Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Broadway Shows

No visit to Manhattan is complete unless you see a Broadway show or two. I will never forget my first, Phantom of the Opera. Not only did it capture my heart ten years ago, it mesmerized me so much that it turned me into a fan of all musicals and plays. Now that I'm here again, I saw Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County's Spelling Bee and here are my reviews:

Avenue Q: This musical is like a light-hearted Rent with raunchy humor where the main characters are puppets. Set in NYC on fictitious Avenue Q, it's a good storyline and especially fitting for us twentysomethings trying to find ourselves while struggling to pay the bills. With songs like "Everyone's a little bit racist," it sheds light on racial stereotypes and touches upon other contemporary topics like homophobia and one-night stands with sarcastic humor and shocking vulgarity (naked puppets having sex on stage) - just the way I like it. When they sang "I wish I could go back to college," we almost had a tear in our eyes because the song truly captured our post graduation sentiments working in the real world. Here are some sample lyrics: "I wish I could go back to college. Life was so simple back then. What would I give to go back and live in a dorm with a meal plan again...I wanna go back to my room and find a message in dry-erase pen on the door!...I wish I could just drop a class...Or get into a play...Or change my major...Or fuck my T.A..." Doesn't that just tug at your heartstrings? On that note, I give it a two furry thumbs up.

Spelling Bee: With cracks on Scooter Libby and Pres. Bush and songs about erections, this laugh-til-your-stomach-hurts spelling bee should be rated PG-13. At the beginning of the "competition," the host calls out by name 4 members of the audience to be contestants. (Sidenote: My friend Andrea was one of the chosen ones when she saw the show a couple years ago. How fab!) You are not only the audience of a Broadway show, but you also become the audience of a spelling bee competition where you get to see inside those little geeks' minds as they take turns asking for a definition or word origin before spelling each word. You also get Darrell Hammond from SNL as a surprising part of the cast who, not surprisingly, has some of the funniest lines on the show. A two thumbs U-P!

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