Add theatre to our list of favorite travel activities. In London we saw “Wicked” and loved it. In New York, we saw “Chicago”, and yes, we loved it. Lest you think we’re “big production” snobs, we also saw the community pantomime in Kirkby Stephen, England…and loved it too.
Now, the original plan was for us to join Scott and Angela to see “Mama Mia”; tickets to this particular Saturday’s show had been his Christmas present to her. But timing, supply and demand, what have you, left us with only prohibitively expensive ticket options to that show. Instead, we had dinner with them, saw them off to their theatre as we headed to ours, with plans to meet up later and compare Playbills.
We’re glad it worked out that way. We probably would very much have enjoyed “Mama Mia”, but we really enjoyed “Chicago”. This was despite that we–perhaps like you–had seen the movie version with Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. But seeing the stage production is a world better, with nuances and humor and audience interaction making everything “crisper” and more engaging.
The night we saw “Chicago”, the lead of Roxie Hart was played by Jennifer Nettles, lead singer from country band Sugarland. Her performance was–as Lori relates with awe–absolutely perfect.
We assume you know a bit about the plot of Chicago: if you don’t, then plan a trip to New York to go see the musical, or see it if a production passes through your town. This blog, instead, is actually a bit of a nod to the venue the musical is currently playing in in NYC, the Ambassador Theatre.
What struck us as blog-worthy was that the Ambassador Theatre was so wonderfully personal and intimate. We’re not sure how many seats there are in the theatre, but it seems a small venue. Which, of course, adds tremendously to the overall experience.
According to Wikipedia (the source of all human knowledge), the Ambassador Theatre was built in 1921. It’s design, by architect Herbert J. Krapp (yes, that was his name), is unique in that it is set at an angle to its street, West 49th. You’ll get a sense of the unusual orientation as you enter and exit the theatre, your brain expecting doors, walls, and sidewalk to be at right angles.
Over the years, the Ambassador has seen productions including The Diary of Anne Franke, Godspell, Dreamgirls, and many others. It’s also been used as a movie theatre and an NBC television studio.
|Pre-Show at the Ambassador Theatre|
|Chuck and Lori at the Ambassador Theatre, New York|