The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Rocky Horror in MN, Shrek in CA and Silence in NY

The two biggest pieces of feedback I got from my Producer’s Perspective survey was 1) more details on the day to day of production a show (see Godspell blog) and 2) more giveaways for people around the country (see THIS blog!)

Today, I’ve got tickets to giveaway for three great shows in three great theater cities around the country.

We’ll have three separate winners this week, one for each show in each city.

For NYers, we’ve got two tickets to Silence, the “unauthorized” (ooooh) musical version of Silence of the Lambs, which features Jenn Harris, Brent Barrett and one of my favorite funnymen in the city (and original cast member of The Awesome 80s Prom), Jeff Hiller.  Silence is also directed by my Godspell and Altar Boyz choreographer, Christopher Gattelli.  By the way, if you think Book of Mormon is the only musical that uses the “C” word in a lyric, you’re wrong.  🙂

For you Hollywood types, we’ve got two tickets to see Shrek at The Pantages in Los Angeles, where the Green Monster will be running from 7/12 – 7/31.  I love seeing touring productions of shows, especially after I’ve seen them on Broadway, because you can see how the team adapted the show and the set to travel from city to city in a bunch of buses and trucks.  Some shows do it well, some don’t.  But I’m hearing a lot of good things from Ogreland.

And finally, in my favorite little theater city in the Midwest, Minneapolis, we’ve got two tickets to an immersive Rocky Horror.  And if you think this is just another small regional production, you’d be mistaken. They’ve recorded a ‘single,’ made a commercial, and have got some home-grown American Idol talent in the show, which takes place in a 6,000sq ft warehouse.

So how do you win?

As much as I love NYC and think it is the theater capital of the world, great theater happens all over (because there are great theater people all over).

Comment below with the best theater experience you’ve had in a city (any city) other than NYC.  Let’s give some shout-outs to some other great cities cross the country.

And let’s give away some tickets!


(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



– 95 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

  • Sarah P. says:

    Well, my best non-NYC theatre experiences have actually been in Canada (sorry!), at the amazing Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario – home of the best Shakespeare productions ever, and some fantastic musicals as well! (That’s where I first saw ‘Gypsy’, in fact!) They have some incredible talent – many of whom end up on Broadway, of course, like Brent Carver, Brian Bedford and the like…I saw Christopher Plummer’s ‘Barrymore’ there before it headed to Bway, for example.
    As for the U.S., back when I lived in Michigan I did see some wonderful productions at the University of Michigan (where I used to work), which should come as no surprise given the proven excellence of their Musical Theatre program, spawner of many a Broadway talent.
    P.S. As I am a New Yorker currently, I’d be entering for the Silence tix. 🙂

    • Moises says:

      HOLES’! This is the first review I have ever made. This is also the first play I have ever been to and I thuoght it was great! That is all I have to say about the play! I especially like the characters and thuoght they did an amazing job! They knew their lines and there were no disruption throughout the play.The props were very well done and went along well with the play. My favorite part about the props was the truck. It was the back of a pick up truck with a watering can in the back of it. Also on the floor in the back were holes were it made the cast look like they were digging holes and the front of the stage had holes that came from the ground and could go away. I thuoght all props were amazing.The characters were great also. Sometimes you could tell that they were newer than others and not as experienced as others. On some of the parts I thuoght they looked like the real characters and kind of spoken like them. In the hand-out they gave us it tell what character played who and I thuoght everybody had there own part, not that some actors and actresses had more than one part. I thuoght that was real neat also.I also liked the choreography in the play Holes. It was very well organized and funny. The fighting part was my favorite because it looked like they were actually getting hurt. Also when they would switch to

  • Sarah K says:

    Best non-NYC theater experience: Last fall’s Cabaret, at American Repertory Theater. They turned the theater into a gorgeously decrepit old cabaret space and served absinthe-laced drinks at the bar….it was pretty amazing to have the Kit-Kat boys and girls dancing on the bar while I was drinking my cocktails and watching the show!

