Because of all the other stuff we had planned, we only saw 4 Broadway/Off Broadway shows during our week in New York. If this seems like a lot to you then we are very different people.
On the Sunday we arrived we decided to go into Manhattan and try to catch a show. The problem was that the shows we wanted to see weren’t playing Sunday night. Since we couldn’t research the available shows right then and there (this was before smart phones and 3G) we decided to ask one of the TKTS workers what we should see.
He talked about a few shows, but the one that caught us was “Perfect Crime“. It’s the longest running play in NY history, and the leading lady has been playing the same part since 1987. Yup, you read that right – from 1987 to 2009 she’s been playing the same role – and she’s only ever missed 4 shows. That’s committment.
It’s a murder mystery/thriller. I remember that it was good and had a few twists, although since it was written back in 1987 there’s nothing in particular that makes it *gasp* worthy to someone in 2009 (other than the history of the play’s performances).
On Tuesday we finally got to see a show I’d been wanting to see for a long time – “Avenue Q.” We tried to get tickets at the TKTS booth, but it was too expensive. While we debated purchasing the pricy tickets, we decided to go to the theatre it was playing at and ask if they had any cheap seats. We sat in Row F of the balcony, but it was still a great view. Instead of paying $90-$100 (the price at TKTS) we only paid $67
I’d listened to the soundtrack about a hundred times before I saw the play, but I still found it hilarious. The puppeteering was fantastic, the songs were great, and there’s enough “play” in it for you to be surprised. I now know why a friend of mine saw this show every time he went to New York.
Another show that my sister and I wanted to see while in New York was “God of Carnage“. It was starring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini, and Marcia Gay Harden – and it was fantastic. During the course of the show you got to watch all the characters practically de-evolve. And don’t even get me started on that hamster…
I watched the movie when it came out, but I was less impressed. The stage show just had something more – it was more engaging and you could focus on whomever you want (instead of whomever the camera’s focused on). Also, by never even meeting the sons you realize how unimportant they are in this mess.
Our last play was a recommendation by another TKTS worker. We were looking for something fun and relatively cheap and he recommended “The Toxic Avenger: The Musical“. While the last recommendation was okay this one was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play that was so ridiculous.
I don’t even think I could describe all of the amazing things in this show… The actress playing the blind girl walking into walls and almost off stage; the two men who played every secondary character (especially Shinequa); the jabs at New Jersey; Nancy Opel, who played the mother and the mayor, having to sing a duet involving both her characters; the band members who refused to let us leave until they finished the final note of the final song… I still laugh thinking about it.
While it wasn’t a theatre show, I’d like to give a honerable mention to Caroline’s on Broadway, where we went on Wednesday evening. We were there to see Todd Barry (whose hilarity I’ll get to), but there was also a MC and two other warm-up comedians.
The first comedian was pretty funny, but it was funnier how the MC would take his jokes and turn them back on him. The second comedian was really good at impressions, but nothing was particularly funny about anything she said. They were late opening the doors to the club, so by the time Todd Barry took the stage we were 40 minutes behind schedule. He joked about waiting another 40 minutes before starting, and then continued his show long after the “red light” came on. He was great and worth the wait – perhaps even more so since the wait provided him with more material.
[Also great was the green apple martini I had at the club. I know this post is about shows, not food, but that was a fantastic martini.]