September 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm #434196
Share with us your first Broadway experience. What was it like? What show was it? How old were you? Who did you go with?
My first experience was in 2009 when I was 14 years old. I went to see Wicked and of course it was amazing. I went with my mom and grandparents. I had seen the touring company of The Lion King a few years before but I don’t 100% count that because you didn’t get the New York City vibe from that. I loved the Gerswin Theater too because it had the theater hall of famers on the walls and I thought that was so cool. I remember I didn’t understand the whole concept that the original cast leaves after a while so I was upset I didn’t get to see Joel Grey (6 years too late)September 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm #434198
My first Broadway experience was on my 15th birthday, with my grandparents. I saw Chicago from the third row in a relatively uncrowded house. I must say, I was pretty wowed by the whole experience, and the cast did a great job. Way, way better than the film. I mostly watch the plays when they come to Toronto, and it’s still great (Highlights being: Book of Mormon, Wicked and the latest production of Les Mis). They only sometimes get the same cast in Toronto, but the production is always high quality.September 18, 2014 at 4:25 am #434199
My first show was The Phantom of the Opera on 1/4/90. I was in college at the time and it was my first trip to NY. I went to the show with a friend and we left the hotel on 49th street at 6:30 to get to the Majestic on 44th for an 8:00 curtain, lol. We were so nervous about missing it and we ended up wandering up and down 44th for 45 minutes before they even opened the lobby. I must have checked my pocket for the tickets 200 times until my friend said, “You’re going to disintegrate them before we even get there!” I remember being awed by the theatre and some of the staging, though by the end I was thinking, “Jeez, it’s the same three songs over and over again!” I was sitting on the far edge of the row right next to the stairs and the railing into the rear mezzanine was next to me. Three Noo Joizey broads were standing in the stairs talking after intermission and wouldn’t shut up, even when “Masquerade” started, so I leaned over the railing and said “Hey! We paid to hear them on stage, not youse.” (I’m sure “youse” didn’t come out of a North Carolina mouth correctly, but anyway.) My friend just shook her head and said, “We’re gonna be killed.” We were so naive and stupid.
Anyway, two nights later we went to see Les Miserables at the Broadway and after that, I was totally hooked and have been ever since.September 18, 2014 at 6:43 am #434200
It was just this Spring. First time in NYC and I knew going to Broadway shows would be more important to me than seeing the sights. The first show I went to is The Cripple of Inishmaan. Completely exhilarating. First musical I attended was Gentleman’s Guide a week later. It was so good I saw it again before leaving NYC.September 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm #434201
My first trip to NYC was one of the best moments of my life. It was during the week of 10/21/1998 for my 10th birthday and from then on, I vowed I would live there one day….and am happy to say that now I do.
During that trip I saw ten shows thanks to having some very well-off older mentors who showered me with theatre.
The first show I saw was the original production of RAGTIME, which has stayed with me ever since and had a profound impact on my life. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald were an amazing duo and then you had the underrated Peter Friedman as Tateh and then Marin Mazzie in perhaps her best role. McDonald’s Your Daddy’s Son remains the most effective acting/musical performance I have witnessed live. The intensity she brought forth, which was a lot hotter than what recent bootlegs have shown, was so devastating and her character of Sarah was such a tragic figure.
That was technically my first show, but I saw 9 others the same week or so….therefore, here were my thoughts.
THE LION KING: Spectacle galore with a genius design and direction by Julie Taymor…..very powerful, but also extremely disappointing with a Score I never cared for and a mixed bag of a book. I think RAGTIME was royally robbed.
CABARET: I am shocked to this day I was even let in to see this. This was the original 1998 revival cast with Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson…..and I was floored by Richardson, especially and have always adored her. The supporting cast was stellar as well and it was my favorite musical for years. The production was a little swarmy and tried to hard at times (looking back and seeing it twice in opening years after).
JEKYLL & HYDE: You can’t beat the trio of Robert Cuccioli, Linda Eder, and Christiane Noll….however this musical is one I, overall, dislike very much.
PETER PAN: Young kid, cliche of a show. Saw it for Cathy Rigby who has always been my favorite Peter.
PHANTOM: Howard McGillan is stunning and has the voice I wish I had, but I have never been a fan of Phantom in the slightest….I am thankful I had the chance to see Howard McGillan as he was just beginning is multi-year run in the role.
RENT: Still surprised I was let into this one as well. This was right after all of the originals had left, but I did get to see a young Norbert Leo Butz as Roger. I still find myself never being too enthralled with Rent….I think Jonathan Larson’s real masterpiece was the heartfelt “tick…tick…Boom!”.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC: I adore Rebecca Luker so much. She is probably my favorite Soprano, or at least top 5, of recent years. She alone made this worthwhile.
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL: One of WIldhorn’s more tolerable efforts…..most of my memories of this one are vague even though I admried it more than the other work I saw of his, Jekyll and Hyde.
