Posts Tagged ‘broadway’

Introducing Broadway Roulette: A New and Affordable Way to Enjoy Theater

Here’s a new way to score Broadway tickets at an affordable price with no hidden service fees and absolutely no hassle. Broadway Roulette is changing the game so that everyone can see some of the best shows in town. Broadway Roulette was created to help broaden the theater audience by making theater more accessible and certainly more affordable. With prices for the newest shows soaring into the $200-$300 range for the hottest tickets, and popular shows often sold out before you can snag a seat, Broadway Roulette is a game you really can’t lose.

The process is simple: pick your desired show date ranging from the next day to three months in advance, cross off up to four shows you’ve already seen or are not interested in seeing, select between musicals or plays, and let the roulette wheel work its magic to send you to a performance based on your preferences. The price is fixed at a maximum of $59 with a minimal $6 service charge per ticket. And it keeps getting better the more you spin the wheel: any shows that you see through Broadway Roulette are automatically excluded from future rounds so you can pick four other shows to eliminate from your selection.

Like the show listings in Playbill, variety is the name of the game and Broadway Roulette delivers with an ever-changing list of shows. You do need to be a bit of a risk-taker. By leaving the show selection to Broadway Roulette, you may not score your number one pick, but you’re guaranteed a great night of theater without standing in a Broadway rush line only to find that your show is sold out.

Finding out what you’ve “won” is simple, too.  On the day of the show, you receive an email and a text with the details of the play or musical, the theater address, and the performance time. You then pick up your tickets at the Will Call window at the theater – no need to search for someone standing outside the theater to hand you an envelope.  But, better still, there’s no need to enter a lottery every day, hunt around to find a possible discount, stand in line for half-price tickets, or rush to the box office to pay full price to see a Broadway show.

Broadway Roulette? I call this The Price Is Right.  Weekday show tickets are a mere $49; weekend prices increase to $59. Fees and handling are $6/ticket. http://www.broadwayroulette.com

Plan Ahead for BroadwayCon 2018 — Take a Look at BroadwayCon 2017

If you weren’t able to travel to BroadwayCon in NYC, here’s what you missed. The conference at the Jacob Javits Center attracted several thousand Broadway fans of all ages, from all parts of the world. Enjoy TheaterMania’s condensed version of the 45-minute opening number.

(A plea to the Jacob Javits Center: Could you please add some real restaurants for those of us attending a three-day conference like this that goes long into the night?  Those pre-packaged, dried-out chicken wraps are really awful. Twizzlers for dinner just doesn’t cut it.)

BroadwayCon 2017 Opening

5 Broadway Shows to Add to Your Wish List This Year

After the December frenzy winds down, you might actually be able to fit some shows into your schedule.  Here are two don’t-miss shows for you, two for the family, and one that everyone can enjoy. Theater tickets also make great stocking stuffers!

Dear Evan Hansen – Treating a serious subject with an innovative set, production and score, Dear Evan Hansen is important viewing for adults and teenagers. From the brilliant director of Rent, Grey Gardens and Next to Normal, Michael Greif, the play, score and subject matter might seem familiar, but the production is anything but. Starring Ben Platt, a serious contender for a Tony Award, this musical deals with feelings of not mattering, of not fitting in, and other angst, particularly relevant today. How do you feel about promulgating lies and deception? This musical tugs at every emotion. www.dearevanhansen.com.  Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – Based loosely on a portion of Tolstoy’s masterpiece War and Peace, the Great Comet is a revelation on Broadway. Sit on the stage, next to a runway where characters and musicians frequently travel, or in a perch in the mezzanine, and you’ll be privy to an experience akin to being in a Russian salon. The music is part-Russian, part-club, part-folk, part a-lot-of-styles, and it’s magnificent as is the talent. Breakout star Denée Benton is brilliant as Natasha, the countess engaged to Andrey (Nicholas Belton)  but seduced by Anatole (Lucas Steele). Josh Groban’s acting debut is as amazing as his tenor (or baritone), with a presence that is magnified with each statement and each song. The other leads are every bit as wonderful and you’ll find yourself wishing they could all sing even more, despite the fact that the musical is virtually an opera with minimal spoken dialogue. Prepare yourself for a boisterous and wondrous ride, special effects included. www.greatcometbroadway.com. Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Wicked – One of the longest-running musicals on Broadway, Wicked has a charm that appeals to all ages, to anyone who has ever loved The Wizard of Oz. Glinda, the lovely and bubbly “Good Witch,” is a perfect foil to green-skinned Elphaba, her schoolmate and the eventual Wicked Witch of the West.  Bring the kids, come early, don an authentic Wicked costume, and have your photo taken in the Photo Booth. This pre-quel to the Oz story will be around for a long time.  http://wickedthemusical.com. Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or 877.250.2929.

