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Attractions near Manhattan's Theatre District

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New York City attractions

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!

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Liz and Allison review Harvey

Harvey on Broadway

This past Saturday, Allison and I went to see Harvey on Broadway, starring Jim Parsons (of Big Bang Theory fame). Here's an approximation of our conversation on the train ride home:

Liz: Wow, that was really good. I think Jim Parsons was my favorite; his character was basically Sheldon, just way more social.

Allison: Yeah, he did a great job, and his portrayal of Elwood P. Dowd was so engaging! I was surprised to see Carol Kane pop up in one scene, but I couldn't tell if she was acting or just being herself.

Liz: Haha, yeah, I know. She's kind of always like that.

Allison: "Hi, I'm Carol Kane! And I'm playing Carol Kane! I'm wide-eyed and wacky, and you LOVE me!"

Liz: So true! I do love her.

Allison: It's hard not to love Carol Kane, which is why she has the market pegged on being herself. But I think the actress I was most impressed with was Jessica Hecht as Harvey's sister, Veta — those nervous breakdown scenes! Wow!

Liz: Yes! I was cracking up so hard; the second half of the show was better than the first just because of that.

Allison: I feel like sometimes in theater and film, there's a tendency to make even a "breakdown" appear glamorous. And this was definitely not glamorous, which is part of what made it so amazing. We were sitting so close that we could see the tears streaming down her face, and the beads of sweat, and the panic in her eyes... I was like, "Woah, this woman is seriously on the edge right now."

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The pros and cons of being a Mets fan

Liz and the Home Run Apple

As a Mets fan, I was thrilled when Johan Santana threw the very first no-hitter in franchise history last Friday, after a mere 8,020 games played by the team. It seemed an opportune time to speak for all of us who root for the Amazin's. Since a sense of humor is pretty much a requirement for being a Mets fan, here's a list of pros and cons for becoming a fan of New York's "other team":

Pros Cons
The Mets did not end up being the last team standing without a no-hitter. Sadly, that award goes to the Padres. Since the Padres are four years younger than the Mets, we might still end up being the team that went the longest before getting their first no-hitter.
The Mets have the best mascot in baseball. I've got nothing. I mean, come on...it's Mr. Met.
The Mets have an awesome theme song, which has been around in some version since 1961.("Meet the Mets") From 2007-2011, the Mets have the lowest winning percentage of any team in the majors who regularly uses a theme song written before 1963.
The Mets have the home run apple (see pic above), which is raised every time a Met hits a home run at Citi Field. Until this year, Citi Field was so huge that we didn't see the home run apple all that often.
David Wright/Johan Santana Jason Bay/Fred Wilpon
The Mets are the only expansion team to win more than one World Series. We play just across town from some other team that claims to have won 27 World Series.
Celebrity Mets fans include Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and a myriad of others. Celebrity fans also include Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. That one hurts.

All kidding aside, I think the Mets are one of the most fun-loving teams in baseball; they genuinely enjoy playing the game and supporting each other along the way, through thick and thin.

What team do you root for? And why?

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2012 Tony Award predictions

Theatre masks

The Tony Awards are rapidly approaching, with the telecast scheduled for 8/7c on June 10. Since I did pretty well last year, I decided to make some predictions about who will take home the big prizes this year. My predictions are below.

Best Play

  • Nominees: Clybourne Park, Other Desert Cities, Peter and the Starcatcher, Venus in Fur
  • Liz's pick: Venus in Fur. I've heard great things about the show, and it also stars Tony Award nominee Nina Arianda.

Best Musical

  • Nominees: Leap of Faith, Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Once
  • Liz's pick: Anyone notice that this category is almost entirely made up of musicals that were based on movies? I think it'll be a close race between Newsies and Once, but I think Once might squeak by with a win.

Best Book of a Musical

  • Nominees: Lysistrata Jones, Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Once
  • Liz's pick: Lysistrata Jones. I think this one might come out of the woodwork to win. The plot is hilarious and I'm guessing the book is, too.
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Child stars who made it to Broadway

How to Succeed marquee

Do you remember Olivia from The Cosby Show? The uber adorable little girl who stole scenes everywhere she went? Well, now she's a nun. On Broadway, that is. She's currently playing Deloris in the Broadway production of Sister Act.

Time will tell whether Raven-Symoné's time on the big stage proves successful. But overall, former child stars who make it to Broadway have had mixed results. Here are a few child stars who have made the leap, some who have soared and some who have flopped.

Daniel Radcliffe, Equus and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: The Harry Potter star first made waves on Broadway in Equus, a very not-appropriate-for-children production that was a stark departure from the role that made him famous (along with some disturbing subject matter, the role required him to appear fully nude onstage). Radcliffe received rave reviews for his performance, and last year he returned to Broadway as the lead in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, for which he also received plenty of praise. I saw him in How to Succeed last summer, and he was amazing. Radcliffe's Broadway future seems pretty secure.

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