Showtunes of Broadway, New York City! Introducing Theatreland Tag

When I was in New York City recently (part one post here), it was virtually inevitable that I would spend my evenings in rapture at various theatre shows on Broadway. I bought one ticket in advance (Anastasia), but I was counting on the discount ticket booth to provide me with my other evening entertainment. I was not disappointed, and honestly, I just need to talk about how much I love the theatre. I go as often as I can. My aim, while on Broadway, was to see things I wouldn’t see in London (where I go pretty frequently for the West End). These are less reviews, and more little emotional snapshots of each show.

School of Rock!

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I’ve never seen the film, but I heard it’s good. And technically this is on in London…but also, I saw it on the listing and I just really wanted to go. So I did! My tickets were twelve rows from the front. The theatre was freezing and I was in shorts, so I had my coat wrapped around me like a blanket. The performance was incredible. The kids actually play the instruments live on stage every fricking night. So, they were awesome. And the music was fab, and the characters were brilliant. The person playing Dewey that night was downright hilarious – had the comic timing down pat. At the end of the performance, I bought the School of Rock record, and I haven’t stopped humming “Stick it to the man” since!

Song to watch out for: Stick it to the man!

I would ten out of ten recommend. In fact, I am planning on going to the London version for comparative science….

Waitress

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I hadn’t heard of the musical before the summer started. I was talking to someone about musicals, and she said “The Waitress is my favourite”. So I had to go and investigate what the Waitress was about and the songs. Then I turned up in Broadway and the tickets were on sale so of course I went. Also absolutely incredible, but in a very different way to School of Rock. While School was all about kids learning about themselves, Waitress is about a young woman who bakes pies, who finds out she’s pregnant to an abusive husband. Also, she’s having an affair with her gynaecologist. Full plot here because I’m not sure I’m explaining it right. It’s all about sex and secret desires and fear. Despite the darker storyline, the music was really upbeat, the characters were really entertaining, and Katherine McPhee as lead Jenna was incredible.

Songs to watch out for:  The Negative (A song about pregnancy tests)

So yeah, another one to recommend! Can you sense a theme here?

Lion King

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This is definitely one I could have seen in London… if I’d planned a year in advance. Instead, I wandered into the ticket office, and asked if they had a single seat availbale for that night. They did and the rest, they say, is history. I was in absolute awe of the amazing dancing, puppetry and sheer imagination of turning the Disney’s Lion King into a stage production. The person who played Zazu was highly entertaining (singing the opening lines of Let It Go at one point, IKEA curtains another) and Scar was perfectly cast. It was just – it was really good and I’m glad I’ve seen it. I must confess, with all the awe-inspired things I’ve heard about the Lion King, I was expecting it to be absolutely on point. It did live up to most of them.

Song to watch out for: I just can’t wait to be King!

Everyone is recommending this, you gotta see it.

Anastasia

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I had bought this in advance of my trip. There were three things I wanted to do in America, and one of them was watch Anastasia. I loved the 20th Century Fox animation, and I love this version even more. They changed the plot so Anya is being chased by the soviets rather than a dead guy with a bat for a sidekick (So it makes way more sense) and her dreams are filled with her family dancing and being murdered. Anya and Dimitri were really good, but honestly my favourites were Vlad and Countess Lily – they were hilarious every time they were on stage together and it was just amazing! Overall though, I really loved all the changes they made to the plot, and the set design was just incredible. So, all in all, I was a very satisfied fan.

Song to watch out for: The Countess and the Common Man

I recommend this show if you love the film, or if you love romance musicals!

While writing this blog post, I have decided that I am going to start writing reviews for my theatre, film and TV love as well. I can’t remember why I ever stopped…

Bea

7 Comments

  1. I love musicals and seen mostly musicals on tour as I live in NC, but did see on show on Broadway (Wicked 2006) and one in the West End (Les Mis 2015). Shows I did see on tour range from Wicked, Les Mis, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Pippin, Sound of Music, and Rent. In September, going to see Lion King

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    1. Seeing shows on tour is equally awesome. When I lived further away from London, I had to see everything on tour which sometimes meant driving to Cardiff because the theatre tours in England can be a little unpredictable with their destinations, but they always visit Cardiff. I saw Mary Poppins like that, and Blood Brothers. I’m lucky enough to live near enough to London now for day trips, and it’s got to the point that my colleagues don’t ask me “What are you doing this weekend?”, they ask me “What show are you seeing?”. Les Mis was my first ever musical, Wicked is probably my favourite all time ever. I’m going to see Fun Home in London next month! I hope you enjoy Lion King!

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  2. Loved your article! Being the Theater Nerd that I am, I have seen all of these lovely shows with the exception of Anastasia. I still have yet to see that. Hopefully one day.

    I saw Waitress when it first opened. Loved that show. A pleasant surprise. If I hadn’t seen it already I might of now cause Katherine McPhee seems like she’d be perfect in the part.

    Glad you had a great time at all of your shows! Can’t wait for the Tony Awards next weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I can’t wait for the Tony’s either. I’m a massive theatre nerd too. Genuinely, in a meeting earlier this week, my manager asked me what shows I’ve got queued up now I’m back in the UK. I go as often as I can and I’m still nowhere near close to seeing all the shows I want to! Top of the list of things Still To See is Phantom, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon. I’m seeing Fun Home when it opens in the West End next month!

      Katherine McPhee was incredible as Jenna! I wasn’t sure if I’d like the show, but it is awesome. I would recommend Anastasia if you get the chance.

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      1. Yeah, another theater nerd! LoL. Oh, Phantom of the Opera is a definite must see! Kinky Boots is so good. Wonderful show and the score is just magic! One of my favorites scores. Oh, I absolutely loved Fun Home! While I was waiting for it to make its way to Broadway I read the graphic novel beforehand. Lovely, sad show with another amazing score. Hope you liked it as much as I did. Definitely one of my favorites.

        Oh, I’m so glad you liked Waitress. It was such a sweet show. I rarely see a show more than once these days so I probably won’t see Katherine McPhee in the show, but glad to hear she was as good as I would have imagined her to be in the part.

        Yeah, I hopefully at some point will make my way to finally seeing Anastasia. Maybe after the summer is over and there aren’t any more new shows starting. There are quite a few new ones starting this summer. There’s always a few months where nothing new is starting and there might not be anything new to see so that be a perfect time. Plus, since it’s been playing awhile maybe I can find a discount ticket price. Ticket prices are getting ridiculous expensive these days, lol.

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