Tuesday Tip: Give My Regards to Broadway

It’s hard to imagine living in NYC and not attending at least one Broadway musical or play, and there is nothing better than live theatre.  Over the many years I have lived here, I have seen over 90 Broadway shows.  The most remarkable part?  I probably haven’t paid more than $50 a handful of times, and over $100 – even fewer.

All right, so how do you do it? It’s not that hard at all.  There are many options to get discount Broadway tickets, and most are right under your nose.

Popular ways to get discount tickets:

  1. Win a show’s lottery (digital or otherwise)
  2. Stand in line for general rush before the box office opens (Box Offices usually open @ 10 AM on weekdays, which means, depending on the popularity of the show, you might need to get there by 6 AM or earlier and wait)
  3. Buy discount tickets at one of several TKTS booths / a Broadway app
  4. Special discounts for certain professions, if you are a student, or just under a certain age
  5. Broadway Week, which is a time where you can buy 2-for-1 tickets

I’m gonna list some of my favorites here, but if you have further questions, definitely let me know in the comments!

Broadway For Broke People – maybe the best comprehensive list of all rushes and lotteries, listed by show.  In addition, they highlight shows that are on the verge of closing.

TodayTix – Lists various discounts, but if you have the app, you can sign up for mobile lotteries extremely easily.  They also sponsor the digital lottery for Shakespeare in the Park, which is much easier to sign up for versus standing in line in Central Park for several hours.

Broadway Direct Lotteries – This includes digital lotteries such as Hamilton (Chicago & NY), Wicked, Aladdin, & The Lion King.  Lists the lottery prices you will pay if you win.

TDF– The Theatre Development Fund- TKTS falls under their umbrella.  You can qualify to be a member (and pay a low, annual fee) to buy discount tickets to Broadway, music, and dance.  Non-profit employees, students, teachers, retirees, and union members are a few of the people who can benefit from this membership.

HipTix – A program through Roundabout Theatre Company, if you are 18-35 years of age, you qualify and it is free.  Sign up and you can purchase $25 tickets to their shows.  These seats are usually situated in the mezzanine or higher.

Broadway Week – Happens twice annually; usually in the fall & in the winter (this year they had it in January; the second one tends to be in September). You can get 2-for-1 tickets during this window of time to certain shows, but buy fast – they run out quickly.

Bonus: Kids’ Night On Broadway – Several shows offer “Buy a ticket, get a child’s ticket for free” for one night, usually in February.  Keep track of this website if you want to take your child to a show but don’t want to pay full price.  They also list KNOB events that happen around the country, too, but these tend to be on random dates because it coincides with when a company is touring in an area.

I’ve used all of these resources to secure discount tickets, and now you can, too!  My one piece of advice? If there is something you are really itching to see (for example, Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler, limited engagement events, or anything with Mark Rylance, because he is perhaps the most phenomenal stage actor I have ever seen), you may just have to suck it up and pay full price.   Don’t get me wrong, there are discount opportunities for even the hottest shows (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen), but they are extremely hard to obtain.

Good luck!

XOXO

Fangirl

See It / Don’t See It If…Spider-Man: Homecoming

 

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Advanced Screening Ticket + Freebies Courtesy of NY Comic-Con

Last night, I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming after winning a lottery hosted by New York Comic-Con (if you’re wondering about all the free movie tickets, I promise that a #TuesdayTip is coming soon), and not only was it at the trendy Alamo Draft House in BK, but it also included freebies.  Free Movie + Free Stuff = some of my favorite things.

I enjoy superhero movies.  We often go opening weekend, and if this awesome advanced screening ticket wouldn’t have fallen into my lap, I would have purchased tickets to go tomorrow or Saturday.  Now that I have seen Spider-Man, I probably won’t purchase those tickets…until next weekend. 😉  Yes, I plan on seeing it again.  I enjoyed it that much.

For those wondering, this film takes place after Captain America: Civil War.  I loved that this was true because it meant that the audience was not subjected to Peter’s (Tom Holland) origin story for the 3rd time. And although I don’t mind origin stories, I often feel like the film moves so much more slowly because of all the exposition they need to cover.  Spider-Man: Homecoming jumps right into the story, which makes me very, very happy.  We also meet a brand-new villain, Vulture (Michael Keaton), who is making & selling very dangerous weapons to dangerous people.  Peter, while trying to adjust to his life as Spider-Man (he is completing the “Stark Internship” & is currently on “Training Wheels Protocol”), tries looking out for the little guy, but keeps waiting to get the call from Tony Stark (the fantastic RDJ) to be a part of something bigger.  When he discovers Vulture and his ridiculous weapons, he can’t resist getting involved, causing a little trouble, but most importantly, learning more about who he is in his new role.

