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  1. #1

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    Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Hubby and I are going to NYC the first weekend in February. I need some help choosing what shows to see. Can anyone shed some light on:

    - Spamalot
    - Avenue Q
    - Putnam County Spelling Bee

    What are the chances of getting tickets for these at TKTS? Or should I suck it up and buy in advance?

    Sadly, Wicked is sold out.

    And what about off Broadway... either The Awesome 80's Prom or Tony and Tina's wedding?

    Thanks for any advice!
    WDW '82 '90 '94 '99 '01 '04 '09x2 '10
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  2. #2

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    First off, you are going to love NYC. There's a terrrific World of Disney store--truly huge--that carries NYC-Disney only merchandise. It's over on fifth avenue. Check it out.

    As for shows, what to do, really, is research, especially here on the internet. If you are true showfan, go anyways if the mood strikes you and the listing is good. You will find some of the most interesting surprises around those venues. But if you really aren't sure, do the research--tripadvisor has some reports and, of course, what you are doing here.

    There is a TKTS booth in Times Square (or, at least, there was when I was there last) and another down at Southside Seaport (another fun place to see while visiting The City). They tend to sell off the last of seats that were not filled for THAT NIGHT. Sometimes the seats are just plain bad, sightlines and such. We'd zip down and wait on line and grab whatever sounded good. You might even get to see Wicked using that method. Try it. Grant you, there is some risk involved in that you might end up seeing a show you really didn't want to. But you will find tickets for something. Experience has shown me, that's how one opens the mind just a bit more. If you want security--just go with what you want beforehand. That way, you'll get the seat you want.

    See the classics or revivals. If it's something you loved or a movie you adored, usually, but not always, you'll love it more live.

    Spamalot is a amalgom of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you liked quoting the lines from the movie--go. This was pretty star studded too. Tim Curry (Rocky Horro Picture Show) and David Hyde Pierce (Frazer's little brother, Niles--also posts here, I believe!) and Hank Azaria (pretty much all the cool voices from the Simpsons!) started the production. Mike Nichols (the Graduate and the Birdcage) directed. Pretty good pedigree, I think. I'm not sure if the actors are still there. I'm a bit hesistant on movies turned into muscials, but ya never know. The music appears pretty good. And humor abounds.

    Avenue Q just opened in Las Vegas as on ongoing show. For me, that's a sign of selling out, but I have heard the music and appreciated this one. It's not a Las Vegas show at all. It's a parody of Sesame Street. But know, this is not for kiddies. Songs are very raunchy.

    We didn't see Putnam County, but I know when I head back to The City, this is on my list. A cute little show, put on with all the willingness of a high school musical, only with people with oodles of talent, this one makes me grin.

    Let us know how it goes! Also think of taking yourself off the beaten path--to places where New Yorkers only go. Lincoln center? The Met? See what's there.

    BTW, New Yorkers are waaaay serious about eating. You can find a Subway restaurant every twenty feet--don't do it, unless you are in a hurry to catch the real subway or cab. No. Ask people who work in your hotel where they would recommend to eat. You'd be surprised at the answers and you will sometimes find places that are a real treat. And the hot dog vendors are totally allowed if you have to. For pretzels too. Carnegie Deli is fun, but tends to be crowded. If you are willing, sleep late or early and eat at off hours. Sorta like you would do at a Disney Park.

    They also have these cookies, btw, called "black and whites." I will go into Penn Station, catching the Long Island Railroad, grab a few of these puppies before going down the escalader and *pow* a snack I can only find in the Big Apple. They are terrible for you, trust me, but worth EVERY FRIGGIN' BITE. They are half chocolate and half vanilla. You can't miss them. They are at every decent bakery.

    You'll feel like a native in no time.

    I would know, my parents are from Brooklyn (they live in Denver now, but you couldn't tell that from talking with them) and I was born (and lived there until I was 12) on Long Island. My brother is a beat cop in Manhattan. I go back when I can.

    Gosh, I think I overstayed my welcome. Let us know what you think. Break a Leg and ON WITH THE SHOW!

