By Leland Chow
Back in Malaysia, I was not entirely exposed to theatre productions. Hence, I was very excited when I first took my Introduction to Theatre class here in University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), USA. The class taught me how to appreciate theatre productions through watching plays and musicals, and also learning the process of producing a theatre production. I really enjoyed myself because I have always loved music since young, especially when it comes to musicals.
New York City (NYC) is famous for its Broadway productions. Broadway theatres are professional theatres that seat 500 people or more that are usually around the Broadway road. They are usually considered one of the top places for stage actors and actresses to perform at. Popular actors and actresses have transitioned from the big stage (theatre) to the big screen (film) and vice versa via Broadway productions.
I considered myself a very lucky man, having able to catch three different performances during my stay in NYC. The three were Something Rotten!, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and The Phantom of the Opera. My friend, Jade and I, were excited to watch Phantom and we decided to buy tickets for that performance in advance! Luckily, the cheapest was not too expensive and we bought the tickets for US$27 each.
However, after we bought the tickets, Jade said that she had to leave two days earlier because her classes were starting earlier than expected. Hence, she gave me the extra ticket and I found my other friend, Lauren, to go with me. Jade then had two extra tickets to Curious Incident from her aunt, and she asked me to accompany her for that performance.
Most Broadway productions offer a lottery to stand a chance to purchase tickets for a discounted price. There are also other places like TodayTix and the TKTS booth to purchase tickets at a discounted price if one does not win the lottery tickets as well. Something Rotten! was something I did not expect to watch. I entered a lottery to purchase the tickets for a reduced price (US$35 as compared to US$50), and I was fortunate enough to score a ticket to watch it! I sat on the first row where I was closest to the stage and managed to see everything in detail.
Something Rotten! and Phantom are musicals, while Curious Incident is a straight play. Each of them had unique characteristics that made them appealing to me. Something Rotten! was in a way a parody of a collection of musicals, with various musical references inserted in the lyrics. Curious Incident had an interesting premise where the main character was autistic and the audience could feel what he was feeling throughout the play. Phantom was a classic musical, which I believe that most people in the 20s have read it for their English literature component during their secondary school years.
Before going to NYC, I had the opportunity to watch two Broadway productions that were on tour that stopped by here in Lincoln, Nebraska. Some Broadway productions were successful enough that they got a Broadway tour, usually with a different cast.
Because I was a student in UNL, I managed to get tickets to watch the two Broadway productions free! The two productions, Anything Goes and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, were breathtaking, with each production mirroring the original Broadway production perfectly. I felt like I was in NYC watching in a Broadway theatre every time I watched a Broadway tour production. I also believed that these two musicals were the sparks that kindled my interest to watch a Broadway production in NYC!