See It If/For…

  1. You love Marvel films.  This is definitely on-par with all of the films Marvel has released in recent years.  The effects and action sequences are great, we get a new, super fun villain, and the Spider-Man suit continues to get upgraded (thank you, Tony Stark).  I saw it in Standard 2D, but I bet it looks incredible in IMAX or 3D.
  2. The Cast.  Tom Holland is a great fit as Spider-Man.  Nothing against Maguire or Garfield, but Holland, to me, is more how I envision Peter Parker: as an angsty teenage boy.  When he says he’s 15, I believe it (although I know Holland is older than that).  Also, Michael Keaton makes a spectacular villain.  I’ve always thought of him as Batman (ok, and Beetlejuice), but I liked him as Vulture.  He’s also one of the few villains that I’ve felt empathy for (although the more I think about it, most of the villains in the Spider-Man films have been well-developed). Also, Peter’s friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) was a terrific surprise & cracked me up.  Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, and Laura Harrier were also great additions to the cast, and I wanted more of them.  Finally, I would see RDJ as Tony Stark anytime.
  3. The Cameos.  You could check IMDB, but there are obviously a few nice cameos from the MCU.
  4. The Humor.  Not all super hero films have a ton of it, but there are quite a few funny moments in this film.  I like a movie that can be intense and funny at the same time.

Don’t See It If...

1. I…don’t have a reason.  But I am also all about superhero films.  Although most films, when introducing (or in this case, re-introducing) a character focus on origin, I appreciated that it got right into the action.  There are definitely some moments when Peter is figuring things out, but the story moves along smoothly.

To finish, there was at least one thing I missed the first time (I’ll need to be a diligent re-watcher), and, as always with these, stay until the end of the credits! 🙂  There is an additional scene early in the credits, but that isn’t the only one.  The second scene (@ the v. end) made me laugh out loud.

Will you see Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend?  Have you seen it?  What did you think?

XOXO

Fangirl

See It/Don’t See It If…Despicable Me 3

DespicableMe3

Minions!

On June 28, a friend of mine took me to see an advanced screening of Despicable Me 3 (I know, I am super delayed right now with my posting…working on it!).  I may be an adult, but I’m all for a great animated film.  I do have a confession to make – as much as I have heard about the Despicable Me franchise (and have ridden the Minions ride @ Universal Studios), I actually haven’t seen any of the other movies (cue gasps).  I am pretty much reviewing this as a stand alone film (which any great movie should be able to do), and can give you no comparison to the other films, so here we go.

Basic synopsis: Gru (Steve Carell, the newest member of the silver fox club) finds out he has a half-brother, Dru (both parents got to keep one child in the settlement, and as Gru’s mom states, she chose second. Rude), who wants Gru & his family to visit him on the island where he runs the family business – pig farming (I’m sure you can guess this is a front).  Dru wants Gru to teach him everything Gru knows about being a villain. Dru has some super high-tech stuff, and Gru realizes he can use this equipment to get back an amazing pink diamond from Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker).  Bratt wants the diamond so that he can fuel his personal machine to take over the Hollywood.  Also, Agnes goes searching for a unicorn, and the minions want to be villains, not good guys, so they go on strike.  I think that about covers it.

See It If…

  1. You have children.    All of the children in the audience were laughing and having a blast.  They will enjoy it.
  2. You have seen the other films.  Several adults sitting near me sans kids were also getting a kick out of Gru & Dru’s antics.  Although one of them gave me a rundown of what I should know before the film started, I didn’t find the movie as humorous as they did.  I strongly believe this is because they were extremely invested in the characters from what they learned in the previous films.
  3. You love minions.  Though they don’t play an extremely large role in this film, the moments they are on-screen are fun.

Don’t See It If…

  1. You haven’t seen the other films.  This film seems more like a part of a series (which it is) than something that stands on its own.  The story was easy enough to follow, but as someone who hasn’t seen the past films, I just wasn’t as entertained.

