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New York City Theater

  • Enjoy Broadway Theater as a Family

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    The Broadway theater district in New York City is one of the most famous performing arts destinations in the whole world. Some of the biggest and most beloved shows have gotten their start on Broadway and many perennial favorites continue to play to sold out crowds night after night. Locals and visitors alike visit Broadway to take in some of the hottest shows in the country. Families visiting New York City will have no shortage of Broadway shows to choose from.
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  • See the Best of Broadway Absolutely Free

    broadway-new-york

    Every visitor to New York City brings with them different things. For some, it’s an extra pair of underwear, for others, it’s that pillow they simply can’t go without more than one night. Yet for all of the differences seen in the many visitors to the Big Apple, almost all of them come wanting the same thing: Broadway show tickets.

    The Challenge of Securing Show Tickets

    Unfortunately, due to their high demand, it’s often difficult to get good seats for the best shows. Theater goers the world over flock to Broadway by the millions every year to see talented stage singers and dancers as well as some of the biggest names in Hollywood perform live on New York City’s many stages. While this might be the main reason for your trip to NYC, know that many of the more popular shows will sell out months in advance. Even when you are able to get show tickets on short notice, they’ll often be for some of the poorer seats in the house, and even then, you may still have to split your party up.

    Then there’s the price to consider. Part of the reason why the Big Apple is able to stage such spectacular Broadway productions is because of the prices people are willing to pay to see them. The tickets to just a couple of shows can quickly drain your entire vacation budget. While you may at this moment consider that a small price to pay in order to experience world-class stage productions, you may change your mind when you discover just how uncomfortable it can sleeping on a park bench.

    Broadway in Bryant Park

    Here’s a better idea: Why not save some of that money to experience the many other wonderful sights that New York City has to offer and instead see all of the best numbers from the city’s most popular musicals in the Broadway in Bryant Park lunch-time concert series? Every year in July and August, the stage at Bryant Park plays host to the casts of the current musicals gracing the city’s stages performing the very numbers that made their productions so famous. This year’s concert series includes performances from shows such as:

    • Wicked
    • Mamma Mia!
    • Once Upon a Mattress
    • Amazing Grace
    • Kinky Boots
    • A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder

    Along with these contemporary hits, you can also hear numbers from classics such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The King and I, and Chicago. All of these numbers are sung by the very performers others are spending thousands to see.

    Rather than spend a small fortune on a handful of Broadway show tickets, why not catch all of the best musical numbers from all of the hot Broadway productions by stopping by Bryant Park and taking in the performances of some of Broadways hottest stars. This is one NYC summertime attraction that theater buffs simply can’t miss.

  • The Best of Italian Cinema Comes to NYC

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    It’s almost impossible to consider the history and culture of New York City without recognizing a distinct Italian influence. Travelers this week in NYC, as well as those past and likely those to come in the future, can all attest to the city’s connection to the Old Country. It’s only fitting then that one of the highlights of the city’s summer cultural calendar is the Italian film festival.

    The Open Roads: New Italian Cinema Film Festival

    Now entering its fourteenth year, the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema film festival has become one of the largest events in the world dedicated solely to the screening and promotion of international films. Every year, the biggest names in the Italian cinematic industry converge on New York to show the rest of the world what Italians already know: that the country has some of the world’s finest actors and filmmakers.

    This year’s event will feature a unique blend of young, emerging Italian artists and some of the country’s most celebrated screen personalities, including the master filmmaker Ermanno Olmi and internationally-acclaimed actress Vrina Lisi in what she has promised to be her final movie role.

    Festival Highlights

    According to The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the festival will have film offerings guaranteed to satisfy the cinematic tastes of all audiences. From sweeping epics to modern, mind-bending contemporary films, visitors both young and old will find plenty of excellent viewing opportunities. Among the films not to be missed are:

    Latin Lover: The festival’s opening night film tells the tale of Italy’s most celebrated movie star and the five daughters he had with five different women. Now, ten years since his death, these women will gather to separate the mythical icon from the man they knew. The film stars the aforementioned Lisi, Candela Pena, Lluis Homar, Marisa Paredes, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.

    Greenery Will Bloom Again: The master director Olmi gives audiences a glimpse of World War I as only he can, focusing on a single night amidst the trenches as a group of soldiers try their best to deal with the horrors of war.

    The Dinner: One of the most decorated film’s at last year’s Venice Film Festival, The Dinner stars Luigi Lo Cascio, Allesandro Gassman, Giovanna Messogiorno, and Barbora Bobulova in a dark film about the complexities of familial ties. An English-language version of the film starring Cate Blanchett is currently in the works.

