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Three to See: September

September 4th, 2014 Comments off

The Broadway Blog’s editor Matthew Wexler rounds up our top three picks of the month.

After a quiet summer and theater vacancies (so long, ROCKY, Bullets Over Broadway and Holler If Ya Hear Me), new productions are slowly rumbling onto the stage. It’s proving to be an eclectic season. Which shows will win the hearts of critics and audiences? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we’ve got our eyes on three openings this month worth a second glance:

Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments (photo: Kevin Yatarola)

Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments (photo: Kevin Yatarola)

ROCK BOTTOM
Downtown’s bawdry broad Bridget Everett returns to the Public Theatre with the premiere of Rock Bottom. Conceived with the help of heavy hitters Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Matt Ray, Everett tells the story of what happens when you’re too passionate to give up, and too big to fail. In it, she barrels through life tiptoeing toward disaster, wine bottle by wine bottle and man by man. However, instead of succumbing to a chardonnay-induced stupor, Everett embraces a series of revelations that lead her and her voice of an angel to redemption. Originally commissioned as part of Joe’s Pub 2013 New Voices series, Everett and her entourage have moved beyond cult status into the “see and be seen” of New York’s theater world.

Rock Bottom
Joe’s Pub at The Public
425 Lafayette Street
Opening night, September 17
Through October 11

Take a peek at Patti LuPone crashing one of Bridget’s performances at Joe’s Pub last year.

 

YouthTHIS IS OUR YOUTH
Hollywood stars come out to play in the revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. The play follows three wayward youth, played by Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson, as they stumble their way through life and love via 1982 New York City. The New Group originally produced the play Off Broadway back in 1996. This revival got its footing at Steppenwolf in Chicago earlier this summer in their intimate Upstairs Theatre. Hopefully those performances will translate to the 1,082-seat Cort Theatre.

This Is Our Youth
Cort Theatre
138 West 48th Street
Opening night, September 11
Through January 4, 2015

 

2020at20
With too many Off Broadway shows to pick from this fall, we couldn’t limit ourselves and why should you? The Off Broadway Alliance’s bi-annual promotion enables audience members to snag $20 tickets at 20 minutes prior to curtain for dozens of shows. Revisit old favorites like Avenue Q and Naked Boys Singing, or check out a new production such as Port Authority or Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story (closing September 14).

For a full listing, visit, 20at20.com.
September 9–28

The cast of "Piece of My Heart" (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog).

The cast of “Piece of My Heart” (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog).

Broadway (and Off-Broadway) Bargains!

January 23rd, 2014 Comments off

For theater die-hards, there’s no better time to catch a show in New York City than during the cold winter months of January and February. Sure, you can pay top-dollar to watch Elphaba soar into the rafters of the Gershwin Theater in Wicked… or you can see a show that hasn’t been around for a decade and support the wildly eclectic theater season currently underway. Here are two options to score great seats at bottom dollar:

The cast of "Twelfth Night."  (photo: Joan Marcus)

The cast of “Twelfth Night.”
(photo: Joan Marcus)

Broadway Week: 2-For-1 Tickets Through February 6
Many of Broadway’s biggest hits are participating. Here are our picks:

PippinOne of our favorite shows from last season, you can still catch Tony winner Patina Miller as The Leading Player—a performance not to miss.

Twelfth Night — Direct from its sold-out run in London’s West End, this all-male retelling of Shakespeare’s classic tale is nothing short of spectacular.

Cinderella — Wait until February 4 and you’ll catch pop star Carly Rae Jepsen in the title role and TV star Fran Drescher as her evil stepmother.

Feeling lucky? Enter to win the ultimate Broadway experience, which includes dinner for six and tickets to a Broadway show.

The cast of "Disaster!" (photo: Jeremy Daniel)

The cast of “Disaster!”
(photo: Jeremy Daniel)

20at20: $20 Tickets Through February 9
Why should Broadway have all the fun? Take a few steps off the Great White Way and discover a more intimate theater experience. Simply go to the box office of one of the participating shows 20 minutes before curtain and request a $20 ticket. Here is our shortlist of not-to-miss productions:

Disaster! — We recently reviewed this hysterical mash-up of 70s disaster movies and gave it a thumbs up. Life jackets not included.

