Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rushing Avenue Q

We had an empty day. We have a list of things to see & do in New York City. We took about half an hour to plan, and tried it out.

We took the 8am NEC train in, and then jumped on the C train (wanted the E but it was not servicing that day) up to 50th street. Three blocks to New World Stages, and we were behind three people for the 10am rush by 9:43am.

Now, a quick run-down on what "rush" is. Some theaters have a policy where they hold tickets that you can buy tickets the day of the show at a reduced rate (we paid $53 total for our tickets, in comparison to $192 it would have been to buy tickets in the 12th row online). Sometimes only students can do this. Sometimes the theater holds a lottery. Sometimes people arrive very early in the morning and dozens are in line by the time the box office opens. Now, since Avenue Q has been running for over five years now, we weren't too concerned. Plus, we did have back-up plans.

The doors were unlocked at 10:01am, and we bought the first two tickets for the matinee, receiving 101 and 102 in row A of the orchestra (aka front row, house left). Since Avenue Q has puppets, it was rather fun to be that close, LoL.

After we had our tickets, we headed over to the Radio City area to see the fountain and walk around a bit. It was raining slightly, so there weren't a lot of people out. We bummed around a bit, did some shopping (Jonathan found a new pair of sunglasses for our trip to Nassau), then headed over to eat lunch at the Times Deli on 44th Street (between Broadway & 6th). I had a grilled chicken wrap with cheese, peppers, and tomatoes. Jonathan has a meatball sub. Both were delicious, and the place was quick and cheap. The upstairs seating (which has a tiny internet cafe as well) wasn't air conditioned, but otherwise it was a great stop.

We walked over to Bryant Park and walked around. We saw the ping pong tables and the "reading room(s)" and the petanque courts (none of which were there when we saw Bryant Park in January). We people-watched for a while, then headed to get some caffeine at Tim Hortons. I swear, that stuff is SO GOOD. I had an iced mocha, Jonathan had an iced cappuccino. Yet again, both were wonderful. We hung out there until it was time to walk over to see the show.

New World Stages is a bit unique in that several shows play there simultaneously in different rooms. We were in stage 3. Avenue Q isn't a show for everyone (and certainly not for children), but we both enjoyed it. I was familiar with about half of the songs ahead of time, plus several clips and the general storyline. Jonathan had heard two of the songs before, but otherwise went in cold. I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that it was very different from when we saw Next to Normal. Jonathan thought the songs were catchier in that, which surprised me. Personally, I get a couple songs from Avenue Q in my head every now and then, LoL. Jonathan also decided that our next show will be 39 Steps, which is a straight play also at New World Stages.

When the show was over we took the subway back to Penn Station and rushed over to the NJ Transit to hop the train back down to Trenton. Overall, it worked out really well. EXCEPT for the unexpected fact that the fare has changed. There's no more "off-peak" prices, so instead of $43 for both of us to take the train in and back during off-peak hours, it's now $62, which is significantly higher. This means less day trips for one, and also the prospect of driving in has become more feasible (we also found a garage that allows you to park for 12 hours for $19, which is extraordinarily good for midtown, from what we've seen).

What were our back-up plans? Well, I had the addresses for the theaters showing American Idiot and The Addams Family as well, so we were going to head over to TKTS to try and get tickets to one of those (or Avenue Q) over there. TKTS sells tickets day-of also, for 20-50% off regular price. There are three locations, but the one near Times Square (aka "under the red steps") was our plan. Should all three of those be sold-out (or not have any seats left that day to sell), we were going to do the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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