Posts Categorized: NYC

A Christmas Story The Musical Preview

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A Christmas Story The Musical Preview

A Christmas Story The Musical opens at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York on Monday, November 19th with previews starting November 7th.

If you’re not familiar with A Christmas Story, it is originally a 1980’s Christmas comedy movie set in the late 1930’s / early 1940’s based on stories from Jean Shepherd’s “In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash“. The film often ranks on top Christmas movie lists and on Christmas Eve, is shown for 24 hours straight on TBS.

While a sequel to the movie was just released on DVD, the musical follows the storyline from the original 1983 movie. Directed by John Rando, choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Producers include Peter Billingsley, who played the role of Ralphie in the original film. The show ran in 5 cities last year (Hershey PA, Detroit MI, Chicago IL, Raleigh NC and Tampa FL) before the Broadway engagement was announced.

Dan Lauria is cast as Jean Shepherd, the narrator. He’s best known as the father from the TV series, The Wonder Years (which, coincidentally, was inspired by A Christmas Story).

John Bolton play the role of “The Old Man”, Mr. Parker. Strangely, Mr. Parker’s first name is never mentioned in the movie, but is used again and again in the musical. Erin Dilly, who starred opposite Matthew Broderick in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It plays Mrs. Parker.

The role of Ralphie goes to Johnny Rabe, who was also in last year’s national tour of A Christmas Story, The Musical (he played “Insistent Boy”) while Ralphie’s brother, Randy, is played by Zac Ballard.

In recent years, as children who watched the movie in the 1980’s have grown into disposable income, popularity of A Christmas Story has really exploded. The original house from the movie (in Cleveland, OH) is now a tourist attraction with museum and numerous products (from board games, to ornaments, to cookie cutters) are available. You can even be the proud owner of your own “Major Award,” with Leg Lamps available in all different sizes.

You can win tickets to the show by entering the competition on the official site (enter by 5pm on November 13), you can support and buy your broadway tickets here.

About the author: Eric Nagel is an avid fan of A Christmas Story, having spent a night in the house from the movie, and proud owner of his very own Leg Lamp.


The Gremlins – New York New York – Donate to help from Sandy

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You’ve heard Frank sing New York New York and they always show Liza’s version if you are at a showtunes night, but one version stands out and kicks the others’ ass everytime. It’s the Gremlins singing New York New York from Gremlins Two. Not only are the Gremlins able to out perform any other cast, but who doesn’t love these movies. The other night I was watching one of them when on a date and when I was trying to think of what song would be appropriate to help motivate people to donate to help the people who were effected by Sandy, I instantly though of the second most destructive force in NYC that also sings about loving it. Even if you don’t like horror or comedy movies, or you weren’t even alive in the 80’s, you cannot help but to love Gizmo and the other Gremlins and you’ll laugh your ass off when the Gremlins sing New York New York.

When you finish watching the Gremlins singing New York New York, I encourage you to make a donation to a food bank, to donate blankets, food or whatever else you can to the people who live there. I have a couple of friends who have lost their house, everything they own and everything that they worked hard for. There are a ton of people without electricity and who still cannot live in their houses so I encourage you to donate to the different charities that are currently helping the people in NYC, Brooklyn, NJ and other places that were hit hardest by hurricane sandy. The Gremlins singing New York New York may be fun to watch, but remember that without NYC we wouldn’t have broadway, the Tony Awards in their original theatre and all of the other amazing things we love. Make sure that you donate at least 5 dollars to help a family or someone who lost their home at least get something to eat, have a warm blanket to sleep with or even an old toy to send to a kid who lost all of theirs. Just go to any of the major sites that are working on helping people in NYC or their own website and you’ll be able to find a way to help. If you know of a charity that takes 100% of the donations and gives it directly to people in NYC that are effected and not only part of your donation, leave a comment below and a link to that site so that people can donate to help the people in NYC.

Elaine Brier Live at Don’t Tell Mama NYC

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After you go to a show and have dinner in NYC, the only place to go if you want to sing a long for a while longer is Don’t Tell Mama. Don’t Tell Mama is a sing a long piano bar with a ton of fun cabaret performers and talented singers like Elaine Brier. When I was there a couple weeks ago Elaine was working and ended up performing as well.

She performed a ton of her new songs from her album Jique De Soleil (pronounced Jerk De Soley like Cirque de Soleil) including You F*cked Up My Life as well as other songs like the Deli Song that everyone loves. Not only does she get the audience going, but she gets everyone to sing a long and sway and have an amazing time. That is what I love about her random performances and her cabaret acts. She is fun to watch, fun to listen to, extremely fun to sing a long with and best of all she encourages you to do it all. Some cabaret artists in NYC get pissed off when you join in or sing a long. Not only can that be a huge turn off for your audience, but it takes down the level of fun that the audience has and removes part of what makes cabaret, cabaret.

I don’t mind if the performer wants quiet for a few songs and when they are telling stories, but during the show or at the end they need to have some sort of audience participation. Performers like Matt Yee and Elaine Brier are experts at having the right mix of sing a long vs. listening and that is one of the things that makes their cabaret shows so much fun and their performances more memorable. One of the other things I recommend when you go to these shows is to buy the cds they have for sale.

Not only do the cds let you remember the show when you get home, but they help to give the performers extra money but more importantly, extra exposure to new potential fans. They push them a bit during the show, but you have to remember they don’t always get paid much if they even get paid for performing at all. Some only get the money from their cd sales and others only get the tips they get while performing or have to split them with the piano player. They work extremely hard to help give you an awesome show and buying their cds is one of the ways you can say thank you. Here is Elaine Brier performing live at Don’t Tell Mama.