Despicable Me 3 is already playing in theaters and won the box office last weekend.  It will most likely be dethroned by Spider-Man: Homecoming (more on that later), but should, along with Cars 3, continue to bring in the families.

XOXO

Fangirl

 

 

See It/Don’t See It If: Baby Driver

 

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“We could drive back and forth across the country and never run out of ‘Baby’ songs.”

 

I was privileged enough to see an advanced screening of Baby Driver last week and let me tell you, this is a damn good movie. On average, I probably see a movie a week (sometimes 2 if I am feeling greedy), and this, by far, has been my favorite movie this year.  There is so much to like about this film.  Without trying to spoil this film for anyone else, I have listed my reasons for why you should SEE this movie:

  1.  The Soundtrack: Have you ever watched a film without listening to the musical score/soundtrack?  Try it sometime when you’re at home.  Music greatly changes the energy of a movie, and the soundtrack for Baby Driver is no exception.
  2. The Action Sequences:  As I am sure you can tell by the commercials or any synopsis you have read, Doc (Kevin Spacey) regularly assembles teams to commit heists but always keeps one constant – Baby (Ansel Elgort). The audience witnesses several adrenaline-inducing, heart-pumping sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat…and all complete with a soundtrack, of course. 😉
  3. The Cast:  Bravo to anyone involved with casting in this film.  Everyone shines from top to bottom.  I was perhaps most impressed by Jon Hamm, who plays Buddy. (Sidebar: What do Jon Hamm fans call themselves?  I hope they have a clever name like Hammerheads, Hamm Sandwiches, or something.)
  4. The Story:  Edgar Wright wrote & directed this film (although I believe the late Jan Kerouac wrote the novel back in the 80’s?), and I was hooked from start to finish.  The whole movie flows very well, has a nice balance of heart & action, and I was extremely invested in multiple characters.

This film has been getting rave reviews, and it isn’t hard to see why.  Some girls will flock to see this because of Ansel Elgort, others are loyal Spacey fans, and perhaps the Hammer Pants will come out (I think I like that name best)…but you should absolutely see this because it is an incredible film.  If you do see it and don’t like it, please tell me why!

XOXO

Fangirl

Tuesday Tip: The Best Show in Town (and it only costs $8!)

Gravid Water

The Best Show in Town

It’s #TuesdayTip Day!  Today I want to share with you what I consider to be the best show in town, and it happens on the last Monday of every month.  It’s a spectacular show called Gravid Water, which is performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade:                              (http://www.ucbtheatre.com).  If you don’t know about UCB, do investigate.  They do several amazing improv shows per day, but Gravid has stolen my heart.

Gravid Water is a theatrical experiment that pairs actors of the stage & screen with improvisers.  The actors memorize a scene from a play and pairs them with an improviser who will be seeing the scene for the first time. It doesn’t matter what the improviser says or does, the actor cannot leave the letter of the script.  Of course, hilarity ensues.

Gravid Water recruits an awesome cast once a month, and every show is different – the scenes are different, the actors/improvisers are different – so there are no repeats.  There are definitely some regulars that we love seeing every month (I am a huge fan of Tami Sagher, Scott Adsit, and Brian Stack) and you never know who is going to be in the cast until usually the week before.

If I haven’t sold you yet, it costs $8 for 1 hour of hilarity.  I don’t know about you, but that’s about as much as I spend on dessert. A day.  I would easily sacrifice a night of dessert (but who am I kidding?  I stop at Billy’s afterwards ;)) to go to Gravid.

I mention this show THIS Tuesday because tickets for July’s show are on sale now (and it always sells out)!  You’re welcome.  Don’t live in NYC?  They perform the show at the UCB Franklin in California, too (I believe it usually happens on a Sunday, but I couldn’t tell you which Sunday).  I promise you that if you attend, you won’t regret spending the $8.  I have been going for the last 5 years and maybe miss no more than 1-2 shows a year. There’s a reason I keep coming back!

You can buy tickets here for July’s show.

Also, follow Gravid Water on Twitter!  They usually post when tickets go on sale and who the cast will be!

Additional tip:

Gravid starts @ 8, but it’s GA. I usually get there between 7 & 7:15 so that I can secure a good seat. There isn’t really a bad seat in UCB (it’s a small venue), but I like being in the first few rows.  The line starts in front of the UCB Theatre and goes towards 9th Avenue…DO NOT confuse it with the Standby Line that goes towards 8th if you have a ticket!

