Since we are quickly becoming a “theatre family”, it made sense for us to spend as much time as we could on Broadway during our recent trip to New York City. We had the opportunity to choose from several outings one day, and we chose to do the Broadway tour. We also had leisure time built in to our trip, and we decided to use it to see some shows.
The crazy business of Broadway:
Those of you who know me know that this amount of people/traffic was terrifying to me. Fortunately, we were somewhat sheltered by having things already planned for us, and people to take us where we needed to be. Our tour guide was fantastic. He was personable, in the business, and full of great information. We got to tour two theaters, and even got to play with some costumes/props. Here I am in Ursula’s dress (from “The Little Mermaid”):
And yes, as a good mother should, I immediately texted my daughter the picture to make her insanely jealous. I also took pictures of the Madame de la Grande Bouche costume from “Beauty and the Beast”, as well as THE rose.
This is the inside of one of the theaters we got to tour (you can see hubby ad I in the back row):
Also during our Broadway tour, they took us to lunch at Carmine’s, a fabulous Italian restaurant in the theater district where they served food family style. I had the best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted. Oh. My. Goodness. There was so much food. We weren’t even hungry for dinner.
Okay, back to Broadway. I knew we wanted to see some shows, so I’d been doing research before we left on what shows were now in production and where to find the best deals on tickets. My neighbor told me about the TKTS booth, and a friend of mine from New York had mentioned the TodayTix app.
Our tour guide also recommended the TKTS booth as the best way to buy your tickets. The TKTS booth opens every afternoon in Times Square and there they sell discounted tickets to shows that are not sold out for that evening. You can usually get a 40-50% discount from the ticket price on Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Not all shows are available, so you have to have a list of things you’d be willing to see. For me, this worked fine because I’d only ever seen a few Broadway productions on tour, so pretty much everything was new to me, and I’d read enough reviews that I had quite a lengthy list of things I’d like to see. So, for our first show, we opted to go this route. The line was long, but it moved fairly quickly. We were probably in line about 40 minutes or so. We had a function earlier in the evening, so we had to see an 8:00 show, which narrowed our options quite a bit because many of them started at 7:00. We ended up with tickets to “Chicago”.
Chicago: The music was fantastic! The set was minimal. They never changed it, which was actually kind of cool. They had the orchestra right on the stage as if they were a lounge band. They did a lot of their “scene changes” with lighting techniques that were spectacular. The ‘showtune’ dance numbers were fabulous. The only thing about this one is that it’s not one I’d take my kids to see. The costumes were as minimal as the sets, meaning they could have used a bit more fabric! Otherwise, we enjoyed the show.
So, after our experience with TKTS, I decided that we really didn’t save any more money by standing in line than we would have by using the TodayTix app. I’d been tracking prices on the app, and with the app, you can purchase tickets up to two weeks in advance, not just the day-of. So, you’re more likely to get a specific show if you’re looking for it. Prices seemed about the same. So, I used the app to purchase tickets for the Sunday afternoon matinee of “Les Misérables.” It was high on the list of shows I’d like to see. After you purchase your tickets, you just meet one of their representatives at the theater 30 minutes before curtain. They tell you exactly where to find their concierge and even provide a picture to make it easy. It sounds easy, and it was. No lines, just walk up to the nice guy in the red shirt, show him your ID, and boom. Tickets in hand. Awesome. Did I mention no lines? I think I found the better way to do discount tickets!
Les Miz? It was amazing. This is what you think of when you think of a full-blown Broadway production. The sets were phenomenal. The music and acting were fabulous. I cried. Not just misty-eyed tears either… the streaming down my face kind. It was SO. GOOD.
So, there’s my little taste of Broadway. Dealing with the hustle and bustle of such a big city is certainly not for me, but it’s an experience I’m glad to have had!
By the way, if you’re ever looking for a New York tour guide, as I mentioned, the guy we had was fabulous. We not only took his Broadway tour, but the next day, he gave us a “double decker bus” tour of the entire city. I highly recommend him if you are looking for someone. My husband actually came across his website, and suggested that I share it with you all! Check out Brucerobertstours.com! I could listen to him talk for hours!