The Clearing — Are you looking for a modern family drama with plot twists and turns? One of the best new plays off Broadway this winter.

iLuminate — Sometimes you need a little bling, and this groundbreaking combination of storytelling, music and technology will be sure to get your heart racing.

TodayTix: Broadway Goes Mobile

December 21st, 2013 Comments off

todaytix

TodayTix, a new ticket-purchasing mobile app created by a team of theater producers and ticketing veterans, is bringing Broadway and Off Broadway into the 21st century with an easy-to-use, iOS 7-optimized interface and exclusive concierge service.

TodayTix caters to last minute ticket-buyers (approximately 40-50% of Broadway tickets are now purchased week-of) and customers seeking a transparent, one-stop shopping experience for live theatrical events. TodayTix, Broadway’s first mobile-only ticketing platform, makes tickets to a range of live theatrical events in New York City available to users up to one week in advance, and at the best available prices (with one of the lowest convenience fees in the industry). Unlike traditional ticket-buying interfaces, purchases can be made in 30 seconds or less, with just a few taps.

jerseyTodayTix also offers its users, at many venues, an exclusive VIP concierge service. This service employs uniformed TodayTix concierge agents who meet ticket buyers outside the theater and personally hand deliver their tickets, making waiting in long will call lines a distant memory. In building a scalable platform for venues as well as consumers, TodayTix has partnerships with many New York institutions, including The Public Theater, New York City Center, Roundabout Theatre Company and more.

“As passionate theater fans and entrepreneurs, we wanted to offer customers the ability to make purchasing discount and full-price tickets an effortless experience from show selection to ticket pickup,” said TodayTix Co-Founders Merritt Baer and Brian Fenty. “The feedback from our users has been overwhelming. During our three-month beta phase, we’ve delivered over fifty-thousand sessions, with over twenty-five percent of our transactions coming from repeat customers. We care deeply about our customers, and it’s our firm belief that by creating a positive ticket-buying experience we are expanding audiences and strengthening the industry. In short, our goal is to offer tickets to our customers exactly as they want them: Quickly. Simply. Affordably.”

The Best Deal in Town: 2-for-1 Broadway Tickets this Fall

August 2nd, 2013 Comments off
The cast of "Big Fish," coming to Broadway this fall. (photo: bigfishthemusical.com)

The cast of “Big Fish,” coming to Broadway this fall. (photo: bigfishthemusical.com)

Seeing a Broadway show is a dream. (Unless it’s that disastrous 2006 production of Ring of Fire, but that’s another story — and this is about celebrating Broadway, right?) Besides running the risk of seeing a flop, you’re also going to put out some serious chunk change – triple digits these days.

Fortunately, NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, announced this week that Broadway Week Fall 2013 will return this year to offer theatergoers two-for-one tickets to 19 popular Broadway shows from September 2 through 15. Returning for its sixth iteration, Broadway Week was originally created in the winter of 2011 to boost ticket sales for Broadway while providing savings for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week promotion, more than 300,000 theater tickets have been sold generating nearly $20 million in revenue. Tickets for Broadway Week Fall 2013 will go on sale August 19 at nycgo.com/broadwayweek.

“Nothing says New York City like Broadway,” said CEO of NYC & Company George Fertitta. “Each year millions of New Yorkers and tourists visit Broadway to experience the unmatched creativity and talent that define our theaters. Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week two-for-one ticket promotion, we are giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy some of the best theater in the world at an affordable price.”

“Broadway contributes over $11 billion to the economy of New York City on top of ticket sales and supports 86,000 local jobs. NYC & Company’s innovative two-for-one programs benefit the City, the industry and, of course, the consumer,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Broadway Week has become a much anticipated fall tradition for everyone.”

New Broadway Week participants this fall include the award-winning shows The Trip to Bountiful and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella as well as the highly anticipated productions of Big Fish and The Glass Menagerie. So mark your calendar and let’s hope you pick a winner. We also encourage you to discover your inner Ben Brantley…  share your thoughts on your theatergoing experience on The Broadway Blog’s Facebook page. Who knows, maybe we’ll invite you to become a guest critic!

