Recently, my family and I took a trip to New York City. This was not our first visit to New York City. In fact, it was our eighth. The first few trips were focused on seeing the sights: the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Empire State Building. The most recent trips have been focused on seeing Broadway shows. All our visits have included a Broadway show or two but, as the years have gone on, the shows have taken center stage and this trip was no different. We’d purchased tickets to see Jersey Boys, Next to Normal, and Wicked and my excitement was through the roof!
New York, for me, is always a magical place. When we disembark the plane and head to baggage claim, I feel a rush of excitement that I am here; I am in New York! We catch a taxi and as we drive down the streets of the city, it is refreshing to see the familiar buildings and the updated billboards for movies, TV shows, and Broadway productions. Finally, we round a corner and are face to face with Times Square! This mega tourist spot is crowded, as always, but it is also a staple of the New York experience and a feeling of home starts to flow through me as we drive past. To top it off, we are staying at the Marriot Marquis right in the middle of Times Square.
Once we settle in, we begin the long trek to partake in a tour of the New York University campus. Since it is the summer before my senior year, it seems to make sense that we’d take the time to investigate what this university offers to prospective freshmen. After the informative tour, we head back to the hotel, this time by subway. As the city cools down, it’s showtime!
Broadway is such a transformative place. It has the ability to take you to another world for about two and a half hours. When you leave, you feel like you have learned, felt and experienced something extraordinary in just one evening. Not all Broadway shows give you that kind of experience. But on this trip, we got our money’s worth. We saw three diverse shows that gave us a full range of what Broadway has to offer. With Jersey Boys, it is a true story. It has timeless music and a story that appeals to every generation and proves that through the power of music, you have the ability to turn your life around. Next to Normal is an original musical and it isn’t just a show, it is a look inside a troubled family’s life. It is meant to pull you in more than to entertain. It posed the question: “What is normal?” you realize normal is perfection and sometimes we must be satisfied with next to normal. Wicked is a show that I have seen multiple times and I know, no matter what, it will not disappoint. It’s nothing short of a spectacle. The cast is top-notch. The set and costumes are breathtaking. It is certainly wicked!
As the trip comes to a close, I realize this was one of the best trips to New York. This visit deepened my passion and respect for theatre. Each time I go to a show, it is like going to a different place. What other place in the world gives you the option to visit New Jersey and Oz in the same trip? To me, Broadway is its own adventure with a new world waiting for you just behind its theatre doors.
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