It’s that time of year again. The cut-off to be eligible for a 2013 Tony Award is the end of April, which means for the next eight weeks we’re going to have shows opening left and right. Which just makes it harder to decide what shows to see when you visit this spring, right? Never fear – the New York Guest staff is here to do the hard work of sitting through as many of the shows as possible and blogging about them for you to help you decide. Don’t thank us. We’re just doing our job.
Here are a couple of shows I’m particularly excited about, personally:
Music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein? Yes please! This show is based on a British film from 2005 about a young man who inherits his father’s failing shoe factory, and finds an inventive way to turn the business around. While I’ve never seen the movie, the creative team alone is enough to sell me on this one. I’m expecting big, exciting dance numbers, bright, showy costumes and off-color humor. In other words, what I am expecting is an awesome time.
Tom Hanks is coming to Broadway, you guys! Tom Hanks! On Broadway! It’s going to be NUTS and you should definitely get your tickets soon if you want to catch this one, which I’m betting you do. I mean, if the fact that it is Tom Hanks (Tom Hanks!) is not enough to get you excited – this is a play written by the beloved Nora Ephron. That’s right – Tom Hanks, speaking words written by Nora Ephron, live and in person! I cannot believe you aren’t e-mailing me right now to get tickets. Oh, you want to know what the play is about? It’s about tabloid columnist Mike McAlary in NYC in the 1980’s. It’s going to be awesome.
This show took London by storm in the past year, winning many Olivier awards (that’s the British equivalent of a Tony, for those who aren’t as obsessive as I am) and widespread critical acclaim. I am so excited to see it come to Broadway. It’s important, I think, to note that this show seems to be based on the book by Roald Dahl rather than on the film version, which was based on the book but, in my highly critical opinion as a lifelong fan of Roald Dahl, did not even come close to doing it justice. I’m expecting the show to be pretty dark and cynical (as the original book is basically about child neglect and corporal punishment), and from the look of things it is going to have some very powerful musical numbers and be a really gorgeous production. Definitely one of my early picks for a Tony contender.
Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike
Who doesn’t love a good comedy about sibling rivalry? While plays don’t tend to have the same draw as musicals, this one did very well in its off Broadway run and also has two big names: Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce. The playwright, Christopher Durang, is known for absurd, zany humor and from what I’ve heard this play is no exception.
This is just a sampling of the many awesome shows that are coming in the next eight weeks. If I got into all of them this blog would go on for just…way longer than you probably want to spend reading it. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hands on a Hardbody, Orphans, Motown, Pippin, and more (plus the two we’ve already told you about, Cinderella and Ann) will also be taking the Great White Way by storm this spring. Wanna talk Broadway with me? Tell me in the comments what YOU’RE most excited about, or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to tell you more about all of these shows soon!
In the spring of 2012, I got an e-mail announcing the opening of 54 Below, which bills itself as “Broadway’s Nightclub.” The club promised to provide an unforgettable nightlife experience, featuring cabaret performances from top notch Broadway stars in an intimate setting, delicious cocktails, and delectable food. After reading about the club, I scanned the initial list of booked acts and one name jumped out at me: Victor Garber.
Garber and Neuwirth in Damn Yankees, 1994
One of the very first Broadway shows I remember becoming absolutely obsessed with was the 1994 revival of Damn Yankees, which I still think is one of the greatest musicals ever written. Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth starred in the production, and I immediately fell in love with both of them, and that love lives on to this day. Victor Garber is probably best known for his roles as Jack Bristow in Alias and as Thomas Andrews in Titanic, but he has an impressive history on Broadway as well. Seeing him live again for the first time since the late 1990’s was such an exciting idea that I purchased tickets right then, nearly four months in advance. So on August 13th, my sister and I ventured to the new space right next to Studio 54 for Victor Garber’s first ever cabaret performance.
I could tell right away that the space was going to live up to its promise – 54 Below is intimate and elegant, with the tables and stage perfectly placed to give all the attendees a good view. We caught the spirit of the old world feel of the place immediately, prompting me to order a dirty martini and my sister to order a Manhattan. The menu is bursting with delicious-sounding options, far above the standard for a typical bar/nightclub setting, including wild mushroom risotto, a selection of farmstead cheeses, and a lobster roll. My sister and I opted to share a couple of small plates – a fresh mozzarella salad with heirloom tomatoes that was absolutely perfect in every way, roasted shishito peppers with sesame aioli that I could have eaten approximately one gallon of, and crostini with smoked ricotta, olive tapenade, and tomato confit, perfectly portioned and delectable.
