Category Archives: New York

Superblog #2!

I find myself reusing the same adjectives – brilliant, amazing, incredible, awesome and so on… but our trip really is all of those things and the last two days were no exception!

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Friday afternoon, Honeymoon day one, we met at the Natural History Museum where a (very hungover) Doctor Kirsty took a group of us on a personal tour. It was brilliant. She answered all of our ridiculous questions and didn’t judge me (too much) when I got the names of the dinosaurs wrong. It was so much fun! My favourite was the T-Rex.

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From there we had a quick diner dinner so that Kirst could get the mashed potato she had been craving and then Theresa and I were off to our next show…

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Broadway Show #11: Once
Where: Jacobs Theatre
Seats: Side Orchestra
Favourite number: Time
Rating: 8/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Ruth, Matt & Luca Evans, Anna Nuria Francino and Amanda Grace Leo

We really enjoyed this show. The story is sweet and the performances were great. The set was pretty cool too – it was a bar that the audience were invited to go onstage and get a drink from. There were no wings or proscenium, just the bar and a grid above. It was great! The performers were also the band with all of the actors playing at least two instruments – often while singing and dancing at the same time. Super, crazy talented!

The only downside were the accents. I think it is because we spend so much time with our lovely Irish bridesmaid Elaine, so the accents slipped a fair bit and we found it jarring but it didn’t take anything away from the wonderful night we had. Beautiful music!

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Yesterday we were up early to visit Dean & Deluca (yummy!) with Katie and Dave before missioning to meet Sally & Alex and the Bell/Webster family for lunch where the men proved they can handle American portions (top work team!) before we dashed a few blocks to see our next show!

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Broadway Show #12: Les Miserables
Where: Imperial Theatre
Seats: Side Orchestra
Favourite number: One Day More
Rating: 9/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Chrissy & Mick Bell

This is the first musical that Theresa and I geeked out over when our relationship was brand new. We’d listen to the 10th Anniversary recording on repeat and would blast it in the car singing at the top of our lungs debating at length our favourite Jean Valjean’s (Alfie Boe vs. Rob Guest). I was fortunate enough to see the show on the West End and I thought the Broadway version would be on par with that but it wasn’t – it blew it out of the water! AMAZING!

It’s a brand new production that opened in March this year and you can tell – fantastic use of AV to create scenes, the sets were brilliantly constructed and the direction had some GREAT modernisations.

We were lucky enough to get Ramin Karimloo, Broadway Superstar, as our Valjean and Theresa describes his voice as melted butter on toast and she is right. His range was AMAZING and performances heartfelt. We were equally fortunate to get West End legend Earl Carpenter as our Javert who was amazing and didn’t overact the role which is the normal tendency (*cough* Russell Crowe *cough*).

We enjoyed this show immensely and it was all the better to share it with Chrissy, Mick, Tasj and Jamie who we love to pieces. Brilliant afternoon. INCREDIBLE AFTERNOON.

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Following the show we went for a trip up the Empire State Building with our wonderful Best Man Scott – he booked in express passes so we were flashing them around and jumping the hours and hours of queuing to go up to the very top! The views were amazing and we were there for the sunset which was just so magical. After many, many photos we walked to Union Square to Scotty’s favourite Mexican restaurant for an incredible meal – my mouth is watering just writing about it. YUM!

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Pit Stop #1 on the way home was McGee’s pub with the Bell/Websters which is what the pub McClaren’s in How I Met Your Mother is based on and where the writers came up with the idea. The pub was filled with signed pictures, Barney’s motivational posters and themed cocktails (slutty pumpkin anyone?).

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Pit Stop #2 was the Bell/Webster accommodation that was 20 blocks from our NY Home, where we remained until 3am talking about how funny life is and how great everything has worked out.

We have officially said our goodbyes to all our wonderful wedding guests and are feeling so humbled by everyone’s love and generosity – thank you SO MUCH to all of you who came so far to join us for our dream wedding in NYC. Bring on the rest of our honeymoon!

Sending our love,

C & T
x

SUPER BLOG! (Everything from the last two days!)

