Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Give Our Regards to Broadway!

In my first post I mentioned that we saw 5 Broadway shows.  Did you know a Broadway show is a theatre seating 500+ and Off-Broadway is 499 or less?  (Thanks Claci & Jeff for all of your theatre advice!)

Our first show was WICKED...which was magnetic!  (The audience literally leaned closer to the stage with each number.)  If you have the opportunity, see this show at the Gershwin Theatre.  Guy always looks for set design and he was amazed by this set and special effects.  (And no superheroes fell to the stage!)  The story was enchanting.  And on this particular evening the cast was spot-on perfect and they KNEW it! 

The leads, Elphaba and Galinda were magical!  And the shoes were silver not ruby.  (We learned that in Kansas - State # 16.) 

On a related note, the Gershwin was the newest and most comfortable theatre we attended.

*Did you know Salma Hayek is developing an 8-part mini-series of Wicked for television?

Our next theatrical production was Guy's choice and his absolute favorite.  (Because he grew up with this music.)

We had tickets for a Saturday matinee at the August Wilson Theatre.  The music was phenomenal!  Of course, we recognized all the great songs and got the jokes.  (If you need the 60's humor explained - Guy will gladly accompany you.)   Who knew a young Joe Pesci played a role in putting this group together?

Next on our list...Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes.  (How's that for a title?)  If you visit NYC at Christmas, this is mandatory.

First, the theater itself is part of the show; it's gorgeous.  (And you can have your photo taken with a Rockette.)  Speaking of...they were FLAWLESS!  Our favorite number was the actual rolling tour bus in NYC with the Rockettes dancing on board.  

A large part of the fun was watching the children in the audience.  (All dressed up in their Santa photo outfits!)  And the live camels, donkeys and sheep in the nativity scene.

We exited the theatre into Rockefeller Plaza and became part of a tidal wave of human beings.  The Saturday night before Christmas; apparently every one wants to see the tree and skating rink.  (This rink is so tiny in real life. Must be where the saying "rinky dink" comes from.)


And then we saw the most amazing stage production EVER! 

(A note to parents:  Although this show has a dozen children in the cast it is not for kids.  Evidently the Brits have no problem with children hearing or saying the F-word!)

The story of a boy who is better in dance class than boxing lessons; Billy insists he is "NOT A PUFF!"  And the choreography brilliantly depicts his struggle...with himself, his family and the world around him.

Due to child labor laws there are 3 different boys cast as Billy.  The night we were at the Imperial Theatre, Billy was played by Jacob Clemente.  A supremely talented young man.  His solo performance that started as an angry tap dance evolving into an elegant ballet, moved me to tears and shouts of Bravo!

*We discovered that a large portion of the population of France travels to NYC the week before Christmas.  (Must be a rule!)  This was comically evident at this production.  Two adults and 8 teenagers were seated all around us...none of them spoke English.  The usher gave up trying to tell them they could not smoke or bring in pastries.  The girl on Guy's left even fell asleep on his shoulder!  We adopted a saying during our trip, each time we encountered rude behavior we just said, "Oh, it's the FRENCH!"  New Yorkers were delightful...their reputation is undeserved.

On our final night in NYC we made our way to the Nederlander Theatre for a show you may not know...

Let me set the scene.  "It is December 4, 1956, (I was 11 months old and Guy was 4), in Memphis, Tennessee at a small recording studio called Sun Records, a quartet of soon-to-be superstars meets for a jam session."  Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis come together for a one-time performance of their greatest hits.  The cast re-enacts this legendary event right before your eyes...and no one is faking it.  All the music is live and these men can really play their guitars and "pie-an-o!" 

The actor playing Jerry (Levi Kreis) won the Tony award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical!

We had the pleasure of sitting with 4 high school teachers from White Plains and their 36 students for this performance.  The kids were being "exposed to real music" according to their teachers.  This show was great fun and we had a great time watching these kids.  (All New Yorkers, not French!)

After exiting the theatre we took one last walk through Times Square and made one last pass by the store windows at Saks Fifth Avenue.  (My personal favorite!)

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Spent so much time outside admiring the window displays...never went inside to shop!

This little girl with pink hair had magical bookshelves that revealed 3 mannequins dressed in stunning gowns.  (I wish you could see the shoes!)

Speaking of shoes, I have not had any on for three days.  We are SNOWBOUND!  And on that note I will end this time DINING DESTINATIONS!

1 comment:

  1. Liz,
    We are going to NYC next weekend. I have been there dozens of times in my life but I insisted Haley tell me what YOU did while you were there. I KNEW I would find someplace new to eat or something new to do from your adventure....I was right. I loved reading your blog. You and Guy are fabulous, and I loved reading about your wonderful visit to the Big Apple!