my hand around a pole and sat my large butt into an orange plastic chair. Harry, on the other hand, was in mid-sit when the car moved with a start and Harry sat down hard - on a guy in a suit.
I laughed so hard that I worried my steak would make a reappearance.
And now for my no-hold's-barred description of "Equus" aka "The Naked Harry Potter Play." If you're offended by frank language and accurate descriptions - leave now or forever hold your peace...
Going to see “Equus” on Broadway was a purely selfish endeavor. I’m not often allowed such luxuries since most of what I do in life is for the benefit of others. Rarely do I allow myself to commit a purely irrational act of selfishness. But going to see Daniel Radcliffe bare his proverbial “magic wand” on stage in NYC was not one I was likely to let get past me.
So when tickets became available I sicced my husband on them like a WV Pit bull on a toddler. And he walked away with not two tickets, but four. On two different nights. The first night was for “on stage seating” – the second – Orchestra - Row N.
This is my account of the first night, Tuesday, October 7, 2008, at the Broadhurst Theater in NYC. Row A. On Stage.
We arrive early and immediately hop in line behind two obvious HPphites. Only after listening to their incessant prattling for ten minutes do we realize that we’re in the wrong line. After being instructed to line up in a different que we find ourselves behind a woman with “Harry Potter” emblazoned in hand-inked loveliness on her jean jacket. I was jealous only because it appeared to me that the boy-wonder himself had scrawled his name on her upper shoulder. Hell, I would’ve handed him a sharpie myself during the play but he was busy getting all naked and stuff. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The theater was small and as we were directed to our seats we were told by a tiny gal I could easily bench press that we’re to turn off our phones, show her and then show the guards, too, that we’ve powered down. After a frantic bathroom break for the man with the ever-shrinking bladder (Harry never used to pee. I swear the boy’s insides floated through the first five years of our togetherness) we were shown to a stage door and then up a set of stairs that, for once, I didn’t mind climbing.
We were dead center, hanging right over the stage. I could see every bit of dust as it landed on the Tetris-shaped platform in the middle of the stage that housed four blocks placed in each corner.
I liked these seats.
The only thing that left much to be desired was that in order to see the action below, one had to roll forward and sit in a semi-kneeling, semi-praying position. Only when my legs ached and my toes tingled with loss of feeling did I dare to move as the pseudo-gay guy next to me was completely spreading his legs next to me as if his package was just that huge that it required plenty of berth in order for them to breathe. “Whatev!” I wanted to scream at him, but instead I leaned into my poor hubby, thanking God he’d already visited the restroom since I was now giving his manparts no room to guzzle oxygen.
The lights dimmed and four men wearing fleshy see-through bodysuits slowly walked out and plucked, in unison, the metal horse heads from around the walls of the stage. The play opened up with Richard Griffiths describing “Alan Strang” and how he came to be a patient of his psychiatric services. Daniel Radcliffe, looking very pale, but trim, and a bit hairy, leaned lovingly against a large man who was wearing the horsey brown velour pants and fleshy brown body suit.
I won’t go into every detail, but I will say that the play has its moments of disturbing, its moments of well-crafted funnies, and its moments of tender as we see the walls around “Alan” break down and his attempts to hide his reasoning for blinding six horses that he worshipped.
Being in a bird’s eye view spot of the actors, I noticed that Daniel as “Alan” spent a lot of time facing us, with his back to the audience at large. This gave me a chance to look for breaks in character, to watch him to see if he was truly someone who was acting for the craft or acting for lack of something better to do. I should’ve known better. I never saw a single crack (so to speak).
The four rectangle blocks that were moved from various spots on the tetris-floor in order to make platforms, beds, couches, chairs, etc. had bits of paint removed as “Alan” picked at them when he sat in uncomfortable silence in his “room.”
Daniel shook at times, he fidgeted, he wrung his hands and bit at his fingers. I noticed a scratch on one of his arms as he raked his nails down its length. He still didn’t break character.
Even when a chubby chick with accidental cleavage was staring him down from the stage tops.
After intermission came the scene where the audience finally finds out why Alan, someone who supposedly loves horses, took a hook and blinded six of them in one night.
As Alan and Jill, a girl who also works at the stable, return from a rather interesting date, Jill cajoles him into coming back to the stable to basically forniacate in the hay.
Alan, who loves horses almost to the point of no return and God-like worship, is not happy with the situation since his pony-friends are in the stalls next door.
And as they stand on either side of the four rectangular boxes pushed together and then lit to look like hay, they begin undressing in a very non-sexy but young-like game of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” The awkwardness is thick in the air as we all think of the awkwardness that is nakedness.
She stands to one side of the “hay” and he to the other. The last to go is her cotton undies and his plain white boxers (I imagine this is to signify the somewhat innocent act of what they are doing – but I’m interjecting my own thought here).
And there was Daniel Radcliffe, not Alan, not in my mind anyway, with a slight trail of hair leading to his dick. And since I promised not to mince words – I won’t. It wasn’t large. From what I could tell, about three inches, but in his defense – he was in front of a large audience and it was cold in there- and I believe he may be still sporting a turtleneck. It was very nice in color, darker pink and well proportioned to him. His testicles were quite grandiose in comparison, evenly distributed and again, well proportioned and not too hairy at all. ☺
And his butt was pretty darn nice and a bit bubbly if not, of course, pale.
So there’s too much information for you.
But you know what? For about 30 seconds I was enthralled with the nakedness but then it was gone. I could only watch with bated breathe as “Alan” came back and screamed and threatened Jill out of the barn when he realized he was upsetting his favorite horse, “Nugget” by attempting to sleep with Jill instead of riding Nugget in his usual sexual frenzy.
Worried and alarmed by what he thought he heard the horses say in their stalls, “Alan” flies around the stage, to each stall and jumped up by planting a foot on the stall door, still naked mind you, and blinded the horses in their stall. What follows is a two-minute scene of horses and “Alan” running around the stage in a blind panic before he collapses on to the blocks in the middle of the stage before the shrink shoes up to cover him up and hold him as he wails in pain.
I was amazed at the raw and powerfulness of the play. And this is when the majority of it was played to an audience in front of me instead of directly toward me.
Wonder if it will be any different when I see it front the proper angle?
Updated from Tuesday: No – it wasn’t. Wait – it was. It was better.