Enjoy the show! ❤

xoxo

Fangirl

 

Silicon Valley Finale Recap: Server Error

If you haven’t been watching Silicon Valley on HBO, I am sad for you.  The cast is unbelievably talented, and it continues to be one of my favorite scripted shows on television.  This past Sunday marked the Season 4 finale of Silicon Valley, and I was extremely interested to see what would become of T.J. Miller’s character, Erlich Bachman, as it has already been confirmed that he will not be returning for Season 5.  Let’s begin, shall we?

SPOILERS AHEAD!  DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED!

So at the end of last week, a bunch of phones started catching on fire (similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7s), and as more phones ignite, Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), and Jared (Zach Woods) are convinced that it is because their app has been secretly loaded onto these Hooli phones.  Jared insists that they need to come clean because these are “real people with real crotches, and they’re burning.”  Richard (Thomas Middleditch) argues that it actually isn’t their fault, it’s Hooli’s fault due to writing faulty code so that it can handle Keenan Feldspar’s (Haley Joel Osment – when did HE grow up?  I now feel very old) VR product.  When Richard refuses to admit to wrongdoing and is okay with knowing that he may have caused this “dick fire” epidemic, Jared hands him a letter of resignation (it should be noted he writes 3 letters every time he starts a job – personal action plan, a letter to his 40-year-old self, and a resignation letter.  LOVE that Jared).  Richard tells him due to the employee handbook Jared had written, Jared has to give an official 2 weeks’ notice.   Jared agrees to but refuses to do anything else illegal or unethical.  Good for you, boo.

At Hooli, Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) is trying to save face, blames Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), Keenan Feldspar, and everyone but himself.  He decides to recall all Hooli phones and replace them in 3 days, which according to the Hooli board, is frickin’ cray.  Jack Barker says he’s going to go to China to negotiate and even though the board disapproves, Jack has already issued a press release that is going to cost this company a lot of coin.

Back @ Pied Piper, they need to figure out how to keep the data of the investment firm (their only client) online and Dinesh and Gilfoyle get into a pretty graphic argument about Gilfoyle’s relationship with Anton, the server farm.  As they are arguing, Jared brings in a potential replacement for him named Gladys.  Dinesh responds with, “I like your sweater.”  Nice save, Dinesh.

Jared interviews Gladys outside and starts sharing what a mess Pied Piper is, calling it essentially a “criminal operation.”  Then he asks her if she would be comfortable with casual racism.  Oh, Jared.  When Gladys notices the canopy that Erlich burned down in Ep. 8, she asks what happened and Jared simply responds with, “Uh, arson.”  Gladys, something tells me we won’t be seeing you again.

Speaking of Erlich, he is out with Gavin Belson in Tibet, and while Belson tries to meditate, Erlich keeps interrupting and streaming eps of House on his phone.  Belson finds out that the Hooli phones are blowing up, and suddenly, meditation isn’t seeming all that important anymore.

Dinesh & Richard go to check on Gilfoyle and this might be perhaps my fave Gilfoyle scene that happens this season (okay, maybe 2nd, because when he and Dinesh were wearing matching pajamas at Feldspar’s, that was also pretty great) – because his glasses broke, he is wearing contacts.  But not just any contacts.  Creepy contacts because one year he was a cat for All Hallows’ Eve.  Things aren’t looking good for Anton, he’s already heating up, and surprise, Gladys turned them down.

Richard tries utilizing all of his resources and calls Big Head (Josh Brener), who is a lecturer at Stanford. His lecturing isn’t going well because people have realized he’s just a guy sipping Big Gulps and doesn’t have an academic background.  Big Head gives Richard permission to get access to resources at Stanford to get Anton up and running, but no one can get online at the incubator because they had no money to pay the bill!  Richard needs to think of something, quick.

Belson now knows about the mess at Hooli and chooses ignorance over enlightenment.  He’s heading back to the states.

Richard lets Melcher know that the data is going to be offline for a bit and Melcher is standing next to his fiancée, Liz, who Richard slept with.  I am convinced she is going to be pregnant with Richard’s baby, but at the very least, it’s only a matter of time before Dan Melcher realizes that someone has slept with his 3rd (well, in this case almost-) wife.