  • Sarah says:

    My best theater experience in the past year has been CYCLOPS: A Rock Opera, which will actually be making its way to NYMF this fall! It is a postmodern glam rock adaptation of Euripides’ satyr play, a carnivalesque retelling of Odysseus’ encounter with the Cyclops. I have enjoyed watching this show grow and develop since its first incarnation at Son of Semele to the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse – and I can’t wait to visit and check out their new version in NYC. LA theater affords so many opportunities for unique ensemble collaborations in gritty and intimate black box theaters. CYCLOPS is brash, confrontational, smart, innovative – and just plain fun. It could very well be the next Hedwig. It’s always exciting to watch and (as a critic) be a little part of that developmental process.
    Entering for SHREK tickets! 🙂

  • Susan says:

    Hard to pick only one since I have seen so many superb Emerson College productions in Boston, but I will go back to my childhood when I saw Julie Harris as “The Belle of Amherst” at the Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ.

  • says:

    One of my favorite theatrical experiences has been in Ashland, Oregon. It is known for being one of the Shakespeare capitals of the world and I was lucky enough to see some 3 different shows at their summer festival. Of course, the Shakespeare was astonishing! I saw Merchant of Venice and Hamlet. What surprised me most was their production of the musical “She Loves Me”. I had never seen the show before and I was amazed by how “put together” and utterly charming it was. The actors were terrific and sounded beautiful. Out of a sea of Shakespearean actors, they had found singers that could bring the house down. I LOVED that I got to see the man playing a comical waiter in “She Loves Me” play the title role in “Hamlet”. All of the actors worked together in all of the different shows and were willing to step back out of the spotlight to give a fellow performer a turn. I have never seen such a gripping Shylock monologue, such a breathtaking performance of “Ice Cream”, or such a darn good production of one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies. I live in New York, all the way across the country from the quaint town of Ashland, but I intend to go back whenever I possibly can.

  • Richard S. - NYC says:

    When i was in the 4th grade, my dad took us to see Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. We sat in the second row and my sister and I were bursting with excitement – it was my first experience at a large-scale show and i was aching with anticipation. Shortly before the curtain, my dad teased us with the apocryphal fact that Sandy Duncan has a glass eye. Every time she flew over head (which, in those pre-spiderman days, she seemed to do quite frequently), i was terrified that her eye would fall out and i’d be forced to catch it, lest it shatter on the floor. Despite my anxiety, it proved to be a magical night and ignited a life-long love of theater.

  • Amyleigh1982 says:

    I’m biased by being from LA, but I have a great respect for the black box productions that go on here. No one really expects these shows to be phenomenal hits or to break even (though they’d always like them to). The people doing these shows do it for pure love of the art form and the chance to try something that would have never been possible at a larger venue. That’s how we get some notable actors in off-beat productions – they just WANT to be part of something (it certainly ain’t for the money). It’s passion that fuels these shows, and that’s the magical something that larger productions occasionally forget.

  • Bert says:

    For me, it’s happening right now in New Haven, Connecticut. Pantochino Productions is Connecticut’s brand new ridiculously entertaining theatre company. Yes, this is my new company–and launching it has been the BEST theatre experience I’ve had in theatre outside of New York. Our “Lifeboat, Dahling!” was a hit here, our touring show “The Bookworms” is a big success, and we’ve successfully completed a kickstarter fundraising campaign and will be debuting “Cinderella Skeleton, the Musical” here in New Haven this fall! Check out our website, and you’ll get a snapshot of the next big thing in New Haven (and one day, the world!)

  • Rebecca L. says:

    I saw Spelling Bee in Chicago when I was there for a leadership conference in high school and LOVED it! I had missed the show in NYC and was so thrilled to enjoy it there. It’s the only time I’d seen a big tour anywhere other than Baltimore (my home town), and it really made me wonder about all the different spaces these productions must have to deal with!

  • Jake says:

    The Philly theatre scene is ever-growing, and perhaps the best thing I ever saw there (or anywhere, for that matter) was a production of Parade at the Villanova University Master’s in Theatre program. The program is a recognized force in Philly theater, and is a frequent Barrymore nominee/winner. It was my first encounter with Parade, and it was heart-breaking and thrilling. The courtroom scene that takes up most of the second half of act one was perhaps the most interestingly staged part of the show. When the prosecuting attorney brought his witnesses in, the attending crowd sat with their backs to the audience, we became a part of the crowd. When Leo took the witness stand (for the haunting “It’s Hard to Speak My Heart”) the director flipped the room around. Leo was now on our side, while the crowd in attendance faced us and him. We were on trial with Leo, and it was a frightening way to experience the moment.
    The production made me angry, it made me sad, and it made me yearn for catharsis. I only wish it could have run for years.
    And if this says anything, the director of that production is now the president of the University.

