by Simon Harding,
“There is no other experience quite like the New York theater experience” says the American. Of course Londoners might disagree, but what isn’t in doubt is that anyone who loves a good stage show, musical or otherwise, should make it a point to check out both.
Times Square is the center stage for the NYC theatre scene and some of the most famous shows in the world are put on here. Especially known for its musicals, Broadway hosts amazing high energy shows such as Disney’s Newsies, which has been a staple on Broadway for years now.
Other very popular musicals put on in NYC can be seen in London too, including The Lion King, Once, the Phantom of The Opera and Jersey Boys, so a direct comparison can be made. Each of these shows has seen a huge level of success in both cities.
The theatre scene is one thing that attracts native New Yorkers as much as it attracts tourists from all over the world. Many tourists plan their NYC visit around seeing their favorite musicals on Broadway.
Anyone who enjoys seeing their favorite celebrities will want to make it a point to check them out in the Broadway musicals and plays they perform in. In the past, famous celebrities have starred in musicals such as Chicago, Mamma Mia and Wicked. Sir Patrick Stewart has performed in several of Shakespeare’s plays as presented on Broadway. In How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Full House alumni John Stamos had the starring role for a period of time.
Regardless of who is acting in any Broadway play or musical, they are worth checking out and can make for a fun afternoon or evening out with friends or family. Many of the shows performed on Broadway are family friendly and will delight both children and their parents. Seeing a show come to life on stage can be one of the most exhilarating parts of a NYC vacation experience, although don’t take really young children: even The Lion King will refuse children under 4 years old.
Broadway shows, maybe more so than London at the moment, can sell out, so planning ahead can be important. However the older shows are generally available up until the day and last-minute theatre-goers head to Times Square where you can often get theater tickets at a discount. That being said, it is recommended that visitors purchase their tickets in advance, especially if they want to attend one of the more popular Broadway shows or see a particular performance – Saturday nights are often very busy all along Broadway. It would be a pity to come all this way and hot get seats for your show of choice!
Whilst plays and musicals are performed all over the world, coming to Broadway does have its own special cache and no matter which city is “best” the New York City theatre scene should be experienced at least once in everyone’s life time and it will continue to be a popular attraction for visitors to the city from all over the world.