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New Year's Eve and Day 2006 - Flamenco at Alegrias and the Odd Couple

by Robert Abrams
January 1, 2006
La Nacional
239 West 14 Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011
(212) 627-4770

New Year's Eve and Day 2006 - Flamenco at Alegrias and the Odd Couple

Robert Abrams
January 1, 2006

This was a blockbuster of a New Year's weekend.

It started with a spectacular as usual performance by Nelida Tirado at Alegrias (La Nacional at 239 West 14th Street, www.alegrias.com). Her flamenco was smooth, sensual and forceful. She lights up the room when she smiles. She was partnered by Jorge Navarro, and accompanied by Rafael Brum on guitar and Luis Vargas on vocals. At midnight, there was a champagne toast, plus twelve grapes. It is a Spanish tradition to eat twelve grapes at midnight on New Year's and make twelve wishes as you eat them. The event was generous with food and good will. After midnight, Jorge put on Merengue and Salsa. People from Venezuela and Michigan and elsewhere danced until two in the morning. There are some flamenco people who don't social dance, but I am working on them. Supposedly Jorge is going to be offering Salsa after the Flamenco on a regular basis sometime in the new year. It would make for the perfect intimate blend of performance and social dance.

The weekend finished with a performance of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick at the Brooks Atkinson Theater (256 West 47th Street). The tickets were generously provided by TickCo, a great source for hard to find tickets. Our group included Yossi of Matles Florist, an excellent source of flowers if you are trying to woo a performer or an advertising executive. Both Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick have impeccable comic timing. The rest of the cast is quite proficient too. They kept the laughs coming. The play is very funny without being broadly comic. They do an expert job of expressing their characters. Their portrayal pays tribute to the television series while also making the characters fresh and new. The humor arose from almost anything, even cornflakes. The play and the actors are brilliant without needing to rely on obvious laugh lines. This was Brad Garrett's last performance. Nathan Lane asked the audience to sing "Happy Trails" to him. The audience responded with a heartfelt, if slightly off-key, send-off.

It was the perfect end of one year and the beginning of another. Well, almost perfect. The Odd Couple played Swing music during the pauses between scenes. There was plenty of time for some gratuitous Swing dancing.


Nelida Tirado and Jorge Navarro dance Flamenco
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado and Jorge Navarro dance Flamenco
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado and Jorge Navarro dance Flamenco
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Rafael plays guitar
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Nelida Tirado
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Jorge Navarro
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



The 12 grapes of New Year's
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Blowing a noisemaker
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Happy revelers
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Almost Midnight
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Jorge Navarro and Robert Abrams
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

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