Summer should be a time to do things you can’t do every day when you’re at school, like going to New York City to enjoy a Broadway show. And if you’re in Binghamton for summer session, a trip to the Big Apple to see a play or musical could be the perfect escape from upstate N.Y. So with so many wonderful, award-winning productions out this summer, shake up your dull routine and check one out.
Winner of best musical at the 2012 Tony Awards, “Once” is based on the Academy Award-winning film about an Irish musician who develops an unexpected friendship with a Czech immigrant as the two bond over their love of music.
The New York Post raves that “Once” is “a gem of a show. ‘Once’ wins its standing ovations the old-fashioned way: with a love story, great songs, compelling characters and inventive stagecraft. At this point in Broadway history, this feels downright revolutionary.”
If you have an interest in music, you’ll enjoy the way the play uses it as a healing power. Romantic comedies and chick flicks at your local movie theater have nothing on this heartwarming musical where, “to live, you have to love,” as main character Guy says.
Known especially for its amazing score and choreography that won the production two 2012 Tony awards, “Newsies” is perfect to entertain you this summer. The musical is based off of the 1992 film “Newsies,” which was inspired by the lives of those involved in the Newsboys Strike of 1899.
The star of the show is Jeremy Jordan, who plays Jack Kelly, a newspaper boy who starts a protest when the publisher of New York World, Joseph Pulitzer, increases the cost of the newspapers. You may recognize him as Randy from “Joyful Noise,” which came out earlier this year with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah.
“Newsies” is a must see; it will have you dancing in your seat all the way through curtain call as the cast even takes their final bows while doing some of their favorite dance moves from the show.
“Peter and the Starcatcher”
It’s Neverland like you’ve never seen it before. Based on the 2006 novel, “Peter and the Starcatcher” provides a backstory for “Peter Pan” and a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy.” The production has made its way from California to Off Broadway, and since April of this year, “Peter and the Starcatcher” has taken Broadway by storm.
One of the lead actors is Christian Borle, who has recently been simultaneously playing the music composer, Tom on the NBC drama series “Smash.” The New York Times calls it “the most exhilarating Broadway storytelling in decades! You must experience it for yourself.” As a student you can relate to the fear of growing up and facing the unknown future that is in store as you watch the production.
“Book of Mormon”
“Book of Mormon” may already be selling tickets through 2148, but it’s one show you want to see as soon as you can. Wait outside the theater for days if you have to. From the creators of “South Park,” “Book of Mormon” is a musical religious satire about two young Mormon missionaries who try to share their beliefs with the locals of a remote village in northern Uganda, where they are all consumed with war, famine, poverty and AIDS.
“It was unlike any other show I’ve seen on Broadway,” said Jennifer Brogna, a junior majoring in psychology. “There were moments where you would go, ‘Can they even say that?’ Matt Stone and Trey Parker are geniuses. One of the funniest musicals ever written.”
Not all great shows are directly on Broadway. Mary Chase’s “Harvey” is a hilarious play about a man named Elwood Dowd, played by Jim Parsons from “Big Bang Theory,” who has an imaginary friend named Harvey, who he describes as a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall pooka resembling a rabbit. His sister Veta cannot stand the embarrassment of Elwood introducing Harvey to her friends any longer, and decides to have him committed. A comedy of errors ensues from there.
“I have seen ‘Harvey’ before when the Hinman Production Company did it my freshman year, so when I heard Jim Parsons was in it in the off Broadway production I got really excited,” said Matthew Pereira, a junior majoring in biochemistry. “’Harvey’ is definitely an entertaining play especially for those looking for something other than a musical this summer.”
With so many Binghamton University students in the tri-state area, meeting up in the City for a day of theater is a great way to enjoy the months away from the Binghamton cold. And if you’re up in Bing all summer and looking for a weekend getaway, a Broadway show could be an awesome opportunity.