Something tells me Kristen Holly Smith is a huge Dusty Springfield fan. It might be the fact that she co-wrote and stars in Off-Broadway musical Forever Dusty, where she spends 90 minutes a night singing hits like “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” or that she’s been working on this show since 2006.
If you’re looking for a musical that will appeal to non-Broadway fans too, look no further than Rock of Ages. While it still has the big song-and-dance numbers of other shows, the songs the actors are singing and dancing to are hits of the 1980’s that anyone with an FM radio will know. Known as “Broadway’s Best Party,” dancing in your seat is not only allowed, it’s strongly encouraged.
If you’ve tried one too many times to get tickets to Saturday Night Live, opt for a show at Chelsea’s Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre instead, where many SNL cast members got their start. SNL alum and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, who founded the theatre along with Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, is still known to show up for Sunday’s ASSSSCAT 3000.
Last week I saw Silence! The Musical, the musical parody of cult horror film The Silence of the Lambs. I’m usually terrified of scary movies (and plays), but the humorous songs in this show calmed my nerves despite its murder-filled plot. For those who’ve seen the Anthony Hopkins/Jodie Foster classic, the show is likely even funnier.
One of the easiest ways for city dwellers to pass the time while commuting in NYC is to read the numerous advertisements on the subway trains. These ads run the gamut—everything from whiskey ads to airline offers. One particular ad campaign that caught my eye a while back was for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, or BAM.
In November, I went to a birthday party at Duet 53—a karaoke spot in Midtown. It had been a few years since I last took to the mic, so I was a little nervous. My past karaoke experiences have gone one of two ways: novice singers have to stand on an intimidating stage in a crowded bar, or everyone has to sit around a table and pass the mic—meaning, everyone has to participate.
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ has been a staple of the New York holiday season for more than 50 years. One of the most distinct memories I have of my first year living in the city was seeing this venerable production at Lincoln Center, performed by the New York City Ballet. It truly was a magical experience.
Elf the Musical is the perfect kid-friendly Broadway play for the holiday season. The cheery musical is based on the 2003 Will Ferrell movie of same name, but cuts out much of the adult humor that gave the film a PG rating. When my friend and I went to a performance a few weeks ago, I could see from the excitement on the faces of the children in the audience how much those under 10 enjoyed the cute songs and childish jokes.
A few weeks ago, I saw Dead Accounts—the new Broadway play starring Norbert Leo Butz, Katie Holmes, Judy Greer, Josh Hamilton and Jayne Houdyshell. I went to a press event for the play in October and the bit of information provided—I knew it was set in Ohio and involved some sort of financial dispute—left me curious about the show.
I’m a little bit of a comedy nerd. I’m not very funny, but I can appreciate the hilarity of other people. In college, a classmate wanted to try improv and I tagged along to The People’s Improv Theater (better known as The PIT) for one of their free improv jam nights.