    The Invisible Boy: Tabbed as Italy’s entry into the superhero movie genre, The Invisible Boy follows a young outcast who uses his newly-discovered power of invisibility to help others.

    New York is already such a unique place to both visit and live in. Why not highlight your summer with an equally unique experience by attending the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema film festival? Treat yourself and your family to a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience in a one-of-kind city. This event is sure to leave you with memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

  • NYC: A Movie Lover’s Mecca

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    Given its standing as one of the world’s most popular cities, it’s no surprise that New York City has served as the backdrop for some of the most famous movies in the history of cinema. For modern movie lovers, the Big Apple also hosts one of the most exciting film festivals in the world. If you’re a movie buff, the NYLA Film Festival or TCM Classic Film Tour are definitely two events that should be at the top of your bucket list.

    The NYLA International Film Festival

    Just ask anyone within the movie business what the two most important cities are to their industry, and the most common responses will of course be New York and Los Angeles. Now contributors from both cities have come together to create the NYLA International Film Festival. Held twice a year in each city, the festival was created to offer burgeoning filmmakers a venue where they could screen their work for audiences eager for fresh filmmaking away from the mainstream. Fans will find film options here in every genre, from fantasy to horror, comedy to crime caper, and drama to documentary. Those who are drawn to foreign films will also find a number of viewing options to suit their fancy. The filmmakers themselves are often on-hand to interact with audiences and participate in live forums.

    The TCM Classic Film Tour

    If you happen to be a lover of classic movies, then you’ve come to right place. Some of the most memorable scenes ever recorded on film have happened right here in the Big Apple. Now, On Location Tours has partnered with Turner Classic Movies to offer the TCM Classic Film Tour, an experience that takes movie lovers right the spots where their favorite scenes were filmed. Stops along the tour route include:

    • The Empire State Building
    • Grand Central Terminal
    • Central Park

    Close your eyes, and you can picture Cary Grant waiting for Deborah Kerr at the observation deck of the Empire State Building, or Frank Sinatra fishing Lawrence Harvey out of the lake in Central Park. You’ll even see the same brownstone Audrey Hepburn called home in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as the infamous subway grate that turned Marilyn Monroe into an icon in the Seven Year Itch. Your tour guide will come equipped with fun facts and trivia about each iconic movie, giving you a true “behind-the-scenes” glimpse at the many movies masterpieces filmed here.

    Just take a walk around New York City, and you know you’re in place unlike anywhere else on Earth. No wonder so many filmmakers have used the unique magic that the city has to offer in their films. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a cinematic experience, you can’t go wrong in NYC. Whether it’s touring iconic film locations or taking in some of the latest work from the film industry’s newest stars, you’ll find as much movie magic here as you would on any Hollywood backlot.

  • Visit Broadway, Parks And Concert Halls For Big Apple Entertainment

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    Your options for entertainment in the Big Apple are seemingly endless. The variety of fine dining and drinking establishments, parks, historical sites and museums the city has to offer can provide anyone with a perfect pastime. Of course, any discussion of New York City entertainment is not complete unless the world-renowned selection of concerts, theater and musical shows is mentioned. Catching a show is a great way to spend an afternoon or enjoy an elegant evening on the town. You can pick up a pair of Broadway tickets or get in line to see the Rockettes dance. Whatever kind of entertainment you like, New York City surely has a production that will show you a good time.

    Concerts in the City

    New York City attracts the best artists and musicians around the world, and this makes it likely that your favorite performer will be coming to the city sometime soon. The city’s parks host many outdoor concerts throughout the year, and Central Park’s largest shows entertain thousands of people at a time. Along with hundreds of intimate music venues, there are a variety of famous concert halls that provide musical enjoyment as well as historical and architectural interest, including:

    Lincoln Center, a complex of venues for dance, opera, jazz, symphonies and other performing arts
    Carnegie Hall, a historic building with excellent acoustics and architectural beauty
    Madison Square Garden, host to giant concerts and sports events
    • Radio City Music Hall, a beautiful show venue that hosts singers and instrumental performances

    Radio City Music Hall

    Besides hosting concerts, Radio City is home to the Rockettes show, famous all over the world for their high kicks and seasonal shows. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a favorite activity for New Yorkers and tourists alike during the holiday season. The Rockettes continue their exciting performances that are enjoyable at any age all year, including the New York Spring Spectacular.