Garber, giving an unforgettable cabaret premiere!
About 15 minutes before showtime, the waitress came by to take our dessert orders and we opted to share the olive oil cake – a delightfully dense and lightly sweet cake served with popcorn ice cream and a few pieces of kettle corn, which we enjoyed as Victor Garber came out to sing his first number. As an 18 year veteran of loving Victor Garber, I spent most of the show with my hands delightedly clasped in front of my heart. There is nothing like seeing a person you so admire in such a personal setting. This was an opportunity I never knew I’d have – especially when it came to seeing him sing songs from shows that he did before I knew who he was (in some cases, before I was born). He treated us to Joanna from Sweeney Todd, The Ballad of Booth from Assassins (both of which I’ve listened to on original Broadway cast recordings hundreds of times), All For the Best and Beautiful City from Godspell (in which he originated the role of Jesus, and played the part in the film version), and The Good Old Days from Damn Yankees, which of course made me feel 11 years old again. He also sang songs he never sang on Broadway – including And So It Goes by Billy Joel and, unexpectedly, Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967 by John Mayer. In between songs he treated us to anecdotes about his life and stories of getting cast in Godspell and Sweeney Todd, and pointed out fellow Godspell alums Debra Monk and Eugene Levy, who were in the audience. Jennifer Garner, colleague from his Alias days, was also there – though he did not point her out from the stage (probably she gets enough attention without being pointed out).
Garber with Eugene Levy and Jennifer Garner after the show
You may not love Victor Garber specifically as much as I do, but if you have a Broadway actor to whom you are particularly attached, you should definitely subscribe to the 54 Below newsletter. Already they have attracted an impressive array of stars, and the upcoming schedule includes Linda Lavin, Patti Lupone, Leslie Uggams, Adam Pascal, Megan Hilty and many others. There are also weekly events such as a Sunday Jazz Brunch, and “Backstage” on Sunday evening, a casual event mostly attended by members of the theater community.
If you have questions or would like to build a trip to New York around an event at 54 Below, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com – I am happy to help!
We’re speculating on the Tony Award winners and we want you to join us! Below are predictions from four of our Broadway-loving team members: Louise, Kelly, William and Eileen. Check out what we think and vote for who you’d give it to in each category – then scroll to the bottom to submit your own predictions. The entry that has the most correct guesses will win a Tony Prize Pack!
Louise Who I think will win: Newsies. it has the spirit, the dance numbers, the familiarity, and the long-standing devotion of many. Who I’d give it to: Lysistrata Jones. It had a short run, but was truly original, energetic, fun and funny. I wish I’d had time to see it again! Kelly Who I think will win: Once. An argument can be made for Newsies, which is a bigger production and more of a “traditional” musical. But I’m going with Once – it has a quiet power that I think took everyone a bit by storm, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t take the award. Who I’d give it to: If I had my way, it would have been a completely different race. I still would pick Once to take the win, but Lysistrata Jones would be my secret second-place wish. William Who I think will win: Once, because the competition in the catagory is found to be wanting. Who I’d give it to: Once. The most creatively original show that’s been put out in a while, this show how a strong, tightly knit ensemble which delivers a humorously entertaining performance, and a story that will inspire you. Eileen Who I think will win: Once Who I’d give it to: Once
Once was the best all around musical to come to the Broadway stage this season. With great performances by a solid cast, well written story, and poignant music Once is a shoe in for Best Musical Winner. There is also a strong case for Newsies, however I walked away deeply moved by Once.
Best Revival of a Musical
Louise Who I think will win: Follies. That production was simply flawless from start to finish. Who I’d give it to: Godspell. It was totally robbed of nominations and is the only show this season I’ve been to see multiple times – I love it! Kelly Who I think will win: Porgy and Bess. Follies might sneak in there and take the award as well, and I would be happy with either choice for a win – both are beautiful productions with wonderful scores to match. Who I’d give it to: Though I adored Godspell, I would still give the win to Porgy and Bess. William Who I think will win: Porgy and Bess. Who I’d give it to: I actually haven’t seen any of them yet, but Porgy & Bess still gets my vote! Eileen Who I think will win: Porgy and Bess. Who I’d give it to: Porgy and Bess, though I am disappointed with the revival of Evita and think that it is a shame that Godspell was not nominated instead.
