Thursday, 9 May 2013

Theatrical Interlude 10 (2013)

 Mamma Mia! Winter Garden Theater, New York. May 2013.

The Norfolbookworm and her mum went international last week as we treated ourselves to a few days in New York.

The weather was amazing and in 3 1/2 days we walked about 20 miles and saw loads of the famous sights.  Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan under a glorious blue sky, sailing in front of the Statue of Liberty aboard the Staten Island Ferry, the views from the top of the Empire State Building and the Rockerfeller Center were all highlights.

I did indulge in a bit of a busman's holiday with a visit to the New York Public Library - a truly amazing building and home to the original Winnie the Pooh and friends:

We had a list of things we really wanted to do while in The Big Apple and seeing a something on Broadway was pretty high on that list.  On our first full day we arrived at the famous TKTS booth in Time Square and queued for discount tickets for a show that evening.

The booth opens at 3pm for the evening discounts and even though we were there before 3.30 the queue was huge - happily there were also lots of shows and tickets available.  We'd decided that we wanted to see something fun and lively, set ourselves a price limit and joined the queue.  Barely anytime later we were at the counter and came away clutching tickets for the orchestra stalls at the Winter Garden Theater to see Mamma Mia! at 8pm.

One of my earliest musical memories is ABBA's Super Trouper plus as Mr Norfolkbookworm and I got married in Greece the year the film version of the show was released I've always felt an affinity to the show but never managed to get around to seeing it in London.

We weren't disappointed at all - from walking into the theatre and being given a *free* playbill (programme) until the final curtain we had a ball. The energy of the performers, the set, costumes, music and acting made it a magical evening.

There were a few negatives - audiences in New York seem to be worse behaved than in London, people were talking quite loudly throughout, especially in dialogue/quiet song moments. The walls to the theatre seemed quite thin and unlike in London it wasn't just drums you heard in the auditorium - it was all traffic and people chatting just outside. You could even smell their cigarettes...

However all in all we had a great time, and as we joined in during the last number (participation encouraged, not crashing the stage!) we can now say that we too have sung and danced on Broadway!

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