Monthly Archives: June 2014

Living it up at Madame Tussauds

by Louise, Director of Operations

Last night we were lucky to be invited to check out the expanded exhibits at Madame Tussauds in Times Square. This branch of the famous wax museum (which originated in London over 175 years ago) has been open since 2000, and is one of the most popular additions to the area. It is well worth a visit on your next trip to New York!

Leo and Ash wore the same outfit. Awkward.

Leo and Ash wore the same outfit. Awkward.

The exhibition encompasses 6 floors – you’ll be brought to the top by elevator and make your way down. On the way you’ll find dozens of stunning replicas of movie stars, historical figures, famous athletes, fictional characters, and more, all ready for wonderful photo ops in a variety of poses. Some of the more distinctive displays (ET, the Obamas, etc) are manned by professionals to snap a high quality photograph of you, but most are available for casual smart phone photos (or real cameras, if you are still doing that).

Melba tries her hand at being Don Draper's secretary

Melba tries her hand at being Don Draper’s secretary

We’d had a glass of wine or two before embarking on the exhibit, and while it’s fun and silly no matter what I don’t NOT recommend being a little loosened up. It definitely makes for some fun pictures! You can also get wine, beer and snacks at a few different snack bars on your way through.

I might identify a little too closely with Dorothy Parker

I might identify a little too closely with Dorothy Parker

The work, of course, is stunningly accurate. You may find yourself staring into the eyes of Anderson Cooper, certain that at any moment he will suddenly spring to life. Or maybe that was just me. I can guarantee, however, that the lifelike nature of these figures is nothing short of remarkable.

Kelly loves the Jonas Brothers and she doesn't care who knows about it

Kelly loves the Jonas Brothers and she doesn’t care who knows about it

Madame Tussauds is great fun for all ages, and the location makes it a fantastic way to bridge the gap between say, your day of sightseeing and your pre-theater dinner. It is included in a number of our sightseeing packages, including the Freestyle Tour and the New York Pass, or as a standalone ticket. We can also include it in your customized New York City Vacation Package – e-mail us at info@newyorkguest.com to start planning, and you, too, can find yourself soon contemplating life with Dorothy Parker, or performing with the Jonas Brothers.

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Filed under New York InSight, New York Sightseeing, NYC with Kids, Out on the Town

Our 2014 Tony Award Predictions!

This Sunday, June 8th marks a major event in the Broadway community – the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards. Kelly, our Manager of Group and Partner Services, Ash, our Concierge Manager, and concierges Cari, Tara and Robin put their theatre-loving heads together to make predictions for this year’s awards.

Best Musical

Shows nominated: After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful – the Carole King Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

tony-bestmusical

Kelly says:
Who will win – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. Who should win: Gentleman’s Guide. What an excellent show! It’s such a joy to see a completely original work being celebrated this year – and rightly so! It was funny, it was clever, it was WONDERFUL.
Ash says:
Who will win – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. Who should win – Gent’s Guide is ORIGINAL (huzzah!), with smart writing, clever direction, smart design, and solid performances.
Cari says:
Who will win – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. Who should win – Gentleman’s Guide is a clear winner!  It’s quirky fun with great singing based on an original idea! Original ideas should always win out – plus who can say no to an amazing musical farce?
Tara says:
Who will win – Beautiful – the Carole King Musical. Who should win – Gentleman’s Guide. Sometimes the Brit shows do well here, sometimes they don’t, as was the case of Kinky Boots vs. Matilda last year. Both of these shows seemed to start slowly then become a hit out of nowhere.
Robin says:
Who will win – toss-up between Gentleman’s Guide and Beautiful. Who should win – I think Gentleman’s Guide deserves the win.  I loved the show and it was so well reviewed.

Best Play

Shows nominated: Act One, All the Way, Casa Valentina, Mothers and Sons, Outside Mullingar

tony-bestplay

Kelly says:
Who will win – Act One. Who should win: Act One! Wonderful acting by leads Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana, this was both a love letter to the theatre in general, and a fascinating look back at a celebrated playwright’s early days.
Ash says:
Who will win – All the Way. Who should win – Act One. The Moss Hart bio-drama is a labor of love written by a theatre legend ABOUT a theatre legend. With gorgeous design and top notch performances, it’s a solid choice.
Cari says:
Who will win – All the Way. Who should win – All the Way. We have another clear winner at least to me.  It is an amazing play this season touching on such an important moment in history
Tara says:
Who will win – Casa Valentina. Who should win – Casa Valentina. Broadway and most of the country have been making a big push for LGBT issues, and much like the Oscars, there is usually some political relevance as to who wins these awards. Harvey Fierstein may also continue to ride the victory train started by last year’s winner Kinky Boots.
Robin says:
Who will win – Casa Valentina or All the Way. Who should win – Act One. I read this play and fell in love. It is such a beautiful tale of ‘making it’ in show business, very inspiring and funny as well!