Louise Who I think will win: This is a tough one as all of these nominees are excellent and deserving, but I’m going with Venus in Fur. Smart, fun, exciting, and memorable! Who I’d give it to: Peter and the Starcatcher. I LOVED Venus in Fur (saw it twice in fact), but Peter and the Starcatcher filled me with joy in a way that is so rare, I just want it to be recognized. Kelly Who I think will win: Other Desert Cities. The show has gotten the most buzz out of the four, and Tony voters LOVE a good drama. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen it, so I can’t be sure…but my prediction is that it will pick up the win. Who I’d give it to: If ever there was a category that deserved a two-way tie, it’s this one. Both Venus in Fur and Peter and the Starcatcher are engaging, intense, and AMAZING works of theatre. William Who I think will win: Venus in Fur. This is the only play I have described as sexy! Witty, clever, and full of flirtatiousness this play is 90 minutes of foreplay delivered by the tantalizing cast of 2 who form an indelible powerhouse of acting. Who I’d give it to: Venus in Fur. First, they will win because they deserve it. Second, because the other nominees have not received as much popularity or publicity. Eileen Who I think will win: Other Desert Cities Who I’d give it to: All of the nominees!
This was a really tough choice as all of the new plays are really well done and performed. However it was Stockard Channing who won me over!
Best Revival of a Play Louise Who I think will win: Death of a Salesman. It’s not often you see plays on Broadway selling out every single night, so they must be doing something right (besides casting Philip Seymour Hoffman) Who I’d give it to: Death of a Salesman Kelly Who I think will win: Death of a Salesman. Again, the show with the most buzz gets my vote. A classic Arthur Miller piece, this revival was star-studded and by all accounts has lived up to the tremendous expectations placed before it. Who I’d give it to: I am ashamed to admit I have not had the chance to see any of the four plays nominated, which is rare for me. I have heard wonderful things about each nominee, but I would most likely lean towards Death of a Salesman, just because of how good I heard Philip Seymour Hoffman is. William Who I think will win: Death of a Salesman. Just because it’s a popular show and everyone loves Arthur Miller (though I’m not sure why) Who I’d give it to: Death of a Salesman Eileen Who I think will win: Death of a Salesman Who I’d give it to: Death of a Salesman
I love this play through and through— the solid cast really cements it as my choice.
A quick word about the other nominees: I didn’t care for The Best Man despite its all star cast. Masterclass and Wit are both really well done as well, but Arthur Miller will always hold a special place in my heart.
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Louise Who I think will win: Jeremy Jordan. He burst on to the scene this year with leading roles in both Bonnie & Clyde and Newsies, and he is phenomenal. Who I’d give it to: Jeremy Jordan, but I’d also just like to mention that I’d give the Best Featured Actor award to Nick Blaemire in Godspell because he is just so darn charming. Kelly Who I think will win: Norm Lewis. Rumors are that Norm Lewis is playing the part of his career in Porgy and Bess, and I’m inclined to agree. Who I’d give it to: I have to go with Norm Lewis. Porgy and Bess is such an undertaking, and left in less capable hands, it would be daunting. In Lewis’ hands, it is magical. William Who I think will win: Norm Lewis – just because him and Audra have gotten so much praise Who I’d give it to: Steve Kazee. Powerful voice, skilled guitarist, great comedic timing, natural performance, and handsome. His performance immediately charms you and makes you pull for him all the way! Eileen Who I think will win: Norm Lewis Who I’d give it to: Steve Kazee
I think Norm Lewis is going to take this one, although I would love to see Steve Kazee pull this one off. Kazee was incredible in Once. I would love to see Jeremy Jordan win this one, but I don’t think the American Theatre Wing would do it.
