After semi-hibernating for the last couple of month, as the snow and ice have made the city treacherous for us boomers, it’s time to come out and shake off the winter cobwebs. Broadway is buzzing with new shows, music venues are introducing new performances, and museums and galleries have rolled out their spring offerings. It’s a full smorgasbord of culture to choose from. As always, we look for events that even boomers on fixed budgets can afford, with a target price from $0-$50.
As we bid good riddance to February, we still have not been able to score tickets in our price range to two of last month’s picks, Fish in the Dark and Audience. Both had such strong starts that no discounts are available. We did catch one of the early previews of Heidi Chronicles, on TDF discount tickets. It was still a bit rough around the edges, but if that show is on your list, catch a preview now. The play takes us boomers down the memory lane, but it’s also a thought-provoking evening for our adult children. Another show on our February list, On the Twentieth Century, got a thumbs up from our theater maven friend, so you might check it out also.
FOR THEATER LOVERS, March is bringing a long list of musicals to Broadway. We are listing just shows in previews because that’s when we have best luck with discount tickets at half price or less. A few shows we are looking forward to are:
The King and I
Previews start on March 12 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center. This revival of the great Rogers and Hammerstein musical is headlined by Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe.
An American in Paris
Previews start March 13 at the Palace Theater. This musical by the Gershwin brothers is based on a 1951 movie starring Leslie Caron, with Gene Kelly. Gene Kelly will be a hard act to follow, but the show includes some great songs, including “I Got Rhythm” and “Our Love is here to stay”.
It Shoulda Been You
Previews start on March 17, at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. This new musical about a wedding that unravels has Tyne Daly playing another strong-willed Mama. If you loved her Mama Rose a few seasons back in Gypsy, here’s your chance to see what she does with this mother-of-the-groom. (She’s actually the mother-of-the bride. The mother-of -the groom was hilarious, as well. I saw this show and loved it.)
Previews start on March 19 at the Neil Simon Theater. Another show based on a 1950’s movie set in Paris, and one that also starred Leslie Caron, with Maurice Chevalier. This revival of the Frederick Loewe /Alan Jay Lerner musical will feature pop star Vanessa Hudgens in the title role.
Previews start on March 27 at the Broadway Theater. The word is that this show by Lucy Simon, Michael Korie and Amy Powers that premiered in 2006 to mixed reviews, has been revamped for its Broadway debut. We’ll see how Yuri, Tonya, Lara, Pasha, Komarovsky and company survive their entry to Broadway.
On the drama front, we are looking forward to a set of two plays based on Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. (We are also still holding out hope for discount offers in our price range to Audience with Helen Mirren.)
Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two
Previews open on March 20 at the Winter Garden Theater. These two plays arrive after lauded runs at the Royal Shakespeare Company and on the West End in London.
FOR MUSIC LOVERS, Metropolitan Opera has several perennial crowd pleasers on their March schedule. During the first half of the month you can catch Don Giovanni, Carmen and Les Contes d’Hoffmann and during the second half, Manon and Lucia di Lammermoor, among others. Check out our tips for scoring Lincoln Center discount tickets, including the $25 rush tickets.
Our favorite off-Lincoln Center music venue Merkin Concert Hall is again offering a long and varied list of classical music performances with prices that fit even the most frugal boomer’s budgets.
FOR ART LOVERS, we suggest that as the snow and ice finally melt in Central Park, you stroll through and check out the signs of spring on your way to an afternoon at the Met, or at our personal favorite, the Frick.
Another perfect destination for that March walk to scout for signs of spring is the High Line. If you missed walking the new section in the fall, now is your second chance to see it before the masses of tourists appear. While on the High Line, you can also get off around 23rd Street and visit some of the art galleries that have sprouted up in that area.
Finally, if you still have some time to fill, check out what lectures and events our friends at thoughtgallery.org have picked out for every day of the month.