The Producers and The Universe

theaterreview_13_175.jpgWe went to see The Producers on Tuesday. I was kind of bummed out that Nathan Lane had been replaced by Brad Oscar, but I have to say Oscar won me over in about five minutes. The play is a LOT of fun. I loved the Old Lady Land dance with the walkers, and Carmen Ghia, and Steven Weber's voice ...

This is an interesting interview with Brad Oscar: TheaterMania: Brad Oscar settles into his new role as full-time star of The Producers

I would love to see this again. Too bad Broadway plays cost so much - we'd probably go more if the ticket prices were not so outrageous.

Since we were heading to NYC, we decided to make a day of it and go to the American Museum of Natural History first. We were dying to see the new Rose Center


and to see a show at the Hayden Planetarium.


The Rose Center is amazing. We saw "The Search for Life in the Universe" at the planetarium. I wish it had been longer - it was so cool. We watched the Big Bang and walked down the Cosmic Pathway. Big Bang is nothing special and the Cosmic Pathway is pretty boring - okay if you don't have to wait in line, but if there's a line, don't bother. The one thing we noticed is that wherever the age of the universe is displayed (13 billion years), the actual number is replaceable. So, I guess if the scientists ever decide the universe is, say, 14 billion years old, the displays can be changed without much hassle.

We ended up also seeing Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives (we were looking for the cafe, which turned out to be closed) and the reptiles and amphibians. To be honest, the reptiles and amphibians display is looking very raggedy - we saw an old newspaper that dated the display to something like 1963. A lot of the dioramas could use some sprucing up, updating, or at least some fresh paint. Maybe the curator should watch Animal Planet to get a few new ideas.

I thought the extinct mammals display was much more interesting, and was fascinated to learn that whales are classified an ungulates. I was also very interested in cladistics, which are evolutionary trees in which organisms are grouped according to shared features. Below is a picture of a dimetrodon, which is a very distant relative of ours.

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