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Louise Who I think will win: Audra McDonald. I believe that woman is secretly hypnotizing people from the stage (not that I don’t think she’s awesome, but the look people get in their eyes when they talk about her is downright creepy) Who I’d give it to: Jan Maxwell. It’s not easy to outshine Bernadette Peters when you’re sharing a stage with her, and I hate to admit that she kind of managed. Kelly Who I think will win: Audra McDonald. The woman is a force to be reckoned with. She has 4 Tony Awards under her belt already, and I would bet this year brings her a well-deserved number 5. Who I’d give it to: Audra all the way. Though, again, this category is filled to the brim with deserving actresses William Who I think will win: Audra McDonald – just because she and Norm have gotten so much praise. Who I’d give it to: Cristin Milioti – Powerful voice, great pianist, instantly charming, funny, witty. Her performance is moving and you can’t help but love her. Eileen Who I think will win: Christin Milioti Who I’d give it to: Christin Milioti
I loved Once and Christin Milioti gave an amazing performance as the girl. I would love to see her win. This is a category full of talent! I can honestly see any of these amazing women win.
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Louise Who I think will win: Nina Arianda. Her performance blew my mind both times I saw the show. I’ve never seen anything like it. Who I’d give it to: Nina Arianda. See above. Kelly Who I think will win: Stockard Channing. I feel that Tony voters tend to lean more towards big names with dramatic shows behind them. This category is difficult for me to predict, because it really could go in several different directions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cynthia Nixon or even Nina Arianda take the win…but I’m betting Stockard Channing is the choice. Who I’d give it to: Nina Arianda. NINA ARIANDA. This phenomenally talented actress may be young, but don’t count her out. Her mixture of effortless comedic and insightful and powerful dramatic acting is truly something to behold. William Who I think will win: Nina Arianda. Spot on naturalistic performance; sexy, funny, and keeps her partner on her toes. Who I’d give it to: Nina Arianda. Eileen Who I think will win: Tracie Bennett Who I’d give it to: Nina Arianda
Tracie Bennett gives the performance of a lifetime as Judy Garland at the end of her days. I think most people agree that she will win. Though this is a category full of incredible talent, I think Nina Arianda is the biggest threat; Arianda gave a seductive performance in Venus In Fur.
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Louise Who I think will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is bringing down the house every night in what is not exactly a feel-good role. Who I’d give it to: John Lithgow. As a small token of my love and affection. (PS: Best Featured Actor in a Play 100% to Christian Borle for Peter and the Starcatcher. Pure brilliance from start to finish). Kelly Who I think will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman. I think he’ll take it…and deservedly so. The man is a great actor, both on stage and on screen. Who I’d give it to: I have to give my vote to James Corden for One Man, Two Guvnors. His type of comedy is almost impossible to pull off well, and he is a master of his craft. His performance (well supported by his equally brilliant costars) had me gasping for air from laughing so hard…and revelling in the chance to see what felt like a once-in-a-blue-moon type of production. William Who I think will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman Who I’d give it to: James Corden
Eileen Who I think will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman Who I’d give it to: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Phillip Seymour Hoffman tackles the role of Willy Loman with such vigor, and manages to capture the complexity of the character as few actors can. Although… Frank Langella gives a solid performance in Man and Boy. I think he might pull off a surprise upset.
Submit your own speculations: the entry that gets the most correct answers will win a Tony Prize Pack!
It’s an exciting time of year on Broadway: the new season starts, many new shows are opening and speculation begins about contenders for the 2012 Tony awards! This year, we’re really looking forward to the shows that Broadway has in store for us and we’ll be going to see as many of them as we can!
In celebration of the new season, we’ve launched our newest package: New Kids on the Broadway Block! Here are just a few of our top picks for this year, which you can choose as a part of the package:
As kids, we all loved the movie starring Bill Pullman and Christian Bale and we’re excited to see the film brought to life on a Broadway stage at long last! Featuring the songs we all remember like Carrying the Banner, King of New York, and Seize the Day, Newsies is based on the true story of the newsboy strike of 1899. The show is scheduled for a limited run at the Nederlander Theater from March 15th through June 10th, 2012 but we’re hoping it gets extended!
Broadway veteran Matthew Broderick returns to the Great White Way in this brand new musical comedy featuring some of the best loved showtunes from musical theater greats George and Ira Gershwin! Set in a Long Island mansion in the 1920′s, this show will feature songs we all know and love like ‘S Wonderful, I’ve Got a Crush on You, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, Someone to Watch Over Me, I’ve Got a Crush on You, and of course Nice Work if You Can Get It. We can’t wait to sing along from our seats! (silently, of course)
The 2006 film captured our hearts and as such, as can’t wait to flock to the new musical version of Once! This story of love and enchantment features the unforgettable and haunting song Falling Slowly, among many others. In case you’re one of the people who is not obsessed with the film: the story is of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their shared love of music. We’re going to see it next week so stay tuned for our review!
