This is going to be a long post, so thank you to all of those who stay to the end!
To say I love seeing live theatre is an understatement. I have always loved a show and have seen many a touring production, but there is something about seeing a show on Broadway (or the West End in London, which I’ve been fortunate to do several times). I visited New York in my very early twenties and saw my first two shows: The Lion King and Frozen (which is a play about a pedophile-murderer and his psychiatrist-so not the Disney movie musical, although I did see that…you shouldn’t). It was like nothing else. And while, as you’ll see, not picky about where I sit, I highly suggest splurging on orchestra seats for the former. Worth every penny!
My Saturdays in New York have allowed me to live furiously and is one of the core reasons why I chose to fully embrace the philosophy. I’ve spoken before about my philosophical shift as well as my struggles with anxiety, so I won’t go into it again here too much, but I was in a deep funk after my broken heart and was scrolling Instagram and saw that Joshua Jackson was appearing in a new play, Children of a Lesser God. I have loved him since he played Charlie in the Mighty Ducks and, ironically, was binging Dawson’s Creek on Hulu (as an aside, you should also watch Showtime’s The Affair, it is fantastic-especially seasons 1 and 4). So I decided to go see the show. I had a Saturday open and bought my ticket. I was doubly excited because Anthony Edwards was also in the show and, well, ER is one of my all time favorite tv programs! My seat wasn’t awesome and I forgot my glasses (I had recently gotten them for near-sightedness after having LASIQ about a decade before) but it was amazing! I decided to do the stage door and was able to meet the entire cast. And while I usually don’t ask for pictures, I did ask to take one with Josh because, well, I had too! Is it the best picture I have ever taken, probably not, but I am happy! Walking back to my car, I decided this is how I wanted to spend my free time and my limited disposable funds-Broadway!
Which brings me to my next point…money! I see a lot of shows, like at least one nearly every Saturday, but I don’t actually spend that much. I have talked about Today Tix, which is great. I am also a member of TDF, which is a membership program for those qualified and I can get tickets for a great price and an even better seat. Because I order frequently, I do get discount codes from Telecharge. For example, I can get an orchestra seat for the price of a mezzanine. Otherwise, I get a cheap seat because in most cases it doesn’t matter. There are some exceptions. While I had a discount code, I saw The Cher Show and you should sit as close as possible because the Bob Mackie costumes are fantastic! I paid full price to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the upcoming Hamilton and Moulin Rouge. I also was able to secure a ticket for Springsteen on Broadway. But mostly, I don’t pay for than $50. I don’t care where I sit and there really are no bad seats. I tend to see more plays, they have limited runs with actors I admire, and they are always cheaper. I saw To Kill a Mockingbird for $35. Also, all productions have previews. I have seen previews and regular runs and both are fine, so if you are only in town for a bit don’t be dissuaded by the ‘previews.’
One of the best parts of seeing live performances is that I have seen some of the greatest actors and showmen in an intimate space. I mean, I saw and met Springsteen! I always do the stage door and, there have gotten to meet people I admire. In addition to Joshua Jackson (which still brings a smile to my face), I’ve met Daniel Radcliffe, Susan Sarandon, Laurie Metcalfe, Sarah Bareilles, John Lithgow, Glenda Jackson, Adam Driver, Keri Russell (who I wanted to be when she was on the Mickey Mouse Club and you should all watch The Americans), Jeff Daniels, Mare Winningham, just to name a few. Other than Josh, the highlight was meeting Bryan Cranston. My dad is a huge fan, so I asked for a picture to send to him. Mr. Cranston said next time I see my dad to give him a big hug and a thank you! It was so cool and will stay with me forever. Encountering actors, you also become a fan. I will now see Gavin Creel in everything after seeing him in his Tony winning turn in Hello, Dolly and made a specific trip to see him in Waitress.
Some shows are better than others, but none are time wasted. Not even King Lear (which was terrible but I was able to see some fantastic actors)! I have seen some fantastic theatre. If you are in New York or have the ability to see one of the touring productions, I cannot recommend enough Come From Away and The Ferryman-touring soon- (perhaps the greatest musical and show I’ve seen)! It is just sooo good! Soon, you’ll see along the top toolbar a ‘Theatre’ section and, much like my literary picks, I’ll post various shows that I have seen with a brief review. Check back frequently as it will always grow.
Also, there are great productions Off-Broadway! It simply means the size of the theatre. I have seen Mare Winningham, Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nico Santos, and Tom Sturrige in productions. When I saw Happy Talk, Jessica Lange sat in front of me, so she knows what’s up! I have spoken of my love of the Public Theatre, so, if nothing else, start there!
Seeing live theatre brings me great joy. The past year and a half I have just been happier, even my closest friends have noticed a difference. It has brought confidence, gratitude, and a sense of peace. Broadway helped and it is much cheaper than therapy, ha! I get excited to see every performance and each is different. One of my favorite memories is seeing Nathan Lane in Gary: The Sequel to Titus Andronicus. It was hilarious and my first time seeing him. Due to a delay, this was the maybe the third day of previews and first Saturday matinee. There is a scene where Julie White comes out and is beyond hilarious (I laughed until I cried multiple times in this production). She was so funny that Nathan actually broke character multiple times in the scene, trying desperately to hold in his laugh while turning very red. It was so wonderful! He was experiencing it with a big audience for the first time and feeding off our laughter. Theatre is good for the soul and if you are in New York or a touring production is passing through, be sure to check out a show. You will not regret living furiously!