Wednesday, October 10, 2012

48 Hours in NYC - part 1 - Saturday!

It all started with Carleigh being cast in Annie and having the time of her life! We found out shortly after her show closed that Annie was being revived on  Broadway in the fall of 2012….and plans were set in motion.
Tickets for Annie on Broadway were purchased in June,  and we had been following the release of Disney’s Newsies on Broadway for about a year now – it won the Tony Award (Broadway version of Academy Awards) for Best Musical, so we looked into that and in July, purchased tickets for Newsies and made the hotel reservations.

My mom and I were taking the girls to NYC over Columbus Day weekend to see Annie and Newsies!!  
You know me – planning things out and budgeting and doing it way in advance… the school year started and we were looking forward to the big weekend.  We had been following the announcements for Annie – after all…we had the show memorized and the girls were still singing all of the songs.  They announced the orphans and Carleigh was thrilled to see that Duffy (the orphan that she played at BRMS) was from Richmond, Virginia.

Columbus Day weekend was approaching – train tickets were purchased, and the weather forecast was not looking good. We’ve done NYC in the rain with the two girls before and it was NOT fun….so…rather than sit inside a hotel room for many hours in the evening, we looked into Wicked tickets. Katie had just  learned about Wicked and was VERY interested in seeing the show, so…Thanks MOM – tickets were purchased for Wicked and we were on our was at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

We arrived in NYC around 2:30 Saturday afternoon and taxi’d to the hotel. We chose to stay in Times Square due to all of the shows we were seeing. We stayed at the Hilton Times Square – it was fantastic, though I felt like I was playing Where’s Waldo as we walked up 42nd St looking for the entrance. The 41st St entrance was a lot easier to use.

At the hotel – you take an elevator from street level up to the 15th floor lobby – it was perfect – the elevator’s opened and you didn’t even feel like you were in the middle of Times Square. Our room was on the 30th floor and had a “great” view of true NYC. The girls stood and stared and couldn’t believe that people “lived” here.

Our first show was  Annie at 8:00 pm on Saturday night. We had time to head out for a few hours. We decided to stay close and just explore the Times Square area.  Many adventures were had in those 2 hours…..

We encountered the “Naked Cowboy” right away.  A very interesting character…the girls were not impressed, but mom was. 

I had promised the girls that we would go to Aeropostale – it’s the flagship store and in the middle of Times Square.  We had a good coupon and did some serious fall shopping.

We did the Disney Store, and just played around a bit. The “fake” dressed up characters weren’t fun and our accidental pic with fake Cookie Monster almost turned ugly as he followed us and asked for a tip….we didn’t even want the picture taken. 

The girls were ready to head back after that adventure.  We turned up 44th St and headed towards John’s Pizzeria. We’d been there before and knew it was good food and reliable for an early dinner before the show.

After dinner, back to the hotel and we got cleaned up for the show. We headed out to the Palace Theater and snapped a few nighttime pics on the way.

We arrived at the Palace Theater for Annie with time to spare.

Our seats were front row Mezzanine – so we were right at the balcony level and could basically look right down on the stage. Perfect!!

The show was great! It was still in previews and the show we saw was only the 5th true performance. Official opening night isn’t until November 8th.  Carleigh had performed in Annie at her middle school last year and had worked with a director that had/has many Broadway connections. We sat there amazed at how the middle school production paralleled the Broadway production…down to dance moves and exact staging and blocking…even some of the prop choices. Carleigh was in heaven and doing her best not to sing out loud with the performers. No pics allowed, but I got a quick (no flash) shot of the orphans.

After the show, we scoped out the Stage door and were told that everyone would be out – after all, it was only the 5th performance for these girls and they were still probably soaking up the limelight.

Saturday was complete – and successful. We fought our way through  “Saturday night in Times Square on a holiday weekend” and it was pretty scary – made it back to the hotel  to sleep and gear up for a VERY busy Sunday!!