  • Jed Harris Jr. says:

    When I was a teenager, I got tickets to the legendary production of O’Neill’s A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN starring Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst and Ed Flanders. Sadly, none of them are still with us, nor is the Morosco Theater on 45th Street where it played.
    My friend and I were autograph hounds back then. We used to go backstage and wait with our Playbills in hand.
    A grumpy Robards pushed past us without obliging (still loved him though!). But the doorman invited us in to meet Dewhurst and Flanders.
    Incredibly enough, the great Dewhurst invited us into her dressing room and insisted on serving us Cokes! And Flanders also ushered us into his dressing room and showed us his various wigs, toupees, etc.
    The show was unforgettable and so was the aftershow!

  • Kevin Rhodes says:

    When I first saw the touring company of “Spring Awakening” here in LA about two years ago, I was lucky enough to have a seat in the first row. For the song “Left Behind” the cast came and sat on the edge of the stage to grieve the death of their friend, Moritz. It was such a powerful and emotional moment and I immediately connected with the characters eyes that were just two feet in front of me and the tears began to fall. I also broke out into the ugly cry. It was a brilliant moment of theatre that I shall never forget.

  • Max says:

    In June 2009, I saw Jerry Springer: The Opera at Speak Easy Stage Company in Boston. Loved it.
    Entering For Silence.

  • Myers Dinner Theater is such a wonderful, family-oriented theatre with amazing performers and incredible shows. Got the wonderful pleasure of seeing Always Patsy Cline there!
    -entering for Silence

  • Michael says:

    One of the best shows I ever saw was a production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at this little dinner theater in New Jersey. The cast was incredibly talented, and I”m sure many of them were bound for Broadway. Shout out to Jersey! For what was basically a multipurpose room with tables and a platform stage – those kids worked really hard 🙂
    I love living on the west coast, but you can’t always find the quality of the East coast!

  • Scott Neese says:

    I got a chance to see the new production of Parade here in LA, at the Mark Taper Forum, directed by Rob Ashford. Wow! is all I can say. Incredible production in a theatre that put the action so close to the audience. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

  • Michael Reed says:

    I went to the University of Michigan and I’m a die hard UMich Musical Theatre fan. My favorite non-NY performance was a performance of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party. It was performed by an all student run group called MUSKET and was lead by the amazing Chelsea Krombach as Queenie.

  • Tim O'Donnell says:

    My most memorable out of town theatre experience was the second half of the original US production of Children of Eden at the North Shore Music Theatre. I’m still in awe of how much that show and production moved me and I still talk about it until this day. It was truly an out of body experience. Although I live in NYC now, I always get up there when I can, especially now that they are alive and kicking again!

  • Stephanie Warren says:

    I feel so lucky to live in NYC and see so many amazing shows. Being a new native of the city vs a tourist I have found that I love the intimate theater experiences. “Our Town” at Barrow Street, “Three Sisters” at CSC or “Peter and the Starcatcher” at NYTW have all been such amazing shows, and the small, intimate venues (along with the amazing casts!) were what made them such great experiences.

  • Liz Wollman says:

    I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and saw some of the best theater, ever, at Carnegie-Mellon University as a kid in the 1980s. High points were an avant-garde version of “Ghosts” involving a lot of topsoil and life-sized voodoo dolls; a kickass production of “Guys and Dolls,” and a summer-stock “Sweeney Todd” that I continue to think about, decades later.
    (for “Silence” tickets)

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    For me, it was seeing a great performer, in a role written for him, perform it one of the last times. I live in NYC now, but I was living in LA (where I am now until the 19th..eeeek) but would fly back to NYC to catch shows twice a year and saw Phantom very early on with Michael Crawford. I then saw it a second time on my next trip. I was an Ahmanson subscriber, so as LA was want to do in those days, when a Broadway show came to LA, they would put TV stars in it. When Phantom came to LA, Robert Guillame was the star. As brilliant an actor as he is, he was totally wrong for the part. Then the Ahmanson announced MIchael Crawford would return to play the Phantom the final six weeks of the run. I RAN to get tickets. And he didn’t disappoint. Rarely have I seen a theatre crowd respond to an actor they way they did to him when he made his entrance. You could tell from his perfomance, the pure joy he felt for the part.. a part he knew would always be his defining moment as an actor