    Peace,
    Roo
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  3. #3

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Roo719
    Avenue Q just opened in Las Vegas as on ongoing show. For me, that's a sign of selling out, but I have heard the music and appreciated this one. It's not a Las Vegas show at all. It's a parody of Sesame Street. But know, this is not for kiddies. Songs are very raunchy.
    I would just like to point out that Steve Wynn is insane and bought the touring rights for Ave. Q and put it in his hotel indefinitely, so the only way your going to see it is if you go to NYC or The Wynn in Vegas for quite awhile.

    I would try for wicked anyway (with the whole TKTS booth Roo mentioned) but that's just me cause I'm crazy.

    Good luck and I hope you have a LOT of fun!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Roo - Thank you VERY much for taking the time to give me such a thoughtful and entertaining response! I really appreciate your insight.

    Hector - you too!

    I will probably do a little trip report when I get back!
    WDW '82 '90 '94 '99 '01 '04 '09x2 '10
    DLR '05 '06 '08 '13

  5. #5

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    We saw Wicked in NYC about a year and a half ago....never seen anything that compared. It was amazing.

    I was told by everyone (cab drivers, our innkeeper, a random NYer on the Staten Island Ferry) to go to the Seaport TKTS location if I was in the market for other show tickets. Apparently, the line is non-existent, and people have a better chance of getting the tix they want. We never did get all the way down there (we were staying on the Upper East Side) early in the morning to get additional tix.

    I'd love to see Spamalot. I can't wait to see it! Someday....

    I probably wouldn't see anything that was on tour, or close to being on tour, if you're going to NYC. It just seems like that's the place to see the newest, biggest, most spectacular shows you can.

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Quote Originally Posted by hoppypooh
    What are the chances of getting tickets for these at TKTS? Or should I suck it up and buy in advance?
    For Spamalot, buy in advance. You may get lucky for Avenue Q. But, going through TKTS, you'll probably end up with a Saturday matinee, and the seats are usually mezzanine level on the side.

    So, it depends - if you want a guarantee and a good seat, order in advance. And if you're not too concerned about what you see, but want to experience Broadway, then use TKTS.

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Roo719
    Avenue Q just opened in Las Vegas as on ongoing show.
    An important note about Vegas shows - they are often abbreviated versions of the full show. (I believe everything is cut to 90 minutes or less now.) So, you might not get the full show, and they're usually more expensive than just seeing it on Broadway.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    As far as shows that will be going on tour... that doesn't really affect us.
    We live on a remote arctic army base in Northern Canada, so nothing is close. I know Wicked is coming to Toronto in the fall, but even that involves a loooooong trip for us!

    And thanks for the Seaport TKTS tip. We are staying at the Red Roof Inn near the Empire State Building, so the seaport shouldn't be THAT far. Hopefully, we'll have better luck than waiting it out at Times Square!

    I got discount tix for Beauty and the Beast through playbill.com. We've seen Lion King and my hubby liked the B&B show at MGM at WDW so hopefully this will please him. I think we are going to take our TKTS chances when we get there. If there winds up being nothing we like, then we'll find somehing else to do... which in NYC shouldn't be a problem!

    Oh and the black and white cookies... this could pose a financial problem to hubby... at DL he ate about $50 worth of cookies in 2 days!
    WDW '82 '90 '94 '99 '01 '04 '09x2 '10
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  9. #9

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Times Square is closer to where you are staying, but a trek to the seaport is nice anyway, so I would use the Seaport TKTS. I have and you would be suprised what tickets you can get. You may even get Wicked- but I hope you have a great time!
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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Wicked is worth the hassle if you can swing getting tickets. Maybe try Craiglist.

    Avenue Q is spectacular. I have seen the one in Vegas twice now. I have the original Cast recording and there weren't any songs left out. You can always go to Amazon or the iTunes Music store to check out cast albums of shows you are curious about seeing. If you like the music, you will probably enjoy the show. A lot of the shows have their own websites these days, as do the musical genuises behind the shows. A good google search should give you the information you need.