    Radio City Music Hall is also known for its elegant architecture and inspiring décor. The venue encourages visitors to arrive at shows early to appreciate the magnificence of the building and also offers backstage tours.

    Musical Theater and Broadway Shows

    Whether you are interested in a play, a one-man show, or a musical, New York City’s theaters have a performance that you will enjoy. The theater district provides thousands of visitors with access to revivals of classics like “Chicago” and “Phantom of the Opera,” and introduces new, exciting theater and performers every year.

    Finding Broadway tickets is easier than ever with the help of online vendors, and you can browse for the right show or learn about concert venues, Radio City Music Hall events or upcoming performances in the parks or at your favorite pub. New York City has so much to offer, and its love for the performing arts gives you enough options for entertainment to keep you busy all year long.

  • Famous NYC Film Locations

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    Over the past century, hundreds of films have been shot on the streets of New York City—from early silent movies like The Crucuble (1914) to Academy Award winner Birdman (2014). Some scenes have become so famous that the locations themselves are now celebrities of a sort. Here are just a few…

    The Seven Year Itch starring Marilyn Monroe (1954)
    The iconic image of beauty Marilyn Monroe flirtatiously holding down her white dress against the advances of an unruly subway breeze has been immortalized on everything from posters to fridge magnets. The history of the actual scene is slightly less glamorous.
    Shot for the 1954 Billy Wilder film The Seven Year Itch, the scene was fraught with problems. During the 3-hour overnight shoot, Marilyn flubbed her lines, requiring many retakes. Back in Hollywood, the editors found sound problems with the original scene and reshot it again on a Hollywood sound stage. Though the New York scene never made it to the final cut, the subway grate along Lexington Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets in Manhattan is still there, if you want to feel the breeze.

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn (1961)
    If you want to mirror Audrey Hepburn’s longing gaze into Tiffany’s window from Blake Edwards’ 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s just go to the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street, and be sure to wear your black evening dress, pearls, and tiara.

    Dog Day Afternoon starring Al Pacino (1972)
    If you find yourself near Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood you can take a walk along Prospect Park West, between 17th and 18th Streets and see where Pacino shot his famous “Attica! Attica!” scene as bank robber Sonny Wortzik.

    Taxi Driver starring Robert DeNiro (1976)
    Shot largely in the Times Square area around 47th and 48th Streets near Broadway, the dark seedy landscape of Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic Taxi Driver is all but gone. The cheap eateries and triple-x theaters have been demolished and replaced by a kinder and cleaner neighborhood, and the building that housed the “Palantine Campaign” in the film is now a bank.

    The Pope of Greenwich Village starring Mickey Rourke (1984)
    The strange yet compelling tale of two NYC cousins trying to make it through gambling and robbery was shot in various Soho and West Village. Locations include the corner of Sullivan Street and West Houston, the DeSalvio Playground at Mulberry and Spring Streets, and bars at 51 Spring Street (now Pomodoro Restaurant and Pizzeria) and 176 Mulberry Street (the Mulberry Street Bar).

    Fame starring Irene Carra (1980)
    If you want to dance in the streets, try 120 West 46th Street outside the Fiorella LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts. The iconic outdoor dance number from Fame was shot nearby, though at the time the school denied filmmakers use of the school building itself because they felt that the raw language used in the movie was nothing to kick up their heels about.

    Coyote Ugly starring Piper Perabo (2000)
    A great deal of the 2000 film Coyote Ugly was filmed in the less-than-glamorous meatpacking district, but the bar itself is at 153 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

    Want more? Tour the Bronx and see where the Robert DeNiro and Chazz Palminteri film A Bronx Tale was made. Want to explore New York City on your own? Here’s what you’ll need.

  • From The Exotic To The Bizarre - You'll Find It At Ripley's Believe It Or Not

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    America’s love affair with the incredible is longstanding. So it’s no surprise to learn that Robert Ripley’s ever expanding collection of outlandish finds dates back nearly a century to a 1919 cartoon feature that appeared in the New York Globe. Originally focused on sports feats (and titled Champs and Chumps), Ripley’s Believe It or Not quickly became a popular feature for New Yorkers seeking a taste of the unusual, the exotic, and the downright strange. Ripley moved his column from the Globe to the New York Post and then the New York American before entering
    nationwide syndication.

    Today the Ripley tradition continues with museums in 13 states nationwide. The museum in New York City, where Ripley’s column first took hold, opened in 2007 and is located at the heart of New York’s Times Square neighborhood at 234 West 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues).

