A Bit of Broadway: How to Connect to Broadway When You’re Miles From NYC
Being many miles away from NYC, it may seem hard to have a Broadway experience. However, there are plenty of ways to feel connected to Broadway from across the country. Not only are there the obvious ways, like through the internet and social media, but there are also local theatre productions or cabarets. So if you, like me, are many miles away from Broadway and NYC, here are ways that you can create a Broadway experience in your own city.
I enjoy watching local theatre productions of musicals or plays. College and local productions of musicals are usually cheaper than touring productions and can showcase new talent. Some theaters are small and in my opinion, I think that sometimes makes a great experience to be close up to the action. A favorite experience of mine was being just feet from the stage of a local performance of Rent; “La Vie Boheme” was a lot fun. I have attended great productions at my college (Side Show was my favorite) and in my hometown (great production of Into the Woods). I always enjoy seeing the talent that may possibly be the future of Broadway. There is talent everywhere and local productions showcase it to the community.
I like how these performances often showcase the community itself, too. I once attended a production of In the Heights in a small historic town in Oklahoma and not only was it a great performance, but I could also sense the support from the community. Attending these productions, you can get a sense of community from the box office to the stage. Some local theaters have a subscription for tickets to their entire season or they usually have advertisements around town to keep up to date with shows.
Performing arts centers are the best place for musicals and/or plays straight from NYC. Touring productions of Broadway musicals come through town each season along with Broadway talent. I like seeing the variety of shows that come or even sometimes return. It’s also good to look out for any events or promotions that the performing arts center puts on in the community. I’ve recently learned about cabarets by local theaters in my area and look forward to attending them.
Websites and social media
Of course, this site is a great resource for music by up-and coming MT writers, and this blog is great to hear different perspectives from all over on many topics throughout musical theatre. I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from fellow bloggers. To keep up with Broadway news, I read mainstream sites like Playbill and Broadway.com. I also love watching Broadway.com’s vlogs by actors in current shows, which give fans a backstage view.
Then there is social media, like Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr. Broadway musicals and plays have Twitter or Facebook accounts that share pictures, clips, interviews, or articles about the show. Twitter and Tumblr are great to connect with other fans of musicals as well as actors on Broadway. A fun thing to see on social media is all the different Saturday intermission pictures, or #SIP, from shows on Broadway and all over the country. One of my favorite Twitter accounts is @BroadwayGirlNYC. She’s the ultimate Broadway fangirl who shares her experiences. One moment she’s sharing what performance she’s at, and then the next moment she’s conducting a great interview with Hamilton’s Chris Jackson for AOL Build:
Right now, it’s fun to track #Ham4Ham on Twitter to see videos from Hamilton’s lottery mini show. Lin-Manuel Miranda or other Hamilton cast members will perform for the large lottery crowd and sometimes bring friends to join them.
YouTube is also a great source for discovering performances. There are channels such as FamousinNY that post videos from concerts or cabarets in NYC. Composers, writers and singers also have their own channels to share their work. Some of my favorite channels include Drew Gasparini, Kerrigan-Lowdermilk, and Ryan Scott Oliver. Watching the videos on these channels makes me feel like I’m part of the show, even from so many miles away.
I like to browse the theatre section of any bookstore just to see what I can find. It’s cool just to look through different books about certain productions or the history of Broadway. You never know what you will find; sometimes you can find old Playbills, and once I even found a Chicago book/script for a dollar. I live far away from Chicago on Broadway, but it’s cool to read through the script and the lyrics to each song.
These are the ways I bring a little bit of Broadway close to home. What ways do you experience Broadway in your town? What are some unique theatre experiences in your area?
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