Princesses, Puppets and Coffee

So! Tuesday! We went on a tour of Upper Manhattan, Harlem and the Bronx. It was great and it officially means we have done a bit of exploring of all five boroughs during this trip – win. Now, I could give you a blog full of pictures of historic buildings and all the history around them because I am a big history nerd but I’m not going to. Instead, I am going to put up a few pictures that I took during the tour of normal buildings that I just liked the look of. Much more interesting:

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Tuesday night we went and saw Cinderella. To be honest it was originally on our B list… maybe even our C list… but we have had great reviews on it from some of our industry buddies and there was a great deal on tickets so we thought, well, why not?

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Broadway Show #21: Cinderella
Where: Broadway Theatre
Seats: Centre Mezzanine
Favourite Number: Do I Love You Because You Are Beautiful?
Rating: 8/10

This was surprisingly good. Unexpectedly good. It was actually the first time we’ve sat in a theatre that isn’t jam packed full, so that was new. But there was a good energy in the audience despite numbers and the show filled the room with RnH (Rodgers & Hammerstein) happiness all evening. The music reminded us a bit of The Sound of Music (funny that) and had a real bounce to it throughout, with lots of catchy tunes and numbers.

We were actually a part of something recent to Broadway as well – they’ve changed the cast to an African-American Cinderella (Keke Palmer) and stepmother (Sherri Shepherd), to mix it up for  all the little princesses out there (and there were a lot there in their dresses and crowns! Cute!) And the Cinderella is only 21! She’s apparently a bit of a TV star and we noticed that she wasn’t as well-trained as the other performers on stage in voice or performing, which made for an interesting difference and we enjoyed seeing someone a little less “Broadway” on the stage and it suited the character not to be as refined as the other performers.

The show has an updated book and the script was actually really funny in some parts – modernised in a similar fashion to Aladdin. But above all the highlight had to be the incredible costume changes – three times we saw a character transformed from rags to riches right in front of our eyes and each time was more amazing than the previous. It was really cool and after the show we spent all night watching YouTube clips, trying to figure out just how they did it! This show put us on a little bit of a high, after enjoying ourselves much more than we expected!

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Yesterday it was raining – not that it got us down! We went and joined the (surprisingly short) queue to go into the pop-up Friends replica café! We are huge fans of the TV show (I mean really, who isn’t?) and it was great!

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We made friends with all the security guards, saw the collection of costumes and props (we have lots of photos for other fans who want more!) and got our photo taken on the infamous Central Perk couch. Very cool.

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From there we decided to stay in theme and missioned back to Greenwich to find the building they used for the exterior of the apartment building in the show on the corner of Bedford and Grove. Then because I had done my research, we were able to find the exterior of Ross (and Ugly Naked Guy)’s apartment exterior. And because we were in the area we popped into the Stonewall Inn for a beer and to check out the ‘Birthplace of Gay Pride’. Love it. Oh and we found the Big Gay Ice Cream Store. Brilliant.

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We had a lovely catchup with our friend Julia from home who has moved over to study in NYC before dashing to our next show..

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Broadway Show #22: Avenue Q
Where: New World Stages
Seats: Centre Orchestra
Favourite Number: If You Were Gay
Rating: 8/10

I was fortunate enough to see this show when I was in the UK, so I am going to hand it over to Theresa for this review as it was her first time:

 This is funny and naughty and puppets and musical all rolled into one – who wouldn’t have a good time?! It’s like Sesame Street on drugs, or drunk, and just being honest about life and all it’s fun and foibles. The guy (Michael Liscio, Jr) who played the main male puppets – Princeton & Rod – worked his butt off and was really amazing. He was sweating up a storm in the first act as he ran around the stage switching between his different characters. Awesome. And the actress (Veronica J. Kuehn) who played Kate Monster and Lucy was amazing and definitely our highlight for the evening.

I find it hard to choose between them all. Especially because in actual Sesame Street I love the voice of the Cookie Monster and there’s a character based on him called Trekkie Monster and the actor playing him (Jason Jacoby) does the voice perfectly! In fact, they were all great. Six actors on stage running around like crazy between different scenes and puppets and they were all fantastic. We had a thoroughly great time!

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Got to run! Time for a bike ride!

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