This weekend it was mid-semester break at Marist meaning campus was more or less deserted, leaving only the internationals, athletes and a few other stragglers behind. There’s usually seven girls in my house, but four went home for the weekend and one went to visit a friend at another uni, leaving just me and my roommate with the house to ourselves! Friday was quiet, Sunday was relaxing, but Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in America so far.
I got an early train into the city and spent the morning exploring then watched two Broadway shows – a matinee performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the Saturday night performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I had bought my Hedwig ticket a couple of days earlier and decided to see what matinee performances I could find on the day, so I went to the Barrymore Theatre and managed to get a good deal on a Curious Incident ticket – it was a good choice!
I’ve always thought I was more of a musical-lover and haven’t seen a lot of plays in my time. Maybe I had to sit through one too many school productions. All I can say after watching Curios Incident is I have been missing out! It only opened two weeks ago on Broadway and it was absolutely phenomenal. The use of staging and lighting, mixed with an incredible cast and plot was amazing. I walked out of the Barrymore Theatre in absolute awe. Afterwards, Alex Sharp, a British actor who plays the main character, came outside and I got to meet him. Sharp is such a talented, humble guy – he signed my ticket and took a photo with me which was just awesome. To all my British friends, Curious Incident is playing in the West End too, I’m not sure how similar the production is but you should definitely check it out!
I’m an massive admirer of Neil Patrick Harris and when he was cast in the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I checked out the movie and the songs from the original productions and film production. Since then I’ve really, really wanted to see it on Broadway. Unfortunately, I arrived in America a few days after Neil Patrick Harris’ run ended (still not over that one…) but I loved the music, the story and the meaning behind the show so much that I had to see it on Broadway. Out of all of the West End and Broadway shows I have seen, I have never enjoyed myself so much. It made me scream with laughter, dance, sing along, tear up, and at the end I was clapping until my hands were stinging. Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) has just taken on the role of Hedwig, his first show was on the Thursday so I saw his first Saturday night performance, his fourth performance ever. It was so so good, I can’t wait to go and see it again. Afterwards, Michael C. Hall and Lena Hall (who won a Tony for the role) came outside and Lena signed my ticket! It really shocked me that they could play such crazy (and in Hedwig’s case) loud characters on stage, then come outside and be really quiet and almost shy. I don’t know why I found the contrast so shocking but there you go.
Overall I had an amazing day. Broadway is living up to my expectations so far, I can’t wait to head back into the city this weekend to see Jersey Boys! Something I found from travelling on my own is that it has made me much more confident to talk to strangers. If I needed help finding somewhere, or even just to take a photo of me in front of something, I had no choice but to ask someone. I know some people say that people in New York City can be rude but I honestly didn’t experience that. Sure, you get some people who are in a rush but even when a busy city-worker bumped into me, they still turned around as they were rushing off to apologize.
After Hedwig had ended, my phone was on 1% battery and I didn’t know how to get back to Grand Central station. The idea of being on my own at night in a city and country that I don’t know all that well, and have no family in, should have been scary. But I walked up to a couple outside the Belasco Theatre and in return for me taking a photo of them outside the theatre, like the one just above this, they told me where Grand Central Station is and pointed me in the right direction. So I weaved my way through the streets of Saturday night New York City, dodging drunk people and skate-boarders, and got the train home. Easy!