I love theatre so I try to take advantage of it as much as possible when I’m in NYC. So far, I’ve been here almost four weeks and seen four shows (plus 2 improv shows). I think I’m doing a good job! Here are my thoughts on the shows I saw in June!
- Lucky Guy (June 8): I saw Tom Hanks on Broadway. I repeat, I sat in a room with Tom Hanks and watched him act in front of me. He’s a legend, and I got to see his work in person. I loved this play. Nora Ephron’s final work about journalist Mike McAlary is creative and different from anything I’ve ever seen. The director and entire crew worked together to bring some of the best lighting and effects to Broadway, and while I normally don’t love a lot of use of screens and film in plays, it worked really well for this story. I’m so glad I got to see this, and I’m so sad it’s closing in just a few days.
- Reasons to Be Happy (June 13): This off-Broadway play was not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it was good. But it’s not at the top of my list. The acting was amazing, but the writing often seemed to fall flat. It was sometimes difficult to like the characters, and if you can make me not like Jenna Fischer that much, that’s saying something. (I do have to say, Fischer was the nicest and cutest person at the stage door after the show. Her character was just not someone I want to be friends with.)
- Matilda the Musical (June 23): Amazing. Perfect. Magical. The set of this musical was beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and the children have more talent in their pinkies than I have in my whole body. I know these kids will go on to be big stars because they all have something special. Gabriel Ebert also showed me why he deserved that Tony, and Lauren Ward and Bertie Carvel have rare and underrated talents. I want to see this 100 times more. I really loved it so much.
- Jersey Boys (June 30): I can’t believe it took me so long to see this one, but I’m so glad I finally saw it! I was able to sit in the front row with my friends Brenna and Chelsea, and it was perfect. Frankie Valli sang part of a song to me, and I made eye contact multiple times with my new favorite person, Drew Gehling. He’s so good. And so cute. I need to see him in everything. This musical is just so much fun, and the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is way more interesting and intense than you might think. It’s touring a lot now so see it if you can! It won’t disappoint.
I’ve also made two visits to one of my favorite places in NYC: the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. I love going on Sunday nights for their most popular improv show, ASSSSCAT 3000, and both times have been an absolute blast as always. I sat on stage with Brenna and Chelsea the second time, and we were 3 feet from Amy Poehler. It was perfect. I saw her last summer too, and she is just the very best. She makes the world a better place. I’m convinced of that.
Total NYC Theatre Count: 24 (plus 5 improv shows at UCBT)