1776: Still one of the most unique and intriguing musical ever written. It can be boring and overlong, but when done well….it can be surprisingly spellbinding! The book of the musical in particular is one of the best ever written for the stage.September 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm #434202
^Hey Anthony, do we have the same birthday? October 21st?September 19, 2014 at 5:20 am #434204
Hey Anthony, I’m jealous you got to see Linda Eder in J&H on Broadway. Terrible musical, but she has some of the most incredible pure vocals in that show. I got to see her in Atlanta on the pre-Broadway tour and she filled every last cranny of the cavernous Fox Theatre with that glorious voice… just never made it to NY the whole time she was in the show there. I’ve seen her in concert several times since, and she only seems to get better with age. The top register isn’t what it used to be and the whistle tones in “Man of La Mancha” aren’t there any more, but her belter register remains unchanged and her stage presence and interpretation have improved significantly over the years.September 19, 2014 at 8:07 am #434205
I agree wholeheartedly about Linda Eder growing wonderfully as an interpreter of music as years go by. When it came to performers who were more about voice than acting, she was always my personal favorite….as opposed to someone like Sarah Brightman, who often gets lambasted for lack of acting but strong singing (though I am not a fan of her singing either).
I think Christiane Noll is very underrated and for me was the heart of that production.September 19, 2014 at 8:16 am #434206
First musical I attended was Gentleman’s Guide a week later. It was so good I saw it again before leaving NYC.
I am so glad you enjoyed Gentleman’s Guide that much. I have been a huge advocate for telling people to go see it since it isn’t the typical flashy dance musical and has no big names attached.
My partner and I were standing in line at the Box Office for PIPPIN to see the return of Andrea Martin as Berthe and began talking with a gentleman in his 50s who lived in NYC for years and came back to see some shows. We told him we intended on seeing Gentleman’s Guide the following day to which he balked at how it “wasn’t really ‘his’ kind of show” and that it looked “boring”….and there have been some online reviews stating people allegedly fell asleep during it.
I find it hard to believe as it is often hilariously funny. I would say Act One could probably tighten up a little bit, because I did get a little antzy just before they got to the finale.
I am happy it won the Tony because now it is getting such wonderful attendance that I hope keeps up for a while longer, though I sadly doubt it will be a huge multi-year run.September 19, 2014 at 9:35 am #434207
I ate up tons of regional theatre and national tours, but didnt get a chance to see anything on Broadway til college. My Dad hates cities, so NYC was never really a family vacation destination, so I had to wait til I knew someone there I could stay with.
My first show was the revival of Hair, and I’ll never forget it. Id equate the feeling it gave me to the scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman is stabbed with the adrenaline needle in the chest. It just made me feel happy to be alive (and gave me a life-long crush on Gavin Creel who danced on the chair in front of me). I was skeptical that someonthing that was so “of the era” could be successfully revived for modern audiences, but I thought they did a great job and was thoroughly moved at the end. And vocally, that cast was out of this world. I also saw it before the Tonys so it was the first time I could actually have some insight into one of the productions on the telecast.
Now I live here and do my best to see everything (or as much as time and money will allow). =)September 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm #434208
My first Broadway show was Phantom of the Opera back in 2011…. i think. haha. I’m 18 now so i must have been 15 years old then. I went with my sister and the show was pretty great. I got chills when the Organ started playing in the beginning. It was a unique and cool experience. I want to go back and see a show soon, but this time i want to see a play and not a musical. I would have loved to see The Heiress back in february (one of my favorites).October 24, 2014 at 10:11 am #434209
SOPHISTICATED LADIES with Gregory Hines in 1981. Awesome, incredible, wonderful, & more! Also saw 42nd STREET, yet it was SOPHISTICATED LADIES that made a lasting impression. Almost life-changing.October 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm #434210
My first Broadway show was on a high school field trip with my drama department to see Les Miserables in 2007. We saw a Wednesday matinee if I remember correctly, and I was blown away and hooked for life. I was fairly new to the theater world so I knew Les Miz was a well known show, but I didn’t know much about the show and definitely didn’t know the songs. Honestly, it was life changing as I fell in love even more with the whole theater world. Once I got to college the next year I took advantage of being relatively close to the city and got up there every chance I could!March 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm #434211
Guys, I need some help!
My friends and I will be in London in September, and I want them to see 3 or 4 musicals. They like the style, they prefer big productions, but ‘belt singing’ musicals are not out of picture.
I narrowed down to seven options:
– ‘The Book of Mormon’
– ‘Phantom of the Opera’
– ‘Billy Elliot’
– ‘Kinky Boots’.
How do you guys rank the shows in general for beginners? I’ve seen all of them aside from Billy and Gypsy. I’m towards Billy (so I can see it too lol), The Book of Mormon, and Phantom (because they really want to see it).