In order to do a trip to New York, I and a group of my friends had to plan it in advance and calculate time and costs of stay there. First of all, in order to see four performances on Broadway, it would take us a week of time to stay in New York. The roundtrip flight tickets would be around $270 per person. Potential accommodation would have to be quite far from the city centre and Manhattan in order to save some money. One of the potential options might be Sun Bright Hotel in Chinatown, which would cost $180 for 6 nights. So we would have to include money on travelling inside the city. Overall budget would have to be around $1000-1200 per person.
The first theatrical performance I would like to visit is musical "The Phantom of the Opera". The main reason why is that I had always wanted to watch it live in Manhattan Majestic theatre and to compare it to Joel Schumacher's movie version. According to New York Times reviewer Jason Zinoman, the musical "really shows its age (17 years and running) when the signature special effect is presented". But, he also wrote that acting of the lead cast Sandra Joseph and Hugh Panaro was excellent. It would be also interesting to view a classic musical in its old-fashioned performance. Location is Majestic Theatre, 247 West 44th Street in Manhattan. Prices range from $52 at rear Mezzanine to $262 for premium seats.
The second musical I would like to visit is "Wicked". The main reason is not because I am personally a huge fan of it but because I would like to see what the same Jason Zinoman calls "the reigning king of the commercial theatre". I would like to understand why it gained such popularity and according to one of the fans - Hazel Machete "this musical brought on my obsession with Broadway musicals". Again it will be interesting to see how performance of the new cast is different from the old version. So it would be possible to view older recordings and compare to the today acting of Megan Hilty, as Glinda, and Shoshana Bean, as Elphaba. It is also educative to see how fairytales suite into the modern, popular culture. The musical is performed at the Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street, Manhattan. Prices for tickets range from $95 to $316 and should be bought in advance, because they are seldom available a week before.
Being in New York, I would definitely want to get a chance to see "Hamlet" in staging by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London. It is one of the rare occasions to observe "Hamlet" "staged on simple wooden set, based on the traditional Elizabethan model, the production features a compact company of just eight actors" (Isherwood). This play would give me an opportunity to understand what classic staging and English theatre look like. Another reason to choose this play is the leading actor Michael Benz, who at his 30 is considered to be one of the youngest actors to perform this role. The performance takes place off Broadway, at the Michael Schimmel Centre for the Arts, Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza. For this reason, prices range from $30 to $55.
The last performance I would like to visit is modern and brand new play by Craig Wright "Grace". The main reason why I would like to watch this performance is because it is extraordinary in its structure, morale and complexity of themes. According to Ben Brantley's review, "the play opens on several corpses, who then rise and act out the last moments of their lives in reverse order, as if a tape were being rewound". I find it interesting to see how a movie trick is used in play and performed on the stage. Acting of Michael Shannon and change of light and shadow were also stressed as advantages of the play. It would be also relevant to watch this play for its philosophic meaning. The location is the Cort Theatre, 138 West and 48th Street. Prices range from $32-to $132.
Brantley, Ben. "Faith, Doubt and All Sorts of Scars. Theatre Review on 'Grace'", The New York Times, 4 Oct 2012. Web. 5 Oct 2012.
Isherwood, Charles. "Yes, a Blended Family Can Be a Pain, but That Danish Prince Tries His
Best. Theatre Review on 'Hamlet'", The New York Times, 3 Oct 2012. Web. 5 Oct 2012.
Zinoman, Jason. "A Pair of New Witches, Still in Search of the Right Spell. Theatre Review on 'Wicked'", The New York Times, 15 July 2005. Web. 5 Oct 2012.
Zinoman, Jason. "Old and Ghostly but still a Hoot. Theatre Review on 'The Phantom of the Opera'", The New York Times, 1 July 2005. Web. 5 Oct 2012.