So as most people know by the thousands of pictures, tweets, and Facebook check-ins, I recently went back to NYC for another short trip!
My best friend, Devin, and I knew we had to get up there the second we saw Darren Criss would be the next Hedwig. Originally, there was going to be a big group of us going, but it whittled down to just the two of us.
So we left at 6am on July 14 and drove the long 14.5 hours to Wethersfield, CT where my big let us stay with her to help save some money. The trip there was pretty uneventful, except for having to drive through the city because I made a wrong turn and the hour of traffic we hit right inside CT.
We got up fairly early Wednesday morning and took the 2 hour train ride into NYC. I’d never been in Grand Central Station, so that was pretty cool in itself. We didn’t have a plan for that day until our 8pm showing of Hedwig. On the train, we entered the lottery for Something Rotten! We sadly lost, but we knew that, with all the rain coming that day, a matinee show was our best option.
We put Something Rotten, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The King and I, and Finding Neverland into a random generator and ended up buying discounted tickets (thank you to losing the lottery) to Something Rotten. Secretly, I was hoping that would be the outcome, considering Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James are both in that show and I’ve been obsessed with them since Smash.
Something Rotten is by far one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s basically a show about the 1500s, as we see from the opening song, Welcome to the Renaissance. Nick and Nigel Bottom (Brian d’Arcy James and John Cariani) are playwrights just trying to find a hit. Nick despises Shakespeare (Christian Borle) who is a massive, conceited jerk, but of course, everyone else in England loves him. So Nick, desperate, goes and sees a fortune teller (Brad Oscar) to try and find out Shakespeare’s next hit so he can write it first. The soothsayer has a vision about musicals, saying they’re the next big thing and that Shakespeare’s masterpiece will be called Omelette. And from there, you’ll just have to see it to find out where all this goes! The show is incredibly pun-ny and the cast is incredibly talented. I laughed so hard I cried.
After the show, we, of course, stage-doored, getting a fantastic spot right up front. I was super nervous and excited and got pictures with both Brian and Christian.
Before the show had started, we had been looking at the playbill and realized that John Cariani, a name we knew sounded familiar, wrote Almost, Maine (which was my senior show and quite possibly my favorite of the shows I did). Of course, this made us even more excited to meet him. While we were waiting for him to make his rounds at the stage door, one of John’s friends started talking to us, asking if we’d heard of Almost, Maine and such, and when John got to us, the guy immediately went, “They did Almost, Maine!”.
Between shows, we went and got cheesecake at Juniors (something that is quickly becoming a tradition!) and sat in Times Square and ate it for dinner.
Finally, it was Darren time. Our seats were phenomenal and we couldn’t be more excited. The cast walked out and I think we almost died, before Darren even showed up. Long story short, Darren was absolutely amazing at the role and I couldn’t be happier that I got a chance to see him.
Afterwards, the stage door was INSANE, as expected. We didn’t have the greatest spot and people were brutal with their elbows, but after waiting for an hour and a half (the same length of time the show lasts!!!) we finally met Darren Criss. So cross that off the bucket list! He was super sweet and surprisingly, very short.
So of course, we got back to CT at like 2am, still on a high and dreading our 7:30 wakeup call.
Thursday, we went straight to Bryant Park and got awesome seats for Broadway in Bryant. We saw the casts of Mamma Mia, Sistas: The Musical, Chicago, and Finding Neverland perform which was super cool. It was Mamma Mia’s last Broadway in Bryant (they close in September) which was really awesome to see for me, as it was the first show I ever saw in NYC and to this day, still one of my favorites. Judy McLane was phenomenal as always and I’m oh so sad that this show is closing (I will be seeing it in Nashville in April for sure).
After sitting there for two hours (very hot and very sunburned) we made our way to Central Park where it was absolutely beautiful in the shade with the wind blowing. It made me realize how lucky I was to be in such an amazing city with my best friend.
We went back to CT early that night and hung out with Alex and one of her friends before retiring to get sleep for our drive the next day.
This trip was absolutely amazing. Sure, it was short-lived, but I’m so glad I was able to go. I met three of my favorite people on Broadway, the writer of my favorite straight play and spent two full days in my favorite city. I got to see Darren Criss during his last week on Broadway. I got to see my big and hang out with my best friend. It was a perfect getaway and I can’t wait until I get to go back.
Until next time NYC.