Posts Tagged ‘musicals’

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

5 Plays Not to Miss This Year (or early next year)

As the winter theater season comes to a close, there are some shows you should try to see before it’s too late.

On Your Feet! – this joyful Latin musicfest about the life of Gloria Estefan will have you literally “on your feet” as you join in a “Conga” line that meanders down the aisles. Do try to score an orchestra seat so you’ll be part of this active party which chronicles the rise of Gloria from a singer in a local band to the Miami Sound Machine superstar made possible by her meeting with Emilio Estefan. You already know the story about her tragic accident, so there’s no spoiler alert here, but you’ll appreciate her music more when you understand her relationship with her parents and the trials in getting a Cuban/Latin band to be accepted by mainstream radio stations. When you watch Ana Villafañe sing “1-2-3” and “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” you’ll swear you’re seeing Gloria herself. Fun for all ages.  Marquis Theatre, West 46th Street. www.onyourfeetmusical.com.

On Your Feet

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder – murder, deceit, greed and romance are all mixed up in this tuneful story about Monty Navarro’s rise to head of the aristocratic D’Ysquith family. It’s a shame that this musical closes on January 3.  Don’t wait. Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 West 48th Street. www.agentlemansguidebroadway.com. Closes January 17.

Hand to God an evil hand puppet named Tyrone that controls his master, Jason, bridges the gap between sanctity and irreverence. Steven Boyer’s performance as both puppet master and demonic puppet in this dark comedy is one-of-a-kind.  A nice complement to Avenue Q. Not for children. Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th Street. www.handtogodbroadway.com. Closes January 3.

Hand 2 god

Sylvia – you’ll be laughing hysterically when you see Annaleigh Ashford’s performance as Sylvia, the stray that Matthew Broderick picks up in Central Park. If you own a dog, you’ll immediately recognize the doggie behaviors and you’ll understand the husband’s obsession with his new friend. Because of strong language, this one isn’t recommended for children either. Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. www.sylviabroadway.com. Closes January 3.

Sylvia

Dames at Sea – a classic in the Busby Berkely-42nd Street genre, this four-person revival will entertain anyone who loves a touch of glamour and a good old-fashioned musical. It’s the classic Broadway struggle-success story with fabulous tap dancing. Great for all ages. Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 47th Street, www.damesatseabroadway.com. Closes January 3.

Watch the Tony Awards from Duffy Square along with Live Broadway Performances, June 7

Last week’s “Stars in the Alley”,  United Airlines’ and the Broadway League’s presentation of Broadway song and dance, left me thirsting for more.  It’s a great time to get your tickets to a Broadway drama or musical. With the Tony Awards for outstanding theatrical achievement this Sunday, you’ll want to snag seats on your preferred dates before the shows book up.

The Tony Awards turn into a free, social viewing party this Sunday in Times Square, rain or shine.  Head over to Times Square to see the award show live, on the big screen.  Although it might not be as glamorous as dressing in black tie to hob nob with the stars of the Great White Way or hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming at Radio City Music Hall, it’s still a fun evening for theater lovers and more exciting than “sitting all alone in your room” watching TV.  You can bring a picnic with you, grab a folding chair or a seat on the risers behind TKTS, and cheer for your favorites.  Viewing will be on the Clear Channel Spectacolor screens at Duffy Square and the Broadway Plaza between 46th and 48th streets, in the heart of Times Square.  The program begins at 4pm, ending at 11pm. The simulcast of the CBS Tony Awards will be broadcast starting at 8pm.

Festivities will also include live performances from Broadway stars Justin Guarini and Deborah Cox, singing “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “On Broadway,’” Deborah Cox singing “Easy as Life” from Aida, and Jeanna de Waal singing “History of Wrong Guys” from Tony-award winner Kinky Boots.

Here are some of my favorites that are contenders for a variety of Tony Awards:

Something Rotten! – This musical’s a laughfest from start to finish, as the poets of the Renaissance put together what could be the most hilarious musical ever.  A lot of “insider” references to musicals make this the perfect show for theater junkies. I’d be shocked if the male lead and featured actors, Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle, don’t get some sort of acknowledgement.

The Audience – No one plays the Queen like Helen Mirren. She’s charming, grand, self-deprecating, and even funny.  Her meetings with her prime ministers are a primer in British history.

Hand to God – An evil puppet, creatively nasty dialogue, and an inventive plot make this one of the season’s top go-tos among non-musicals. Can they give a Tony to Tyrone (Steven Boyer)?

Fun Home – The cast is top-notch in the offbeat musical about family interactions. Although the show moved to Broadway from its downtown home, the Circle in the Square is still an intimate venue for the action.

An American in Paris – Go for the music, the dance, the beautiful sets and the lushness of the Broadway version of the beloved Gene Kelly movie.

The full list of Tony nominees can be found at http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/

Three Broadway Shows to See Before Mid-January

You’ve just missed your chance at seeing the last Broadway performances of Once, Side Show, Cinderella, Pippin, The Real Thing and This is Our Youth.

Before it’s too late, I suggest you buy your tickets for these shows which are scheduled to close (or move from their original home) mid-January:

It's Only a PlayIt’s Only a Play – An insider look at what happens on the opening night of a Broadway show, the title sums up how the characters are supposed to feel when the show doesn’t quite get the reviews hoped for. Now with Martin Short replacing Nathan Lane, Katie Finneran, F. Murray Abraham, and Stockard Channing, “It’s Only a Play” is a non-stop laughfest, poking fun at pretty much every major show on Broadway. It helps to see it with someone who is conversant with the current Broadway line-up, especially if you’re not a regular theater-goer. Now playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street), It’s Only a Play moves to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45th Street, starting January 23. Tickets: www.telecharge.com.

Rock of the AgesRock of Ages – Unbelievably, this long-lasting, feel-good rocker is about to have its farewell tour. Closing on January 18, the show will no longer bring you those familiar 80s faves like “Any Way You Want It,” “We Built This City,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and “Don’t Stop Believin.” Constantine Maroulis (sixth-place finalist from the fourth season of American Idol) leads the final line-up.  Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West th Street.  Tickets: www.telecharge.com .

The story about Berry Gordy’s creation of the Motown sound, starting in 1959, is a bit too long, with too much crammed in, but it’s still a crowd pleaser. Starting January 18, Motown: the Musical is concentrating its focus on its tour companies. This is your last chance to relive those Detroit phenoms like the Supremes, the Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson. The young Michael Jackson is a knockout. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th Street.  Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.

For more detailed information on these and other Broadway shows, a good source is Playbill,  www.playbill.com, where you can sign up for a newsletter of upcoming theater events.

Two Wonderful Ways to See Musical Theater in Manhattan

Do you love musicals?  Try these two series of concert performances that you may not know about.
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