How to Buy Broadway Tickets On Sale

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One thing that everyone hates is having to spend a ton of money to see a show which is why I want to do a post about how to buy broadway tickets on sale or how to find discounts on broadway tickets. There are a ton of options to find great deals on them, even before you leave for NYC or for a touring cast in your own city. Here are a few of the things that I have done over the years and some great ways to get amazing seats if you have a bit of luck.

Buy Broadway Tickets on Sale

Buy Broadway Tickets on Sale

Goldstar – Many people don’t know about Goldstar, but I have personally used them to buy broadway tickets as well as to see shows here in DC. What Goldstar does is sell off tickets at half the normal price online. You don’t get to know your seat ahead of time, but you do get amazing prices and discounts on broadway tickets with them. Although you don’t get to see where you are sitting, it is kind of exciting to go to will call at the box office and get your tickets at the show and then see where your seats are. If there is a show I only somewhat want to see or that I don’t want to spend a ton of money on, I will definitely go to Goldstar first for discounts on broadway tickets.

Discount Broadway Tickets

Discount Broadway Tickets

Ticket Liquidator – This is a service that I use when I want awesome seats. Ticket Liquidator acts as a market place for shows and broadway tickets. You can find broadway tickets for sold out shows on a regular basis here, but you may have to pay more instead of getting a discount. At the same time, when people can’t make a show because of something else, they may sell their broadway tickets at a discount just to get rid of them. You can find everything from VIP passes to suites and boxes as well as orchestra to the very back of the upper balcony. I actually do like Ticket Liquidator a lot because you can get virtually any show you want even if it is sold out at the box office. I highly recommend them if you are looking for something that is sold out as you will probably be able to find broadway tickets for sold out shows on their site.

TKTS booth – One option you have if you are already in NYC is to go to the TKTS booth in times square. TKTS sells the unsold seats for numerous shows at fairly large discounts. You can find both on broadway and offbroadway available at the TKTS counter. One thing you do have to make sure you pay attention to is that if you are there on a day with matinees, they sell evening shows after the matinees are done. One other downside to going to TKTS is that if you are dying to see a show, they may not have that show on sale or they may sell out before you get to the counter. If you do choose to do this, which I normally do, go early and wait for the counter to open so you get awesome seats at dirt cheap prices.

Show Raffles – One thing that you can do if you are dying to see a show that is sold out and you are also feeling lucky is to show up to the box office for a show raffle. Many of the theatres have a raffle for awesome and sometimes front row seats for their shows. The only problem is that they raffle them off so you have to win the raffle and they are full price which can be very expensive. Then again if you cannot find the broadway tickets anywhere else and you really want to see the show, then this is a good option for you. Just remember that you may not end up getting your broadway tickets and not being able to get to see a show at all.

There are a ton of ways to buy broadway tickets on sale. These are just a few of the ways that I have gotten to see a ton of shows without having to pay full price. I highly recommend the services above and have used them myself. If you know of other ways to buy broadway tickets on sale, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar, NYC Reviews

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On a recent visit to New York City with my cousin, his wife and my youngest daughter, Clementine, we traveled from our hotel on the lower east side to Broadway to see the magnificent musical “On a Clear Day you can see forever” starring Harry Connick, Jr. It was a Saturday night and although we had a fantastic time at the show and wonderful early dinner in a little Italian bistro in the West Village, I was ready to go back to the hotel and crash. My cousin, however, had a different plan in mind. He took us on a tour of restaurant row, which ended at a small piano bar and restaurant named ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ on 46th street.

The place was hopping but we walked in and were welcomed by the hostess who made it her mission to find us somewhere to sit. The one room was really crowded and we didn’t want to sit in the restaurant and have a full meal. However, it turned out that our timing was perfect. The ‘Show Tunes’ room had just opened for the night and we were one of the first groups in. We were seated close to the piano and gradually the place started to fill. The pianist was extremely talented and entertaining. He sang and played many tunes including an amusing version of ‘Part of My World’ from The Little Mermaid and a rousting rendition of ‘Caberet’ which had everyone in the room joining in. The ambiance was relaxed and very friendly. Our waiter and barman also had incredible voices and took turns entertaining us as well as supplying us with great cocktails and delicious desserts. Several of the audience, including my daughter, Clementine, signed up to sing at the ‘open mic’ and the quality of the talent did not disappoint. We didn’t leave until 2am and it was well worth staying up late for. All in all a great place to end a fantastic Saturday night in NYC!!

Added in by Adam:

This was the night before I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Dessert and while I was having fun with my ex-boyfriend and his friends at Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC, the talent didn’t stop with just the piano player. The Bartender sang a great version of I’m Alive from the show Next to Normal and other members of the audience, including myself who had laryngitis at the time gave an effort to completely destroy a There’s a Fine Fine Line from Avenue Q. One person in the audience happened to be Julie’s Daughter Clementine.

Clementine sang a few songs from Once Upon a Mattress and did an excellent job for someone who is only 16. She has a great voice and is learning how to make a connection with the audience. Once she learns how to give eyes, sing out and how to turn a song into her own, she will be absolutely ready to hit a school for musical theatre or even start auditioning for shows. Clementine Harvey could make it if she learns how to really push herself out there and I am very happy to say that her Mom who wrote the top part of this review about Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC, gave me a couple of videos of Clementine Harvey singing to share with you.

Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC is one of my favorite places to go. Not only do I get to meet tons of fun theatre lovers every time I go, but I also get to hear people who are trying to make it on Broadway. It is absolutely fun and I highly recommend you stop by and sit in the showtunes room at Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC.

On My Own from Les Mis by Clementine Harvey.

Shy from Once Upon a Mattress by Clementine Harvey.