Hello again from NYC! I'm beginning to feel like a local now. Especially in the Broadway scene! Five shows now and counting! Check out all the programmes in the picture below. My case is suddenly getting a whole lot heavier...)
Sister Act was really great. Knew it would be! It's just a real crowd pleaser. I had a big stupid grin on my face for the whole show. I'm annoyed that I just missed seeing Petina Miller. Her replacement, Raven Symone, was good (her singing was great) but I think she was a bit miscast here. She comes across as quite young, kinda cute and sweet. Which is endearing, but Deloris Van Cartier is supposed to be sassy! She's supposed to be a bit rough, she's been around the block a few times. Anyway, the show was still really great. Apparently it's coming to Aus soon, so highly recommended. 9/10.
Next up was the backstage tour of Wicked! Me (and about a hundred others) got to get up close and personal with some of the costumes and props (the detail is staggering!) as well as chat to a couple of cast members. One of then, Kristen, is currently on maternity leave, but she's been with the show since the very beginning, about 9 years now! We also got to sit in the theatre and watch the tech guys maintain Elphaba's Defying Gravity flying device. And they didn't seem to mind photos... You'll also see a picture of the hugely pregnant Kristen attempting to work the flying monkey wings. Funny!
Then that afternoon I saw Spider-Man. You know, I'd heard a lot about it and wasn't expecting to think much of it. But I actually thought it was awesome! Don't get me wrong, the story, the script, the music... They're all okay without being great (although it's apparently much better than its original version last year...) But it's the visual spectacle that makes it a must-see. You're just constantly going "woowww." And you'd hope so, the thing cost $80 million to put on! The way the sets work with perspective is just really, really cool. And of course, there's Spidey and co. flying around the theatre. Which I actually surprised myself how excited I got when I was watching it. Especially since I was RIGHT down the front in the middle, and on Spidey's first flight he landed RIGHT in front of me (I could have reached out and high-fived him!) and then covered all of the people around me with webbing. Awesome! I kinda hate to admit it, but it actually is one of the must-see shows on Broadway, because it just looks amazing, and there's nothing else like it. 7.5/10.
Then just a few hours after Spider-Man I caught a show of Memphis. I was so excited to see Adam Pascall on stage! Last time I was on Broadway, I got his understudy in Aida. And last night... I got his understudy... >:-( The guy was actually really good, but I can't believe it happened to me twice! Memphis won the "Best Show" award at the Tonys a couple of years back and I can see why. Great music (by David Bryan of Bon Jovi) as well as a touching story with similar themes to Hairspray (emerging racial equality in the middle of the 20th century) But this one's a bit of a love story. Beautifully staged; the lighting and the dancing were really good. It also had a bit more humour than I was expecting. Great show, and I was able to buy the DVD in the foyer too, so while it'll probably never make it to Aus, it'll always be watchable at my house! ^_^
Today I headed uptown to the Bronx. Yankee Stadium, in fact! I went to the baseball! Check me out in my Yankees cap! The Yankees lost, but it was still a great experience. They've made it much more interactive for the crowd then ball games in Australia. The screen will light up at times, encouraging everyone to clap or chant or pose for the cameras.
Tonight I'm having a night off the theatre. (gasp!) Not really by choice, it's just that very few shows play on a Sunday night. It was basically Priscilla or nothing. And since I wasn't excited
enough to see Priscilla back in Melbourne, I think I'll give it a miss here too.
Tomorrow I'm visiting the Ground Zero Memorial Site and then seeing Newsies at night. After that it's farewell U.S.A. and hello England!