  • Aaron Pratt says:

    My best theatre experience outside of New York was on a visit to Chicago. While checking out the city, I stopped into a Chicago version of a “TKTS” booth, but instead of just carrying the big commercial shows, this showcased all theatre happening in the area (why don’t we have anything like that in NYC?). Anywho, I selected “Doubt” which was playing in a small neighborhood outside the city. When I arrived, to my amazement there were only about 15 seats in the entire house! Now, knowing the NY theatre scene and just a bit about commercial theatre, the first thought that ran through my head was “uh oh” – I mean, how could a show that has this small of a house be any good? Well, I’ll be darned if by the 2nd Act I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat, absolutely riveted. And I’ll also be darned if by the end of the show all 13 people in that audience got their butts right out of their chairs for an immediate standing ovation, including my skeptical one. It showed me that theatre of all sizes, not just the big kind, can still “make it work.”

  • Jacob Rico says:

    I am so glad that you are doing a contest that has a prize in CA. I always look at all these wonderful prizes and then die a little on the inside knowing that I can’t use them even if I win.
    My best theater experience was in a little 20 seat black box theater in North Hollywood called Zombie Joe’s Underground (I hear he has a theater in NYC also). I saw a show called Urban Death, and it was nothing like ANYTHING I’ve ever seen before. It was a fantastic homage to B horror movies. It was an hour of quick little vignettes displaying a classic macabre theme. Utilizing the fact the we were 2-3 feet from the action happening, they scared the pants off of everyone. They beautifully mixed frightening scenes with comedy and just plain strange. It featured a handful of actors making the quickest changes I’ve ever seen. One scene this girl would be getting her intestines ripped out and covered in blood, and two scenes later she was a completely different character. It was all done without and spoken words, just complete dumb show. They have it running every Saturday night at 11pm for most of the year.
    It changed my view on how theater can be done. I come from a town where we only do shows on a proscenium stage. So to experience something so visceral and so experimental was awesome, even though I didn’t sleep for the next week or so.

  • Katie O'Brien says:

    Surprisingly, the best place out of state that I’ve seen a good show in is Lincoln, Nebraska. I was there for the International Thespian Society nationals, so that week was chock-full of shows. Technically, the best show I saw there was originally from Texas, but it was *in* Nebraska where I saw it.
    Oh, and I am in New Jersey so I’d be entering for the Silence tickets 😀 Thanks!

  • Scott Morwitz says:

    Hi, I’m in NYC and would love to see Silence!
    My theater experiences began in Pittsburgh, PA. This is a city of amazing artistic and cultural diversity considering it’s beginnings as a steel town. The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera is where I saw so many musicals growing up. The CLO, along with the touring Broadway series is where I saw my musicals growing up.
    My first memory of a show there is when my mom, completely surprising my sister and I, came and took us out of school early. I had no idea what was happening, but I was summoned to the principal’s office, where mom was waiting. She brought me and my sister to see a matinee of “Starlight Express”, which was particularly meaningful since we were both artistic dance roller-skating competitors at the time. My high school even worked my roller-skating into the song “Very Soft Shoes” when I played the Jester in Once Upon a Mattress!
    My sister and both live in New York now and pursue a performing career.

  • Robb J says:

    Tho I live in NYC now, back while I lived in LA I went to see the tour of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
    When I got there I immediately purchased the program and soon after began to feel badly for the cast. There was not a single pic of the touring cast, every pic was from the original B-Way production.
    But when I got to my seat, 2 things happened. 1 Ushers moved some of us in the cheap seats down to the orchestra, and 2 as I read the playbill I started recognizing names. Fogler, Keenan-Bolger, etc. The entire original cast re-united, if not for the entire tour, at least for the LA leg.
    It was additionally cool because it was the first time I stage-doored. You see it was my sister’s favorite show at the time based on the OBCR, but she had not seen it. She was annoyed that I was seeing the tour when she had not seen it on Broadway. So I realized if she knew I was seeing the original cast I might be taking my life in my own hands. So I got nearly all the cast to sign the insert fromt he program, framed it and gave it to her for her birthday. An act which may be responsible for my survival to this day

