Since the last couple of posts have been about sing alongs, allow me to circle back to the spring of this year when I had the opportunity to experience a unique kind of sing along on a trip to New York. We arrived at Marie’s Crisis (a bar in “West Village”) early evening and the place was nearly empty. My first impression was that it was pretty unremarkable and I was wondering why my cousin (host of the finest kind) would have singled it out as a place to visit on our very short stay. Then at 6:00 a pianist arrived and a gaggle of people gathered around. A small light shone on pages of sheet music in the otherwise dim bar and our very proficient accompanist led patrons in singing one show tune after another with flair and enthusiasm. It was plain very early on that this wasn’t your average group of drunken singers letting loose. The voices were strong and rich and blending harmonies as if it were a choir rehearsal. I learned that many professionals frequent Marie’s Crisis and if it sounded as though the person beside me wouldn’t have been out of place in a Broadway musical, it was probably true.
As someone who has no trouble suspending disbelief when an actor breaks off their conversation to burst into song and who thinks that musicals are expressions of joy and exuberance, I was in my element. Belting out songs from A Chorus Line or West Side Story is immensely therapeutic – and the singers at Marie’s Crisis were not holding back. So – if you are in the Big Apple and want an authentic New York experience I highly recommend this venue.
[Marie’s Crisis, 59 Grove St Avenue S, between 7th Ave & Bleeker, New York, NY]