Thursday, December 11, 2014

Broadway Baby!

If you can make it there...
You know what I just realized!? In all the years I've been blogging, I've never done a post about one of the absolutely greatest and most unique things about NYC - Broadway!! I love going to the theater, whether it's a play or a musical and there is nothing that brings tears to my high school-thespian eyes like curtain call after an amazing performance. Living in NYC means having access to an overwhelming number of shows... from the off broadway find to the celebrity-cast long running favorite, there is a show for you in NYC. 

First of all, you need to know what's playing. is great (and always updated) resource for what's currently open on the Great White Way. HERE is a list of the most popular shows and below or some Merry Meri recommendations and wishlist items:

* Book of Mormon - Crude, hysterical, modern, offensive, amazing.
* The Lion King - Stunning sets and costumes combined with Disney classic tunes will keep even the tiniest tykes engaged (also, the level of decorum in this theater is a bit more kid-friendly thanks to their target audience skewing so young)
* The Phantom of the Opera - A total classic and one of the only shows on Broadway I've seen multiple times. Recently started debating going for round 3.
* Les Miserables - Another classic. Though I haven't seen this latest revival, the music, staging and costumes from my viewing 15+ years ago left a big impression
* Jersey Boys - Saw this last night (hence this post!) and loved it. Songs you know and love telling a story you (probably) never knew about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
* Motown - Another show filled with radio hits that's sure to have you dancing in your seat. A Dr. H personal favorite
* Cabaret - Love love this iconic show playing at the iconic Studio 54. A limited engagement with the truly fabulous Allan Cummings (and now Emma Stone) this one is not to be missed
* Chicago - Simple Broadway goodness, from the sets to the dancing and songs
* Once - A unique stage setup, simple sets and a stunning score will make this musical memorable for sure (another Dr. H favorite)
* Rock of Ages - Saw this one in the standing room section (yes, you can stand at the back of the orchestra section for some shows) and it felt like a concert. Raunchy broadway rock music fun.

On my list: Hedgwig and the Angry Inch; Kinky Boots; Aladdin; Matilda; If/Then

"But what about the cost!?" you ask? While I do not deny that Broadway tickets are super pricey these days, there are some great ways to score deeply discounted seats:
TKTS - This discount box office has 3 locations in the city, one right in the heart of Times Square and the others at South Street Seaport and in downtown Brooklyn. These box offices post shows with available tickets daily and individuals waiting on line can score tickets at up to 50% off their original price. Same-day and next day performance limitations apply and don't get your heart set on a certain show (since it may not be "up" on the board) but TKTS is an amazing way to get a last minute deal for some of the best Broadway has to offer. To learn more, click HERE.
* Goldstar - Simple as can be, no membership fee required, Goldstar is a discount website which allows individuals with an account (just sign up, it's free) to score discounted tickets to Broadway shows (sports events, concerts, exhibits and more). I check Goldstar frequently just to see what performances are available and to learn about cool events happening in the city. Check it out HERE.
TDF - The Theater Development Fund is an amazing non-profit membership organization which allows select groups (teachers, students, military, retirees, etc) to purchase deeply discounted tickets for Broadway shows in advance of the actual performance date. Though you cannot guarantee what shows will be listed or where your seats are, I can personally vouch for the amazing selection and seats consistently available through TDF which make the membership fee more than worthwhile. To learn more, click HERE.
* Rush Tickets - Every theater has a different policy for "rush tickets", but most have some sort of opportunity to score amazing unsold seats at deeply discounted prices, on the day of the actual performance. Ranging from waiting on line at 10am to putting your name in a lottery, I recommend calling the theater box office for that "show you just can't get tickets to" (particularly helpful with limited engagement celebrity casts) and seeing if they have a Rush Tickets policy. Scoring a hard to get ticket at a discounted price? Doesn't get much better than that!!

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