A few weeks ago, a friend from middle school came to visit NYC for a conference and asked if I was interested in hanging out. We ended up meeting up for the first time since 2004, and spent almost the whole weekend together, which included a YOLO last-minute purchase of Frozen: The Broadway Musical tickets.
The last time we interacted was as middle schoolers, back in Maryland. Now, I live in New York City, and she is a PhD student in California. How incredible social media is, that you are able to keep in touch with people from your life from over a decade ago, and be able to seamlessly schedule and execute time together!
Since we were friends on Facebook since Facebook first came out, we both knew (vaguely) what each other were up to, so it wasn’t as awkward as I had feared it would be, to catch up on 14 years worth of life. Somehow, reflecting on that concept just now is just as amazing as experiencing it. We reminisced about our middle school days, and what our mutual friends have been up to for the past decade and a half. We’ve all gone such different ways, in ways that were inconceivable back then.
Lunch: Kati Rolls!
She was attending a conference, so we met up when she had a few hours break on the Saturday. Because she keeps a Halal diet, we tried out The Kati Roll Company in midtown. I knew my sister’s vegetarian friend liked this place, and my friend said her sister had recommended it.
We both got “Unda Chicken Roll,” which was “Flatbread layered with freshly beaten egg and Chicken Tikka (chicken breast, marinated with yogurt and spices and grilled on a skewer) filling,” for $6.95 each. They had free masala chai tea, too. The portions were smaller than I expected (I guess I’ve just come to expect burrigo-sized things when I get rolls!), but it was a lot more filling than I expected. That was the first time I’d ever had a kati, and I’m sold!
Nerd Tour: To Kino and Nintendo Store!
If you are a video game fan, and you’re in NYC, I highly recommend the Nintendo Store. I always want to take all the Pokemon plushies home… They periodically have Nintendo related events, too (I heard a few weeks back, Detective Pikachu made an appearance… Lol.)
Bar Hopping… I mean… Cafe Hopping
For the last few hours before she had to head back to the conference, we hopped around a few cafes, drinking bubble tea and eating green tea cream puffs, chatting about life, our work, and thoughts.
That was when she brought up that she was looking to buy Frozen: The Broadway Musical tickets for the next day. In the beginning, I had no intention of going, but she mentioned that she could get tickets for cheaper if she bought 2 at once, because people were looking to generally get rid of two tickets instead of just one.
I’d been meaning to watch Frozen at some time, but I knew that if I kept on saying some time, it’ll just never happen.
If you know me in real life, you’ll know me to be the worst decision maker. Especially when it comes to buying something. It will take me weeks, if not months, to make the decision, because I have this strange aversion to commitment and spending money. Planning trips with me is a disaster unless (like my boyfriend), you take it upon yourself to just do it and tell me later.
So this spontaneous decision to buy a Broadway musical ticket for the next day was the most YOLO thing I’d done in a while. And while I felt guilty about the money (I always feel guilty about the money), it felt exhilarating that I’m doing something so out of character for me.
It wasn’t until I was heading home from Manhattan with my boyfriend after dinner that I remembered… I had to work the next day.
The Mad Scramble
Cursing myself for YOLO-ing, I scrambled to text my manager at 10PM to see if I could move my 3PM work to the morning instead (I was implementing a system change that required off-hours manipulation).
The next morning, I got up, went to feed my sister’s cat at 9AM, did the change control at 11AM, had brunch, then ran to Broadway to meet up at the theater. Meanwhile repeating, “Never YOLO-ing ever again. Never YOLO-ing ever again…”
Frozen: The Broadway Musical
It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
Up here in the cold thin air I finally can breathe
I know left a life behind but I’m too relieved to grieve
The show was at St. James Theatre, which I’d never been to before (though the insides of most of the theaters look pretty similar). Anastasia The Broadway Musical was in Broadhurt Theater, which was across the street. I watched it last June for my birthday, and I loved it!
Some other Broadway Shows I’ve watched are Finding Neverland (“How Peter became Pan”), and Les Mis. Living here, I am always intending on watching Broadway, but I never get to it. One I wanted to see but missed was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Before I could get my act together, the show had closed.
Turn my back and slam the door
And here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let it go, let it go
The cold never bothered me anyway
Since Anastasia’s musical took a completely different approach than Anastasia the movie, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the theater version of Frozen. I figured they wouldn’t be changing any of the main components or the plot, but couldn’t assume anything, since Anastasia had changed the components up quite a bit in their interpretation.
My absolute favorite character was Olaf. He was a puppet controlled by a not-at-all camouflaged man standing behind him. (You can read about him here: Meet the guy behind Olaf in Broadway’s “Frozen.”) Sven the Reindeer was also a human forever stuck on all fours, and they didn’t even let him take his Reindeer-head off at the bow at the end!
They cut out the Trolls and replaced them with “Hidden Folks,” drawn from Scandinavian folklore, who were gorgeous, admittedly, but I guess Trolls weren’t sexy enough for Broadway!
There were extra scenes and songs put in, to the tune of almost half of the songs were originals. They all melded nicely with the thematic elements of the show, and the choreography for the dances was awesome.
As was with Anastasia, they made great use of the special effects, lights, and technology. The newer Broadway shows take advantage of the screens, lights, and other special effects available these days in the field of theater, and make the stage look like real movie scenes.
Let It Go (let’s face it, that’s what EVERYONE was waiting for) wasn’t as climatic as I had hoped, but other songs (especially the originals) more than made up for it. I think the cast really shined on the original songs, since they weren’t attempting to mimic other people, but letting out how they sing best.
I am a Monster
My favorite Original song from Frozen: The Broadway Musical is titled Monster, sung by Elsa (Caissie Levy), and was composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
“Fear will be our enemy
And death its consequence”
That’s what they once said to me
And it’s starting to make sense
All this pain, all this fear began because of me
Is the thing they see, the thing I have to be
A monster, were they right?
Has the dark in me finally come to light?
Am I a monster full of rage
Nowhere to go but on a rampage?
Or am I just a monster in a cage?
The lyrics and aura were so dark, I had a hard to believing they managed to slip this into a children’s show.
(You can read the lyrics on Genius.)
That Cursed Child
Another show I’ve been wanting to see is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I read the script to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and thought it was the worst OOC fanfic with myriad of OCs I’ve read in a while, but for childhood-nostalgia sake, I want to watch it.
Ticket prices are out of control (when I was trying to buy, it was $1600 for “decent”/”ok” seats for 2 people), so I’d only be able to watch it if I won the raffles ($20/ticket, I believe?), but it’s one of those “one of these days, maybe I’ll remember to look at the raffle, and maybe I’ll get lucky,” kind of thing. (We decided we’ll use the $1600 to instead, take a vacation… So we’re off to San Francisco this weekend for a week!)
Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway…
Have you seen any Broadway shows? Or any Theater shows? What was your favorite?
What’s a Broadway (or non-Broadway) show you wish you could see?