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New York Trip Reviews


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#1 Samuel

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

Hi All,

I've just returned from NYC and managed to see 7 shows out there! Thought I would post a review of what I saw.

Kinky Boots
Wasn't planning on seeing this but turned up to the theatre on the off chance and managed to grab a standing room ticket for $27. Great view from the back of the stalls. This was really good fun and had some catchy songs. However, the accents were terrible and all over the place. It's supposed to be set in Northampton but couldn't really work out what accents most the cast were doing. The audience loved it and I think it would do really well if it transfers over here.  

Newsies
This was superb and I really hope it transfers. Saw a Wednesday matinee performance and won a lottery ticket for $30. My seat was in the front left hand side of the stalls, slightly restricted view but not too bad for the price. The show was terrific and had some of the best choreography I have ever seen on stage, an incredible mixture of ballet and tap which the cast make look effortless. The songs were great and the production is very tight. Very well deserved standing ovation.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
I was looking forward to this the most as I love Gershwin and wasn't disappointed at all. Got half price tickets from the Tkts booth in Times Sq. Highly amusing performance from Matthew Broderick. All the leads were excellent. Sets and costumes were brilliant. Another standing ovation. Such a shame it's closing as I would definitely recommend this.

Pippin
This was the only show I wasn't able to get any discounts for. Not sure what to make of this at all. Some parts were absolutely spectacular and some of it fell flat. It's more of a Cirque du Soleil performance rather than a typical broadway show. The songs were great and I absolutely loved the Bob Fosse choreography. The main problem was that the book, to me, seemed quite weak. It's a really naf storyline and I just didn't get the point of it. Also, there is a highly annoying character who dominates most of Act 2 which really irritated me. Have to say that Patina Miller was outstanding as the lead player, very impressed with her singing and dancing. The acrobatics were superb and without giving too much away, there is a showstopping moment half way through Act 1 which got a standing ovation! Overall, I had really high expectations for this but left slightly disappointed. Maybe it's just me?

Cinderella
A typical Rodgers and Hammerstein show, wonderful music, dazzling sets and costumes. A very big production that fills up the massive Broadway Theatre very well. Reminded me a bit of Beauty and the Beast. The leads playing Cinderella and the prince were both excellent. Went to the Sat matinee and there were lots of young children in the audience who were clearly loving it as they kept on talking all the way through! I hope this transfers over here as I think it would do really well.

New York City Ballet - Tribute to Broadway
This was the highlight of my trip! A superb mixed programme that consisted of Carousel, Gershwin's Who Cares and, finally, West Side Story Suite. The dancing was just fabulous.The Lincoln Center do discounted half price tickets on the day for most productions and I managed to grab a bargain for $46. The New York State Theater is home to the NYC ballet and it's a beautiful theatre with a very large proscenium stage which means you get a decent view from practically every seat. They toured London a few years ago (at the Coliseum) and would recommend seeing them if they come over again.

Spiderman - Turn Off the Dark
OMG what a complete mess!! This was so shockingly awful I was left speechless! Ok I knew it was going to be bad but wanted to experience the spectacle so used a broadwaybox discount code and got a Mezzanine box seat for $99 which, of course, was a complete waste of money. The production is dreadful. Bono's music is instantly forgettable. Not a fan at all. The only redeeming feature is that the flying sequences above the audience are spectacular but the rest of the show is unbelievably embarrassing to watch. AND it got a standing ovation why?? The best bit was in the interval when the lovely couple from Colorado I was sitting next to asked me if Great Britain was an island...?!

Overall I had a great time. I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel just off Times Sq which meant that all the theatres were within walking distance. Very comfortable hotel but quite expensive (around £200 a night) but the rooms are very spacious for NYC standards. Also, I would definitely recommend doing a day trip to Woodbury Common (if you like designer labels) as the shopping there is amazing and so ridiculously cheap. The bus takes around an hour each way from the Port Authority bus terminal and costs about $40.

Loved the free playbills (basically a free program with cast details) you get for each show. Wish they would do the same here! All the ushers I met were very friendly and helpful. Can't wait to go back!

Cheers, Sam

#2 xanderl

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:42 PM

Interesting report, and welcome to the board!

I saw Pippin at the Menier last year and had a similar reaction to you - I'm glad I only paid £20 to be disappointed rather than broadway prices :)
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#3 exitstageright

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:37 PM

You did a great job picking your shows!  If someone had told me they only had 7 slots to fill, I definitely would have recommended several of those.  I agree with some of your criticisms too - Pippin struck me as a great production of a somewhat weak show (though I know many people love it).  And yes, many of those Kinky Boots accents are really sketchy!

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#4 sam22

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:23 AM

How strange, I just got back from Broadway too and was planning a thread like this, and my name is Sam!

#5 sam22

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:36 AM

Playbills being free are great but I bought souvenir programmes which work out about £14, more expensive than here and the two I got weren't actually that good quality or content!

#6 Tina

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

Haha loved your comment about the couple from Colorado, made me inhale my sandwich (lunchbreak nosey moment).  I also stayed at the Intercontinental when I went last February, similar costs, but lovely rooms.
One show I am hoping beyond hope they transfer, Memphis, it was the hilight of my trip, something we randomly looked in on the box office as we were passing.  Fabulous side front row dress circle, supposedly restricted view, but we didnt miss a thing. Only paid something like $40
Chasing the music, trying to get home.......
Seeee ya George..... See ya sunshine.... w****nker!
I hate you! You're a b*stard! ..... Ohhhhhh sh*t!
I've seen the real world from my caravan window...... and they can keep it!