  • Nancy Paris says:

    For sheer spectacle, I loved the Celine Dion show that I saw a few years ago at Caesar’s in Las Vegas. Say what you will about Vegas, the production on that show was awesome.
    Entering for The Silence tickets

  • Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. Saw a great performance of ‘Sweeney Todd’ there once (among other top shows)

  • One of my best theater experience was in Paris, France, at the 1985 Montmatre summer festival, during a performance of the musical “Alice Au Pays des Merveilles” (Alice in Wonderland) an adaptation for kids and families of Lewis Carrol’s book and other works. It was outdoors in an over 1000 year old arena, filled with 300 kids age 5 to 10, clearly enjoying themselves as we performed the show. I was the musician/composer/musical director, dressed up as a clown visible on stage, interacting with the actors the dancers and the enthusiastic audience. What a treat to get that immediate response. Each day we would make the show better. It played for two weeks, then was on tour for 2 years. Now I am in LA collaborating on a musical about a teenage singer. (So I would love to take my kids to see Shrek)

  • Sarah Dunivant says:

    I had the good fortune to see “Eula Mae’s Beauty, Bait and Tackle” at the Terrific New Theatre in Birmingham, AL. I saw this right before moving to NYC and it still sticks out as one of the best shows I’ve seen outside NYC.

  • ken marion says:

    My father told me stories of working in the WPA theatres. He took us to many shows when i was young and i did the same for my children. Bway is a dimension of life that should be accessible and enjoyed by all.

  • Talk about “Off-Broadway”, I saw a touring performance of ‘Hairspray’ aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas while cruising the Eastern Caribbean in March, and will catch a road show of ‘Chicago’ on its sister ship Allure of the Seas while in the Western Caribbean in August.

  • Dana Marie says:

    Chekhov at Lake Lucille! One of those amazing experiences- the ‘set’ was their house, yard, lake and the audience traveled- amazing evening! music, theater, and feasting!

  • Russ says:

    My first best out-of-New-York theater experience was at the University of Denver Children’s Theater when I was 5 years old. I saw Rip Van Winkle, and I still remember seeing old Rip sit down against that tree and fall asleep, and then the lights went down, and when they came up his beard went from one end of the stage to the other. It was MAGIC. And a little piece of that feeling comes back every time I see a show.
    The most recent out-of-New-York theater experience was seeing Tales of the City at ACT in San Francisco. It told stories of the City that I love and it was original and it needs a little work and every actor shared a little of that same magic that happened when Mr. Van Winkle’s beard grew across that stage.

  • abe calimag says:

    my best theatre experience outside of nyc was seeing chess at the signature theatre in arlington, va. for such a small physical space, i was surpised at how large the production felt. i was completely blown away by the sound and performances, especially by jill paice, euan morton, and jeremy kushnier. i loved it so much after the first time, i went back two more times.

  • Sejthompson says:

    It’s wonderful to see others appreciating the Pittsburgh theatre scene! I was fortunate enough to see Anthony Rapp in the world debut of his show Without You at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre. I was at a cabaret table right by the stage and the experience was really incredible!

  • Bethynyc says:

    Best non-NYC theater experience: WAITING FOR GODOT in London with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. That production was why I wanted to go to London, to the point where I was willing to sleep in a hostel full of college students just to go!
    The chemistry of these two actors on stage was amazing, and the life that they imbued to the words was phenomenal. I feel so lucky to have seen that production, to see two incredible actors in a play that I had only ever read before.
    Second was seeing a touring company of A CHORUS LINE in Boston in 1983. It cemented my love for dance and theater and made me want to live in New York City!

  • Theo says:

    One of my more memorable non-NYC theater experiences took place in Dublin. I attended a play called “Saved” at the Peacock Theatre. The theatre itself was in a wonderful and convenient location and I was so excited about catching an experimental play. The performances were really gripping but there was a really dark scene that sickened me and sort of tainted the night. Still, it’s been four years and I haven’t forgotten it so they must have done something right!

