Broadway Shows for 14 year old Daughter

Jun 6th, 2012, 02:48 PM
  #41  
 
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We loved Jersey Boys too; the music was great. Les Mis has always been one of our favorites.

t, the wow factor of War Horse is that they have these amazing life-size puppets of horses that run around on stage. They really look like real horses but are operated by people inside them. It's the story of a boy and his horse and they go off to war. For the most part it's serious, so if you want something kind of fun or frivolous go to something else, but everyone we saw it with just loved it, and they got a standing ovation at the end. It was very moving, more emotional than I was expecting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-bni4QqSv4
volcanogirl is offline  
Jun 6th, 2012, 02:52 PM
  #42  
 
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BTW when we went to anything goes, i was very upset to find out that neither Sutton foster NOR joel grey were pergforming that day. But i have to say the sutton foster understudy was AMAZING. she reminded me of a modern day Lucille Ball (i'm in my 40s btw, but i remember the grand old dame well).
emcash is offline  
Jun 6th, 2012, 04:03 PM
  #43  
 
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Frankly, Joel Grey's performance was really campy and didn't appeal to me. Sutton Foster, on the other hand, is amazing.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 04:37 PM
  #44  
 
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War Horse is wonderful. We know one of the young men playing a horse's backside. It's intense and worth seeing; it's wonderfully done.

Nice work was filled with an older crowd. I didn't see anyone under 55 in the theatre. It is a fun romp but worth missing.

I too fell asleep during Mary Poppins but my husband and my daughter loved all of it. Go figure.

Based on what you've said, I think she'd enjoy Wicked and Phantom, which is a non-Disney 'version' of Beauty and the Beast, really.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 05:59 PM
  #45  
 
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I meant to suggest Jersey Boys too. Though I haven't seen it personally, everyone I know who has really likes it. And it's so American!

As for Peter, I went expecting absolutely zero. I'm not a Peter Pan fan (except maybe the movie with Johnny Depp-!), and to be honest I was rather dreading a full-blown musical "prequel". The cleverness of the writing - mixing in references to contemporary popular culture as well as to the original story - and the fantastic, imaginative use of the minimalist set really made it for me. Plus it had me and practically everyone else in the audience roaring with laughter! The cast is young, talented and appealing. (My friends' teen daughters insisted on waiting by the backstage door for autographs afterwards.)

So the wow factor lies elsewhere than big sets, lavish costumes, and large casts...

I'd say a show with a similar use of well-placed imagination (to Peter) is War Horse. But of course the story is entirely different!
ggreen is offline  
Jun 6th, 2012, 06:12 PM
  #46  
 
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Peter is light and bright. War Horse is very dark.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 10:01 PM
  #47  
 
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Hi, tamaraten,
I am from the West Coast and Wicked has taken teenage girls across the country by storm. My daughter, who normally is clueless about shows and concerts in our town, was near tears when we gave her tickets to the road show of Wicked for Christmas. She is 14. Everyone was talking about it. We were able to buy our tickets with her friend's family, so it was very special.

I am a practicing Catholic and I did not feel the theme of Elphaba's parentage was a big deal. The show was really about Elphaba and her place in the world. And the music is phenomenal. I envy the New Yorkers who saw Idina Menzel in the original production.

Having said that, we are going to New York next month. I wanted to take the family to a musical and we wanted to see something new: Nice Work if You Can Get It. I personally love Gershwin, it sounded funny with good dancing. I also liked the idea that it was a newer production, not stale, with original cast.... I bought my tickets through Howard's and Doug's suggestions about Broadway Box and playbill which helped with the price. Good luck!
5alive is online now  
Jun 7th, 2012, 03:38 AM
  #48  
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Wow, thank you to all of you, so much - I'm so touched by everyone's generosity in taking time to write about what they think and to help with the choices. It's incredible, and so appreciated.

At the moment....Wicked is a FOR SURE.

Second play - After deciding two days ago that Once was in, and then yesterday that Once was out, it's now back in the running! I had decided that Newsies is out too, but am seriously rethinking that one based on the reviews about the amazing dancing. I'm so tempted to do Anything Goes, again because of the dancing (sf7303- it's back in the running because of you! And if there's a wow factor because of the dancing, then fantastic) but I think I might be irritated by the lack of story. On the other hand, I LOVE great dancing and maybe that will do it for me. The other contender for the second play is Phantom, even though I had totally written that off at the beginning. On second thought, I figured it's such a classic, maybe my daughter should see it. (I've seen it a few times, but that was years ago. I remember loving the music but not necessarily the play. Still...a classic)

I'm also one of those who LOVES Les Mis. Unfortunately, it's not playing anywhere nearby and I'm so disappointed it's closed on Broadway.

