One show is never enough…
It is one of the most well-known institutions of New York City. At the top of everyone’s must-do list’s of New York, you can’t go wrong with a Broadway show!
There are a multitude of theatres in the city offering a variety of musicals, plays and other shows. It is a highly tempting opportunity to see revived classics as well as the new theatre greats that are coming to the stage. I had the opportunity to see three shows when I last visited New York: Frozen, Mean Girls, and Anastasia.
First Up: Frozen
Being that is was a Disney musical I had high expectations for the show. As I joined the lengthy queue to get inside the theatre I felt the excitement bubble over. Frozen is a family-friendly show so of course the majority of audience members were under the age of 12. It was certainly a new experience to see a show where the audience aren’t as well practised at the whole keeping quiet bit. Regardless, the show was a high-energy spectacular with a collection of fantastic new songs and wonderful use of lighting techniques. ‘Let It Go’ was definitely the highlight of the show as Elsa magically transforms her outfit and the special effects go ballistic. The song ‘Hygge’ was also a surprise delight as Anna and Kristoff are invited to dance and sing with the shop owner and his very large family of sauna dwellers.
In this version of Frozen the trolls have been swapped out for a mountain-based tribe. Whilst I was a bit saddened at first that this element of the show differed from the film, I think the change worked for the better of the ensemble. I don’t believe it would be an easy thing to dance and sing with a giant troll head on! The only downside of this production was the audience. The other element of seeing a show on Broadway is the risk that the audience has never seen a live show before. This meant that the common theatre ‘norms’ aren’t quite followed but, it didn’t take away from the show too much.
Frozen was a high-energy show with great lighting and colourful costumes. The leads had incredible talent as did the ensemble and I have no doubt it will have a popular run when it comes to Sydney.
Rating: Frozen 8/10
Show Number 2: Mean Girls
We went to see Mean Girls on a Wednesday night, when the die-hard fans all attended. Of course, going on a Wednesday also meant everyone had to wear pink!
The show was astounding and the cast were incredible! As soon as Janis and Damian walk on stage the crowd’s energy soared and it carried through the whole performance. A modern musical, Mean Girls boasts a catchy soundtrack and has an effortless blend of iconic movie moments and original scenes in the show. I was very fortunate to see the original cast in their roles and Barrett Wilbert Weed was a particular stand out as was Taylor Louderman.
There were many catchy tunes throughout the show but I have to say some of the stand outs were ‘Where Do You Belong?’ where Damian takes Cady on a roundabout tour of the lunch room and Janis’s song ‘I’d Rather Be Me’, a stick it to the man number that gets the self-confidence boosted.
Overall, seeing this bubblegum musical was a fun night out!
Rating: Mean Girls 9/10
Last up: Anastasia.
I am very glad I saw this musical when I did as unfortunately, the musical closed in March 2019. When I saw the show some of the original cast had moved on but I was still able to see Christy Altomare in the title role of Princess Anastasia.
The show is inspired by the story of the Romanov family, as well as the animated movie. It uses some of the film’s songs as well as a series of original numbers. The musical is well put together and has a rich classical tone that is carried throughout the show. Unlike the film, the character of Rasputin is swapped out for a new addition named Gleb, who follows Anastasia on her journey from Saint Petersburg to Paris.
The musical has a wonderful set, effortlessly transforming the stage from scene to scene. I also enjoyed the creative use of screen for the train travelling sequence. A stand out song for me was of course, ‘Journey to the Past’, a classic from the film and a pivotal turning point for Anastasia. I was also quite moved by the simplicity of the song ‘Stay, I Pray You’, an ensemble number that is both haunting and beautiful as the characters fleeing Russia reminisce about times gone by.
Anastasia was a fantastic musical that managed to balance a respect for history and creative intention. It is an adventure of a show that leaves you entranced and wanting for more.
Rating: Anastasia 8/10
Broadway is a globally recognised name. It is a pinnacle point for theatre and is, as seen in the photos, ever popular with tourists and locals alike. The excitement felt every night as you lined up and were handed a new playbill before the show cannot be described. I can only suggest you go there and see a show for yourself!