Right! I am sitting in my pjs, eating a piece of wedding cake and I am going to recount the amazing-ness that has been our last few days. This blog is going to be big – super big. SUPER BLOG.

Yesterday we started the day with our amazing bridal party. Coffee, talking rubbish, group bonding and silliness all occurred before we went to a local spa for Mani/Pedi’s and massages – our spa was amazing, we had bubbles and took over the whole store and at the end of our time they gave us a bouquet of roses to say congratulations, it was really wonderful.

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Following that we had a good meal then missioned to our wedding location for a chat about how the day was going to work. We love our bridal party so much. They are all a bit crazy, but our kind of crazy and we are so glad we were able to spend the day with them!

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So after our quick rehearsal we were whipped away on the subway to…

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Broadway Show #9: Book of Mormon
Where: Eugene O’Neil Theatre
Seats: Centre Mezzanine
Favourite number: Turn it Off
Rating: 9/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Ruth, Matt & Luca, JP & Bridget, Clodagh & Shannon, Jamie & Tim, Paige Kermeen, Sharon & Michael Wray, Aunty Mary & Tony

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! This show was BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have listened to the soundtrack for this show for THREE YEARS and it was everything we wanted it to be. It was fast, witty and so clever and it was so great making sense of the storyline. Only knowing the songs there were a few plot points we didn’t know and it was like piecing together a puzzle. A hilarious puzzle. Our Elder Price was Nic Rouleau who played the role on the Tony’s last year and our Elder Cunningham was Ben Platt from Pitch Perfect and they were brilliant. They made the roles their own instead of recreating what Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad do on the soundtrack and I really appreciated that.

We also finally got to see some tap! A week seeing Broadway shows and we finally get a tap number. ‘Turn it Off’ not only featured brilliant tap but an incredible full company quick change in the dark, while they were still tapping. Blew my mind. It was absolutely the best decision to see it on our Wedding Eve and if it wasn’t sold out completely I would want to watch it again and again. 

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We returned home to find a couple of bridesmaids with some whiskey to be enjoyed before we all went to bed for the horrendously early start of 5.45am.

I’m not going to go into painstaking detail about our day because we could be here for years.. but we had a wonderful and magical day. A big part of that was our fabulous vendors: Michelle, Kelly, Annie, Kaipo, Frank, Sachiko, Laura, Sydney & Mariane. Everyone was amazing! They made us feel so special and were a fabulous team together, more than we could ever hope for. The other big part was our guests, who travelled across the world to share our day with us. They were so wonderful and we felt very humbled and grateful for those in our lives.

I think we will discuss more detail when our professional pictures come through and we have some breathing time! In the meantime, here are a few sneak peeks from our incredible photographer Kelly Prizel. I can’t wait for the rest of them!

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Our bridal party were incredible superstars, completely looking after us the entire day, filling our time with love, laughter and silliness and it was perfect. I am so glad we were able to spend our time with our best friends – and look at them! Aren’t they stunning!

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Following our picnic reception we had a few more photos with Kelly before we whisked off to our wedding night show!

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Broadway Show #10: Wicked
Where: Gershwin Theatre
Seats: Centre Mezzanine
Favourite number: Defying Gravity
Rating: 9/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Aunty Mary & Tony, Anne-Marie Ravlich, Elaine & Oliver Rosser

We have discussed before about the musicals we know really well, feel like meeting old friends when we see them. This one felt like meeting an old friend that had been given a face lift. Everything was HUGE and big and awesome. We had flying monkeys over the audience, surprise trap doors, double the company size and it was all brilliant. Our Elphaba (Christine Dwyer) was incredible but I was blown away by our G(a)linda (Jenni Barber) who was brilliantly quirky and for the first time (we have seen) she played the role in her own voice instead of trying to replicate Kristen Chenowith’s very distinctive Glinda voice. We loved it.

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We had quite a bit of attention being in our wedding outfits and wound up with a programme signed by the cast and a full private backstage tour with a photo on the stage… of the Gershwin theatre! THE GERSHWIN. We look exhausted, but  it was worth it! Magical. It was the perfect way to draw our day to a close. We worked out that between us we have now seen the show 11 times in 4 countries and this one was by far the most special.

