Review: Shopstoppers NYC

Broadway is back! See our post about what that looks like. Even though Broadway is back, those affected by the theater are still trying to survive. We went for a drink at Beer Culture after the Lion King and the bartender told us that they’re at about 30% of volume. They’re hoping that with Broadway coming back, their business will improve as well.

Showstoppers NYC. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Other industries are hurting as well, including costume designers. The Showstoppers: Spectacular Costumes from Stage and Screen show was created to raise money for those costume makers who were unable to work during the 18 month shutdown. The Costume Industry Coalition formed in May 2020 and started a recovery fund for its members, which includes 55 independent businesses and hundreds of artisans in and around NYC. These are the people who create the costumes for live and recorded shows. The exhibition designer, Thinc Designs, donated their efforts. Designers lost $26.6 million in gross revenue from the pandemic in 2020 (up to $35 million by now in 2021). The show was put together in 3.5 months, where a show like this would normally take two years. Here is our review: Showstoppers NYC.

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Review: Is Beautiful on Broadway Appropriate for Kids?

My husband likens Beautiful on Broadway to School of Rock for adults. Beautiful is the Carole King story, if that story includes her having one husband and two kids, instead of four husbands and four kids. There’s not enough stage time to feature her 118 pop hits or take her story much beyond that first marriage and her time in New York (and a short stint in the Jersey burbs). But is Beautiful on Broadway appropriate for kids?

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Review of Vitaly off Broadway – is it Vitaly Appropriate for Kids?

Last weekend my teen daughter and I went to do a review of Vitaly off Broadway. I hadn’t heard of the illusionist Vitaly Beckman before, and was intrigued seeing some videos online. He’s been lauded by Penn and Teller, who got their start in New York at the same theater as this show is playing.

Before the show: review of Vitaly off Broadway. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Vitaly is a Russian-born Israeli who now lives in Canada (easier immigration rules than the US, he told me after the show).

The Vitaly an Evening of Wonders show is interactive, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit in the first row to participate. He bounded up and down stairs during the show, going to the top aisles on both sides to get volunteers, in addition to using volunteers down lower. For the last illusion, which uses drivers’ licenses, everyone can pony up and yours might be chosen when he’s on stage. Continue reading “Review of Vitaly off Broadway – is it Vitaly Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: Is Phantom of the Opera Appropriate for Kids?

is phantom of the opera appropriate for kids?

Is Phantom of the Opera appropriate for kids?

It’s a little crazy that this was the first time seeing Phantom of the Opera after living in New Jersey for nine years, and seeing multiple Broadway shows per year. I figured that since it has been on Broadway for 30 years, it would be here for a while longer (we’d get around to seeing it), and other shows are coming and going. Plus, after 30 years, wouldn’t it be dated? But my kids have been asking me to go for a few years, and the stars finally aligned between our schedule and ticket prices (thank you TDF membership).

is phantom of the opera appropriate for kids?
Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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Gulliver’s Gate: Holiday Figures

We posted about visiting Gulliver’s Gate with kids during previews, when the features weren’t fully functional. My teen son saw my photos and really really wanted to go himself, so we made a visit in early November. Gulliver’s Gate holiday figures were on display, though they were just wrapping up its Halloween theme, where they put more than 40 Halloween characters in the regular scenes.

 

One of two Ghostbusters scenes at Gulliver’s Gate. Copyright Deborah Abrams KaplanJust a brief intro: Gulliver’s Gate is a miniature world in Times Square, with more than 50 scenes in around eight separate rooms or sections. Continue reading “Gulliver’s Gate: Holiday Figures”

Review: Gulliver’s Gate With Kids

The new Gulliver’s Gate opened in May, in Times Square. This permanent exhibit is a miniature world with more than 100,000 tiny people. It’s also interactive, with technology features that will make your jaw drop. I spent a good two hours in there and didn’t want to leave. Should you go to Gulliver’s Gate with kids? Here’s what you’ll see.

Adding some trees in Asia. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

I viewed it during previews, a few days before the official opening. At that time, not all the technology features were fully functional, but most were and I was thoroughly impressed and want to return. My son saw the photos and is begging me to go. Continue reading “Review: Gulliver’s Gate With Kids”

Waitress Broadway Review: Is Waitress Appropriate for Kids?

Waitress the musical was not high on my list to see in terms of Broadway shows. But I went for my annual writer’s group show night during a conference, and that was the show selected. My goal was not only to hopefully enjoy the show but answer this question for the blog: is Waitress appropriate for kids? I did no reading about the show beforehand, though I knew Sara Bareilles was playing the lead and that she had written the lyrics. I knew it had something to do with pie. That’s it.

That pie smell wafted by the second we walked into the show. What a cute set-up. It smelled good, and we passed by a dessert stand. Inside the theater, the women selling snacks and drinks were wearing diner uniforms. The screen looked like a lattice cherry pie. It had the possibility of being too cutesy. But it wasn’t. Continue reading “Waitress Broadway Review: Is Waitress Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: Is In Transit Appropriate for Kids?

My daughter and I loved Pitch Perfect, so when I heard about In Transit, Broadway’s first a capella musical, I wanted to go. And naturally, I took her with me. The crew bringing you In Transit has some serious cred. The four writers in different combinations brought us Pitch Perfect and Frozen, and have a lot of a capella experience in other venues.

The Plot

The ensemble production of 11 New Yorkers includes several interconnected storylines: Continue reading “Review: Is In Transit Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: School of Rock on Broadway

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly Broadway show, School of Rock should be on your list.

School of Rock Broadway show curtain. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The plot: Failing rock guitar player and overall sloth needs money to pay the rent, so he poses as his teacher roommate when offered a substitute teaching job at an elite school. He can’t teach, of course, so he starts a class band to compete in the rock competition and hopefully win enough money so he can pay his rent. The kids get into it and chaos ensues.

The pros: The kids are adorable and talented. Lots of kids (I think 13), so this is a great show for kids! The kids play their own music and of course sing as well. The cast is diverse (different ethnicities, gay couple etc.). The show is lively and the music good. The set is great too.

The cons: You’re going to have to suspend your disbelief a lot in this show. First, the main character Dewey moves very quickly to start the rock band in the classroom. Probably the first day or two. Most of the characters are charicatures and stereotypes. Against all odds, the kids are able to sneak out of the classroom to get to the competition and even though they don’t win (spoiler alert!) the crowd goes so crazy the judges change their mind. Parents discover new things to love about their kids, everyone (except the losing rock band) is happy. Continue reading “Review: School of Rock on Broadway”