Tryptophan? Nope Trip to Toga.

Hi friends!


Happy Sunday! I hope your Thanksgivings were all great and tasty! I come to you from the world beyond the one you’re most likely reading this in, as I’m writing this unconsciously, still in a massive food coma from this break. I’m also pretty sleepy, having been in the city for two days of the break. Let’s fill you in on my break, shall we? We shall.


When I last wrote, I had just arrived home on Tuesday evening. I went to bed and woke up early the next morning:



6am – I wake up and shower and dress.

7:30am – Bridget (my sister) and I head to NYC.

8:15am – We get bagels and coffee and sit down outside Studio 54 to wait for tickets to the matinee of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

10am – We get tickets to Drood and head down to 42nd to get tickets to the evening performance of Cyrano de Bergerac.

11:30am – We go to Saks 5th Ave, which was decked out in white Christmas decorations already, it was beautiful. Bridget and I split up. She heads to some part of the store I didn’t ask her about and I head to the seventh floor, where I get my haircut by my hairdresser/hair lady, Lauren, who my phone autocorrects to call her Laurel. It also asks her where Hardy is. My phone has the sensibility of a jolly man in his late 70s. Anyway, I get my hair did, and that’s that.

12:15pm – We meet up and grab lunch at some crappy sandwich place on Madison Ave.

1pm – We get another cup of coffee before Drood and sit on a bench and take artsy pictures. I’m an artiste.

2pm – We see Drood. It’s a fun, ridiculous musical where the audience votes on the outcome of the plot: who committed the murder, and who falls in love.

4:45pm – Drood is over, and Bridget and I head to the O’Neill Theater, where the hit musical The Book of Mormon is currently running. I had a meeting with one of the stage technicians (friend of family) about potentially getting me an internship next summer. We’re working on it. Drew, the techie, took us on stage and I impressed him with some of my knowledge about the theatre and such, then he took us on a backstage tour, which was really cool.

5:15pm – Bridget and I grab dinner at my favorite burger place in the Times Square vicinity, it’s called The Counter. Wonderful burgers.

7pm – We see Cyrano de Bergerac. Douglas Hodge’s performance in this French verse play was simply electric. Magical. So powerful.

9:30pm – We head home, tired after a long day in the city.



12:00pm – I wake up, having missed the parade for the first time ever. But it’s okay, I had a long day on Wednesday.

12:15 – 2:30pm  – I do some cleaning, shower, and get dressed. Bridge and I grab Starbucks because it’s a necessity, and then pick up some last minute ingredients. While we’re at the store, we get a frantic call from Big Kev, my dad, that everyone was already at the house and to hurry back. When we do get back, three of our 19 guests had arrived. Everyone, am I right ladies?

2:30 – 6:30pm – The family arrives and we mingle and chat and watch football and enjoy crudités and hors d’oeuvres.

6:30pm – The feast. I ate until I was so full all I could do was moan in pain. Green beans, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatos, cranberry salsa, cranberry sauce, corn bread, gluten-free pumpkin bread, turkey, gravy, dog kibble, a small child, and more cranberry salsa. And then I ate dessert and moaned a lot more.

9:30 or so – The family gradually leaves.

11pm – In bed.



4:30am – I wake up!

5:12am – I’m on the train to New York City!

6am – I’m 6th in line to get rush (student price) tickets to see Once the Musical! I sit with a very strange French Canadian gal who saw the show Tuesday night, Wednesday matinee, Wednesday night, and Friday matinee (which is what I saw), and was planning on seeing it tonight (Sunday) before she headed back to Quebec City.

10am – I get my tickets and rush down the block to get tickets to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for that evening. We snagged really great seats.

10am – 2pm – I wander Times Square, aka the Seventh Circle of Hell. At some point, I eat pizza at my favorite pizza restaurant, Lazzarra’s. I sat down at 12:18 and was out by 12:32 or something like that. And this is a full service restaurant. They’re just very efficient. I love the pizza.

2pm – Once. The first act was far too long and included some unnecessary characters, but the Act I Finale number, while not ending the act with any dramatic tension, was one of the most beautifully staged numbers I’ve ever seen on a Broadway stage, or any stage for that matter. The second act was perfect, and had the most incredibly moving moment in recent memory. I cried for the last half hour, and in the thunderous and well-deserved applause following the finale, I didn’t applaud. I just sat there and let out all the sobs I’d been waiting to let out. I thought it was absolutely moving.