Although War Horse sounds amazing, I think it might be a bit dark. And although Peter got incredible reviews both here and all over the place, I had to cut out something, and since I'm not such a Peter Pan fan, I don't feel like I'm missing something that would really be amazing - of course ignorance is bliss. If I saw it I would probably be of a completely different opinion.

So the choice for our second play and also the third because we will see three hopefully, is
Once, Phantom, Anything Goes, Newsies. In other words, I think I've narrowed it down to two from those four.

But....then there's Lion King!! I hadn't even put that in as a contender because it's too familiar - my kids (4 of them) grew up on those movies. Of course I know that the musical is completely different, a real spectacular production, etc. but still - maybe too familiar/cliche/etc?? When I say "wow" factor, I don't mean glitz and grandness. I mean "wow" as a total combo of everything - dancing/music/story/sets. Without having seen Lion King, I think maybe it's too glitzy/large/kitschy? Don't know. Sort of have it in the back of my mind.

THANKS AGAIN to all of you, so so much.

All further suggestions will be welcome!

ps. Is this just me? I'm not normally so indecisive?!
tamaraten is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 03:55 AM
  #49  
 
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Hey, I'm the one who suggested Anything Goes! LOL,just kidding. One more thing to consider- price. You can get Anything Goes tickets ALOT cheaper than Lion King and others. Broadway Box often has great deals as does Travelzoo.
emcash is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 04:17 AM
  #50  
 
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I would NOT take my 14 year old daughter to see Jersey Boys - there is very colorful language - like the F word - often. We enjoyed it but not for a 14 year old. I am from New Jersey and it was special for me - but not a 14 year old.

Wicked is GREAT - glad you picked that.

Mary Poppins was a huge let down - pass.

Lion King was a huge surprise and one of my 15 year old daughters favorites.

One thing that I am not sure anyone has mentioned that my daughter has enjoyed doing (going to NYC ranks among her favorite trips - we have been able to do a few and she loves them!) Wait by the stage door and have a playbill and a sharpie marker - the actors and dancers leave and will take photos with you and sign the play bill. My daughter loved doing that!

Hairspray was a favorite but I do not think that is playing any longer.

Enjoy!

Here is a trip report from one of our trips - dd was 14:
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...as-amazing.cfm
Momddtravel2 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 04:42 AM
  #51  
 
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Another vote for Lion King, creative and moving. Something very different from the typical musical.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 04:44 AM
  #52  
 
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Knowing now that you haven't seen Lion King I really recommend that you look up some of the videos posted online that show the opening number (from past tony award shows). You'll get a good feel for the kind of show that it is. I've been lucky enough to see it 3 times now, twice on broadway and I really think it is special. In fact, the familiarity that your daughter has with the music will undoubtedly make her enjoy it all the more. You can also google the other shows too. Sutton Foster is no longer in the lead of Anything Goes but that wouldn't stop me from seeing it. I love Phantom and have seen it twice but since it sounds like you are a theatre lover too I'd take it out since you've seen it before-your daughter will see it some other time I'm sure. I completely understand your dilemma as I did the same thing a month ago and I didn't even have to worry about pleasing someone else-3 shows in 3 days by myself, but still never enough with the riches of New York theatre!
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Jun 7th, 2012, 06:47 AM
  #53  
 
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I did really love Phantom when I saw it (although I also loved Les Mis far more)and I'm sure that being Broadway, they have top-notch performers. But somehow...I think when you are a teenager, it is exciting to see something current and exciting. My bias would be any of the other three you name!
5alive is online now  
Jun 7th, 2012, 07:10 AM
  #54  
 
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We went to NYC with our two boys aged 10 and 13 last summer and the trip was such a success that the whole family voted to go back this summer... so we are...

We went to see Rent, How to Succeed in Business (which was staring Daniel Radcliffe) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
We too would describe our boys as somewhat smart /sophisticated - the choices of Rent (off broadway) and Priscilla were considered by some as possibly inappropriate for the boys due to language and content, but were choices we were ok with give our boys and our parenting style but that is a personal choice.

My older son and I loved Rent (hubby and younger also enjoyed it). He and I went to the back door afterwards and got autographs from the cast, and the two of us are going to see it again this summer when we go ($50 discount tickets) which the other two are going to see Potted Potter. Depending how you feel about some of the subject matter (AIDs, sexualtiy) and its appropriateness for you and your daughter - I can just say that it was a good theatre experience for my son.

The whole family really enjoyed How to Succeed - which also had some 'old-fashioned' elements.

None of us were too keen on Priscilla - my husband and I had really liked the movie, and overall nobody liked the 'jukebox' muscial format of 'forcing' exisiting popular songs into a plot.

That said... the overall concensus was that even the show that we didn't enjoy as much as worth the experience.

