Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Theater in and out of the Lehigh Valley

I've spent the last two Fridays inside theaters in the Lehigh Valley. It's too late for you to see the Act 1 production of "Guys and Dolls" at DeSales (which I loved) but you can still catch "Rent" at the Civic Theatre in Allentown. It runs through May 23 and tickets are $31 or less.

There was a red carpet on opening night, and Lehigh Valley Style was snapping pics as patrons arrived. Fun! Even though the show was performed by amateurs, it was a lot of fun, and some great vocal performances stand out in my mind. The cast, which includes community members ranging from a civil engineer to a medical sales rep to college students, obviously enjoyed performing the show. You can't help but get caught up in that enthusiasm. Now that the local spring musical season is over, I'm thinking about taking a day trip to NYC to see a show.

How to get there: If you're like me, you prefer public transportation to driving. I figure if I don't need to drive around when I'm there, I don't need to drive there. There are two charter bus companies that will pick you up in the Lehigh Valley deliver you directly to Port Authority for $40 round trip (less than parking in some cases AND you can sleep or listen to show tunes on your iPod).

How to get tickets: When you arrive, head straight for Times Square and queue up at the Theater Development Fund's TKTS booth to get tickets for one of the shows that is not sold out yet that afternoon or evening. TKTS Discount Booths offer tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50% off. If you aren't picky, you can see some great shows. I've seen James Spader and David Alan Grier in Race and James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden in God of Carnage that way. I even had a balcony seat for God of Carnage! Broadway Box is also a good resource for discount codes. Disclaimer: If you have 10 family members coming into town and everyone wants to see Mary Poppins, you should probably order your tickets in advance so your cousins from Tuscon aren't disappointed.

Can you recommend a Broadway show, or another great way to get to New York on the cheap?

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