A New York City icon is without a doubt Broadway. The term refers to both the street itself and also the plays and musicals that take place in the Theater District (yes, Broadway runs right through it). I remember the very first time I came to New York City at the ripe age of 13, I saw my first two Broadway shows: Hairspray and Chicago. I immediately fell in love with Hairspray; I purchased the original cast's recording of all the songs and even bought the musical's poster. For weeks I would listen to the music and after a while I knew all the words to every song. After seeing Hairspray I knew I had a newfound love for Broadway.
Since moving to New York, I hadn't taken advantage of the fact that the Theater District is a few blocks from my office until a few weeks ago. My mom has been in town for a while and we decided we wanted to see Jersey Boys. I had heard amazing reviews from every person I talked to who had seen it and we were able to get great seats at an even better price. We sat in the front row of the mezzanine and had an unobstructed view of the entire production. The show retells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and how they rose to fame. From start to finish Jersey Boys was entertaining. I especially loved the authenticity in their Jersey accents. But the one thing that made this show spectacular was John Lloyd Young starring as Frankie Valli. Young's voice was incredibly similar to the real Frankie Valli and the first time he came out on stage and sang, I got chills. The great part about the show was that even though I wasn't alive during the time the Four Seasons were at their peak, I still knew most of the songs. I would highly recommend Jersey Boys to anyone who is a lover of good music and all around amazing time.
For some unknown reason, my mom and I decided to see another show a few days after seeing Jersey Boys. My boss had recommended I see Once, which was previously a movie (which I had no idea before he mentioned it) and he also mentioned that the main song, Falling Slowly, is really popular. Intrigued, my mom and I bought tickets and took a leap of faith to see yet another Tony award winning show. I can say without hesitation that Once is by far my favorite Broadway show I've ever seen. I am still listening to the soundtrack over and over again. Once is a story about a guy who is trying to make it big with his music, but he is missing something. Enters girl (the characters don't have names!) and she becomes his advocate and champion. The most amazing part about this musical is that there are only 10 people in the cast and they play their own music live on stage; there isn't an orchestra whatsoever! The entire show I was mesmerized by the beautiful music and pure voices of the cast. If music along the lines of Jack Johnson or John Mayer strikes a chord in your life, seeing Once needs to be on your bucket list.
I'm still in disbelief that I have (hypothetically) unlimited access to some of the best entertainment in the world. Broadway helps define New York City, and I'm lucky enough to call this place my home.