A Moment In Manhattan

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B+ | Grade It Now!
A Mountain Town
In the halls of Julliard, Ephram is wandering around, listening to various people in their various rehearsals. I loved this part, because I was a music student, myself -- though not at a school as prestigious as Julliard -- and clearly remember doing the same thing along the rehearsal corridors. I remember early in my freshman year coming out of my own practice room after crashing for a piano exam, and knocking on the door of the room next to mine, where a guy had been playing the same three measures of some trombone solo for two hours, trying to get it right. I hit him up for 50 cents to get a Coke, and I remember he nervously asked if I was a piano student. I told him, no, I was a vocalist, and he goes, "Yeah, I could tell." Even though the joke was on me, I laughed. We understood each other. That guy plays in a very important orchestra, now. I still sing professionally. Being able to understand even the smallest thing about music, and the performance of music, will really put it in the blood, and it's in there for life. I know actors feel the same way about the theater. So, when Ephram stops to watch a girl practice her violin and clearly finds her level of skill to be impressive, I can see in his face the same thing I felt the first time I ever sat in a really good choir. It feels like a gift. He realizes he belongs there, with these musicians, and it is a bona fide thrill.

He goes to check for his audition, which the check-in girl, wearing -- I'm sorry -- a very ugly hat, confirms is Sunday at 4 PM. Ephram: "Great. What do I do until then?" Hatgirl chuckles, and asks him how to get to Carnegie Hall. You don't have to be a native New Yorker to know there's only one way: Practice. Practice. Practice.

Meanwhile, Treat is wandering the halls of the place where he used to put his own gift to use: the hospital. He runs into an old colleague, Rick, who is getting ready to go into surgery. Rick asks him how things are going in Neverland. "Everwood," Treat reminds him. Rick goes on to talk about his daughter, who is nine. Actually, he remembers, she's ten. He wasn't able to make it to her recent birthday party. As Rick rushes off to surgery, Treat looks pensive, possibly remembering back in the day when he was a bad dad.

Outside, Ephram comes across a guy playing electric piano on the street. Plugged in to...what? I don't know. The guy is, conveniently, just finishing up. Ephram asks if he can take over for a minute. Piano Guy: "Are you any good?" Ephram: "I'm okay." The guy relinquishes his seat, and...Ephram sits down and does some of the worst fake piano-playing I have ever seen. His arms aren't even near the right place at the right time, and just...the whole thing is wrong. I mean, it is scandalously bad. He looks pretty satisfied with himself, though, and a crowd gathers to clap when he's done. He stands up as none other than Madison emerges from the group, saying, "You've been practicing." Of all the sidewalks in all the world, she had to walk up on this one, and, oh my, how I wish she hadn't. They rush into a clinging hug, naturally. Gross.

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