Monthly Archives: June 2013

Independence Day is a Week Away!

So you’ve survived the frozen days of winter and the pollen filled days of spring— summer is here! The Fourth of July is just around the corner and there are so many things to do in the city.

1. The Macys Fourth of July Fireworks

4j1The most famous firework display on the East Cost, the Macys annual display of fireworks is perhaps the most traditional way to spend the Fourth of July. Over 40,000 individual fireworks will be lit at 9 M EST along the Hudson River. Revelers get there early, so be sure to claim your spot along the Hudson between 24th and 57th Streets. There are many cruises and ticketed events with a view of the fireworks as well – so if you’re looking for something special give us a shout and we’ll be happy to make some recommendations!

2. The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

4j2Since the Fireworks don’t start until 9 PM, why not head out to the Coney Island Boardwalk to catch a hot dog. The famous hot dog eating contest starts at noon (but it is recommended for spectators to arrive by 11 AM for a good viewing spot). Watch as contests from around the world attempt to eat as many hot dogs they can in ten minutes. Joey Chestnut of San Jose, who won with 68 hot dogs and buns last year, will attempt to win for the seventh straight year and sent a new world record for consecutive wins. Nathan’s has been a staple of the Coney Island Boardwalk since 1916; selling their first hot dog for five cents (yes, you read that right- 5 cents for a hot dog). In addition to sponsoring the event, Nathan’s is also expected to donate 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City this year.

3. The New York Philharmonic Summertime Classics: Star Spangled Celebration

4j5The New York Philharmonic will be performing July 3rd and 4th at Avery Fischer Hall in Lincoln Center. The orchestra performs classic American theatrical pieces as well as some of the armed forces anthems. Tickets start at about $35.

4. The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

4j4It’s a exciting day for these two important monuments in New York City. During Hurricane Sandy last fall, both islands were badly damaged and were not safe for the public. They were closed indefinitely and every tourism worker was laid off. Over the past 7 months a huge amount of work has taken place, and on July 4th, 2013 they will both be reopened to the public at last! You can be one of the first to visit the newly reopened Statue and Ellis Island – but be wary, there are going to be long lines! Get there early if you want to be part of this historic day. The first ferry departs at 8:30 AM.

As always, feel free to e-mail us with any questions and we hope you will join us in celebrating the 4th of July in New York City! It may get crowded, but there’s always room for everyone!

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Filed under New York Sightseeing, NYC News and Information, Out on the Town

The Top 10 NYC Architecture Photos

We love these photos! Thank you to the reminder from all of our entrants to “look up”! Scroll down to check out the contenders, and then vote for your favorite. Voting will close on June 19th at 9 AM EST!

#1 by Carol Garner

#1 by Carol Garner

#2 by Francesco Tamberi

#2 by Francesco Tamberi

#3 by Francesco Tamberi

#3 by Francesco Tamberi

#4 by Gabriela Ciarallo

#4 by Gabriela Ciarallo

#5 by Ilse Neugebauer

#5 by Ilse Neugebauer

#6 by Lesley Rae

#6 by Lesley Rae

#7 by Linda Brown

#7 by Linda Brown

#8 by Linda Brown

#8 by Linda Brown

#9 by Ryan Nakazaki

#9 by Ryan Nakazaki

#10 by Tine Fagerlund

#10 by Tine Fagerlund

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Murder Ballad: a steamy tale where good does not prevail

by Kelly, Manager of Group and Partner Services

A tale of a love triangle gone wrong is brewing downtown.  The newly re-mounted production of the hip and sexy rock opera Murder Ballad opened May 22nd Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre, and has recently been extended through September 2013.

Beginning at a dive bar in the EastMB3 Village, passionate, wild Sara and brooding bartender Tom share an intense relationship that comes to an ugly end.  Still stinging from the bitter breakup, Sara’s guard is slowly let down when she meets sweet, academic Michael.  Together they begin a life of quiet domesticity on the Upper West Side as they marry and raise their daughter.  But as the predictable and safe life she is living starts to pale in comparison to her past, Sara ventures downtown and rekindles her torrid affair with Tom.  The slow burn of drama bursts into flame at the end of the story as Michael becomes wise to the affair and one of the trio meets a grisly end.

MB2Rounding out the small four-person cast and leading us through the story is the Narrator – an intriguing and enigmatic woman who sets the dark undertone of the show from her first notes and keeps the audience not only informed but on their toes as she adds quippy “asides” as Sara’s story unfurls before us.

The audience is engaged by all four characters throughout the show, as the actors enter, exit and emote in the aisles of the audience (seated completely around the main area of action.)  Certain audience members have on-stage seating as their tables become part of the action and cast members wind through their immediate area.  The staging of the show was extremely well done – all areas of seating had at least one cast member to focus on in close raMB4nge, as the action played through the entire theatre.  Though the physical set never changes, pieces such as a pool table and the bar effortlessly transform through the eyes of the cast, leading the audience to alternate locations of the city.

Julia Jordan (book and lyrics) and Juliana Nash’s (music and lyrics) rock opera score (there are no spoken scenes of dialogue – everything is sung) lends itself well to the story, as the action is constantly moving full steam ahead without interruption.

MB1As unsettled Sara, Caissie Levy (Hair; Ghost) leads the cast with a confident portrayal of a woman whose passions can never be seem to be tamed.  Her powerful vocals suit the rock opera genre and compliment the show’s score.  As her dark and stormy lover Tom, Will Swenson (Hair; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) provides the perfect amount of smolder and smarm.  Sara’s cuckolded husband Michael is played with sincerity and heart by John Ellison Conlee (The Full Monty; The Madrid) – your heart breaks for him as the happy world he and Sara created crumbles before his eyes.  Yet the standout performance for me came from Narrator Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot; Passing Strange.)  Jones’ haunting voice gave me chills and her whimsical and wry characterization held the audience in the palm of her hand throughout the show.

As the action comes to its peak and it is revealed which character ultimately succumbs in the end (and which character is responsible), a collective gasp rang throughout the audience – a true sign of good storytelling.  Edgy and fresh, Murder Ballad is an intriguing night of theatre that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Interested in seeing Murder Ballad for yourself?  Email me at kshoemaker@newyorkguest.com, or call us at 212-302-4019 for more information.

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Filed under Broadway Review