Friday, October 16, 2009

Two NY Theater reviews...

While visiting NY city this month we decided to take some time for ourselves and take in some Broadway shows.

We headed over to 1/2 price tickets in the heart of Times Square. Every day at certain times they sell half price tickets to the shows. You must go early to get the pick of the most popular plays and musicals. We were hoping to see James Gandolfini in God of Carnage but the tickets were sold out. So we walked over to the theater it was playing in and the only matinee tickets they had for sale were $191 each. Ouch! As much as we enjoy James Gandolfini and the other talented cast members we decided to pass. Unlike Tony Soprano we do not have extra bundles of cash hidden around our home and yard. We will keep it on our list for when we win the lottery.

We ran back and scored two center fourth row seats for Oleanna. The play stars talented Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman. There is no intermission as it is 3 short acts. The actors are very talented but the play itself was very weak. I was like a fidgeting two year old. I wanted out of my seat and I think most people around me felt the same way. The highlight of the show was a very loud ringing cell phone not a prop but rather in the audience. A lady in our row forgot to turn off her cell phone. By the time she fished that cell phone out of her over stuffed purse people were all in a tizzy except the two professional actors who kept plugging along the repetitive lines of the play. I wanted to stand up and applaud her for finding her cell phone and for adding some excitement to my boredom . I had to laugh as I think she actually woke up more then half of the audience. The actress kept repeating the line "I don't understand please tell me what does this mean?" I wanted to stand up and yell back... yes please tell me what all this nonsense means. Please put me out of my misery! To make matters worse, after the show they had a commentator come onto the stage and conduct a question and answer period with the audience to get opinions about "what it all means". It was like being at a book discussion group except in this case I would have put the book down after the first chapter. I kept raising my hand because I wanted to know if it all meant we were going to get our money back.

The next day we went to see the musical Next To Normal. It had good reviews and the title intrigued me. What if I told you it was about a bipolar suicidal housewife, a manic depressive daughter, a guilt ridden husband and a son who is not who he seems to be all singing their hearts out would you take me seriously? Probably not, but honestly it was a totally amazing experience. The talented cast was so alive with voices so pure. The musicians were wonderful and the sets were visually stimulating. It all came together in perfect harmony. I was glued to my seat. One moment I was laughing and the next I was in tears. The young actor in the role of the son was so handsome that my eyes were like a tick on a dog. Ah, if I was only younger I would have stayed at the stage door for hours for an autograph and a photo with him. Needless to say I can't wait to see this again. Thumbs up for a creative script and delightful music!

Have you seen any new shows lately?
Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. I like your play reviews. They are funny!! I saw Cher in Las Vegas a few days ago. Great visually, but I have never been a big music fan of hers.


  2. Thanks for the review! LOL, love your review of Oleanna. No plans to see it but would definitely see Next to Normal! Saw The Marvelous Wonderettes at the end of this past summer. It was a fun show, not the best but a very light, cute, fun evening. Had dinner at a place called five napkin burger, recommend it for a good quick bite before showtime. Had an appetizer of deep fried pastrami on a bed of sauerkraut. So good.

    Great post, Joyce! Enjoyed your reviews, nothing like a trip to Broadway!

  3. great review...I've been to those kind of performances....we went to see Phantom of the Opera when in NY a couple of years was wonderful...thanks for stopping by to visit...I like your blog..

  4. What a thrill it would be to see theatre on Broadway. I do some freelance costume work (knitting) for our theatre, then I get courtesy tickets. That's exciting. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. I truly enjoyed your spin on the reviews. I do get to Branson, Mo every now and again where we have massive choices of productions. Not quite like a Broadway play but it's the closest we come 'round these parts.

    Have a very entertaining weekend. God Bless!!!

  6. Hi Joyce,
    Glad you liked my colonoscopy story.
    I appreciated your true review of the plays you saw on Broadway. I saw Spamalot there.
    Which I just realized goes right along with my blog post today!


  7. I have been to a few local productions around here and they were so painful. Thank goodness at the last one wine was in plentiful supply at our table as it was a dinner theater sort of thing.
    I live in fear of forgetting to shut off my phone.
    You will do great in the Writer's Challenge and there is no grading of papers. Strictly for fun. I look forward to reading yours November 15th. I will put Mr. Linky up Nov. 13th and give people a couple of days to link up.

  8. I enjoyed your review of the plays. So glad you got rewarded with a good play after the first painful one.

  9. I can't imagine seeing a Broadway play. I'd probably be thrilled to see any performance including the clunkers. Okay you may have to throw in a fancy dinner with the clunker. I'm afraid the closes I've come to the theater...was our local high school, for the performance of South pacific. Thank Heaven for intermissions and concession treats...even the high school baked goods are a welcomed sight.

    Sweet wishes,

  10. It was fun reading your play reviews. It's so hard to sit through a bad one, isn't it. There's always the option of leaving early, but I never want to appear rude, and I always am hoping things will eventually pick up....they rarely do!
    Though we are far from NYC, we do have two wonderful prof. theater companies in our town, and of course San Francisco is not too far away. I just love, love, love going to the theater to see a good show!!
    Thanks so much for your sweet comments and sharing your Woolworth memories! I hope you'll come back soon. have a great weekend.
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  11. Hi Joyce
    Broadway can often be hit or miss, especially dramas. I've heard good things about Next To Normal, and I was interested to read what you felt about Oleanna which has had mixed reviews.
    I saw a play by Edward Albee a few years ago called "The Goat" which was about a man who was in love (physically) with a goat! I know it sounds inspid but it was absolutely marvelous. Sally Field was in the show and I was mesmerized by her acting ability.
    The last show I went to was Billy Elliot. The boy in the role that day was wonderful and the whole production was very entertaining. I try to go to see a play/musical on or off Broadway at least once a year ...there is nothing like live theater!

  12. This bumpkin never gets to the city anymore...and like you said unless Tony Soprano sends some spare cash, we won't be going! I know some people take the Jitney in for a the next extra couple of hundred dollars I fins will be used for that!

    Loved your reviews, don't mind if I don't..:)go to see them, ie!

    We just had The Hampton Film Festival here last week, and a slew of the beautiful folks were out here for it...I read about it in the local paper!
    I did wait on line in the supermarket with Alan Alda and his wife..chatted about the price of things..LOL!
    Now that I am a Bloggin' Betty I better have my camera at the ready to snap all the celebs pics! LOL
    I am still waiting to meet Rachel Ray at the supermarket, I keep hanging around the EVOO aisle...:)

  13. Ah Joyce, how green with jealousy I am, and you KNOW that my favorite color is Blue!

  14. Thank you for the nice comment you left on my blog. I have never been to NY but I did see Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas. Love live shows.

  15. What a fun read!!! My favorite line..."Like a tick on a Dog". Ha-ha!
    And to answer your question about the battle of the bulge below,...blazers, baby, blazers! They can hide just about everything. : )

  16. Buying half priced tickets at the TKTX booth is the only way to go. I used to be a volunteer usher at Penn State's Center for the Performing Arts. While everyone wanted to see the Broadway musicals, you had to work the lame avant gard plays to be chosen for the good stuff. So, I feel your pain. I had to sit through some pretty awful stuff.

  17. I am going to forgive you for being literally 3 blocks from me when you went to TKTS ... and I am glad to hear you liked Next To Normal. A friend of mine is an agent and she reps the lyricist ... who BTW won a Tony!

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