Published on October 31st, 2012 | by Greg0
How To Be A New Yorker: Cute, Clever, Safe
There are plenty of rules, guidelines, and opinions on exactly when you can call yourself a New Yorker. Is it seven years of life in the five burroughs? Ten years in the city? Are you considered a local when you’ve figured out which taxi cabs are actually available, or when you’ve grown disenchanted with Times Square? We’ve heard that it’s when you’ve found a rent controlled apartment and fought a city-sized rat… and won.
A 90-minute play (with a nice Italian meal) might not be enough to qualify, but it can serve as a great introduction. “How 2 B A New Yorker” is a new, two-person comedy show, playing in an open-ended engagement at the off=Broadway Sofia’s Downstairs Theater, at 221 West 46th Street. As they say in the introduction: “You too can experience the privilege, respect and air of superiority enjoyed by millions who call themselves New Yorkers. But it requires training, even if you were born here.”
Led by a pair of licensed tour guides, Margaret Copeland and Kevin James Doyle, you’ll be won over by the wit and charm, even if you won’t be be surprised by most of the stories. There are plenty of fun costume changes and a few interludes taking you back (even way back) to the origins of the island of Manhattan. We enjoyed the bit on the superhero Jane Jacobs battling against the mastermind Robert Moses, and laughed at the various ways the land had changed hand from the Native Americans to the Dutch to the British. Not everything lands- there are a few groans, a couple of stories that don’t go anywhere, and some scenes that fall flat. The show definitely tries to straddle a pretty wide divide, between the cynical locals and the bright-eyed tourists, and it’s a difficult bridge. And New York is a pretty big place, which they comment on in a breathless listing of some of the things they couldn’t fit into the show.
The food- solid, old school Italian- features Chicken Cacciatore or a couple of vegetarian pasta options, salad, and a cash bar on site as well. It’s a great place for a new local to take visiting parents or friends for a quick, family-friendly evening event (with plenty to reassure potentially nervous guests). Showing Thursday and Friday evenings at 7PM and Saturdays with a matinee at 1:30, How 2 B A New Yorker is a quick way to get a taste of the Big Apple. Even if this play doesn’t have bite, and plays it safe, it’s a show that is still fun fare. Tickets are $45 for matinees or $55 for dinner performances.