The only downside to going and seeing all three shows on Broadway is that we are completely spoiled when going to see local productions now! The boys hadn't really gone to much live theatre before we went to Broadway, and if you had to label them are more jocks than anything else, but seeing a variety of professional theatre made them even more open to it.

This summer, in addition to Rent/Potted Potter, we are going to see Once and Chicago. I also want to see Anything Goes, but there are not currently broadway box discounts for the dates we are going, so our current plan is to keep a day open, and go to TKTS (in Brooklyn rather than TImes Square) and see what we can get.

When we were looking and I asked similar question on a number of boards, and tended to get very 'kid friendly' reccomendations. Again, you know your daughter the best but I would say that neither of the boys (even the younger one) were 'bored' by any of the shows - even the ones that were 'too old' for him. For our boys it waw the experience of going to the theatre rather than any one particular show that stayed with them (obviously with specific memories of specific shows as a key part). I would love to go and see Wicked, and would be prepared to pay more if there were just two of us rather than 4 but I would also reccomend seeing more than one show, and seeing a variety of style of show (i.e. Wicked is 'big' and Once is 'small' so a good pairing I would think).

My last suggestion is that whatever you see (and honestly based on my experience you won't go wrong - especially if you see more than one ) try to become familiar with at least some of the music for any show you are going to - to me the perfect situation is that many of the songs are familiar, but you don't really know how they fit into the story

Sorry for going on so long! It will be a great experience
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Jun 7th, 2012, 07:11 AM
  #55  
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emcash, you're so right!!! I've got to give credit where it's due! You did suggest it, and sf7303 clinched it for me (at the time!) by writing twice about the fabulous dancing. (of course, I am still undecided...)

Momddtravel2, Jersey Boys is not in the running. And I am passing on Mary Poppins - too many other possibilities to choose from where there's consensus for better. I'm glad to hear your daughter loved Lion King so much - did you? Thanks for the link of your report - I'm going to read it as soon as I finish typing here- and for the stage door tip - that is a fantastic idea and we'll do it. Are there no guards/ushers to keep away the crowd?

5alive, I'm with you on Les Mis. It's one of my all-time favourites. Your comment re Phantom is a good one, and that is exactly my concern. It's good, a classic, great music, but so old (to a 14-yr-old) possibly.


AtlTravlr, I hear you re Lion King and I have looked up some videos. It does look spectacular. And your point about the music is a good one. I, personally, feel so tired of it! Again, though, I haven't seen the Broadway show and that might take me out of my non-excitement. Re Phantom, it's true I've seen it a few times, but if I think she would absolutely LOVE it, I'd see it again. The music is beautiful.
tamaraten is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 07:20 AM
  #56  
 
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To answer your question, there are crowd barriers (like movable fences) set up outside the stage doors and usually one "guard" present as well. We only waited for autographs after one of the shows we saw...Book of Mormon, and they all came out with their own markers--so handy!
musicfan is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 07:26 AM
  #57  
 
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tamaraten, I hear you about Peter. I'm glad I finally explained it more so you'd be able to choose. And I agree that you really can't go wrong with the choices you've narrowed down!

AtlTravlr, I don't know if you know this, but the actor who plays Peter in Peter and the Starcatchers was in the off-Broadway Rent. (I didn't see that production, so I couldn't tell you which part he played.)

And with that, I'm done talking about Peter and the Starcatchers. I hate being such a broken record!
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Jun 7th, 2012, 07:26 AM
  #58  
 
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other note - I saw Lion King in Toronto a number of years ago, and I found it spectacular to look at but not engaging (it was almost word for word the Disney movie).
Les Miz is our all time favourite - we got the CDs (but mistake) when we sponsored PBS, so we knew the songs the first time we saw it, but didn't really know any of the characters or the story - so it was perfect
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Jun 7th, 2012, 07:29 AM
  #59  
 
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Oops I meant VCanada not AtlTravlr for my FYI about the Rent actor. Sorry!
ggreen is offline  
Jun 7th, 2012, 07:29 AM
  #60  
 
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I think there is no doubt your daughter (from what you've said) would love Phantom. It is definitely hard to choose and as others have said, you really can't go wrong. Regardless of what you end up choosing, don't forget to watch the Tonys on Sunday. That will REALLY get her ready for the trip!

VCanada - I'll be interested to see what you and your boys think about Once. The audience I saw it with was definitely younger than at my other shows - I don't mean there were kids, but lots more 20 somethings. I was so glad I had decided to see it and liked the contrast as a "smaller show". I'd love to see Potted Potter. They've described it as similar to "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" which we saw in London (along with Lion King) and my kids loved that kind of show - so off the wall! All this theatre talk is really making me miss my favorite city.
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