Friday, June 5, 2015

Joe in New York City: a Broadway review

UPDATE JULY 9th: It Shoulda Been you has announced their show will close August 9th. Hurry & see it before it's too late!

When traveling to NYC, it is always hard to pick what to do and what to see. One of the questions I get frequently asked by those traveling to New York is what shows to see. On my recent trip to the city, I saw five amazing Broadway shows, and am here to share my thoughts on why you should see them.
I stayed at the newly renovated Kinckerbocker which is located right off of Times Square. The location is great for first timers travelling to New York and wanting to be in the heart of the action. For us show-goers it was very convenient to walk or subway to the theaters we visited. The room was very contemporary and had new, advanced technology for controlling the room’s features (such as lights and window shades). The rooftop is not to be missed! There is a new bar on the rooftop called St. Cloud with spectacular views of the city and a really fun vibe. This would be an ideal spot for New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop!
My first day in the city, I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Darren Criss. The show is located at the Belasco Theatre and runs approx. 1 hour & 40 minutes with no intermission. The story revolved around an East German transgender rock goddess and told the story of her life in a concert-like way. The show was phenomenal! It had great lighting and an amazing cast, especially Darren Criss (through July 19 only!) and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Very enjoyable but it is definitely not your grandmother’s show.

On Day 2 in the city, I had the opportunity to see two amazing shows, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and It Shoulda Been You. Curious Incident is located the Barrymore Theatre and runs 2 hours and 30 minutes including an intermission. The show was incredible. The staging and the cast were truly brilliant. It tells the story of a 15 year old autistic boy who is trying to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor’s dog. Alex Sharp played Christopher Boone, the leading role in the show, and he is giving the performance of a lifetime. He really tugs on the heart-strings of the audience. This show is not to be missed.

The second show I saw that day, It Shoulda Been You, is located at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and ran approx. 1 hr. 40 minutes with no intermission. This show was hilarious! I had the absolute best time! It is fun, short, and have I mentioned funny yet? The show all takes place on the day of a wedding and primarily revolves around the feud between the mothers from each family. It Shoulda Been You is pure chaotic bliss. It’s your classic wedding story but with a HUGE twist that will have you falling out of your seat. This show is a great show for a date night, but would be best for ages 13 and up.

Day 3 was another two show day! I saw Something Rotten! and Chicago starring Brandy Norwood. Something Rotten! is located at the St. James Theatre and runs approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes including intermission. This show is every musical theater lover’s dream. It is smart, funny, and overall clever. It tells the story of two Brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, in the 1590s who are struggling to come up with a new idea for a play in the shadow of Shakespeare. Desperate for a hit, Nick pays a Soothsayer to tell him which of Shakespeare’s plays will be the most famous in the future. The Soothsayer tells Nick that the next best thing is a MUSICAL! The show then begins to show the creation of the world’s first musical. Obviously, the show is not actually about the first musical ever written, but is more of a satire about Shakespeare and the Renaissance. I would describe it as The Book of Mormon meets Spamalot in its comedic-satire sense. Something Rotten! is this season’s must-see musical! 

Chicago is located at the Ambassador Theatre and runs 2 hrs and 20 minutes including intermission. If you’re not familiar with this long-running show, Chicago tells the story of the city Chicago in the 1960s and revolves around two murderesses named Roxie and Velma. Brandy Norwood as Roxie Hart was incredible. She steals the show with her charm and talent! She will play Roxie until August 2nd, and her performance is not to be missed!

Along with amazing shows, there is always some amazing food along the way. The first day I ate at the Spotted Pig for lunch and Osteria al Doge for dinner. I highly recommend both for different reasons. The Spotted Pig is for a unique, only in NYC dining experience. Osteria al Doge is great for those attending the theater because it is in the heart of theater disctrict. A great place to have a quick dessert is Schmackary’s. They have the BEST cookies in town! In fact, I visited Schmackary’s three times during my trip and even saw Audra McDonald there! I also recommend Jane for a nice Sunday brunch on the outskirts of the city!

If you have the opportunity to go to New York this summer you can’t go wrong by seeing any of these shows or dining at these restaurants. Look out as cast members and shows change. The Broadway scene in New York is ever-changing, but is sure to be a memorable experience.

Contact your Sanders Travel Advisor and they will help you with everything from the hotel and airfare arrangements to the fun, added extras like show tickets and restaurant reservations. 

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