Best Revival of a Musical

Shows nominated: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Les Miserables, Violet

tony-musicalrevival
Kelly says:
Who will win – Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Who should win – Hedwig. I’ll confess – I haven’t even SEEN Hedwig, I’m just going off the reports I’ve heard from numerous friends whose theatre opinions I value. Violet was well-done, but not as high-profile. And Les Miserables brought nothing new to the table with this tired revival that I thought was extremely miscast. It’s a slam dunk for Hedwig.
Ash says:
Who will win – Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Who should win – Hedwig. Because it’s awesome.
Cari says:
Who will win – Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Who should win – Violet!  Starring Sutton Foster, it delivers such an amazing message and heartfelt story.  We don’t always get understated and unique shows such as this focusing on the inner beauty of people.
Tara says:
Who will win – Hedwig and the Angry Inch or Les Miserables. Who should win – Hedwig. Hedwig began more than a decade ago and has an awesome cult following; back then she may have been ahead of her time, but hopefully the world is ready for her now. I also love Les Miserables,  but I think it’s time to pass the torch.
Robin says:
Who will win – Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Who should win – Hedwig!

Best Revival of a Play

Shows nominated: The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Glass Menagerie, A Raisin in the Sun, Twelfth Night

tony-playrevival

Kelly says:
Who will win – The Glass Menagerie. Who should win – The Glass Menagerie. The cast of this gem is the perfect example of capturing lightning in a bottle. I’m rooting for Celia Keenan-Bolger for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play SO HARD. She is magic, as was this performance.
Ash says:
Who will win – The Glass Menagerie. Who should win – Although I also adored Twelfth Night, I’m going with Menagerie, because I’ve simply never seen it so well-acted before. The scene between Laura and the Gentleman Caller gave me such hope (and I know the play well), that at its conclusion my heart was totally broken. I hope Celia Keenan-Bolger takes Supporting Actress in a Play!
Cari says:
Who will win – The Cripple of Inishmaan. Who should win – I have to go with The Glass Menagerie.  Cherry Jones and Celia Kennan Bolger were the perfect team but add in Zachary Quinto and you have an undeniable trio of star power!
Tara says:
Who will win – The Glass Menagerie or Twelfth Night. Who should win – Glass Menagerie/Twelfth Night another battle of the shows, as with the best musical contenders. Glass Menagerie had the lasting power and the star power for sure; but both Twelfth Night and Richard III did extremely well, the board may hopefully appreciate the authentic touches these shows provided. (I would be happy if either of these win.)
Robin says:
Who will win – The Glass Menagerie. Who should win – The Glass Menagerie – I wish I saw this!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Actors nominated: Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables), Andy Karl (Rocky), Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder), Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder)



Kelly says:
Who will win – Neil Patrick Harris. Who should win – STEVEN PASQUALE. The fact that he wasn’t nominated for The Bridges of Madison County is the greatest slight I could possibly have imagined, and I’m still reeling from it. Now, given those actually nominated, this is a toss-up between Jefferson Mays and NPH. I think both have a fighting chance, but I’m leaning towards NPH.
Ash says:
Who will win – Neil Patrick Harris. Who should win – NPH. He has poured himself into that role. The entire show is fresh and reinvented, and Neil Patrick Harris is at the center of it all. Plus, he is LIVING in those heels. Bravo! (Brava?)
Cari says:
Who will win – Neil Patrick Harris. Who should win – I love NPH. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE him but I think Andy Karl should bring home the statue for his performance in Rocky.  He is stellar, a true underdog in every sense of the word and I love that about him.
Tara says:
Who will win – Neil Patrick Harris. Who should win – Andy Karl. (Actually I hope it’s a tie.) NPH has been riding an incredible high the past few years, and I’ve been told his work in Hedwig is just amazing, but it should go to the underdog here in (Rocky fashion) Andy Karl; he carries the entire show, did Lord knows how much work to pull off the choreography in the finale match, and is charming enough to make you suspend disbelief that a boxer can sing.
Robin says:
Who will win – Jefferson Mays please! (I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryce Pinkham won though). Who should win – Jefferson Mays! His transformation in Gentleman’s Guide is flawless. I saw their first preview and his performance was so incredibly solid. He deserves this win. I was also quite impressed with Andy Karl’s Rocky – that’s my second choice.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Actresses nominated: Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin), Sutton Foster (Violet), Idina Menzel (If/Then), Jessie Mueller (Beautiful – the Carole King Musical), Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County)