  • Jordan Levine says:

    My best non-NYC theatre experience was seeing LOVE in Las Vegas. The massive arena didn’t feel so big because the stunts were larger than life. Each seat had a speaker on the back of its head and embedded into each arm, so I was immersed in the music of The Beatles (sensationally designed and re-mastered for the performance). The stunts were fantastic, the multimedia was engaging, and the performance was, theatrically speaking, better than anything else I have ever seen.
    Viva Las Vegas!

  • Melissa says:

    Until I moved to New York I never realized how lucky I was to grow up close to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and other theater venues. My parents took me to shows, orchestra concerts, and the ballet, but I always thought of it all as local productions and hidden in middle-of-nowhere Ohio. I didn’t know that Oberlin and other colleges were churning out Broadway talent at a record pace.
    But, aside from the many great theaters of Northeast Ohio, I was 12 when I saw a local production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I fell in love with this show, and had my parents take me 3 days in a row. I was in awe of the talent, and I was starstruck when I met these teenage “stars” after the show. Looking back, this is hilarious, but I hold this show dear to my heart because it was the start of all my theater-going. Sometimes it’s the local productions that are the most eye-opening and magical to the youngest of fans.

  • The most electrifying, galvanizing theater experience I’ve had outside of New York was in Melbourne, Australia, where a theatre company was doing a site-specific adaptation of Jean Genet’s “The Miracle of the Rose” in an abandoned prison. Audience members were lined up on the second floor, right in front of their “cells”, and you looked down on the ground level and watched as your “fellow prisoners” performed. On the third level, above the audience, were guards patrolling the entire event, banging their nightsticks on the railings at unexpected moments. And it wasn’t simply a spectacle. It was a heartfelt, passionate, insanely sexual and violent play, and as the night wore on and the theater got darker and colder, you couldn’t help but feel like you were ensnared in a world unlike any you’d ever experienced.

  • Stephen Weston says:

    My greatest non-NYC theater experience was when I went to see the original cast of War Horse in London. I’ve been watching theater for 15-20 years and it wasn’t until I was sitting in the New London theater, on a Thursday matinee surrounded by all the school groups, did I truly understand/experience what theater can do to you. I improved as an actor, as an audience member and as a human being all from watching that show, and collectively sharing those few hours. That is what theater should do to you, and if I ever can be involved in, or have the pleasure of being in the audience of another show that can make me laugh and cry at the same time, I will be really fortunate.
    and I’m in LA right now, looking for some new theater!

  • Jeryl M. says:

    I saw Tovah Feldshuh in Golde’s Balcony at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. I don’t always like one woman (or one man shows) but that one was so good. It even held the interest of my friend’s husband who came along not because he was interested in the theater, but because his wife and my husband and I were.

  • gj cabana says:

    In Stratford, Ontario, Canada, I saw a production of A MIDSUMME RNIGHT’S DREAM that featured an “inflatable” set for the forest scenes and some well-written rock songs to cover the scene changes (mainly sung by Puck). Easily the most entertaining Shakespeare I’ve ever seen.
    The great Colm Feore was ‘Oberon’, too.
    Two tickets to Silence, I like Jeff Hiller, too.

  • WC says:

    Everything I’ve seen in Chicago has been great. At Steppenwolf, I saw a terrific new Bruce Norris play called A Parallelogram and the best production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf I’ve ever seen. And at the Goodman, I saw a very powerful production of The Seagull and a great new version of the musical Candide.
    I’m a New Yorker, so I’m entering the Silence lottery.

  • Doug Braverman says:

    I once saw a French-language production of CABARET in Paris. I was working for a French company at the time, and speak French fairly fluently, but even when there was a hard-to-understand line here or there, or a strangely translated lyric, I was familiar enough with the show to understand everything that was happening.
    What made the evening so memorable, though, was that Act One ends with the foreshadowing of the Nazi takeover when the average Germans suddenly get caught up in the fervor of the Nazi anthem, TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME. Usually, the Act One curtain falls at the end of the song, but in the French production, rather than lowering the curtain, they lowered a huge Nazi flag. Remember, this was in Paris, which had been overrun by the Nazis during the war, and where there has always been a rift between the French underground who opposed the Nazis, and anyone else, who was considered (rightly or wrongly) a collaborator. When the Nazi flag came down, everyone in the theatre froze. People seemed afraid to applaud or even move. It was one of the most theatrical moments I’ve ever spent in a theatre… and it was in Paris, not New York.