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Post-show and tour we jumped in a cab, went home and changed into jandals (discovered our amazing bridal party had CLEANED our house – I loved them SO much at that point), then missioned down to the local irish pub to find the Bell/Webster family and Kirsty and Elaine, who had been there (with others along the way) drinking since our picnic reception ended 6 or so hours earlier. The night ended with us all standing in a circle belting ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (opera & guitar solos included) and crying with laughter. I couldn’t think of a better way to end our night.

Today we are taking it easy. I am pretty sure we have some dinosaurs to visit later on and of course another show to see! Huge thank you to everyone who called, txted, messaged, emailed and dontated to our honeyfund. We are blown away by all the love we are getting and can’t wait to see you all again in person.

SO MUCH LOVE,

Mrs & Mrs Chelsea & Theresa Adams

XX

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So much awesome!

Now this might sound strange but I had the BEST time voting. The NZ Consulate is on Madison Ave near Grand Central Station on the 41st floor. We had a great view out the window next to the little makeshift booth and got to meet a few other kiwis who were residing in the big apple. It was a huge change to the school hall we normally visit. Huge thanks has to go to Kate Sheppard for making it possible for us in the first place!

voting90% of our wedding guests are here now and we have been able to see all of them at some point and it is a crazy thing I am having such a good time I forget to take photos. So after the voting fun we went to the Stardust Diner where the wait staff sing while they serve. I had a great time… I’m pretty sure it was a form of torture for Scott.

That leads us to our Hens’ Party: NYC Edition

Which was wonderful. It consisted of a meal with everyone at The Hardrock Café and then a beer at a pub afterwards. Super chilled out, super fun. Now what I was not expecting was any form of tears from me but there is a great video of me bawling my eyes out when I found that my friends Sally & Alex had come over to surprise me – they had been conspiring for A YEAR AND A HALF with everyone, telling me that they couldn’t make it just to surprise me on our Hens’ night. I am SO stoked they are here for our special day.

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The night ended in an EMPTY Times Square at 3am with Theresa and Elaine discovering how many Long Island iced teas are just a touch too many – to the delight of (the very sober) Kirsty and I. Brilliant.

The next morning we were up early to go to the flower market. It was bucketing down with rain but it was so fun. There is a block of wholesale flower shops that sell pretty much anything you could want. I am chief florist on this project so I had a ball – looking forward to the wedding photos with them!

Yesterday afternoon a few of us ventured out to Brooklyn to a Doctor Who themed bar called ‘The Way Station’ for a few who-themed cocktails and some great discussions on whether daleks are actually scary. This was right up my alley. The bathroom was a Tardis (that WAS bigger on the inside!) and had a bunch of signatures including Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) telling everyone to Pee Happily. Love it. Pictured below is our own Matt Smith, bowtie and all!

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Last night was something we had been waiting for, for a long time…

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Broadway Show #7 – Phillip Phillips
Where: Best Buy Theatre

Seats: General Admission
Favourite number: HOME
Rating: 9/10

Phillip was an incredible performer, no bells or whistles, he just got on stage with his band and played. I’m pretty sure he was having the best time of anyone in the room. Nearly every song ended up with the band just jamming together and having a good time, it was so great to be a part of.

Interestingly we found the audience ranged from 15 year old girls giggling to 70 year old grannies who were there to boogie. The audience was surprisingly dominantly men, so every sing along moment was bass heavy and flat but everyone was just having fun – including us.

He played our wedding song as his final encore number and it was awesome hearing a huge group of people singing their hearts out to it.

So, so glad we went.

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Now! Today is pamper day before our wedding TOMORROW (That snuck up on us! We are getting so caught up in the day-to-day fun plans that we keep forgetting why we are all here!) The bridal party are due any minute for some pampering so must dash and get out of my pajamas!

Lots of Love,

Chelsea
x

 

Double Musical Day!

Double musical Sunday!