4:30pm – The show is over, and I stage door, obviously. I get most of the 13 member cast’s autographs on my poster, which I collect.

5:15pm – I meet Gab, my best friend and “SkidMa” at Toloache, a Mexican restaurant on both that I adore, and we share my birthday dinner (my birthday is tomorrow and I’m terrified to be in my 20s). We start with guac, then I have enchiladas, Gab has the house special, which I would have normally gotten, but the enchilada special had my favorite green pepper sauce, and then Gab has a cappuccino and I have Cafe de Olla, a Mexican cinnamon coffee that had an orange slice at the bottom that gave it a citrusy twist, it was extremely delicious.

7:00pm – 7:40pm – We leave the restaurant and gradually make out way down to 45th, where we head to the Booth Theater.

8:00pm – 11:30pm


Oh my God. I don’t have any words besides perfection, intense perfection. The play, one of my favorite scripts ever, was written by one of my favorite writers, was directed by my favorite director, in a production produced by my favorite theatre company, starring my favorite actress and my favorite playwright (making his Broadway debut as an actor), with sets, lights, costumes, and sound designed by my favorite design team, in my favorite theater (physical building) in the world. It was jaw dropping and a harrowing three and a half hours of theater. There were moments in the third act where I wanted to break out in applause because the moments were so epic and theatrically perfect. At the end of the play, there was a collective sigh of relief because the play’s intensity came to an excellent conclusion, and probably because everyone was holding their breath in the final twenty-five minutes, the final fight which was AMAZING.

11:40pm – The show is over, Gab and I need a stiff drink because it was so intense, so we get Shirley Temples. Not really, we just go tot he stage door, where we wait for the actors to come out. First to come out was Amy Morton, who played Martha and played Barbara in my favorite play ever, August: Osage County, which was written by the actor who played George in this play and which won the Pulitzer for Drama. Amy was very nice and kid, but clearly exhausted after throwing herself around onstage for the past four hours. Next out was Madison Dirks, who played Nick. He was so sleepy, so he just signed and left. Then came Carrie Coons, who played Honey in a revelatory interpretation that was as hilarious as it was terribly sad. Last, and certainly not least, came Tracy Letts, my idol. Aside from giving an outstanding performance that required him to leave it all on the stage, he won a Pulitzer Prize for my favorite play ever and wrote four of my favorite other plays. he signed my poster, signed my copy of August: Osage County, and then took a photo with me. He was so nice and asked my name and I started blubbering about how he’s my idol and my hero as a writer, similar to my post in January, when at the final performance of Billy Elliot, I told the director that he saved my life in high school, and he said “I’m hardly anyone’s hero, trust me” and I said “No, but you’re mine.” And I told Tracy Letts similar sentiments, he is my hero as a writer and I strive to be as wonderful of a writer as he is. He was very nice.

12:00am – Gab and I part ways.

2am – I get home  after a long and loud train ride [Long Island Railroad] at that hour of the night restores my faith in the human race. Not really.) and climb into bed. I wake up at 12:40pm.



12:40pm – I wake up and shower.

2pm – I head to town and drive around for a half hour trying to find a parking spot in the vicinity of Starbucks. I grab my coffee and head to the next town over, where I visit with my best friend from high school, Caitlin, for a few hours and hep her mom cook dinner.

4pm – I head home and help my dad move some furniture.

7pm – My birthday dinner at the country club! I eat a delicious fall salad and a steak and a baked potato and a tasty cookie pie.

11pm – I’m in bed.



6am – I awake.

7am – My dad, sister and I are in the car heading to NYC.

7:30am – We arrive at Penn, I head downstairs and run into my friend Emily, and we get online to get on the train. I run and grab us coffee and off we go.

8:15am – The train leaves.


The beginning of the train ride was rough, since some Skid Frosh were being loud. But I’m outgoing and kind of rude, so I posted a passive-aggressive Facebook status about it, because I’m FB friends with one of them and they saw it and have since quieted down.


Now I’m getting hungry. Only an hour left though, so I’ll hold out and wait to get a bagel in town or something.


Alright, I’ll let you go. Happy Holidays! I’m so glad I can finally say that, now that the season is officially here!


Measure in Love (and in bites of turkey leftovers!),



About Kevin Berry

jamba juice. mennonite. enneagram.
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