If you follow our blog, Facebook, and Twitter you’ve probably caught on by now that we are obsessed with this play, and if you see it you will be too! A casting couch tale like no other, Venus in Fur tells the story of a young actress auditioning for a new play based on the book Venus in Furs. Over the course of the play, the audition experience becomes all the more intense, mysterious, intriguing, sexually-charged, confusing and perhaps even sometimes alarming. This play is appropriate for mature audiences only! Stars Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy are astounding.
Two words: Ricky Martin. What else do you need to know? Only kidding! Evita is, of course, one of the most well-known and well-loved musicals and it returns to Broadway this month! Sure to be incredibly popular, we recommend booking tickets ASAP if you want to see Ricky Martin take on this role. Elena Rogers stars as Eva Peron in this story of the historical figure’s rise from the slums of Argentina to the Presidential Mansion, featuring songs Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Another Suitcase in Another Hall and High Flying, Adored.
Although we’re not selling tickets on our website yet (e-mail me if you want to book now!) I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the production I’m probably most excited about this season. Not only is the play amazing – telling the story of Elwood P Dowd and his best friend Harvey, a 6′ 3.5″ tall rabbit that only Elwood can see, the production is going to star Jim Parsons, best known for his portrayal of theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper on the show The Big Bang Theory. Parsons made his Broadway debut last year in The Normal Heart and apparently he just couldn’t wait to come back. We’d be thrilled if Broadway is where he regularly spent his hiatus from filming his hit TV show. Harvey starts May 18th (aka, not soon enough!)
This is just a small taste of what’s to come on Broadway this year – other shows we’re looking forward to include Ghost the Musical, Leap of Faith, Best Man, A Streetcar Named Desire, One Man Two Guvners, Jesus Christ Superstar, End of the Rainbow and many others! In addition to Matthew Broderick, Ricky Martin and Jim Parsons we’re welcoming Jon Lithgow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Eric McCormack, Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, Jeff Goldblum, Raul Esparza, Michael Cerveris, and Blair Underwood, among others, to town.
Stay tuned to our blog as we make our way to all of the shows and review them for you, and e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to plan a trip and want to figure out which show is right for you!
It’s an exciting time of year on Broadway – over the next two months many new shows will be opening and there is much to look forward to this year! One of the most exciting new arrivals is Ghost the Musical, based on the well-loved 1990 film, direct from its red hot run in London. Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to The Ghostlight Sessions, a special sneak peek event for the show at the Lunt-Fontanne theater.
The poster for Ghost, outside the Lunt-Fontanne
The Lunt-Fontanne is still under construction for the production which begins preview performances this March, so while we heard several songs from the production we only got a brief peak via video of the London production of some of the breathtaking special effects that we can expect. Producer Colin Ingram, who hosted the event, told us that Teller (of the famous illusionist duo Penn & Teller) came to see the London production and admitted that he could not figure out how many of the illusions were accomplished. I for one cannot wait to see these effects in person – the brief glimpse we got was visually stunning and if they stumped Teller I definitely want to get a closer look!
Colin Ingram chats with Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard
Mr. Ingram brought out Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote both the screenplay for the movie and the book for the musical, as well as some of the song lyrics. Mr. Rubin admitted that he was at first reluctant to do a musical, but as they began to work on it he became enamored with the idea of reimagining the wonderful love story with a Broadway backdrop, and the addition of two incredibly talented singer/songwriters, Dave Stewart (Here Comes the Rain Again, Underneath it All, Don’t Ask Me Why) and Glen Ballard (Hold On, Ironic, Man in the Mirror) the show really took off – though Mr. Rubin laughingly admitted that very few of his lyrics ended up making it to the final production! Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart were present and accompanying the performers on guitar and keyboard, and joined Colin Ingram to talk about their inspiration for some of the songs in the show and their experience writing it.
Da'Vine Joy Randolph rocks out to I'm Outta Here
We were treated several songs from the production including Here Right Now, which opens the show and is sung joyously by leads Cassie Levy and Richard Fleeshman who starred in the original London production, the haunting and heartbreaking With You sung by Cassie Levy, I’m Outta Here sung by the devine newcomer Da’vine Joy Randolph who is brand new on the Broadway scene and is surely one to watch, and Suspend by Disbelief/I Had a Life which opens the second act of the show. The songs showed the variety of music we can expect with this show but each one of them was moving, catchy and exciting even without the flashy sets and special effects. With You in particular caught my attention, even out of context it was so beautiful and emotional that I felt myself tearing up.
