Whenever I head to NYC, I usually have grandiose plans to do a bunch of things all over the city. Museums! Local eateries! Central Park! Horse and carriage ride! Guess what happens when I get there?
I do two or three things out of a list a mile long.
It’s not that I’m not ambitious, it’s just that sometimes I have a hard time grasping just how far one part of Manhattan is from another. It looks so tiny on the map, you know? And I somehow also forget I’ll be walking everywhere.
So if you’re making a trip to see a Broadway show, you’ll probably want to make sure your other adventures are in the general vicinity of the theater district, unless you’re like The Flash and you can get from point A to point B in milliseconds. (We already created a food, theater, and accommodations guide to keep you from planning lunch all the way across the city!)
Here are a few fun, interesting attractions nearby.
Discovery Times Square: Located on 44th Street (right across from the Shubert Theatre, where Matilda is currently playing), Discovery Times Square is an exhibit-based museum. Right now, they offer a spy exhibit, which features "the secret world of espionage," and a Harry Potter exhibit, which pays homage to the eight films from the series. Fun!
If you loved Tina Fey’s "Mean Girls" movie as much as I did, then news that there is a musical probably sends you weeping happily at your work desk. No? Just me? Fine, but it is exciting!
At the SAG awards, Tina Fey said she and her husband, who did the music for "30 Rock," are working on creating one. (I originally wrote her husband DOES the music for the show, which is depressing, because the show is over now.) She said she thinks Paramount is on board, too.
That’s all I need to know. "Mean Girls" is one of my favorite movies to quote, and after the success of Legally Blonde the Musical and Bring It On the Musical, it would probably do well. (Although I feel like Amy Poehler’s character, Regina George’s "cool mom," will totally steal the show. Or maybe the very minor but nonetheless wonderful Glen Coco. You go, Glen Coco.)
Here are a few other teen films we might like to see on stage. Let us know if we missed any!
I mean, obviously. "Clueless" is up there on my list of favorite movies ever and I think it could be hilarious and campy on stage. They could probably even get the original cast of the movie to be onstage because they’re all freaks and haven’t aged a bit. (Fun fact: this film is based on Jane Austen’s novel, "Emma.")
Big name actors and actresses on Broadway isn’t something new, necessarily; Humphrey Bogart, Liza Minnelli, and Nathan Lane are just a few well-known stars who’ve starred in a Broadway show (or many) and still maintained Hollywood celebrity status.
But this year feels extra star-studded. There’s something kind of exciting about seeing your favorite celebrities take on the stage. For one thing, they’re right there instead of on a television or movie screen. For another, live acting has its challenges, and people always wonder how stars will fare.
Check out some of the Hollywood stars we’re excited to see on Broadway in 2013.
About the actor: Show me a person who doesn’t like Tom Hanks, and I’ll show you a liar. It’s not enough that he’s been in some of the most classic romantic comedies of all time, like "You’ve Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," he’s also been in movies like "Big," "Forrest Gump," "Saving Private Ryan," "The Green Mile," and "Cast Away." That’s right — Tom Hanks made us feel for a beaten up volleyball because he’s that good. Oh, and, he was also Woody in the "Toy Story" franchise. No big deal.
Broadway Show: Lucky Guy
Synopsis: It's a Nora Ephron play, so it'll probably be good. Tom Hanks plays real-life journalist Mike McAlary, who worked for the New York Daily News police beat. His involvement with police work didn't stop there, as he went on to write a book, contribute to a movie script, and even won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his coverage of police brutalization. The show documents McAlary's life up through his untimely death in 1998.
It’s official: Aladdin will be Disney’s next Broadway show. I mean, we kind of knew, but nothing had been said by Disney, so we were really just hoping for the best.
But it’s been confirmed by several sources, including Disney and CBS. In an interview, Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said it will be "a full-length, big song musical with big dance numbers." Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholas (The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chapterone) is slated to direct.
A pre-Broadway run will take place in Toronto in November 2013, before it (hopefully) moves to Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre, where Mary Poppins is showing now through March 3, with tickets still available.
Which Disney shows would you like to see on stage? How about some new films? I’d love to see "Monsters, Inc," "Mulan," and "The Princess and the Frog" (undoubtedly the most underrated Disney films, in my opinion). Then again, anything Disney touches is gold, so they could probably put a puppet onstage dancing for three hours and we’d all be moved to tears.
Even if you've never stepped foot inside of a theater, you've probably heard of Wicked, The Lion King, and The Phantom of the Opera. If you’re a bit of a theater geek, there are probably a slew of other titles that you find recognizable, including Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, and Avenue Q.
Those well-known titles are frequently among the top sellers here at TicketNetwork, as evidenced by Mike’s monthly Top 10 events. Of course, those shows arguably rise to the top because they tell a moving story, the actors are fantastic, and it strikes the right combination of music, costumes, and mood — but that doesn't mean worthy theater shows stop and end with the biggest names.
What about some shows you may not have heard of, but still might be worth checking out?
My Name is Asher Lev
Synopsis: My Name is Asher Lev is about a young artist who is struggling to reconcile his artistic talent with his father’s desire for him to grow up and become something "useful." It doesn't help that his Jewish community in 1950s Brooklyn is against his art, too. If he’s not spending time working on religious art, they ask, then what’s the point?
Why I’m interested: The show combats an issue that I think many can sympathize with: do you pursue what you love or do you go after what your parents want? There are only three actors in this entire play — Ari Brand is Asher, while Mark Nelson and Jenny Bacon play his parents, plus all the other male and female roles — which I think makes it even more amazing. Tickets for this show are available through May.
What critics say: The Huffington Post’s Michael Glitz called the show "one of the best shows of the year". Stumbling upon Ari Brand’s talent, he wrote, "makes you know how that art dealer felt when she first saw Asher's work. It doesn't happen often." Scott Brown, of Vulture, wrote that My Name is Asher Lev is "spare, piercing, and beautiful."