    Ripley’s is organized into a series of “Odditoriums,” each containing amazing finds gathered from across the globe, and each accompanied by a suitably incredible backstory.
    Many of the artifacts and treasures were collected by Robert Ripley himself during his four decades traveling the world in search of the unusual, the shocking, and the thought-provoking.

    Ripley's obsession with traveling and collecting oddities began when he took his first trip abroad to Europe. His second trip abroad in 1922 was to cover the Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium which led to a trip around the world. What he found and experienced on his exotic adventures was shared in his daily cartoon and a Believe It or Not book was published the following year. Ripley visited over 201 countries over the next fifteen years. Robert Ripley's live radio broadcasts and movie shorts with Vitaphone Pictures followed, but his greatest success came when his first “Odditorium” opened in Chicago, Illinois in July 1933 during the Chicago World's Fair, where his wild and weird collections brought in nearly 2 million visitors. In 1948, he created a television pilot that became the basis for one of the first weekly television series. Unfortunately Ripley himself passed away the following year of a heart attack at the age of 55.

    But the Ripley legacy lives on! As you tour the museum, you'll experience immersive interactive exhibits learn how diverse and fascinating our world really is. With over 20 galleries spanning two floors, Ripley's Times Square is the largest Ripley's attraction in North America and is home to the most amazing exhibits, including the Little Apple, the Impossible LaseRace, and the Spinning Vortex. You’ll also see the two-headed calf, the albino giraffe, the jade boat, and the shrunken head!

    Ripley’s also hosts occasional free sideshow performances right in front of the marquee on 42nd Street. In the grand tradition of the American sideshow, these performances range from the unusual to the bizarre, with artists such as The Human Blockhead; Jellyboy, the Sword-Swallowing Clown; Dubini, the Man with the Iron Stomach, Donny Vomit, the sword swallower; and two of the most dramatic examples of human body modification and full-body tattooing—Enigma and Lizard Man.

    No visit to New York City is complete without a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Ripley’s is available for group tours and special events, but be sure to book well in advance, as availability is limited and these slots fill quickly.

  • The Holidays with Verdi: La Traviata and Aída at the Metropolitan Opera

    You would be hard pressed to find two more respected and beloved operas than La Traviata and Aída, and what luck to find them both being performed by the Metropolitan Opera in the same week! It’s the perfect opportunity for an operatic double header.

    la-traviata

    La Traviata is the tragic tale of courtesan Violetta, darling of the society scene but dying as a result of her escapades. Alfredo Germont, a somewhat naive young man, has long admired Violetta and at a party proclaims his love for her. Initially she turns away his pleas of love, but eventually chooses to live with him in the country and give up her society life. This is quite scandalous, of course, and eventually Alfredo’s father demands Violetta end the relationship to protect his family. Stricken, Violetta agrees. Alfredo is angry and heartbroken, and his father is filled with regret. Eventually, as Violetta lies dying, Alfredo returns to her. With a gorgeous duet and a few soaring notes, Violetta dies. The perfect tragic opera

    aida

    Aída is set in the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt and is the story of Aída, an Ethiopian slave to Princess Amneris, daughter of the king of Egypt. However, Aída is a princess herself, and daughter to the king of Ethiopia. The warrior Radamès falls in love with Aída, but Amneris is also in love with the warrior. Aída feels torn between her love of Radamès and her allegiance to her home country, particularly when the king demands Radamès command the army against the Ethiopians. Aída betrays Radamès by revealing his plans to her father. Radamès is tried as a traitor, but even when sentenced to death she refuses to refute Aída, and he is buried alive. Aída hides in the tunnels where he is buried and they agree to die together.

    It’s true, both stories are filled with heartbreak and betrayal, but the librettos and arias of both operas are powerful and remarkable. In fact, these two operas are ideal introductions to opera for those new to the art form – particularly La Traviata.

    Liudmyla Monastyrska, Tamara Wilson, and Oksana Dyka share the title role of Aída, with Olga Borodina and Violeta Urmana starring as Amneris. Marcello Giordani and Marco Berti perform as Radamès, and Marco Armiliato and Plácido Domingo both conduct. In La Traviata, young sopranos Marina Rebeka and Sonya Yoncheva star as Violetta, and Stephen Costello and Francesco Demuro perform as Alfredo, Quinn Kelsey and Ludovic Tézier are Germont, and Marco Armiliato is the conductor.

