Radio City Music Hall--An NYC must-see!

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On a recent trip to New York with my mom, we ended up focusing a lot on Radio City Music Hall and the surrounding area, and I realized what an amazing place it really is. As a historical NYC landmark, you definitely need to see it at some point in your life. Don't know where to start or what to do? Check out a few suggestions here.

Radio City Stage Door Tour
These half-hour tours take place most days during the late morning/early afternoon. They take you through the gorgeous lobbies (and even a few bathroom antechambers), the room where they throw parties for celebrities that entertain at the hall, and if you're lucky you might even get to go underneath the stage to see how all of the hydraulics work (during our visit Cirque du Soleil - Zarkana was there, but we still got to watch a sweet video). Oh, and you also get to meet a real live Rockette at the end! Very cool.

Cirque du Soleil - Zarkana
Speaking of Zarkana, if you get the chance to go to NYC in the next few months you should definitely check it out. The show includes breath-taking and very complicated stunts, many of which made me very nervous but also very impressed. The story line can be hard to follow unless you pay close attention, but I just let the whole spectacle wash over me and took away feelings instead of thoughts. If you're a Cirque fan, this is a great option.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
If you haven't heard of this, you've clearly been living under a rock for the last 75 years. I went to this last December, and it was amazing. The Rockettes are every bit as awesome as you've heard, and the show utilizes the moving stage pieces to its advantage, including a turntable in the center of the stage, raised sections, and more. If you can't make it to NYC for the holidays, there is also a touring show that hits multiple cities every year, which will give you a small taste of the Spectacular.

Liz and giant dog

Other Attractions Nearby
You'll have to venture out between the tour and the show, so why not hit some nearby spots? On this particular trip, we visited Rockefeller Center, which is pretty any time of year; Central Park for some hot dogs and ice cream while relaxing on the grass; and FAO Schwartz, which has some of the craziest and largest toys you could ever imagine. Don't forget to just wander the never know what little spot you'll find.


From the screen to the stage: 5 upcoming movie musicals

Theatre spotlight

I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about upcoming musicals that have been adapted from movies, including Bring it On and Rocky. So I thought I’d do some do some research and give you five upcoming projects, and how well I think they will do.

The Nutty Professor: The Musical

The latest news: This one is still in the early stages, and I can’t find too much info on it. But rumor has it that Jerry Lewis himself is bringing the show to Broadway, and musical legend Marvin Hamlisch (one of the few EGOT winners) has written almost 20 songs for the project.

How it'll do: Taking into account the great popularity of the movie (and its remake) and the star power involved, this could be amazing. Of course, those are also the same things Spider-Man had going for it, and look what happened to that.


2011 Tony Award winners

I just finished watching the 65th annual Tony Awards, and it was a great show. Host Neil Patrick Harris was hilarious and entertaining as always, even taking one 30 second interval to make as many jokes about "Spider-Man" as he could. All of the musical numbers were amazing, and Nikki M. James' acceptance speech almost made me cry; she was so excited! Also, you need to watch Mark Rylance's acceptance speech. It's...indescribable.

But the most important thing is, now we can figure out who won the Tony predictions war, me or Colin! Here are the results:

Best Play

  • What Colin predicted: War Horse
  • What Liz predicted: War Horse
  • Who actually won: War Horse

Best Musical

  • What Colin predicted: The Book of Mormon
  • What Liz predicted: The Book of Mormon
  • Who actually won: The Book of Mormon

Best Book of a Musical

  • What Colin predicted: The Scottsboro Boys
  • What Liz predicted: The Book of Mormon
  • Who actually won: The Book of Mormon

Best Original Score

  • What Colin predicted: The Scottsboro Boys
  • What Liz predicted: The Book of Mormon
  • Who actually won: The Book of Mormon

Which Broadway show is for you?

Are you interested in seeing a show on Broadway, but you can't decide which one? Maybe you have no idea what any of them are about, or you have very specific preferences. Whatever the situation, take our Broadway show quiz below and let us help you pick the best production for you!

(Note: clicking your first choice below will open the quiz in a new window)

When Broadway theater reviews attack

Theatre masks

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark recently finished a major overhaul, during which they took several weeks off to change the script and music in the hopes of overcoming terrible reviews during previews. This got me looking for the original Spider-Man reviews, and in the process I found several other gems, where the reviewer reamed the show in question with some very clever and entertaining phrases. Here are some of my favorites (I heartily recommend clicking through to read the reviews in their entirety):

The show: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

  • What it’s about: Who even knows at this point? The show has undergone so many revisions (and accidents) that I have no idea what the “final” product will be.
  • The reviewers: New York Times, Slate
  • Highlights:
    • "The sheer ineptitude of this show, inspired by the Spider-Man comic books, loses its shock value early. After 15 or 20 minutes, the central question you keep asking yourself is likely to change from ‘How can $65 million look so cheap?’ to ‘How long before I'm out of here?’…‘Spider-Man’ is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst…[it] is so grievously broken in every respect that it is beyond repair. Fans of Ms. Taymor's… ‘The Lion King,’…will have to squint charitably to see evidence of her talent."—New York Times
    • "Julie Taymor's train wreck, through and through…a comic book musical that seems to have no affection for comic books or musicals…[a] mass entertainment that at its heart is one woman's wild ego trip.”—Slate