A Nerd’s Guide to New York City Pt. 2

After loooooong weeks of other posts I finally return to my Nerd’s Guide to New York City with a second part, a post dedicated to Theatre and Theatre activities.

A lot of the time of our NYC trip was occupied by theatre and theatre stuff. Watching performances, seeing theatre related stuff. So I guess I have something to tell you….

Seeing Shows….

I felt like a pro when I booked our tickets to see Pippin just the week before the Tonys because I had a feeling they’d win some awards. They were the first tickets I ever booked to see a Broadway show. Then I booked the tickets to see Big Fish, First Date and by the end of August I had booked our tickets to Matilda as well. For First Date and Big Fish I used discount codes provided by Playbill’s free Playbill Club which gave me the opportunity to book our tickets in advance and at least save a little money….

For the other two shows we got to see, Once and Newsies, we went to two of the three TKTS booths located in NYC, where we got tickets for both shows 50% off on the day of the performance. So we saw Once from brilliant seats in the rear orchestra and Newsies from a not so crowded mezzanine (with the air conditioning working on the highest setting right over our heads…) for an at least pretty resonable price. They also have an app where they post their discounts each day and I sometimes have fun just checking on them here in Germany every now and then.

In addition to that (almost) every show has special rush-, lottery- or student policies – which I never used back in September, but probably will be trying on my next visit to the city (or when I finally maybe will an intern with a theatre company over there one day…).

As I German/European girl every theatre building I knew before I went to see Broadway shows had a (more or less) huge lobby, with the Broadway theatres I saw it was more or less only a small lobby giving pretty much only room for the box office – what causes long lines of theatre goers in front of the theatres before the show. It’s a weird scene to see….so many people lining up in front of theatres every night – weird, but fun. After you enter the theatre you almost imediately stand right in the back of the orchestra seats.

In case someone doesn#t know that already: As soon as you enter the theatre an usher will approach you and show you your seats (or maybe it was our looks…although we weren’t looking THAT touristy) and give you a playbill (or two)with basic information about the show such as the cast and cast changes for the night, running time, a list of songs….Very handy and pretty and I love mine (so does my mother, they are kind of displayed on our coffee table in the living room)

Other Activities

I already wrote about the tour I took with Broadway Up Close in a special blogpost and I’ll just repeat: It was a very, very nice experience (and again, I’m not sponsered or anything…). I loved every second of it. Our guide Tim was so nice explaining everything to my Mom, me and the married couple being on the same tour. Since seeing shows (mostly) is a very immobile activity, you normally hardly move it was nice to have something theatre related requiering some walking – not that my Mom and I didn’t walk all the time, but still. Just after we took our tour in October they established a brand new tour, some kind of second part – and I literally can’t wait to take that once I’ll go back to NYC (and maybe I can make a special arrangement to be able to take my sister with me next time? If I promise to fill her in?).

I also already wrote about 54below….twice or even more (and a little teaser: it will be featured again in this week’s Favourite Friday Post….). I highly recommend that for a little more splurgy evening in style and everything – as soon as I spoke to the doorman over there I became the theatre lady I hide most of the time. 😉

Plus: I regularly got sucked into Barnes&Noble to buy tons of cast recordings because that’s something you don’t find in Germany very often. Cast recordings in regular book- or record shops. I bought like 10 recordings I wanted very badly or I came across and thought “Wow….that Sondheim….you should listen to that….!” – for example the revival recording of Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last 5 Years” (wanted very badly), Sondheim’s “Company” and “Follies” and “Passion” (see the pattern there?), “Once on This Island” and “Ragtime” (after that 54below-concert honouring Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty it was just a logical consequence…) and others.

For our next visit I can’t wait to also visit The Drama Book Shop on West 40th street (did someone just mention books? Drama Books? And I haven’t already been there? Are you kidding me?).

As a fan of NBC’s (cancelled) TV show Smash I needed to eat at the West Way Diner (where Julia and Michael met up twice during the first season….) which was more fun to just be at than to eat there – I really can’t take diner food. 🙂 And there are so many locations yet to try for theatre lovers, I’m eager to have a drink at Joe Allen – does anyone have further recommandations for (after show) drinks or something? I’d be very happy to hear what you like to do before or after shows and how you get your tickets – tell me in the comments or on my facebook page!

Merry Christmas, my dear readers!

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