  • Clair Sedore says:

    What about North of the border, like Toronto, one of the greatest theatre cities next to New York and London. We get everything here at some point, currently we have Hugh Jackman in concert, direct from his San Francisco show, and because of the great reviews, he is talking of Broadway! Our production of Priscilla is currently on Broadway! Phantom of the Opera played here for 10 years.
    Really enjoy your column,
    Clair Sedore, Editor

  • NYC here! I think my favorite non-New York theatre experience would have to be seeing the Korean National production of Chicago. The entire production was in Korea, but they kept the song titles in English, as they didn’t translate well. All That Jazz made sense, but the best part was when Amos came out; After singing his verses in Korean, he proudly burst into the chorus singing “Cerropane, mister Cerropane!”

  • Before I arrived in NY to pursue theater the most memorable NON-NY theater event I had was in High School at Santaluces High located in Lantana, Florida.
    We had the best theater teacher and she allowed us to put together a show using material from everything. Some picked monologues from novels, some sang songs from musicals and some did scenes from plays but it all fit together and we created “Survival Footnotes”. The monologue I got to perform was from a comic book called “The Killing Joke” that I had chosen. I played the Joker (from Batman) explaining that the only difference between Joker and everyone else was one bad day. The best part was there was no costume and no make up. Just me playing the character who was incredibly mentally ill and it made for some great theater!

  • Adam Srygler says:

    My best NYC theatre experience was The Normal Heart. I have only lived in the city for 6 weeks, but I have seen a lot of theatre.
    I had high expectations for the piece going in and was still blown away. The audience’s emotion was just as moving as that on stage.
    I left shaking, emotionally drained. I walked around the corner and had to sit down while I still took in the experience. The show was fantastic. Full of love, full of compasion, and full of heart.
    An experience like that reminds me of why I moved to this beautiful city.

  • Before moving to NYC, I lived in Pittsburgh. And the shows I saw at Carnegie Mellon University were some of the highest caliber shows I have seen, even compared to Broadway.
    My best experience was seeing Urinetown there. Urinetown was the first Broadway show that I saw, and then I saw it at CMU a few years later and thought it was even better than the Broadway production. I saw it 3 times 🙂

  • David C Neal says:

    Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor have both been spoken about, so I’ll go farther afield – Edinburgh, Scotland. Had the privilege and pleasure of performing at the Fringe many years ago and seeing shows from around the world at every hour of the day and night in any imaginable venue are memories that have stuck with me for 25+ years. Speaks for itself, I would say! Am enjoying everyone’s comments about their own memories!!

  • Malini says:

    Ian and I saw an amazing production of Taming of the Shrew at Deering Oaks Park in Portland, ME. In the role of Kate was an amazing actor, whose name I forget. His Kate was so testosterone driven and aggressive, it was hilarious. We specifically enjoyed the freedom the actor had in his physicality because it didn’t matter that he was wearing a dress when he was flipping and jumping on the back of Petruchio. AMAZING…
    Ian and I will take the tix to Silence.

  • Damon says:

    Best theatre experience was recently when I saw LEGALLY BLONDE in London. As one of my British friends said to me, “that’s like me going to see a stage performance of THE QUEEN in NY”. As a former Bostonian, hearing British actors emulate Boston/Harvard accents was quite amusing, but done quite well. I’m sure the bottle of champagne at intermission made our stalls experience that much better. And by stalls, of course, I’m referring to the orchestra seats. 😛

  • Jenna Papke says:

    I have been lucky enough to grow up and work in Minneapolis. When I was 18 I read about this company planning to do Cyrano de Bergerac (my favorite play) and went to see their current production- A Winter’s Tale. It completely altered my perception of Shakespeare, which I had until then considered stilted and over-wrought.
    Ten Thousand Things, which has rightfully been gaining national attention over the years, showed me the essence of what a Shakespeare play is: entertaining. He’s funny, electric and can play as easily to people who see theatre regularly as it can to those who have never seen a show before.
    Ten Thousand Things creates shows to take into prisons and is kind enough to allow the public to enjoy the brilliance as well. It’s not dumbed down at all, it’s simply stripped to its essentials until the truth comes out.
    Since then the only TTT shows I’ve missed have been when I was living in London, where I was lucky enough to see another genius of Shakespeare’s work: Edward Hall and his all-male company Propeller.