Enjoying my swag from The Ghostlight Sessions
After attending The Ghostlight Sessions I can hardly wait the two months until I get to see the show for the first time, but do you know what the best part is? You don’t even have to take my word for it! The folks at Ghost the Musical love connecting with their audience and so they will be airing The Ghostlight Sessions today (January 24th, 2012) on their Facebook page at 4:30 and 9 PM EST. You can tune in by visiting them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GhostBroadway?sk=app_315979301776005! Then, if you’re as excited as I am, e-mail me at email@example.com to start planning your trip to NYC to see Ghost the Musical. If you’re lucky maybe I’ll let you borrow my Ghost hardhat.
I’ll admit it – I’m a Broadway fanatic. In my time off from working hard to bring the best of New York City to our clients here at New York Guest, I am a professional singer and actor, so nothing makes me happier than a night on “The Great White Way.” This week I was lucky enough to see a performance of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” along with my colleagues Michael, Kelly and concierge Isa.
Based on the cult hit movie from 1994, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” follows two drag queens and a transsexual on a cross-country journey through the wilds of the Australian Outback in a giant pink bus they lovingly christen “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Frustrated with his career in Sydney, Tick (played by Broadway favorite Will Swenson) receives an invitation from his ex-wife to perform his drag show at her casino on the other side of the country. Tick enlists the help of his two best friends: Bernadette, a transsexual who is grieving the loss of both her recently deceased husband as well as her glory days as a performer (played by Tony nominee Tony Sheldon) and Adam, a young and restless troublemaker making his mark on the drag queen world with his new style of performance (played by Nick Adams). As the trip kicks off, Bernadette and Adam’s personalities clash, while Tick is busy hiding his personal reasons for taking the cross-country trip – the chance to meet his young son, Benji. The journey is far from smooth – the trio encounters mechanical problems along the way, casing them to encounter an array of Australian citizens – some of whom are less than welcoming of their drag queen lifestyle.
A unique part of “Priscilla” is the way the songs are mixed into the show. The drag queens alternate between singing their own numbers as well as lip synching along to three “Divas,” who spend the majority of the show singing their faces off in three-part harmony, all while dangling from the top of the stage area. These three extremely talented ladies move the action along from above, occasionally dropping onto the stage to join in a full-cast production number, of which there are many.
The trio of leading men will win your heart right from the start. Touchingly acted by all three, I was extremely impressed with the depth of each of the characters. The witty barbs exchanged between Bernadette and Adam had the entire audience laughing, and the tender scenes between Tick and Benji as well as the trio of men literally had me in tears. Special props must also be given to Nick Adams – he is an unbelievable dancer, with a voice that had me from the first note (and trust me…being a trained singer, I am a TOUGH vocal critic.)
Now, I’m not going to lie to you – this show is not for everyone. If you’re uncomfortable watching drag queens “shake their groove thang” with the occasional curse word and innuendo tossed in for comic effect, then you might want to look for a different show. However, if you want to see energetic dance numbers, over 500 colorful, sparkly and imaginative costumes (for which “Priscilla” won the 2011 Tony Award for “Best Costume Design of a Musical,”) bounce along in your seat to an epic list of disco and dance hits like “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” “Hot Stuff,” and “Material Girl,” all while experiencing a truly heartwarming story about the importance of family, friendship, tolerance, and loving yourself for who you are, then this is the show for you.
Kelly, Kelly, Michael & Isa loved the show and the boas!
I had a blast at the show, and ever since I have been singing bits of the soundtrack to anyone who will listen…and a few who won’t…haha!
Did you know you can have your bachelorette party at Priscilla, and the bride will get to dance on stage? You can also propose or even get married on stage during the show! If you’re interested in any of these, or just want to see the show on your next trip to New York, check out the Priscilla Concierge Website at http://www.priscillaonbroadway.com/concierge.html or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 212-302-4019 to secure your seating today!
