Broadway Newcomer Question

Jul 3rd, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Broadway Newcomer Question

Hello, I have just found out that I am going to have the day off on Friday and decided that it was about time I take a trip to New York City for the first time ever. I have already gotten a hotel on the upper west side so that isn't a problem and I got a ticket to see Spamalot on Friday evening. I will be arriving Friday afternoon around 2 and leaving first thing Sunday morning. I have two questions about broadway shows, one is logistical and the other a recommendation.

First, due to the time constraints, I don't currently intend to go to the top of the Empire State Building or the "Top of the Rock" as I saw recommend elsewhere on the boards. But, I have been rethinking it a bit. I would really really love to go at nighttime, but I plan on seeing a show each night. Would it be possible/feasible/insane to do the Top of the Rock after seeing a show? I know I can get a ticket at 11PM so it seems like I could make it in time, but would you recommend it? If I chose to do this, should I be concerned about getting back to my hotel via subway this late? I've ridden the subway late in other major cities (London, Paris, Berlin), I just wanted to know if it was comparable or if I should be more concerned in New York.

Also, my second question, which I can see you guys get practically every day, has to do with which show to see as my other choice. I'll try to make it as easy as possible. I've been to only two shows in my lifetime, Les Miserables in Los Angeles which I loved and Rent in San Francisco which I didn't really like. Basically, I am not really interested in dancing/interesting choreography. Also, since I am seeing Spamalot Friday, I am hesitant to pick another comedy. I am a classical violinist so I definitely appreciate good quality music. I think what I would ideally want is maybe something a bit darker or mellower with high quality music. Also, I'd really prefer something I can get at the tkts booth (and yes, I understand to have backup options) and something on broadway since it is my first time in New York.

My initial thought was to see Sweeney Todd because it was recommended in a couple of posts (also the theater seems to be close to the rockefeller center if I was able to go up afterwards), but I've also heard warnings about seeing it if you didn't know anything about it. I'd never even heard of it before reading on these boards, so I am a bit hesitant at the moment. I also thought about Beauty and the Beast but I definitely don't want something too kid-focused or Disneylandish.

Thank you very much for reading through the long post, I appreciate the help enormously!
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Wedding Singer show is great, but you wanted to avoid a second comedy. I am surprised you didn't like Rent...I thought it was phenomenal but we all have our distinct tastes. If you have time during the day on Friday, I suggest a trip out to Ellis Island. It is amazing.
wanderlust5 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Sorry, somehow it cut off some of my post. What I originally said was

Sweeney Todd is fantastic. Also you could see...The Wedding Singer...then you see the balance of the post above this. Sorry for the weird posting.
wanderlust5 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:12 PM
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I didn't really dislike Rent, it just wasn't the type of show I was interested in. But, it was also many years ago (and I was only a teenager) in San Francisco so it may just not have been as good as the one on Broadway.
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Go for Sweeney Todd. I don't know why you have to know anything about it before you go. Just know that it's Sondheim and, therefore, the high quality music you're looking for. It will be a nice contrast with Spamalot. Both are excellent. Skip Beauty & the Beast - if you can't get tickets for Sweeney Todd, I'd recommend Chicago or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as possible second choices - both should be available at TKTS.

You'll be fine riding back on the subway afterwards - or even after Top of the Rock if you decide to do that.
spring212 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:21 PM
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Your post is too long-winded to read. Was it not Mae West who said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Based on your description of what you would like your second show to be, the Sweeney Todd is definitely the one to see. It's brilliant....and tickets are available at TKTS.
HowardR is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:31 PM
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Sorry, just trying to get some help, I should just figure it out on my own anyway I guess. Sorry
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:33 PM
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Thanks Howard (and wanderlust)! I took a look at some sample tracks on iTunes and it sounds like the right thing. Plus, the tickets are half price through playbill.com so I can get them in advance without worry. I appreciate it
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:39 PM
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isn't that line from Hamlet? or am I crazy?
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Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:41 PM
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My husband and I were just in New York a few weeks ago and did the Top of the Rock at night, around 10 or 11 or so. The view was amazing; if you can fit it in I highly recommend it. The observation decks are open until midnight, and the last elevator up is at 11, according to their Web site (www.topoftherocknyc.com/ODTStatic/site.htm). Have fun!
jkstrouse is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Thank you all so much for the responses! Well, I've made my decision and I think I will go ahead and see sweeney todd. I will hopefully be able to then go to the Top of the Rock afterwards. It sounds like everyone highly recommends doing that at night. I really appreciate the help, it's nice to hear ideas from people who have been there. Sorry again for the long post.
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Actually, I think Mae West said, "Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

I agree with others, thomas: Sweeney Todd seems like a good choice. Steven Sondheim's music is a pleasure! And the cast members play instruments onstage, which you may enjoy.

The play's story is indeed unremittingly dark--the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and his sidekick, the bloodthirsty Mrs. Lovett, are a vengeful and ghoulish pair. Actually, I like the story--what I didn't care for was the staging of this production. But everyone else, and I mean everyone else, thinks the staging was brilliant.

It would definitely provide a contrast to Spamalot, but I suppose they would both have sardonic humor.

Have a great trip!

smalti is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:55 PM
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Geez, I type slowly! My post crossed yours (and 4 or 5 others)!

Bet you'll enjoy your choice, thomas. Also bet you'll enjoy Top of the Rock (I've only gone in daytime)--it's better, to my thinking, than the Empire State Bldg.

Happy travels!
smalti is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:58 PM
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What I love about Top of the Rock is being able to see the Empire State Building!!

You will enjoy Sweeney Todd - Have fun!
seetheworld is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 06:59 PM
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Lol, thanks smalti! Everybody here has gotten me very excited. Though, a bit overwhelmed by all of the options (I guess that's obvious from the posts though) I think this will work out well, and after seeing the introduction video on the show's website, I am very excited. Thanks for the help everybody!
thomaslawton is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 07:29 PM
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If you are into classical music, why don't you look into what is going on at the following venues:
Lincoln Center (including Avery Fisher Hall), Carnegie Hall (including Zankel Hall), and consider staying until Thursday--the Philharmonic is playing for free on the 12th in Central Park.
bugswife1 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Oop, Central Park on Wednesday night the 12th.
Another thing you could do is to wait on line from about 8:30 AM until 1 PM at the Delacorte Theater and get FREE tickets to Macbeth with Liev Schrieber (sp?). Saw it and loved it.
bugswife1 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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First, on Top of the Rock, one thing to know is at night, Central Park is a big dark hole so that's something you don't get to see at night. I would try to go before the show if you can. It is perfectly safe to take the subway at night but you could also take a bus if you're not in a rush and get to see more. YOu could also walk if it's a nice night. The upper westside is not that far from the theater district.

I haven't seen this production of Sweeney Todd, but I wonder why you wouldn't consider "Phantom of the Opera"? Certainly dark and mellow and a classic. It's regularly available on discount or at the TKTS booths. The other thought I'd offer is what about a drama? The History Boys has gotten great reviews.
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 4th, 2006, 05:57 AM
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Sorry, mnclaurie, but I'll have to disagree. A daytime view of Central Park can't compare with the nighttime view of the Empire State Building and the rest of the NY skyline.
You are correct, however, about The History Boys. And, thomaslawson, if you can fit that show in as well, you won't regret it!
HowardR is offline  

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