It’s safe to say that no New York experience is complete without a night at a Broadway show. When Chris and I arrived in Manhattan we discovered that Hamilton was still sold out, “Nobody is getting in to see Hamilton” I was told by Lucille, the director of sales and marketing for the Wellington Hotel. If we really wanted to see it our best chance was to pay $10 to enter a ‘lottery’ and of course we might get lucky. However, I didn’t want to risk it, I was only going to be in town for a few days and a Broadway show was on my list of ‘Absolute things I must do in NYC’ so, instead, we decided to choose another. After all, there are many shows to choose from.
Chris, who isn’t a fan of musicals at all, had come around to the idea and even expressed interest in The Lion King, and as much as I appreciated his interest it wasn’t on my list of musicals to see, at least not at the minute. And I had kind of spotted a couple that I’d been dreaming of seeing for several years. The contenders were, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera. Having never seen either but a huge fan of the music, I knew it had to be one of those two. Chris, again, not a fan of musicals was at least somewhat familiar with Phantom of the Opera, so we decided for our night in The Theatre District we would check out Broadway’s longest running musical. I couldn’t have been more excited!
After enjoying a beautiful dinner at Molyvos, an award winning Greek restaurant on 7th Av and 55th St, we decided to walk to the theatre. Time Square was swarming with people, the atmosphere was electric, and as we inched closer and closer to the theatre district, the crowds became even more condensed. Everyone was queuing up for their different shows, excitement hung in the air; it was Friday night and the entire city was humming.
Our seats, located in Centre Orchestra, were just a few rows from the stage giving us an amazing view of the show. As we took our seats, I glanced around at all of the different people that I was about to share in this experience with and I wondered, like Chris, was this anyone else’s first time at a Broadway show. If so, what a treat!
The lights came down and the music began, the show was starting. From the very beginning I knew this was a show that was not going to disappoint. The dramatic beginning with the chandelier had just paved the way for what I suspected were going to be stunning visual effects and beautiful stage work. The entire performance was incredible. I was moved to tears as Christine sang Think of Me and I was reminded of the incredible talent behind all of these songs. But the crowning moment was Phantom of the Opera, the unbelievable stage design, incredible lighting, stage effects, and Julia Udine’s, who played Christine Daaé, ability to hit that E6 just blew me away. I glanced in Chris’s direction and I could see from the look on his face that he too was completely mesmerized. I felt completely overcome by the music. An utterly transcendent experience, it was the best $150 I have ever spent, and it is what I will remember most from my time in New York.
As with any experience shared with other people, be it the opera, ballet, or even a movie, you can never be in complete control, and our time at the show was definitely hampered by a couple of talkative French ladies sitting directly behind us. They continued to talk through Music of the Night, at which point I shot them a look that Chris later told me could stop traffic. I don’t know if that’s true, but it certainly stopped them talking. I’ll never understand why people do that, why pay $150 for a show and then talk through it? They could have bought the dvd for $10 and talked through it at home where they wouldn’t bother anybody.
So powerful was the music that at times I felt like I was the only one in the room; I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. Ok, so, one little criticism; I personally felt that their rendition of Point of No Return should have been a tad lustier. That song is very sexy and is supposed to convey Christine finally giving into her ‘lust’, and I felt that in this performance it was a little too PG, but that’s just me, and I’m by no means an expert.
My only regret about the time I spent at Broadway is that I didn’t wait around after the show to get a few autographs, it most definitely would have been worth it. The talent involved in putting that show together is mind-blowing. I would have gone to see it the following night, too. Chris hasn’t stopped singing the music since he saw the show, he even spent our entire bus journey from New York to Washington listening to the album on my IPod.
“It was just amazing. I mean, the music, oh my God”
“I’m glad you liked it. Now, give me back my IPod”