    I received an email from Avenue Q regarding an Off Broadway musical called Altar Boyz. It is about a boy band (I think). The show won the Off Broadway equivalent of the Tony award for best musical.
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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Putnam sounds like a very good choice. I adore the soundtrack and it's composer, William Finn. If you haven't been there yet, check out : ibdb.com. Another great choice would be Light in the Piazza or Sweeney Todd although they are a bit heavier than shows like Avenue Q.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Thanks mamabot for the Amazon tip! I never would have thought of that as a way to listen to the music.

    You know I was quite excited about getting to Broadway again (I've only been twice) but now there doesn't seem to be much that I'm "dying" to see. I know there are many broadway afficianadoes out there, but I guess I'm just not the adventurous type. After reading some of the reviews, I'm not so sure these shows will be my cup of tea. Someone said that Avenue Q is like a "cross between Sesame Street and South Park." I don't like South Park and I don't find it funny. Family Guy and Simpsons yes, South Park no. Putnam County Spelling Bee is the "adult" version when we are there, so that's a no-go too. And I'm just not sure I could sit through a whole Monty Python show. It reminds me of Saturday Live these days -maybe 1 in 10 skits are actually funny.

    Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me - I know there are a lot of you out there who L-O-V-E these shows - but I guess I just like my broadway with a lot of romance and spectacle (excess!) I haven't seen many Broadway shows: Phantom, Les Miz, Lion King and a few others. That's sort of what I expect out of a show. Some of these newer shows just seem a little "trendy" and Gen-X or Gen-Y funny.

    We are going to use TKTS at the seaport and see what we come up with. I am hoping for Wicked, but if not maybe we'll see the Lion King again. I guess I am just too afraid to spend (waste) the money on what might turn out to be a disappointment.

    Maybe I'm just getting old
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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    You will not find Wicked tickets at TKTS anywhere. TKTS has never ever sold a single Wicked ticket, and it will be years before they do. The only way to get tickets for Wicked is by waiting at the Gershwin Theatre box office cancellation line (full price) or by entering and winning the $25 ticket lottery at the box office 2.5 hours before each and every performance. It is definitely worth a shot, as the $25 are front row. Each entrant can win 2 tickets...I believe there are 28 or so seats to be had at each performance. Note that you cannot win the Wicked lotto if you are standing in the cancellation line.

    I would recommend snagging TKTS tickets to The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater...it's a huge, visually stunning musical and is the most romantic show Broadway has seen in ages. It's absolutely fantastic...the original lead (Victoria Clark) is still in, and her performance is legendary. Definitely worth a look. The show is set in Florence in 1953...the sets and costumes are breathtaking and the music and story are indescribably beautiful. It is a classic Broadway love story, accentuating what Broadway does best. It's also very likely to be at TKTS, meaning you'll get half price seats to a fantastic show.

    The Color Purple is proving to be very popular. If you're a fan of the book and/or movie, that show would definitely be worth looking into. It's another big, serious, spectacular musical. However, due to it selling aroud 95% of its seats every week, it is unlikely to be on the TKTS booth.

    Hope that helps you somewhat!

    And a note about Vegas shows: Avenue Q is presented in its original entirety at Wynn Las Vegas, as is Mamma Mia (Mandalay Bay, I believe). However, this year Vegas companies of Hairspray (Luxor) and Phantom of the Opera (Venetian) will open and they will be shortened to 90 minutes without an intermission, as will Spamalot, which will open at the Wynn in 2007. Phantom is making up for it by spending over $20 million on new sets and effects, including an onstage lake and a new chandelier which the Phantom will reportedly ride to the stage and jump off of before it explodes.
    Last edited by Goin2Disneyland; 01-10-2006 at 12:44 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    We just saw Wicked and it was amazing...but you will most likely have to fork out for the tickets. With regard to Spamalot, Tim Curry is no longer in the cast (David Hyde Pierce & Hank Azaria are though), if that matters.

    Have a blast!!!
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    Re: Help! Picking NYC Broadway shows

    Goin2Disneyland - thanks for letting me know about:

    1. Light in the Piazza - that looks a little more our speed!

    2. That we won't get Wicked tix at TKTS - now THAT would have been disappointing to find out when we got there.

    As I said, Wicked is totally sold out when we are there so knowing that TKTS isn't an option either - I really think I am going to wait for the Toronto show this fall.

    Maybe I should just be more adventurous and try Avenue Q.
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