tony-actress

Kelly says:
Who will win – Jessie Mueller. Who should win – honestly, this is the most difficult category for me. Kelli O’Hara’s performance in The Bridges of Madison County was emotional, specific, and sung so beautifully that I still cry every time I listen to the cast album (which I do frequently.) But Jessie Mueller’s Carole King is arguably one of the greatest stage portrayals of a real-life musical icon, and her performance elevates what could be shrugged off as a simple jukebox musical into so much more. I’d be happy if either actress took the prize.
Ash says:
Who will win – Jessie Mueller. Who should win – Oh Jessie, Jessie, Jessie!!! I am firmly Team Jessie. In the past few years, she has taken on so many HUGELY different roles, all of which she has NAILED. Her performance as Carole King lifts an otherwise pretty “paint-by-numbers” bio-musical to a significant contender for Best Musical. Her rendition of “So Far Away” is haunting.
Cari says:
Who will win – Jessie Mueller. Who should win – Whilst Kelli O’Hara has certainly paid her dues with this being her fifth nomination, I think this competitive category should go to the newbie who shows us all that we’ve got a friend. Jessie Mueller is the embodiment of Carole King without impersonating her; she brings life to every moment of this beautiful biopic.
Tara says:
Who will win – Jessie Mueller. Who should win – Idina Menzel, because I love her and want to be her when I grow up. Kelli O’Hara is another actress who did an amazing job in a show that did not do very well, despite poor reviews the two things that were enjoyed were Jason Robert Brown’s music and Kelli O Hara’s performance.
Robin says:
Who will win – Sutton Foster. Who should win – Kelli O’Hara. Because she’s a star and she deserves every Tony. I love her acting style and her voice is a dream. She seems like a wonderful person as well.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Actors Nominated: Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night), Bryan Cranston (All the Way), Chris O’Dowd (Of Mice and Men), Mark Rylance (Richard III), Tony Shalhoub (Act One)

Tony-actorplay

Kelly says:
Who will win – Bryan Cranston. Who should win – Samuel Barnett. Everyone has been talking about Mark Rylance’s turn as Olivia in this production, but I was astounded by Barnett’s Viola.
Ash says:
Who will win – Bryan Cranston. Who should win – Bryan Cranston will be halfway to his EGOT.
Cari says:
Who will win – Mark Rylance or Bryan Cranston. Who should win – Bryan Cranston shows us an amazing rendition of LBJ, breaking far, far away from the bad, bad Heisenberg!  I hope he gets recognized for his performance and makes his way back to Broadway again soon.
Tara says:
Who will win – Bryan Cranston. Who should win – Bryan Cranston. I know the Tonys have been snubbing TV/Movie actors on Broadway as of late, but Bryan Cranston is an amazing actor and puts himself into everything he does (have you SEEN Breaking Bad?) I really hope they do the right thing and give him the Tony.
Robin says:
Who will win – Bryan Cranston. Who should win – Chris O’Dowd because his speech would be hilarious and down to earth so basically I want him to win for my entertainment.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

tony-actressplay

Actresses nominated: Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun), Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie), Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn)

Kelly says:
Who will win – Audra McDonald. Who should win – AUDRA FOR ALL THE AWARDS EVER. Cherry Jones had a career-defining (in an already remarkable career!) performance in The Glass Menagerie, but Audra is just…magic. She doesn’t just perform a character, she INHABITS them. She is just phenomenal.
Ash says:
Who will win – Audra McDonald. Who should win – Audra McDonald should win all awards. Kidding, I only kinda-sorta feel that way. Still, as much as I fawned over Cherry Jones’ master class in acting as Amanda Wingfield in Menagerie, Audra’s turn as Billie Holliday was so immersive – so complete – that I forgot I was even watching Audra. Transformative. I’ll never forget that performance.
Cari says:
Who will win – Audra McDonald. Who should win – Gosh this one is hard. I think Audra is so worthy and I love her but how could I not want Cherry Jones to win in a role she was born to play? Both ladies are so amazing and I am in awe of their talents.  Whether Audra wins for portraying the iconic Billie Holiday or Cherry brings it home for her matriarchal turn, we are lucky to have these strong ladies on Broadway stages.
Tara says:
Who will win – Audra McDonald. Who should win – Audra Mc Donald. She’s amazing as Billie Holiday and one of those actresses who can get a Tony nod just for being on stage, it’s possible they may give the Tony to someone else to change things up, but she deserves it.
Robin says:
Who will win – All of these ladies are very amazing, this is such a powerful group! But, Audra McDonald or Estelle Parsons. Who should win – Any of these ladies, honestly.

 

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