50 Shades! The Musical and Turkish Cuisine

"Sure, I'll sign your contract, Mr. Grey."
50 Shades! The Musical Parody at the Elektra Theater is hilarious – and kind of X-rated. At the bar during intermission, a woman said she wondered whether the actors would actually get naked in the second half.

At one point, a cast member wags his finger at the men in the audience (there are a few), and tells them not to criticize their wives and girlfriends for reading books like Fifty Shades – as if the millions of female readers needed permission. The premise is a book club choosing to read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, confident of its worth because the writer is English.

Amber Petty is innocent Anastasia Steele, working in a hardware store. She has an unforced singing style and a brilliance that transcends the material – the material being the tortuous bestseller. 50 Shades! The Musical is way better than the novel.

Journalists are not allowed to publish a picture of the incredible actor who plays the male lead, so as not to spoil the surprise when he struts out on stage. Christian Trevelyan Grey, the intimidating billionaire who introduces Anastasia to his wicked ways, is played by Jack Boice, comic genius. His uninhibited dance steps and crystal clear tenor voice held the audience in the palm of his hand. He’s so good you want to slap him.

Dinner in the garden at Turkish Cuisine
After 50 Shades we wanted to spice things up and walked around the corner from the Elektra to Ninth Avenue. Turkish Cuisine more than satisfied our craving for assertive flavors with an appetizer of spicy hummus and grilled pita, followed by chopped Shephard salad, grilled salmon, and the grilled combo that is one of the best deals in town.
The meze looked fantastic. Platters were generous, everything fresh and healthy. We should have ordered something with eggplant. In the pretty back garden, a neighbor cat climbed over the wall, sauntered through the tables, then hopped back up the wall to leave. Strings of lights swayed in the breeze and with the full moon above it felt like an outdoor café on the Bosphorus.