    La Traviata
    December 22nd at 7:30pm and the 27th at 1pm
    Metropolitan Opera House
    Lincoln Center
    Tickets: $35 – $340

    Aída
    December 26th at 8pm
    Metropolitan Opera House
    Lincoln Center
    Tickets: $30 – $340

    La Traviata closes on December 27th, while Aída opens on December 26th and runs through April 2015.

  • Get Away With Murder for Christmas

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    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
    Walter Kerr Theater
    219 W. 48th
    Standard Seats: $42 - $157
    Premium Seats: $199 - $350

    Who knew murder could be so funny? The hilariously funny Broadway hit, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder tells a tale of using murder as a way to climb up the social ladder. Winner of both Best Musical and Best Book at the 2014 Tony Awards, this musical is a simply perfect way to lighten up a busy week.

    Based on the 1907 novel Israel Rank: the Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman, A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder burst on the scene in 2013 to massive critical acclaim. The New York Times said in its review, “Bloodlust hasn’t sung so sweetly, or provided so much theatrical fun, since Sweeney Todd first wielded his razor with gusto many a long year ago.”

    In the story Monty Navarro discovers his mother isn’t just the tired washerwoman he grew up with; in fact, she’s a D'Ysquith and a member of the nobelity disinherited by her family after falling in love with a lowly musician. Monty finds out he is ninth in line to inherit the Highhurst earldom – a status and home far nicer than his shabby flat in a bad neighborhood.

    Monty reaches out to the family in an attempt to reclaim his rightful place but is rebuffed immediately. Soon he hatches a diabolical plan to murder his relatives so he can inherit the Earldom – and hilarious hijinks ensue. Scathingly funny with songs that will have you leaving the theater humming, A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder is one of the best shows currently on Broadway.

    The book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and the music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, and the show is appearing in the intimate Walter Kerr Theater. Tony Award winner and Broadway favorite Carole Shelley joined the cast in August, and Jefferson Mays absolutely stuns as he takes on over eight roles in the show playing most of Monty’s relatives in the D'Ysquith family – both male and female!

    During the week of Christmas there are six performances, including two afternoon matinees. While the premium tickets can be steeply priced, it’s hard to find a bad seat in this house that seats less than a thousand people.

    Entertainment Weekly said of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, “No one is likely to get sick of the black comedy in A Gentleman's Guide, which remains winsome and charming despite an alarming surfeit of devious and devilish characters. Quite simply, it's a bloody good time.” You don’t want to miss this opportunity to laugh away the winter doldrums!

    Runs through April of 2015.

  • Take A Holiday Break With Matilda

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    Matilda: The Musical
    Shubert Theater
    225 West 44th Street
    Tickets $37 - $167

    If you are feeling overwhelmed with holiday festivities, why not take a break and enjoy a non-holiday show on Broadway? In fact, if you’d like to take the whole family, you definitely want to catch the charming musical Matilda at the Shubert Theater. Based on the beloved and slightly odd book by Roald Dahl, this musical has just the right amount of whimsy, heart ache, and humor.

    In the story, Matilda is a brilliant and precocious child saddled with uninterested and rather dim witted parents who neglect her mercilessly. “Her mind was so nimble and she was so quick to learn that her ability should have been obvious even to the most half-witted of parents,” the book states. “But Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood were both so gormless and so wrapped up in their own silly little lives that they failed to notice anything unusual about their daughter.”

    Luckily, her teacher takes an interest in her and tries to help her find her place – and eventually suggests she be moved into the special class for super smart kids. However, Matilda is thwarted at every turn by both her parents and the director of her school. Rather shockingly, however, she discovers that she has a special power – telekinesis – and uses her gift to torment the adults making her life hard. Eventually it was made into a movie with Danny Devito, Rhea Perlman, and Mara Wilson and while not a huge Hollywood hit, it still remains a cult classic.

    Matilda was adapted to the stage by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Australian musical comedian Tim Minchin. The musical received over seven Olivier Awards in 2012. Best of all, the show is being at the historic Shubert Theater, a Venetian Renaissance masterpiece on Central Park West.

    In its review, the New York Times said of Matilda, “Above all it’s an exhilarating tale of empowerment, as told from the perspective of the most powerless group of all. I mean little children. Brilliantly designed by Rob Howell and lighted by Hugh Vanstone, with choreography to match by Peter Darling (“Billy Elliot”).” Time Magazine said, “You have to go back to The Lion King to find a show with as much invention, spirit and genre-redefining verve.”

    As you can see, this performance definitely falls into the “don’t miss” column. It’s the perfect distraction from the hustle and bustle of the week of Christmas. Don’t worry, however, if you can make it this week – the show is slated to run through August of next year.