Successful Retirement in NYC, 4 – Theater Extravaganza

April 14, 2015

We have spent the winter in NYC and what a winter it was – snow every Monday and freezing rain during the week to keep it interesting. So one way to beat the frozen winter blues was to go the theater and we have, a lot.  Right now we are at 40 plays/ performances and counting. The plays have ranged from one person performances to large productions with Hollywood stars – think Sting, Helen Mirren, Elizabeth Moss, Emma Stone, Kristen Chenoweth.

When we started this whole NYC experience we knew we wanted to see a lot of plays but were somewhat concerned about three things . First,we are not night people so we prefer matinees and that limits how many days there are performances available. There are matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and, for some off Broadway, Thursdays as well. Second, Broadway shows are expensive, some very expensive. Fortunately we have friends who live here who are very savvy about how to score tickets at reduced prices or even for free. So they let us know to check out sites like Club Free Time, tdf, Theaterextras, Gold star and Travel Zoo. There is a membership fee for some of these but they are still worth it. Another way to save money is to buy tickets in person at the Box Office.  You’ll save the service and processing fees. Also we found lots of discounts for plays in preview and for Off Broadway shows.Third, my husband needs an aisle seat so that he can extend his right leg out ( result of back surgery). That has limited our ability to take advantage of some discounts since we can’t always be guaranteed an appropriate aisle seat when buying discount tickets. So buying in person with a discount code works best for us.

So what have we seen?  They have ranged from revivals ( King and I ) to one person plays like Churchill, Josephine Baker and Wiesenthal to  dramas (Delicate Balance) to brand the new Hand to God.

We started with Jersey Boys ( a repeat for us and well worth it); then Cabaret – Alan Cumming was phenomenal; The Audience – Helen Mirren truly is the Queen; Skylight with Bill Nighy – amazing; On The Town – best classic Broadway show by far; strange (for us) performances like Big Love; super dramas  like Disgraced and Curious Incident of The Nightime Dog and The River – Hugh Jackman was excellent. We took my niece and her son to Lion King – so fun to see a child’s first experience with a Broadway show.

Best play: Hamilton and this is before it goes to Broadway. We paid a little over 100 for our tickets and on a resale site they were going for a 1,000 per ticket. Money aside, the play was outstanding – without a doubt one of the best we have ever seen.

One more factor to consider – the theater or venue. Some are beautiful, some are cramped and none have adequate restrooms for the ladies. The dinner clubs have been a pleasant surprise – 54 Below is a great place with good shows and food.

Two more weeks to go and so much yet to see! We will appreciate the Tonys so much more this year!

Barbara Price

www.successfulretirementguide.com

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