Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Broadway Buzz: Take a Trip Off-Broadway

The first item on many agendas when traveling to New York is a Broadway show, but which theater should you choose? “Broadway” theaters geographically sit between 41st Street and 54th Street and between Sixth Avenue and Eighth Avenue. But seriously, can all of the 100+ theaters in New York fit only in that area?
Of course not. Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway make up a large portion of the theater community you can experience in New York. Along with geographical area, seating capacity also classifies theaters into different categories. Broadway theaters tend to sit 499+ patrons, off-Broadway house 99-499 seats and off-off-Broadway are usually less than 100. Off-Broadway tickets are generally less expensive, offering a great opportunity to see talented up and coming artists and stars you recognize from TV and film like current off-Broadway stars Zach Braff (“Scrubs,” “Garden State”), Dustin Diamond (“Saved by the Bell”) and Joyce DeWitt (“Three’s Company”).
Regardless of your tastes, you definitely won’t be bored with the current shows off-Broadway. Check out the intergalactic a cappella group Voca People, comedies like Channeling Kevin Spaceyenter the psychoanalytic mind of Dr. Freud in Freud’s Last Session or break out the tissues as Death Takes a Holiday emphasizes the power of love. Transfers between Broadway and off-Broadway are fairly common. Broadway favorite Rentoriginally opened off-Broadway in 1996 and transferred to Broadway after two successful months. The show is now returning off-Broadway this August at the New World Stages with a brand-new production.
Off-off-Broadway also has a wide variety of offerings from burlesque, one-person shows, musicals and even puppetry. The longest running off-off-Broadway production started in 1974 and is still running today! Line is a play focusing on five people as they wait in line. The show has been staged in 25 countries and translated into 35 languages.
On your next trip to New York, don’t forget to check out what’s playing off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway for a truly New York experience. The New York Times always has a great listing of current shows – add it to your favorites!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Broadway Buzz: Take a Break on Broadway

When it comes to picking a summer vacation destination, New York City should be at the top of your list. If you’re a Broadway fan, you owe it to yourself to see what all of the buzz is about. 

This Summer’s Biggest Shows 
Tickets may be hard to come by for The Book of Mormon, but there is a plethora of shows to help make your vacation memorable. From big Broadway blockbusters like Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to Tony Award®-winning plays like War Horse and off-Broadway sensations that are on the brink of hitting it big, you will find a show that fits your tastes and interests. Websites like can help you find the right ticket with show information, great behind the scenes videos and interviews with the cast and creative teams. 

INSIDER TIP: Check out TKTS Discount Booths for day of performance tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows at up to a 50% discount! 

Broadway Hot Spots You Don’t Want to Miss 

Times Square There’s a reason people make reference to “the bright lights of Broadway, and that reason is Times Square. 

A tradition in the theater district, Sardi’s claim to fame includes caricatures of some of Broadway’s biggest stars with new ones being added every season. For tourists it is a great place to experience some preshow excitement. For Broadway actors, it’s a rite of passage.
The Stage Deli Celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, The Stage Deli is a delightfully simple spot for lunch and maybe even some star sightings near the Broadway district. Starting way back in 1937, the owner invited some of his famous customers to design their perfect sandwich. You can munch on a Stephen Sondheim (chicken salad, bacon, lettuce and tomato), enjoy Hugh Jackman’s favorite (a hot open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy and french fries) or taste the newest star concoction. It’s not Broadway exclusive, but it is delicious. 

Lincoln Center Performing arts enthusiasts will be struck by the sheer scale of Lincoln Center. It’s over 16 acres of arts right in the heart of Manhattan. Within its buildings, you can find 12 resident organizations including Lincoln Center Theater, The Julliard School, The Metropolitan Opera and The New York City Ballet. Plus, right now, you can see the Tony Award-winning Best Play, War Horse

Even if you only have a few days, you can see a Broadway show, visit the local haunts and sample taste of big city life. Have you been to New York? Post some of your favorite places, things to see and do and, of course, Broadway shows that can’t be missed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some Sisterly Advice from Late Night Catechism's Diana Carl Alioto

Last week, we had a few minutes to sit down with Sister (actress Diana Carl Alioto) and discuss some of the latest trends in weddings. As the resident expert in 'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3, she has some great advice.

Q) Full-length ceremony, shortened version or elopement?
A) Eh, eh, eh, elopment? Never. Not in the good Catholic Church. And with a shortened version, you're skipping out on the mass. I prefer a full-length ceremony complete with the taking of the Eucharist and all that stuff.

Q) Veil or no veil?
A) I think it's pretty much up to the girls these days 'cause they have all kinds of new fangled hairdos. In the old days, we had to wear a hat in church. I cover my head every day, so you can spend a couple hours in a sheer veil.

Q) Personalized or Traditional vows?
A) With modern vows, women try to take out the obey line. I got news for you. I took a vow of obedience. It's one of my three vows. If I have to do it, you have to do it.

Q) Bubbles or birdseed for a grant exit?
A) I say bubbles, and I'll tell you why. Have you ever been hit in the head with birdseed? Bubbles are light. 

A special message from Sister for her followers in Appleton!

Q) How many is too many when it comes to bridesmaids?
A) Depends on how many friends you have. Do you really have 17 girlfriends who want to shell out $1,300 apiece? You should do what my sister did. She said the people that stood up in her wedding were close enough to her that if she needed $500, she could call them up. If they wouldn't give her the money or she'd be embarrassed to ask, she didn't ask them. So think about it. You could probably count on one hand how many people would lend you $500.

Q) What's your rule of thumb on bridesmaid dresses?
A) Ladies, think about the Blessed Mother and her neckline and her hemline in all those pictures. We don't see Mary wearing strapless dresses and miniskirts.  So think about that when you plan your dresses. And she's always wearing blue, the color of virginity. I think you should consider a nice shade of blue for your girls.

'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3 continues tonight through Saturday, August 13. You can save $5 today by using the special offer code: SISTER. for details, and, remember, don't be late for class! 

 *'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3 offer ends August 13, 2011. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. No cash value.