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Broadway Show #6 – Jersey Boys
Where: August Wilson Theatre
Seats: Centre Mezzanine
Favourite number: Dawn (go away)
Rating: 7/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: The Long Family, Sally & Alex, Bruce & Michelle Commerer

We know this musical so well and it is one of our absolute favourites so this was like seeing an old friend. Having seen it twice in Auckland when the Auzzie tour came to NZ the year before last, we were really looking forward to seeing it on Broadway! Of course being from the original production, the show’s choreo, lighting and staging was exactly as the show at home and we were able to just sit back and enjoy it. One thing we did notice was the jersey accents came much easier to the American actors and didn’t seem as accentuated, I guess because they didn’t need to try as hard as the Australians. All in all, this is such a fun musical and a great one for our first matinee in NY!

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A quick dinner before moving to our next theatre for…

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Broadway Show #7 – Chicago
Where: The Ambassador Theatre
Seats: Centre Mezzanine
Favourite number: All That Jazz (opening number)
Rating: 7/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Samantha Molyneux

This one was interesting for us because our last experience of this show was when Chels worked with ATC last year on Michael Hurst’s production. So of course we couldn’t help but compare everything to that show. But first, some thoughts on the Broadway version –

The show has been in this theatre since 2001 so it felt very at home although thankfully, not tired. The staging was very traditional and focused on the choreography more than character (and sometimes more than story..) which was cool because we got to see all the original Fosse moves which are great. We’d never seen such a traditional show so that was pretty special and we really enjoyed it. The Velma was played by an older woman who has been in the role since 2000 and has played all over the world including performing in Japan in Japanese! She was awesome and a real highlight! And the other cool thing was having the band on display the whole time and seeing them as a feature of the show.

It was an enjoyable evening but we’ve concluded that although it was educational and exciting to experience the original and traditional Fosse version of this show, we both place the ATC version higher up on the scale of our ranking system: if this is a 7, then ATC’s Chicago is a 9. We think the Auckland cast were sexier and sassier (which I was really expecting from this show but it was all SO tame outside of the costume design…) and worked much harder for the show in keeping it exciting and enthralling throughout. So high-fives to the Auckland Chicago 2013 team for proving that Broadway doesn’t necessarily mean better and at home we can be just as good (or in this case, better than..)!

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After a big theatre day, we got home and waited for Elaine to arrive! The Bridal party is all officially in New York and we have the NYC Hens’ Party tonight!

Wedding Week begins. Geronimo!!

Tx

 

HEEEEEDDDDDWWWIIIIGGGGGG!! (+a bunch of other awesome)

So to pick back up where we finished the last blog… After we met Audra we were walking back to the subway and came across a motorcycle rally consisting of hundreds (if not thousands) of bikes weaving around Times Square in a memorial ride for 9/11. Pretty cool.

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On Friday we met our lovely wedding planner Michelle and her assistant Sydney to discuss the finer details of our looming big day before we went to the New York City Clerk’s office to apply for a wedding licence which was such a great experience. We were there for a couple of hours as there were hundreds (hundreds!!) of couples getting married right there. It was cool the way they had it set up – there was a little kiosk where you could buy flowers or a veil or something that says “I just got married in New York”! There were people from every walk of life, all in one room celebrating love. We had a great time people watching and chatting to those around us and we get to go back after our wedding to get everything processed which I am quite looking forward to.

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Following that we had a show to see!

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Broadway Show #4 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Where: The Belasco Theatre
Seats: Centre balcony
Favourite number: Sugar Daddy
Rating: 9.5/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Katie & Dave Kempthorne and Michael & Sharon Wray

Now I am going to be honest – we didn’t know much about Hedwig. We knew the general plot and had listened to the soundtrack a couple of times but we were mostly going to see Andrew Rannells who is another of our Broadway favourites. But we loved it. Absolutely loved it from the first number. Rannells as Hedwig was sassy and bold and delicate all at the same time, making us laugh and cry within the same sentence, and was so vulnerable by the end that our hearts broke for her. Such a journey to go though in 90 minutes.

It was a similar set up to Lady Day in the sense that it was one performer supported by a band but completely different in every other sense. The band was an East German rock band with a transsexual lead performer (Hedwig) and her husband Yitzhak (the insanely talented Lena Hall). I have no idea what gender pronouns to use for either of them as neither is completely defined – and that is great.