"The Glass Menagerie" (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

“The Glass Menagerie” (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

Shows participating in Broadway Week Fall 2013:*

• Annie

• Big Fish

• Chicago

• First Date

• Forever Tango

• The Glass Menagerie

• Jersey Boys

• Let It Be

• The Lion King

• Mamma Mia!

• Newsies

• Once

• The Phantom of the Opera

• Rock of Ages

• Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

• Soul Doctor

• Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

• The Trip to Bountiful

• Wicked

*Subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply.

“The Holiday Guys” Sneak Listen & Discount Offer

December 14th, 2012 Comments off

"The Holiday Guys". Photo by Ben Strothman.

Don’t say I never got you anything for the holidays.  My little elves have snuck me discount codes for the York Theatre’s presentation of The Holiday Guys in Happy Merry Hanu-mas — an irreverent, tuneful celebration of the season from acclaimed Broadway actors Marc Kudisch (Tony-nominee for Thoroughly Modern Millie, 9 to 5) and Jeffry Denman (White Christmas, Yank).  Plus, it promises to include special celebrity guests like an old school variety show!

Hop on across the jump to the get the details on sale price tickets and an audio taste of their delightful Hanukah/Christmas song stylings…

Read more…

VIP ACCESS: TKTS Offers New NYC Theater Ticket Services

October 24th, 2012 Comments off

Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the “VIP Access” column will serve up advice on how to make your theater-going experiences cheaper, easier and more fulfilling with inside scoop from the experts. This month, we’ve got breaking news from the booth…

Image via tdf.org

Maybe the K in TKTS stands for Kmart…because the venerable ticket booth in Times Square is heading into one-stop discount shopping territory.

The Theatre Development Fund, which runs the discount ticket service, announced that they will be testing out some new services to allow customers to take care of all of their Broadway and Off-Broadway buying needs in one spot. In addition to their usual day of “sale price” tickets, starting this week the booth will offer:

  • simultaneous sales of same day matinee AND evening tickets from the time the booth opens on two show days
  • a full price ticket window for future performances  or same day full-price tickets to shows that are not available at a discount

What does this mean for you? Well, for two show days it means the early bird gets the orchestra seats; get to the booth when it opens in the morning and you might have a shot at the best tickets for that evening’s shows. (Though remember, the booth gets discounted tickets through the day as producers decide they can no longer sell them at higher prices…so you can never be sure when the tickets will “hit” for the better selling shows. We’ll have to do some investigating over the next few months to see how this lands.)

It also means that folks interesting in doing a double feature can buy their tickets for the whole day at once. No more getting back in line after your matinee.

One big asterisk: these changes are not being instituted at the Brooklyn and South Street Seaport TKTS locations; you’ll have to go to Times Square to double dip. However, unlike the main booth, these locations will still be offering matinee tickets the evening before.

Breathe. Change is good. It will all be OK.

Categories: VIP Access Tags: , ,

Win Tickets to See Off-Broadway Play “C*ck”

August 6th, 2012 Comments off

Jason Butler Harner, Amanda Quaid & Cory Michael Smith in "C*ck". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I wanted to make a silly, smutty double entrende in the title of this post with every bone in my body. I love double entendres. I have since I was a small child and giggled at reruns of The Match Game (explains a lot about my upbringing, doesn’t it). Then I realized anything I’d write would be more of a single entendre and where’s the craft in that? I mean, it’s like shooting large, turgid fish in a barrel.

Besides, we’ve got better things to do, like give away a pair of free tickets to an amazing Off-Broadway play. I love C*ck (hush), with its lacerating wit and wonderful quartet of performers, and I want to share it with you! (Here’s my review from when it opened.) And since we’ve been talking a lot of musical theater of late, I thought it was time to give plays their fair shake.

So to enter to win a free pair of tickets, just tell me in the comments below your favorite play of all time and why you love it. Write your response by end of day on Friday, August 10 and I’ll randomly pick a winner from everyone who replies. (Please be sure to check back in the comments for this post next Monday to see who won and for instructions on how to claim the ticket voucher.)