West End: - Jersey Boys x 178 - Billy Elliot x 52 - All The Fun Of The Fair x 40 - WWRY x 7 - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory x 6 - Rock Of Ages x 6 - Legally Blonde x 6 - Avenue Q x 5  -  Mamma Mia x 5 - Les Miserables x 3 - Oliver! x 3 - Dirty Dancing x 3 - Book Of Mormon x 2 - The Commitments x 2 - Blood Brothers x 2 - Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert x 2 - Dreamboats & Petticoats x 2 - The Fantasticks x 1 - Grease x 1 - Thriller: Live x 1 - Shout x 1 - Wet Weather Cover x 1 - The Woman In Black x 1 - Tap Dogs x 1 - Sister Act x 1 - Wicked x 1 - Hamlet x 1 - Flashdance x 1 - Love Never Dies x 1 - Shrek: The Musical x 1 - Ghost Stories x 1 - Lend Me A Tenor x 1 - Ghost: The Musical x 1 - Cool Hand Luke x 1 - Backbeat x 1 - Crazy For You x 1 - Singing In The Rain x 1 - Our Boys x 1 - Seussical x 1 - Tailor Made Man x 1 - Merrily We Roll Along x 1 - Once: The Musical x 1 - I Can't Sing x 1

Broadway: - Jersey Boys x 2 - Anything Goes x 1 - Priscilla QOTD x 1 - Memphis x 1 - Mary Poppins x 1

Off Broadway: - Rent x 1 - Avenue Q x 1

Fringe: - Bent x 2 - Bright Lights, Big City x 1 - Salad Days x 1 - Ordinary Days x 1 - Company x 1 - Thrill Me x 2 (1 x Tristan Bates, 1 x New Players/Charing X Theatre) - Jest End x 1 - Doctor Faustus x 1 - Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered x 1 - The Hothouse x 1

Tour: - Evita x 2 (Bromley) - Blood Brothers x 1 (Coventry) - Monkee Business x 1 (Manchester) - Jesus Christ Superstar (O2 London) x 1

Regional: - Sound Of Music (Stevenage) x 1 - Cinderella (Liverpool) x 1 - Aladdin (Milton Keynes) x 1 - Cinderella (Watford) x 1

#7 Samuel

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:37 PM

Hey Sam22, what a coincidence! Did you see the same shows as me?

#8 MS1995

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:40 PM

The one thing I disagree with was Pippin! I thought it was incredible, it really drew me in and I loved rachel bay jones as Catherine! And the ending was really powerful and emotional in my opinion!
2002: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2004: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
2008: Mamma Mia
2009: Sound Of Music, Les Miserables, The Woman In Black
2010: Wicked
2012: Wicked, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Ghost, Wizard Of Oz, Phantom Of The Opera (UK Tour), Matilda, Sweeney Todd, Taboo (Brixton), Wicked, Wicked
2013: Lift (Soho), The Book Of Mormon, Avenue Q (Off-Broadway), Newsies (Broadway), Wicked (Broadway), Pippin (Broadway), The Lion King.
PLANNED
2013: A Chorus Line, Wicked, The Book Of Mormon, Wicked, The Book Of Mormon, Wicked, We Will Rock You (UK Tour), Wicked (UK Tour), Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Wicked, Les Miserables, Wicked

#9 canadian_turtle

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:04 AM

I just came back from Broadway earlier this week too and managed to see most of the same shows as you! In 6 days we saw:

- The Book of Mormon (free through rewards programme) - Not quite as good as the West End production but still super fun and it was great to see some of the original cast members from the show do their thing ^_^

- Kinky Boots (day seat for $37) - Fantastic, despite the dodgy accents. I really, really loved it. Such a sweet story, great voices and the number before the interval was done really neatly.

- Newsies (discounted top price seat for $67 from box office) - Phenomenal choreography and music. We were sitting front row of the mezzanine (circle) which really is the best way to see it from as a lot of things happen higher up on the stage. This was the show I was most looking forward to going to NYC and I wasn't disappointed.

- Pippin (day seat for $37) - Mostly agree with you. I thought the circus type first act was spectacular but it fell flat in the second half and the book really let it down. I wondered what the point of it all was?

- Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (day seat for $39) - Utter rubbish and a waste of my time! So regret going, would much rather have seen Cinderella or seen one of my top shows again...

- Peter and the Starcatcher - off Broadway (day seat for $26.50) - Fantastic. Great story and very clever staging and use of props and very funny too; easily one of the best plays I've ever seen.

- Nice Work if You Can Get It (cheapest seat at $47) - Lovely old skool musical; sweet, funny and I had no idea Matthew Broderick had such a lovely singing voice.

- Murder Ballad - off-Broadway ($31 under 30 seat) - Brilliantly new sung-through musical. Great songs and such a fantastic cast (Caissie Levy, Will Swenson, Rebecca Naomi Jones & John Ellison Conlee)

- Annie ($40 day seat) - Was very impressed by lead Lilla Crawford as she had a fantastic voice, and bonus, Jane Lynch was Miss Hannigan!

From the shows I saw I would most recommend Kinky Boots, Newsies and Peter and the Starcatcher which I thought were all fantastic in their own way and I'd happily see them again (London transfers please!).

I too loved the free playbills and really missed them at the West End shows I saw the last few nights.

#10 CathyFromLex

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:05 AM

I was in London in 2002 and saw 2 shows.  I would swear that free Playbill-style programs were given out.  Am I nuts or is this something that has changed in recent years?




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