Photos from the trip can be found here
I figured it was about time I posted about our trip to New York City that we embarked on at the end of June. My Mom and I were both able to cross a big item off our bucket list by taking this trip to NYC. It was something we had always wanted to do and to be able to do it together was amazing.
We were what you would call the typical NY tourists. We mainly stayed near times square because ALL of the theatres were within walking distance and our hotel was a 2 minute walk away. We tried to get all the touristy things we could done. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited the 9/11 Memorial, took an open bus tour around the island and Brooklyn, took a boat cruise around the island, spent too much money on mediocre food, good food, great food and lots of souvenirs.
The biggest food surprise was a little hole in the wall place called Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen. It was the kind of place that we never ever would have gone near at first glance. However, it was recommended by one of our tour guides and so we thought we’d give it a try. It was the best meal we had. The food was fast and delicious. As we were eating, we could see the chefs in the back actually pounding the dough and making the noodles. Everything was fresh fresh fresh. Definitely one of those little gems!! Oh and on the food note, if anyone wants a delicious snack, treat yourself to honey roasted coconut from one of the nut vendors along the street!! SO DELICIOUS!!
Hmm, did I mention we saw A LOT of theatre while in NYC?! We both love theatre very very much and Broadway was the main reason we went to NYC. When we left for the trip, we had tickets for 8 shows. EIGHT! That was a lot of theatre to squish into 6 days. We had one night free that we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to do with. As we finished our matinée on the day we had our free night, my Mom surprised me by saying why don’t we try getting tickets for Les Misérables. I knew even before we left home that she didn’t particularly want to see that show again. We had just seen it last summer in Calgary. Anyway, I had a hard time hiding my joy when we went to look for tickets, however my Mom knew that I REALLY wanted to see it. We managed to get pretty decent tickets and the show was well worth it! So by the end of the trip, we had taken in 9 shows!! They weren’t all amazing, but the experiences were fantastic. It was very cool to see so many celebrities in the shows. We don’t get many famous people in our shows here in Calgary, but in NY there was at least one or more in every show. Very cool.
In regards to the shows, this is the order in which I enjoyed the shows most: Rocky the Musical, Aladdin, Just Jim Dale, Les Misérables, If/Then, Phantom of the Opera, Cripple of Inishmaan, Realistic Joneses and finally, Cinderella.
- Rocky was brilliant and the sets blew me away. I couldn’t believe how they manoeuvred so many huge pieces of scenery around the stage. Bloody brilliant. Plus, Rocky was the show that we were ushered up onto the stage to be part of the crowd for the final fight scene. It was something I have never experienced before in a theatre and it was so amazing.
- Aladdin was the biggest surprise, I think. I didn’t predict it would be as good as it was. We had a first with the show as it was the only show either of us had ever been to where the audience gave a standing ovation in the middle of the show. Literally. After the cast finished the “Friend Like Me” song, the crowd leapt to their feet. I couldn’t believe it. The clapping went on for a few minutes until the musical director finally had to start up some music to get the show going again. What an amazing experience. The show was funny and clever and the songs were very catchy. I hope it stays on Broadway for many years!
- Just Jim Dale was hilarious. Jim Dale is a great comedian and I don’t think I realized that before. I will never listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks again without hearing Jim Dale refer to “Harry F*cking Potter” in regards to his involvement. So funny. He definitely had us in tears with laughter.
- Les Misérables was amazing, as expected. We even recognized a fellow Canadian whom we have seen in many shows here in Calgary, Aaron Walpole! Whoot, love the Canadian talent making in on Broadway!
- If/Then was great too. It was written by the same people who wrote my favourite musical Next To Normal. Although, N2N is better by far, If/Then also pulled at heart strings and made you think. Plus, Idina Menzel is super talented and we were able to see her up close and personal!
- Phantom of the Opera was great, but I think I had forgotten how much Opera was really in it. I know that sounds ridiculous. However, we went to a matinée and of course that was nap time. So I found the opera music trying very hard to put me to sleep. Not a good thing. However the technical effects were brilliant.
- The Cripple of Inishmaan was not very good, but Daniel Radcliffe performed his role very well and that made the show a lot more appealing.
- Realistic Joneses was okay. Michael C. Hall was in it and that was great. That’s about it.
- Cinderella was the biggest disappointment. I love the movie version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical and this was far from it. It was over the top cheesy and the storyline was vastly different. Some of the songs were the same, but there were others that were added that I didn’t care for. Fran Drescher over acted and her character was NOT believable. I did not enjoy her performance as the step mother in the least. She ruined the show for me.
On our last day we visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It was the first time either of us had been to that kind of thing. We were very lucky that the place was close to empty. So we were able to take pictures with any statue we wanted and not have to wait or feel rushed. Quite the experience. I kept expecting the statues to start talking. Most were very realistic. You can find some more wax photos here, but my favourite three poses are:
So as you can probably tell, we both had a great time. The only some-what negative thing that I’d like to add is that the trip was a bit too long. Yes, we were able to see A TON of Broadway, but the rest of the time in between was too much. I mean, after the 70th time walking through times square and fighting the crowds, the allure was sort of gone. Ah well. We would mostly likely go back if we ever had the chance, just for a shorter span!
Select photos from the trip can found at my Flickr page!
Filed under: Theatre, Travel
Tags: aladdin, broadway, bucket list, cinderella, daniel radcliffe, food, fun, jim dale, les miserables, madame tussauds, new york, nyc, phantom, rocky, theatre, wax museum
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