On our third day in the Big Apple, we started out by walking around seeing some of the sights that should are legend to music lovers - Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and Julliard.
|The chandelier at the Metropolitan Opera|
During the day, we also saw some other famous sites in NYC, including Bloomingdale's and the trademark yellow cabs.
We spent most of our time around and in Central Park - we knew we would see more of the park on wheels than on foot, so we rented bikes and set out exploring. Even though you can only bike on the roads in the park, and had to walk the bikes on the other paths, we had a lot of fun. We saw Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge, the paddle boats and rock piles, Bethesda Terrace and the winged angel atop the fountain, and of course the amazing city skyline against all the gorgeous greenery.
It was an amazingly sunny and warm afternoon, so we grabbed a late lunch at a diner - my teriyaki chicken sandwich was delicious! - then returned to our hotel to freshen up before our Broadway show. We started out the evening visiting the lights of Times Square.
Then we headed down to Broadway to see some more of the theaters - we saw most of the Tony-nominated shows, including Hello, Dolly (starring Bette Midler), Anastasia, Phantom, Miss Saigon, Come From Away, Hamilton, Lion King, and Dear Evan Hansen.
But I was most excited to finally find our way to the Imperial Theater, where we had tickets to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, starring Josh Groban!!!! Even better, this is the theater where Les Miserables made its Broadway premier and played for 13 years. There are signs all around the theater with pictures of the cast, and so I had to take my photo with Josh every chance I got.
|Selfie with Josh!|
The theater itself is very unusual (and definitely changed from its Les Mis days). It's designed to look like a Russian salon, and the audience sits at tables and in booths on the stage. There are winding paths throughout the rest of the seats, and the cast dances and sings throughout the theater, interacting with the audience at several points. My seat was right on one of the walkways, and Josh ran right by me at one point! The music is very different as well - rather atonal and dissonant at times, and some of the lyrics are strange (at one point, one of the minor characters sings "says the mean old man in his underthings!"). Another unique feature of this musical is the fact that it doesn't really have a normal set, where the bedroom is in one area, the ballroom in another, etc. Instead, the whole stage is the whole set, other than a small round "pit" in the middle where the piano, drums, accordion, and bass are staged - this functioned as Josh's character Pierre's study. The rest of the orchestra is scattered throughout the theater, and the majority of the cast plays instruments as they sing and act - there were some really impressive guitarists dancing the Russian jumps while they played. Oh, and speaking of Pierre, Josh played three different instruments throughout the show (drums, piano, and accordion), and he played them WELL! He acted and danced (his dancing was comical, but in character), and of course he sang amazingly. He is one talented man!
|I sat right on this aisle.|
When I asked Stephanie if she wanted to go to NYC to see this show, she said she would even stand outside the stage door to try and meet Josh. I had never really heard of doing such a thing, but I was definitely all in! Of course, we weren't the only ones - there were a LOT of audience members out there. We were told ahead of time that Josh would sign autographs for all of us, but wouldn't pose for photos because he wanted to make sure to have time for everyone. How nice! We waited for a good while - he had to get out of his fat suit, of course! - but then he came out and signed all of our playbills. How amazing to be so close to one of my favorite singers!
We ended the evening by walking back through Times Square and having a light after-midnight dinner at TGI Fridays. It was a late night but SO MUCH FUN!!! I was so excited to experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure with my BFF.