It also wasn’t a show for everyone – the couple next to me absolutely hated it. At the end when we jumped up to give our standing ovation they looked at me like “why are you doing that?” to which I looked back “why are you not?”. I’m pretty sure they were the only people in the theatre who remained planted in their seats while everyone else was clapping and screaming for the cast. You can’t please everyone I guess.

The lighting was SPECTACULAR and the timing was superb, never missing a beat.

We now also possess a couple of playbills for “The Hurt Locker Musical”, which is brilliant (Musical Theatre fans, when you are having a bad day, I am going to make you read this) and a couple of playbills signed by the stars themselves.

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We absolutely want to go again. We are hoping that fate will make it work. Gush, gush, gush, rave, rave, rave. 9.5! Thank you Kempthornes and Wrays!!

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This clip is of Neil Patrick Harris (who preceded Rannells in the role of Hedwig) performing our favourite number at the Tony’s this year and is a bit raunchy – you have been warned!

I am thinking of renaming our blog, “Pulling stupid faces all around America”. What do you think?

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Yesterday was raining so it made a good catchup day. We ventured out to Queens to meet up with Jess, a friend of mine from Uni which was awesome. We then explored Grand Central station a bit (we are going to go back and do the audio tour another rainy day that isn’t a weekend – PEOPLE EVERYWHERE) and we saw the TKTS red steps empty for the first time EVER. I particularly loved the ‘Wet Floor’ signs everywhere – no kidding, it’s raining. We met Matt Smith a friend of ours that has come over for the wedding and caught up with what he has been doing over the last couple of days before nipping off to our next show…

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Broadway Show #5 – If/Then
Where: The Richard Rodgers Theatre
Seats: Side Orchestra
Favourite number: What the Fuck
Rating: 6/10

We didn’t think we were ever going to be disappointed leaving a Broadway show, particularly one starring Idina Menzel but we were. Our friend Jess called If/Then ‘Rent 2’ and after watching it I agree. The show was set in ‘The recent past’ of New York and Theresa referred to it as a cross between The Young and The Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. There was big drama, characters singing their feelings (a lot) and a world of clichés. There were lesbian and bisexual characters thrown in for good measure that got married and divorced at the drop of a hat and a huge mirrored set on hydraulics that really seemed to serve no purpose.

The most disappointing thing was the score. Idina sung like the superstar she is but anyone who has heard the Wicked soundtrack (or the Frozen one for that matter) knows that she can belt and that’s what she is known for but she wasn’t given a chance.

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By the time we got outside the signing area was so full (with hundreds of Disney fans who camp out during the show to get first in line) that there was no point in trying to join the queue and we walked away very disappointed but had a great time dissecting the show on the train and grateful to be going to see some old favourites next that we know should be good.

Double show day today and then some familiar faces from home are arriving!!! It’s all go!

Chelsea
x

Audra, Andrea & Lady Liberty, Oh My!

We have had a crazy awesome brilliant couple of days!

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It started out with Wednesday when we visited Central Park to check out our wedding venue and picnic area and just have a general look around. It is really beautiful there and we are so excited for next week! We also took our Don Giovanni opera t-shirts and got a fun selfie to send back to the troops going into production week in NZ just to let them know we are thinking of them.

Then we trekked to Times Square to the huge M&M store to create some personalized M&M’s for our wedding favours and we made friends with the staff – particularly Miss Coco who loved the fact we had come over to get married and went out of her way to help us, get us discounts and make our experience memorable.

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That night our Broadway show was….

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Broadway Show #2
Where: Music Box Theatre

Seats: Side Orchestra 
Favourite number: ‘No Time At All’ – Berthe and The Players
Rating: 8/10

The show was spectacular and filled with amazing circus performers of great physique who performed incredible acts in and around the story and music. There was acrobatics, fire, pole climbing (and horizontal bodies hanging from vertical poles!), balancing acts, tricks on giant swiss balls and lots of juggling. The story is great, the music is fun and the acting was superb! Our favourite number was Pippin’s grandmother, Berthe. She must be in her sixties and she was singing about living it up no matter what age you are. As she was singing she did an upside-down act on a circular trapeze – she was incredible! And really proved the point of her song.

