Day One in New York City. Wow.
So on my way from Sydney to LAX I sat with a woman named Leann, who was also going to New York, on my flight, but was coming to NYC for a “family emergency” so obviously wasn’t going to be any sort of “travel partner”. Then, getting off the plane in New York, I let a girl out in front of me, who exclaimed it was so good to hear an Australian accent (after only 24 hours, LoL!) and we chatted and caught the shuttle to the city together. She is also 25 and also travelling alone!
I got to my hotel at 7am wanting nothing more than a shower and possibly a half hour nap, but unfortunately it was booked out, and there were no rooms avaliable until after 12pm, but the desk lady kindly gave me a pile of towels, soap and shampoo and I took a shower and got changed before heading out.
I had tickets to the Wicked: Behind The Emerald Curtain tour at 10am, but had a few hours to kill so I wandered up 51st Street (where my hotel is) towards Times Square. My first find was a cool deli on the corner of 51st and 3rd called Azure, where they have all sorts of foods, but most awesomely they have a cool breakfast buffet with yoghurt, fruits, granola, nuts etc. and (the best thing in my fatty opinion) fresh muffins and danishes. Apple danish = $1.75 = Cyndi heaven. They are soooo good.
So I wandered Times Square at 8 in the morning which was an interesting experience as there weren’t that many people around. I checked out where the Gershwin Theatre where Wicked plays was, and located the Stage Door (although as it turns out I would be WAY too tired to SD it after the show).
The BTEC tour was great – the tour was taken by 2 guys who know the show in and out – one who was in the original cast and played “Witches Father” and the other who is a swing/understudy and has been for 7 YEARS (which is the length of time the show has been running!) We got to see Kristen Chenowerth’s original bubble dress and Idina Menzel’s original Act 2 costume, some cool videos, and ask a bunch of questions.
After the tour I met up with Claire (girl from the plane) who I had invited to join me for Wicked Lottery (teaming up at it’s best!) and it was funny – we wrote our names on plain green cards (nothing like the ones we used in Sydney) and they took the name into the foyer, and then drew out a pile and started reading from the top of the pile until they had enough to fill all the seats. Claire’s name got called and I don’t know who was more excited (I was secretly hoping we’d lose so I could go back and check into the hotel and take a nap!) Tickets were a similar price ($26.25 each), but they were the WHOLE front row excluding the seat on each end, and also a couple of CC seats as well. We sat in BB 2 & 4 (which were the equiv of BB 33 & 34 in Sydney).
We went on a search for somewhere to have lunch, and ended up in the first place we saw – a diner called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It was noisy and full of music, and we went in to find… SINGING WAITERS! All the waitstaff there are aspiring Broadway stars, and it was such a fun experience. I ordered an entree (appetizer) sized meal and still couldn’t eat it! Apparently this was one of the places my twitter friends reccommended when I asked for NYC reccs a few months ago, but obviously I forgot, so they were surprised that I’d gotten there so quickly!
We wandered down to the M&M store in Times Square and took a quick look around, and then wandered back to the Gershwin for WICKED. I was excited and nervous all rolled into one, and was eager for the curtain to go up. I won’t say too much about the show, but it was enjoyable for the most part… you know, apart from the microsleeps I kept taking (and jolting myself awake from!) and the fact that I froze through the first Act until I finally bought a Wicked jacket in intermission.
The performers were good, although (even though I might be biased) Katie Rose Clark had nothing on Lucy (Durack) and Mandy Gonzalez was nowhere near as good as Jemma (Rix). I was really dissapointed by Mandy’s portrayal of Elphaba, as it was quite a bit more dorky than I would have liked, and she didn’t play angry-Elphaba well at all… Morrible was average (but her makeup was TERRIBLE!!) and Fiyero was probably the best of all of them (excluding KRC, who although was over the top, had me giggling in my seat with her ‘Popular’!).
After the show I walked the 6 blocks back to my hotel (which is about a 15 minute walk), attacked a grocery store (which was a mission in itself!) and took a shower before passing out in front of the TV at 8:30pm!
New York is even more amazing than I could have imagined!