NYC 2014: The Fun

Friday, December 5, 2014

We've been back from New York for almost a week and I am still filled to the brim with the city's infectious energy.

Our trip was wonderful. I mean, I always look forward to visiting and have a lot of fun planning our time there. Corbin managed to get around okay on his crutches and we were able to pack in SO MUCH in just five days. Rather than give a play by play of our days there, I've decided to break down the trip into two posts "the fun" and "the food".

A big part of why I love New York includes the incredible theatre scene. Between Broadway, off Broadway, off off Broadway, amazing concerts & cabarets and classes galore, I always leave feeling inspired and enthusiastic about my job as a performer. There are so many wonderful and intriguing things playing on Broadway right now, it was really tough to choose what we would see! We managed to squeeze in 4 shows in 5 days, which was awesome.

Honeymoon in Vegas | broadway

Of the 4 shows that we saw it would be difficult to pick a favourite because they were so vastly different. BUT Honeymoon in Vegas may have taken that spot for me. It was already special to see even before it started because Corbin and I got to hear some of the songs from the show last year when we attended Jason Robert Brown's concert at 54 Below. It was very cool to hear how these songs had evolved and see them in the context of the show. It was really, really funny with a stellar cast and great music. It's only in previews right now, but I would really love to see it do well. So good!!

Pippin Broadway

Since we were there over Thanksgiving, Broadway's schedule was a little different than usual and on Thursday night (Thanksgiving) there were only a few shows playing. Pippin was one of them and I managed to score us some rush tickets in the morning (as we navigated around the parade in a car!) Pippin was visually stunning with a cast who had an amazing set of tricks. Carly Hughes was divine as the Leading Player. Josh Kaufman, less so. He was the winner of The Voice - season 6 so he could sing well... but that was about it. I'm glad that we saw it, but overall I was underwhelmed.

Disenchanted NYC

Disenchanted was the reason we chose to go to New York in the last week of November, because my friend Bobby was playing in the band and the show was beginning previews after a run in Orlando. Bobby had been telling me for months how funny the show was and how great the cast was onstage, so I was really stoked to see this one (and him!). It did not disappoint!! Disenchanted tells the untold story of 10 Disney princesses. It's smart, funny and the music is catchy. The 6 gals in the cast were ridiculously talented and each of them had so many great moments in the show. I especially loved Lulu Picart as Hua Mulan Pocahontas and Princess Badroulbador, Alison Burns as Belle, The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel and Becky Gulsvig as Cinderella. The costumes were perfect and the show had a good message. I couldn't help but sit for the duration of the show thinking "Can someone PLEASE do this show in Toronto?!?" They officially opened last night and I really help they have a good long run in New York.

I was having trouble choosing our final show for our visit. There are so many incredible shows and finally I decided on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I loved the book when I read it a couple of years ago and I was intrigued by how they would adapt it for the stage.

It was phenomenal.

They did an amazing job with the adaptation, capturing the feeling of the book and giving the audience an inside view into what it could be like to live with autism. The creative team accomplished this with an awesome cast (especially Alex Sharp as Christopher, making his Broadway debut) and an impeccable set, sound and lighting design and incredible choreography. I was seated in the very back row of the balcony (rush tickets again) and I loved that I had a perspective of the entirety of the stage. It's playing both on Broadway and in London's West End and highly recommend that you see it if you have the chance.

NYC tip for tickets: Check out to see if the shows you want to see have a rush ticket policy. You can potentially score great tickets for $35-$40 on the morning of the show at the box office. We did this for both Pippin and Curious Incident. Also check out the TodayTix app for iPhone or Android. Lots of great deals on tickets (same day and a week in advance). Feel free to use the referral code LRLJJ to get $20 off your first order. It's awesome to save money on tickets and both options save you having to wait in line at TKTS!

In addition to all of the time we spent on Broadway, we also navigated to the Nassau Coliseum for a New York Islanders game!

New York Islanders vs Washington Capitals

New York Islanders fans
We had so much fun when we went to the game last year and it's crazy how affordable it is to go to a game in Uniondale vs. going to one in Toronto. For the price we paid for 2 GREAT tickets on Stubhub, a car rental, gas and tolls, we would barely be able to get ONE ticket to see the Leafs play in Toronto. And the Islanders fans are awesome! People can afford to bring their families, they sing songs about their players and when the game was tied with 4 minutes to go, people were on their feet cheering the boys on. The energy in the stadium was ELECTRIC and the Islanders ended up winning with 23 seconds left in overtime with a sweet goal by their captain, John Tavares.

When we weren't navigating New York State freeways or hanging out near Times Square, we spent our time checking out some of our favourite places including some great restaurants (details in my next NYC post), heading to some of my favourite stores (such as Harney and Sons), getting to know the Lower East Side, driving through Central Park and partaking in a little bit of Black Friday shopping. I scored some jeans for $7.80 at Forever 21 on Black Friday eve, some great new bras at Victoria's Secret and we paid a visit to the 24 hour Apple store for Corbin to get a new iPhone. Nothing crazy (like the people who were camped out in tents at Best Buy!!) but fun to splurge a little bit.

NYC remains my very favourite place and this trip certainly satisfied my craving to visit once again. I left feeling inspired, giddy, even more in love and happy about life!!

Ashley Gibson and Corbin Smith in NYC

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