And as an added bonus we got to meet Berthe (Broadway legend Andrea Martin!) in an exclusive post-show talk. We got to meet her because we’ve booked so many shows with Broadway that I’m starting to get added bonuses through our membership. Pretty cool once-in-a-lifetime stuff, meeting Broadway legends. She created the role of Berthe in the revival workshops back in 2012 and played the role in the first year of its staging AND won a Tony for the role (no surprises why, once we saw her act!). She has returned for three weeks only in the role which happened to coincide with our viewing!

After the chat with Andrea, I made friends with the show’s Marketing Manager and got us a backstage tour on our way out. Backstage is TINY! It makes a lot of our NZ theatres look luxurious in space. We then exited through the stage door and confused all the fans waiting outside for autographs as to who we were.

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Yesterday we went on the Staten Island Ferry, met Lady Liberty from a distance and went and got lost in Lower Manhattan. Then without meaning to, we found ourselves at the 9/11 memorial which was an incredibly humbling and beautiful coincidence on 9/11 Memorial Day. We paid our respects and moved on quickly back to Times Square.

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We have a habit of making friends with our wait staff and dinner was no exception – our waitress was super lovely and at the end of our meal she delivered us complimentary congratulatory cupcakes! Yum! Then show number 3!

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Broadway Show #3
Where: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Seats: Upper Centre Orchestra 
Favourite number: Moonlight 
Rating: 8.5/10

Tickets purchased with contributions from: Sandra Rasmussen and Sr Trish Hanaray

Before we left New Zealand the lovely Sandra sent us an engagement card with some USD inside with a note saying to do something luxurious. With some extra added help from Aunty Trish, this was our pick. One of our favourite Broadway superstars doing a one woman show about Billie Holiday at the end of her career and it was INCREDIBLE.

With support from a jazz band and a cute chihuahua, Audra took us on an amazing journey of the highs and lows of Billie’s life while performing her biggest hits. She absolutely blew us away with how she embodies Billie Holiday and replicated her very distinctive voice. Incredible. And did I mention incredible?!

Oh and afterwards we got to meet her. It was AWESOME! So, so awesome.

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Tx

New York New York!

 We made it!

Yesterday we said a very sad goodbye to the Hanaray family but not before one more crazy selfie on the way to school! We felt so welcomed and looked after by them so leaving was really hard… Luckily we were going somewhere awesome!

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There was a bit of a time jump so at midnight when we arrived in our adorable apartment we dumped our suitcases and hailed the first cab to take us to Times Square – WORTH IT! Here is our exhausted and a bit jetlagged but still SO SO excited Time Square selfie..
IMG_20140909_015439Today we spent exploring our neighbourhood for the next month – our closest supermarket, our nearest subway station, our local bodega (all the essentials) and getting our apartment set up before a quick ride to Times Square, a hot dog and some star spotting (we found a very preggers Megan Hilty from SMASH!) before finding the theatre for our very first show….

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Where: Shubert Theatre
Seats: Central Balcony
Favourite number: When I Grow Up
Rating: 8.5/10

What a brilliant way to start our Broadway journey – a wonderfully slick and beautiful production. Our very little 8 year old Matilda (Fina Strazza) was an amazing performer and dancer who carried the production on her shoulders with such grace and with the support of some equally hardworking other youngsters. Miss Trunchbull (Christopher Sieber) provided comic relief and had a great set of legs and Mrs Wormwood (Lesli Margherita) could dance a magnificent tango! But the highlight had to be the production design.

The set was minimalist and spaces were created mostly with vibrant lighting which we really enjoyed as we were in the balcony so we could see all of the floor patterns – it unfortunately meant we lost a bit of the action in the stalls but it was worth it. The lighting and set relationship was seamless and very, very clever – we can see why the Lighting Designer (Hugh Vanstone) won a Tony for it!

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Tomorrow night – Pippin! We hope it is just as good!

C&T x

PS – If the pictures in the panels are too small click on them and they get bigger!

PPS – Thanks to our recent Honeyfund contributions! We couldn’t do any of this without your help!!! YOU ROCK!