NYC Spring Break: Showtime

During Tina's and Steph's Spring Break, we saw two of my favorite musicals: Newsies and Wicked. Christina and Stephanie had never seen Newsies before and Bryan had only seen it with a pretty weak Jack Kelly understudy. Well, the four of us lucked out completely with the strongest cast I’ve seen thus far. Everyone was awesome. Bryan agreed it was much better with a Broadway caliber lead. And then there were Steph, Tina, and me who could hardly breathe we were so enthralled. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more talented cast on Broadway. Why, I’ve never seen so many triple threats—dancer, singer, and actor—in one production! The Newsies even have a whole tap routine thrown in the middle of it all! Like I said, they’re phenomenal! I loved it. 

After the show, we obviously had to wait to get a picture with Jack Kelly. Awkward moment: while waiting for Jack, another cast member came by... only we swear he wasn't in the play. I mean he was, but we have no recollection of him. Still, we took a picture with him and had him sign a program. Ha. Eh. Then of course, we took a picture with Mr. Kelly.

We had Friday night tickets to see Wicked. We were beyond ecstatic. Now, you probably know that one of my favorite pastimes is in trying for the Wicked lottery. I mean, even if you don’t win, it’s an awesome experience. It’s rare you find yourself in a crowd of so many hopeful and happy people. Even as winners are called, everyone applauds and cheers. I love that energy and excitement. I love the positivity of it all. So I wanted Tina and Steph to have that experience. In being that it was NY’s spring break as well, it was highly unlikely for us to win. Why there were a good 200+ people present. We were purely there for the experience. 

Now, how the lottery works is you show up 2.5 hours before showtime with your ID and cash, write your name and if you want one or two tickets on a piece of paper, then at 2 hours before go time they draw 12 or 13 people (there’s a total of 26 tix) to receive $30 tickets for front row seats at that night’s performance. Sure I wanted one of us to win just so Tina and Steph could have that experience, but that wasn’t why we were there. 

When it came time to announce the winners. Tina, Steph, and I stayed at the very back so we could appreciate everything and everyone. We clapped and cheered as winners were announced. It was a great time. Then suddenly, “Christina Price!” What?! Yeah, I may have lost it screaming! Cute Tina was more silent than I was—I think she was shocked really. But as she made her way to the front, everyone was laughing at “her” reaction aka my screaming. Ha. Too funny. Stephanie and then rushed around to the side and near the front to be by Tina. I was so excited the two of them were going to be able to see the show from the front row (I had no issue with them going two nights in a row). They continued to call winners. A minute later I realize Steph is looking at me with a rather dumbfounded expression… Yes? then I hear it, “Rachel Perry!” I gasped louder than I knew possible, then squeal-screamed “That’s me!!! We both… aaaah.” Apparently, I have no shame. Can you believe it though?! Christina won 2 tickets and I won 2 tickets! That meant the four of us—Bryan included—were going to see Wicked on the front row for $30 that very night!!! I'm still shocked. I’d say it were impossible for two of our party to win—especially with the odds that night—but it happened. Unbelievable! I’m still giddy.

Between winning and show time, we hung out at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I love this place with its singing, Broadway-bound waiters and waitresses. They do have four gluten free options that are… well not awesome. I did like their gluten free brownie dessert though. But I don’t go there for the food. I go for the entertainment. It was fantastic. One belting waiter got right up in Tina’s face as he sung. Another sang “Out There” from the Hunchback of Notre Dame with a plastic cup positioned as a hump inside his shirt. Another of the waitresses sang “Home” from Beauty and the Beast and I nearly cried; I love that song! And our waiter too had such a solid and incredible voice! Turns out we were also very lucky to have gone when we did; by the time we left it was 1 to 1.5 hour wait outside! Did I mention it was a colder week?

And back to Wicked. The only way to describe the experience of Wicked is magical. Purely magical. The story and music completely overwhelms you with joy and awe to a point where you can hardly breathe. It brings me to tear of wonder every time. And I loved looking over at Tina and Steph to see beaming grins and glassy eyes. They too were mesmerized; we all were mesmerized. I have to say, I was shocked to discover that Elpheba was the understudy; she was phenomenal! Our Galinda was fantastic as well! It was perfect!

Then to see Wicked from another perspective the next night! We know we were spoiled having won the lottery Thursday when already having tickets for Friday, but we loved and appreciated every moment. And sitting further back was equally incredible; when you're so close to the front you miss some of the greater details. For example we could see parts of the set and other characters we hadn’t noticed the night before. And we had the “real” or lead Elpheba and the understudy Galinda; so we essentially saw four different leads, which was awesome! I do have to say though—while both Elphebas were/are incredible—the lead Elpheba has probably the most incredible voice and range I’ve ever heard. Ever. Sigh. 

For more on our Spring Break adventures click on the following links,
      NYC Spring Break: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
      NYC Spring Break: Museums
      NYC Spring Break: 911 Memorial and the Empire State Building
      NYC Spring Break: Face Plant on 5th Ave
      NYC Spring Break: Times Square
      NYC Spring Break: Manhattan LDS Temple and Central Park

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