Broadway is Back in New York – Theatres Are in Full Swing
I took a birthday trip recently to New York City to see some live theater in Times Square! Broadway officially closed down on March 12, 2020, the same day the Neil Simon comedy “Plaza Suite” was to open at the Hudson Theatre. Unfortunately, the doors never opened for Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, and Company. I purchased a ticket for May 2020 and held it for two years. I couldn’t wait to see the show!
Broadway reopened in September 2021, but it was a slow opening. Not all shows opened right away; some had closed after the shutdown, never to reopen. By the start of 2022, things were poppin’ on the Great White Way. For a bit of trivia, the moniker came from all the bright, white lights on the theatre marquees going down the street, making the name popular in the 1920s. On reopening, initially, you had to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask to enter any play. The vax rule was dropped in February of this year, but masks are still required as of this writing. The important thing is to keep Broadway open!
I had a free evening, so I decided to attend the “Tina Turner Musical” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 46th Street. It is a cross between the life story of Tina Turner and the jukebox musical. Of course, the songs are classic Tina, along with some popular songs of the time. Juliet Benn played the young Anna Mae, and she is an amazing young performer. She portrayed the child Anna Mae as the talent we know waiting to happen. Juliet’s future looks bright in the theatre. Kayla Davion played Tina, and she not only had the legs, but she even sounded like Tina! Tina’s rags to riches story isn’t an easy one. Domestic abuse by her father against her mother is addressed, and then her own abuse story with Ike Turner. Nick Rashad Burrows has the tough job of being the bad guy Ike and does a great job. In between dramatic scenes, there is some great music from the 60s and 70s. Tina’s climb to go solo and become a mega-star in the 80s is inspiring! A feel-good story and great music make it a show for all ages! The cast performs a couple of numbers after the bows, so don’t leave, or you will miss it!
“Plaza Suite” is a revival of Neil Simon’s original play that ran on Broadway from 1968 through 1970 and was directed by Mike Nichols. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and her real-life hubby, Matthew Broderick portray three different couples who stay in room 719 of the famous New York landmark, The Plaza Hotel. This is the first time the couple has worked together, and I sure hope it won’t be the last! I would see them together anytime! Acting professionals since a young age, Parker and Broderick know their stuff. What was a surprise was the amount of physical comedy in the show, and Broderick had me belly laughing at times with his dry humor. Sarah Jessica has been a favorite of mine for over 30 years, and she didn’t disappoint! She played three very different women in the late 60s. Her emotional and comedic roles were not Carrie Bradshaw, but if you know her work, her individuality shines through. Costuming was very well-done, and the set of room 719 was much more to the eye as the play went on. Plaza Suite is on a limited run through July and if you are headed to Broadway and want to see a smart, funny, adult show with big stars too, go check out room 719!
Photos from Vicky Sullivan