SHOW FOLK: The Cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire”

April 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Wood Harris, Nicole Ari Parker, Blair Underwood & Daphne Rubin-Vega in "A Streetcar Named Desire". Image via streetcaronbroadway.com.

Spend just a few minutes in a room with the company of A Streetcar Named Desire and one thing is immediately clear: this is the hottest cast on Broadway. And I don’t just mean physically attractive, though Blair Underwood (In Treatment), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), Nicole Ari Parker (Boogie Nights) and Wood Harris (The Wire) are a stunning foursome . No, their heat is also a product of their passion for the work and an outspoken determination to make this revival, the first multicultural Streetcar on Broadway, a richer, deeper experience.

In the run-up to their first preview (tonight at the Broadhurst), the entire cast and their director Emily Mann gathered at B. Smith’s to talk about the genesis of this production, the ghosts of prior versions of the play and why this will be one of the steamiest stage trips to New Orleans you’ll ever take. (And just to sweeten the deal, check out our special discount code for tickets at the end of the post!)

On the decision to do an interracial production:

Mann: “It’s sort of why not? What took so long? It’s such an obvious way to do this play. It’s the meaning of New Orleans; to have that gumbo of ethnicities and races makes the city the incredible and unique place it is in America. …Tennessee [Williams] himself wanted always to see the play done this way. He had hoped it would be done on Broadway in 1955 but it was Sweet Bird of Youth, I think, that was premiering and they didn’t want two of his own shows to be competing on Broadway. So it never happened. But he gave permission all through his life to have this done and I think he’d be thrilled by what we are doing today.”

On the draw of Streetcar

Underwood: “…it’s Tennessee Williams. It’s beautiful. Poetry. It’s human. It’s brutal. It’s vulnerable. It’s passionate. It’s desire. It’s all of those things. That’s why it’s an iconic play. That’s why it’s a classic. That’s why people should come see it.”

Read more…

VIP ACCESS: The Best of Broadway on Twitter

June 22nd, 2011 Comments off

Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the “VIP Access” column will serve up advice on how to make your theater-going experiences cheaper, easier and more fulfilling with inside scoop from the experts. This month, we’re acting like the birdies on Jaybird Street…

Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages". Image via @adammshankman.

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. With its 140 character limit, rabid followers and echoing retweets, Twitter is either a revolutionary communication force or the end of civilized interaction as we know it. Or maybe it’s just a great way to feel like you’re chatting with the theater’s brightest stars. Given The Broadway Blog’s mission to welcome everyone into a theatrical cocktail conversation, I’ll vote C for now and let history be the judge.

As a newbie–@BroadwayBlogTom–I spent the last week diving in headfirst and trying to learn the rules of the road (and, clearly, mixing metaphors haphazardly). Other than the possibility of getting lost in a T-Hole for hours, Twitter turns out to be a pretty amazing way to learn about ticket deals, hang out with your theater idols and meet some new ones as well. Here are my top ten recommendations for twitter feeds to “follow”:

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Get Broadway Discounts & Support Celeb Charities at Givenik

June 20th, 2011 Comments off

Joel Grey & Sutton Foster. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Who says theater can’t save the world? When you buy discounted Broadway tickets through Givenik.com, 5% of the ticket price goes to a charity you select from their comprehensive list. With a few simple clicks, you can feel like Daddy Warbucks and Mother Teresa all at the same time.

Beyond the obvious rush from doing good, there’s a lot to love about this online upstart; the website’s interface is clean, the actual transactions take place through the major ticketing agencies (so you can still pick your seats) and, best of all, Givenik features most of the same discount codes as other popular sites like Broadway Box. That’s up to 40% off full price (I sound like I’m on an infomercial now…but wait, there’s more!) all while helping great organizations like Broadway in South Africa, The Ali Forney Center and Central Park Conservancy.

Need a little star power to get involved?  Givenik recently unveiled an Ambassador program featuring Broadway stars and the charities they support; Spider-Man Reeve Carney spoke out for The Partnership for the Homeless and The Book of Mormon‘s Rory O’Malley stood proud for Broadway Impact. After the jump, watch the legendary Joel Grey, currently on Broadway in Anything Goes, make a personal appeal for his choice, Friends in Deed.

Read more…

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