I grew up in a very musical family. My mother was music teacher and can play the guitar, violin, piano, and flute. My brother is a self taught musician just beginning a college course in musical production. My father sings (out of tune). And I have sung in church choirs since I was in high school. We love music and musicals, so it was a great treat for us to see How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
My father remembers the original production in 1961 starring Robert Morse, also known as Bert Cooper on Mad Men. This 50th Anniversary revival stars Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. From start to finish, you are in for a fast, fun, and exciting ride! The music, the sets, the acting– everything is what you would expect from a Broadway show!
Daniel Radcliffe stars as J. Pierrepont Finch, an ambitious young window washer. Finch has big dreams of entering the advertising world and working his way up to head of the advertising department of the World Wide Wicket Company. But how does one exactly transition from washing the windows of skyscrapers to an ad man? Well, you follow the steps of the handy dandy book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying of course! With some fine charisma, Finch works his way up from working in the mailroom to becoming a Vice President. However there is one small problem, Finch has no experience in the advertising world. Now that Finch has landed his dream job, can he hold onto it?
John Larroquette is unbelievably funny as the President of the World Wide Wicket Company, JB Bigley. Larroquette won the 2011 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for this performance. Larroquette and Radcliffe have great chemistry that is the crux of the musical. We were all laughing during their interactions throughout the show. Also featured is a great ensemble that will keep you laughing and singing along. I downloaded the cast recording and haven’t been able to stop listening to it since!
Daniel Radcliffe will be with the show until January 2012. Darren Criss, of Glee and a Very Potter Musical fame, will take over for a three week stint in January. Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers will take over as J. Pierrepont Finch on January 24, 2012. This show is a can’t miss! E-mail me at email@example.com to plan your trip today!
Yesterday, I finally saw The Book of Mormon. I bought my ticket right after the Tony awards and I still had to get one three months away in order to get a decent seat at the regular box office price. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but this show is insanely popular. Now that I’ve seen the show personally, I want to address the most common questions we get from people who are considering booking our Hottest Ticket in Town: The Book of Mormon & The Ace Hotel package.
What is the show actually about?
The show takes a really obvious shot at The Lion King in act 1
The Book of Mormon is the story of two young Mormons, Elder Pryce and Elder Cunningham, who have just finished their missionary training. Elder Pryce is the pride of the mission, while Elder Cunningham is sort of a mess. They are paired up for their two year mission and sent to Uganda to convert the native people to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Elder Pryce is apprehensive about the assignment but determined to do something incredible. The two are totally unprepared for the reality of Uganda and the results are, shall we say, unexpected.
Is the music good?
The missionaries don sparkly vests for their act 1 tap number "Turn it Off"
The music is fantastic! There are so many different styles of song used in this show, every one is catchy and memorable in its own way. The lyrics are clever and there are tons of references to other shows and music. The Lion King, of course, takes a serious beating, but there are also references to Chicago and Annie and I’m sure many others I missed. That’s not to say the music isn’t original – it is! And as a Broadway lover, I am so happy anytime a musical has new music that the audience wants to sing along with. Favorites for me were Spooky Mormon Hell Dream, I Believe, and All-American Prophet. There is also a fantastic tap dancing number in the first act called Turn it Off. I’m a sucker for tap dancing, and I was surprised and delighted to see it done so well in this show.
Is the show offensive?
Elder Pryce & Elder Cunningham tell the story of the Book of Mormon in American Prophet
YES. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not known for their subtlety. I cannot overstate this: this show has explicit language. Every curse word you have ever heard of is in this show, multiple times. Nothing is sacred in this show – there are jokes about religion (obviously), poverty, rape, AIDS, female circumcision and pretty much anything else you would not normally think to joke about.
But even if you might think there is no way such jokes could be funny, they mostly are. And I should specify that I actually hate profanity for the sake of profanity and I dislike manufactured shock value, but I didn’t think this show was guilty of that. The jokes were genuinely funny and they come from a very real place. Actually, I was raised in a non-religious household and I found that I learned quite a bit about the Mormon religion!
If you are truly bothered by the idea of jokes on these topics, and LOTS of cursing, don’t see the show. There are plenty of other fantastic options that don’t address the same sensitive issues.
Is this really THE show to see on Broadway?
This is a tough question for me. I thought the show was excellent and I’d love to see it again, but is it the ONLY show you should bother with on Broadway now? Absolutely not. Here’s the thing: this show is going to be around for years. Guaranteed. It’s already sold out through most of next year! You have time to see it. In fact, e-mail us and plan ahead now for your trip next year and see it for much less than you’d pay to see it last minute!