Cats – Now in its second life on Broadway, this smaller-set Cats is a great musical to introduce your family to Broadway. Try to sit in the orchestra, where the Jellicle Cats routinely slither down the aisle, making eye contact and feline gestures as they move. The play, based on the poems of T. S. Eliot with music by legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, doesn’t have much a story. It’s pretty much a succession of profiles about each of the cats. But the music, dance, and energy of the show make for a fun afternoon or evening. And Mamie Parris’s version of “Memory,” the song that helped win Betty Buckley a Tony in 1983, will make your own hairs stand on end. www.catsbroadway.com.  Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52nd Street. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or 877.250.2929.

Photos by Matthew Murphy

Cirque du Soleil Paramour – Part Cirque du Soleil, part musical, completely theatrical, Paramour is a creative take on the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Watch for the breathtaking aerial pas de deux that flies over the audience in this first Cirque du Soleil musical spectacle, specially created for Broadway.  Actors and singers mix seamlessly with Cirque du Soleil performers in 15 different circus acts. www.paramouronbroadway.com Lyric Theatre, 213 West 42nd Street. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or 877.250.2929.

7 Shows Closing on Broadway: Tickets Make Great Holiday Gifts

If you’re thinking about something to give the theater lover in your family this holiday season, tickets to one of these shows soon ending their runs are the perfect gift.

Hurry now to get tickets to these seven gems:

The Color Purple – The musical version of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel closes its Tony-winning revival on January 8. The powerful story of an abused African-American woman in the American South won Cynthia Erivo a Tony Award. The show also features Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black) and Tony and Grammy-winner Jennifer Holliday. The gospel, blues and ragtime tunes are brilliant.  www.colorpurple.com.  Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45th Street. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.2600.

The Encounter – Unlike anything you’ve ever experienced on Broadway, this smash from London surrounds you in immersive sensory brilliance.  Told by actor Simon McBurney and using 3D audio, it is the startling story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre who was lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in the Amazon rainforest. Be prepared, there’s no intermission and you can’t leave your seat as you’re tethered to it by your headphones. Closes January 8 as well. John Golden Theatre, 252 West 45th Street.  www.theencounterbroadway.com. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Fiddler on the Roof – The 50th anniversary revival of this wondrous show ends its run on December 31. Danny Burstein plays Tevye, a character that is truly larger than life, in this musical about a Jewish community on the eve of the Russian Revolution. The show revolves around the marriage of Tevye’s three daughters and includes songs that have become part of Broadway legend like “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” and “Tradition.”  www.fiddlermusical.com.  Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Jersey Boys – The boys from New Jersey will play their final show on January 15. The story of the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will have you on your feet as you join the quartet in singing “December 1963 (Oh What a Night).” You know all the songs (“Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” but even if you don’t, you’ll still be humming and tapping along to the story behind those wondrous voices that took the radio waves by storm in the latter part of the 20th century. www.JerseyBoysBroadway.com. August Wilson Theatre, 24t5 West 52nd Street. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or 877-250-2929.

Matilda the Musical – This brilliant, Tony-Award winning show about the children in Roald Dahl’s book, will no longer be “a little bit naughty” after January 1. Another West End transplant, the musical tracks the life of precocious Matilda, her abusive parents, and her disheartening school experiences and how Matilda decides to change her destiny. The music is catchy and the kids are fantastic. www.matildathemusical.com.  Shubert Theatre, 225 West 44th Street. Tickets:  www.telecharge.com or 212-239-6200.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Oh, Hello on Broadway– In this season of less-than-funny news and change, Oh, Hello has brought welcome laughs to Broadway audiences. John Mulaney and Nick Kroll of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central fame play two crusty Upper West Side bachelors who have a flair for the theatrical. You’ll have to pay attention to catch all the lines and fabulous zingers, which can sometimes get lost under the audience laughter. Each night’s performance features a surprise performer. For New Yorkers, this is a must-see. Closes January 22. www.ohhellobroadway.com. Lyceum Theatre, 149 West 45th Street. Tickets: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Photo Joan Marcus

Something Rotten – Shakespeare was never as cool as in this wonderful musical about the creation of the world’s first musical. Adam Pascal from the original production of Rent plays the Bard. But all good things must come to an end, and so must the Renaissance: Something Rotten closes on January 1.Broadway musical fans should pay attention to all the shows mentioned especially in the opening number. Something Rotten is a tribute to every musical that ever was and is. www.rottenbroadway.com.  St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or 877.250.2929.