Richard lies and says Big Head has approved them bringing Anton to Stanford, and Dinesh and Gilfoyle believe him.  Jared, of course, asks all the logistical questions that Richard does not want to answer, and Richard freaks out and waives Jared’s 2 weeks.  Poor Jared.  He’s going to call a Lyft to take him home. 😦

Jack Barker tries to make nice at the factory in China and tries to motivate them with the conjoined triangles of success.  As a result, Jack Barker is taken hostage.

As usual with Pied Piper (or maybe just Richard), everything starts falling apart as they try to get to Stanford on time.  The battery of the truck dies, they use some batteries from Anton to restart the car, but in the process, they leave the back of the moving truck open and Anton’s parts are strewn all over the streets.  Richard calls Big Head to meet them at the loading dock and Big Head is supposed to be giving a lecture, but he agrees to go.  At this time, Richard says, “I’ll explain later,” and Dinesh and Gilfoyle realize that Richard lied to them again.

Back at Hooli, Gavin Belson offers to resolve the hostage situation with Jack Barker, but he’s clearly going to rescue Jack and take back his company.  Erlich is on the floor, high off opium, and Belson hands the man a large amount of cash to keep Erlich there for 5 years.  This can’t really be how Erlich leaves the show, is it?

They finally meet Big Head and he does not like the idea…until he looks into the back of the truck and says, “It’s okay” because all of the pieces of Anton are spread ALL. OVER. THE. ROAD.  Richard lashes out at Gilfoyle and Dinesh, and in one of their rare moments of unity, they take the truck and leave Richard in the street.  Melcher calls & sends irate text messages, and Richard assumes it’s because the data is no longer online.

Richard goes to apologize to Jared, who is currently entertaining multiple women(!) and Jared decides to take him to Melcher’s office so that Richard can come clean about the data problem.  Jared also hands him a new job application and offers to be there until the bitter end.  Oh, be still, my Jared-loving heart.

Belson rescues Jack Barker, and the attendant announces they will be stopping at Jackson Hole first (which was a big debate in the first episode), and this will mark the end of Jack Barker (at least for now).

When Richard and Jared get to Melcher’s firm, Dinesh & Gilfoyle are there to support him when everything goes down.  All the feels.  When Richard checks in, a guy walking by mentions that their data storage network is awesome.  When Richard says it crashed that morning, the guy claims that he was using it 2 minutes ago.  They check it on the computer and Gilfoyle realizes that the smart fridges registered it as an update and now all the smart fridges are carrying the data (and the “Suck it, Jian Yang” addition Gilfoyle added).  Once again, Pied Piper is saved…and then Melcher comes swinging at Richard because he now knows Richard slept with Liz.  That poor guy.  I love that Jared tries to help Richard by hitting Melcher with a shoe(?).

The episode ends with Gavin and Richard meeting at the usual restaurant, and Gavin wants to acquire Pied Piper, because of course now Richard is swamped with funding offers.  Richard declines and Gavin tells him that he is going to devour Richard’s company. Richard states that his decentralized internet company is trying to make server companies like Hooli obsolete, so he will be doing the devouring. Burn.  Especially since Gavin gave him the patent.  Gavin says Erlich never showed in Tibet and leaves Richard with a bill and a mariachi band.

Final Thoughts:

  1. I was a little disappointed with this end for Erlich.  I am glad that it leaves the window open for him to potentially come back, but two episodes ago, I was picturing a darker ending for him.  This didn’t feel as organic as T.J. Miller said it would be in a previous interview.
  2. I would have loved to see some more Jian Yang & some Laurie or Monica in this episode.
  3. Jared continues to be my favorite character.  Zach Woods delivers every week.
  4. I am excited to see where next season is going!  Once again, Pied Piper is on top of the world, but will they stay there? (My guess: nope)

XOXO

Fangirl

 

Happy Friday!

I totally went MIA this week, but with good reason, I promise.  I will be back next week, and these are some of the things I’ll be covering:

  •  PLL Finale (I can’t believe it’s here!)
  • Book of Henry review (yeah, it’s a little delayed…)
  • Baby Driver review (just saw this!  So excited to share!)
  • New Tuesday Tip

And much more!

Have a fantastic weekend and have as many adventures as possible (because life is too short not to)!

XOXO

Fangirl