In the meantime, if you are coming to NYC this fall and you have the budget to see Book of Mormon, absolutely – see it! Or if you’re planning a trip to NYC in spring, summer or fall of 2012, book now and SEE IT when you come! Opportunities to be part of a Broadway phenomenon don’t come along every day. However, if it isn’t in your budget don’t despair. There are so many other wonderful things on Broadway. Godspell is opening soon and is going to be a fantastic production, Follies is closing January 23rd so this fall/winter is your one and only chance to see it, Daniel Radcliffe is leaving How to Succeed in Business at the end of the year and who knows when we’ll see him on Broadway again, Addams Family is another fun, irreverent musical and it closes at the end of December as well.
What’s the best way to get tickets to the Book of Mormon?
By booking a package with New York Guest, of course! Our standard package includes a room at the Ace hotel, but our specialty is working within different budgets, so give us a shout, let us know your budget, and we’ll work some New York Guest magic. Check out our Hottest Ticket in Town package here, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or to get a customized quote.
I will admit without shame that there was a time in my childhood where I watched the 1973 movie version of Godspell (starring the ever-fantastic Victor Garber) more than once a week. So it has frankly been painful for me to wait for the revival to open. With just three weeks to go until previews begin, my colleague Kelly and I went up to Circle in the Square theater to check out the progress of the load-in and get the inside scoop on the production.
The theater lobby was filled with equipment and boxes, a strange sight considering I’ve only ever seen the space jammed with people before or after a show. When we walked into the actual theater I was so pleased to see that they’ll be using the space the way I happen to think Circle in the Square is best utilized: the center is the stage and there are seats on every side of it (see seating chart). Some productions choose to block off one section of seats to have a more traditional set-up, but I think this set-up is PERFECT for Godspell for so many reasons:
- The actors are very likely to spend some time in the audience (this actually ends up happening at most Circle in the Square productions) because it is the easiest way to get on and off stage
- It gives the theater an incredibly intimate feeling – there are 700 seats (still small by Broadway standards) but if you had to guess looking at it you might think there were 200.
- Since Godspell is such an ensemble show, it gives the actors the opportunity to play to different sections of the audience at different times, meaning you could go to see it multiple times (I probably will) and see things you missed the last time.
- This is always true of Circle in the Square, but the house is so intimate that there aren’t more than 11 rows in every section – even when you’re in the last row, you’re closer to the action than you can get in many other Broadway theaters!
It was an amazing experience to see the Broadway stage being built. The theater was full of tools and equipment and there seemed to be quite a bit of welding going on. There are beautiful chandeliers already hanging throughout the house, and some kind of pulley system seemed to be being hung above the stage. When I asked our guide about it, her lips were sealed but she did say that in this production we’d see a lot of things that we’d never seen before in a Broadway show. As much as I tried to get details, she wanted to keep some of the mystery alive, but I did secure this tidbit: Rather than having a section for the orchestra, band members will be seated in different sections throughout the house, which will give the show a surround sound effect. How awesome is that? She also confirmed that there will be some serious audience participation in this show – come prepared to dance!
I verified with our guide that the show will have the bright colors that you’d expect. She couldn’t reveal details about the costumes but she said that the designer has come up with some amazing stuff. I also inquired as to whether the show would be appropriate for all ages, because the movie does get a little intense at the end, and she said it would be great for kids – the beautiful costumes, amazing choreography, catchy music and overall joyfulness of the show will delight everyone.
Godspell opens for previews October 13th. This production stars Hunter Parrish, Lindsay Mendez, Telly Leung and many other talented young actors. Godspell includes beautiful songs such as Day by Day, Bless the Lord, All Good Gifts, Light of the World and many more.
I’ll follow up in a few weeks once the show has opened and I’ve been to see it to let you know whether the production meets my expectations (which I have no doubt that it will). In the meantime, contact us to secure your seats to this brand new production! Great for groups, individuals, families, and everyone else. E-mail me at email@example.com.
Every year over 100,000 visitors turn to New York Guest for advice on the best way to enjoy New York City. This blog is written by New York Guest's professional hotel concierges and expert travel planners who will share with you their experiences living, working and playing in New York City.
Contact us at (212) 302-4019 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for personalized advice and assistance. Alternatively visit our website at www.newyorkguest.com for booking and more information.