@ Joan Marcus

Theater Closings You Shoudn’t Miss

The theater season starts to wind down a bit in August and September.  It’s the last chance for you to catch some of the wonderful shows that have been playing this year on and off-Broadway before the new crop hits the stages in mid-fall.

Hurry now to get tickets to these six gems:

An Act of God - a hilarious explanation of the 10 Commandments, this revival of the original Jim Parsons’ one-man show now features the talents of Sean Hayes.  It’s irreverent, creative and totally off-the-wall.  www.anactofgod.com.  Booth Theater, 222 West 45th Street.  Closing September 4.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – the thought-provoking show about a 15-year-old autistic boy whose mathematical brilliance motivates him to solve the mystery of a murdered dog closes on September 4 as well.  Don’t miss it.  Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street.  www.curiousincidentonbroadway.com.

Fun Home – Tony-winner Fun Home is a musical about a family dealing with the trials and tribulations of gay children and parents.  The children are as entertaining as the adults, although this is a show that’s definitely not appropriate for young ones. www.funhomebroadway.com.  Circle in the Square, 235 West 50th Street.  Closes September 10.

Les Miserables – If you haven’t seen this monster of a musical yet, now is your last chance (at least until it’s next revival).  Closing September 4, Les Miz has an unforgettable mix of drama and music and tells the famous story written by Victor Hugo.  www.lesmiz.com/broadway.  Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.

Fuerza Bruta – an Off-Broadway favorite for the younger set, Fuerza Bruta involves the audience in its music and acrobatics.  There are no seats and it’s theater at its most immersive.  Closing August 28.  Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 East 15th Street, www.fuerzabrutanyc.com.

Oslo – Also Off-Broadway, at Lincoln Center, the play about a Norwegian diplomat and her husband facilitated the 1993 Oslo Accords and the meetings between Israel and the PLO closes on August 28.  www.lct.org.  Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, 150 West 65th Street.

Broadway Buzz! “Stars in the Alley” Showcases More Than 30 Shows June 3 in Free Concert in Times Square

Broadway lovers, you don’t want to miss this. From 12:30pm to 2:30pm on June 2, in Shubert Alley on West 45th Street between Broadway and Eighth avenues in New York City, you can enjoy performances and star appearances from more than 30 Broadway shows, accompanied by a live 12-piece orchestra. Free! With the Tony Awards coming up on June 12, this is a great chance to view performances from 2016 Tony Award®- nominated musicals and decide which ones to buy tickets for now. Produced by the Broadway League, this is an annual event that is always packed so arrive early for best seating and viewing.

Hosts for Stars in the Alley are Sean Hayes from An Act of God and Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning.  Also featured emcees are Sierra Boggess and Alex Brightman, the two leads in School of Rock the Musical.

All photos by Meryl Pearlstein, “Stars in the Alley” 2015

Some of the stars performing are Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alfie Boe, John Gallagher Jr., Heather Headley, James Monroe Iglehart, Rory O’Malley, Billy Porter, Max von Essen, with Tony nominees Reed Birney, Danny Burstein, Carmen Cusack, Saycon Sengbloh, Michael Shannon, Jennifer Simard

I’ve seen just about all of these musicals and it’s a great opportunity to hear them again. I encourage you to buy tickets now before the Tony Awards so you don’t get closed out from the ones you want to see most. The participating musicals are: Aladdin, An American in Paris, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Bright Star, Chicago, The Color Purple, Disaster!, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, Paramour, The Phantom of the Opera, She Loves Me, Something Rotten!, Tuck Everlasting, Waitress, and Wicked

There will also be appearances from An Act of God, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Eclipsed, The Father, Fully Committed, Hamilton, The Humans, Long Day’s Journey into Night, School of Rock The Musical, and Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Stars in the Alley information can be found at Broadway.org. The event is produced by The Broadway League. United Airlines is the title sponsor of Stars in the Alley®.

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