  • Linda Potter says:

    My favorite Theater experience Off-Broadway was in Hailey, Idaho at the Company of Fools production of A Year with Frog and Toad.
    The reasons it was so memorable are numerous…from the delightful actors to the voices that seemed to jump off the pages of a well-loved children’s story book…from the infectious lyrics to the homemade chocolate dunked pretzels at the concession stand…but by far the best part of the afternoon was that on our departure from the theatre my 3 granddaughters (aged 9, 5, and 3) begged to go back and see the show again….which they did the next day.
    And then the bonus….the girls asked us to read the Frog and Toad stories to them over and over again!!! Priceless.

  • I’ve got two San Francisco based phenomena: “Not a Genuine Black Man,” a solo show by Brian Copeland and True Fiction Magazine’s improvised full-length performance series called Ripped From the Headlines.
    Brian Copeland’s piece was a heartbreaking and funny tale of racism in San Leandro in the 70s, a town just a few miles away from Oakland. It’s run for two years at the Marsh, a theater dedicated to solo performances. They have four theaters in two locations–and often run 8 different shows on a weekend night, with a 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM performance.)
    True Fiction Magazine had the audience clip articles from piles of newspapers and then posted them on beams in the theater for the troupe to read. The show began with an improvisor reading two of the articles in their entirety out loud to the audience. They created a comic romp using an article about an 18 year old girl whose younger brother committed a minor crime in Afghanistan. She was punished for her brother’s act, since she was in charge, by being raped.
    True Fiction started their piece with a kindergarten girl shooting everyone in her kindergarten class– and the mother awaiting punishment. It was hysterical– and poignantly made a point of how crazy and horrifying the actual situation was.

  • Nate says:

    Mary Poppins in London was the only show since I have worked in theater where I didn’t lose interest at some point and look around at the architecture or lighting, or think about how the scenery functioned.

  • Laurett Gannon says:

    Last fall I went to see ReVision’s “Rocky Horror” at the old Carousel House in Asbury Park, NJ. This building is a beautiful old structure but was never a theater- leaky roof and all. What impressed me so much was this theater company’s ability to use to the space to it’s greatest advantage and still produce a totally top notch show. The talent was stellar as well as the production value. I learned a lot that night about how a little ingenuity can really bring a production to the next level.

  • Jake says:

    Seeing Lookingglass’s production of Alice in Wonderland in Chicago. So incredible unique and really able to make a classic story their own. With breathtaking acrobats, clever staging and an overall fun experience, it opened my eyes to daring theatre for every audience beyond New York.

  • Chana says:

    A couple of years ago I saw “A Little Night Music” at SCR in Costa Mesa, California. The theater itself is beautiful and I was mesmerized by the performances. So much so, that I called my daughter at intermission and told her she has to come back with me. We did… the next week. And the week after that she went again on brought her best friend.

  • Chana says:

    I agree! “She Loves Me” in Ashland was fantastic. I love the Oregon Shakespeare Festival – and Ashland is an awesome little town.

  • Anthony says:

    I think my best non-NYC theater experience was seeing RENT in San Diego. I went to the theater at 8 AM to get in line for a rush ticket. There were about 8 people waiting in line at that time (the box office started selling at noon – it was not a lottery, just first come/first served) and we all got to chatting. Most of us were young and were interested in theater – the original Chip from Beauty in the Beast was one of them. I had never seen the show, so there was a lot of discussion about what to look for, and what to think about. We also talked about shows we had seen, what we liked, what we didn’t, etc. That day there were enough seats for me and my new-found friends. We were all placed in the front row (actually a set of benches) together.
    The show was fantastic, and being so close we really felt connected to, almost a part of, the story rather than just watching it. During intermission and after the show ended we again got together to review the musical; there were several members of this group who had seen the show a number of times, and they were particularly interested in my “first opinions.”
    Although the group broke-up shortly there-after to our respective cars to go home, I have to this day maintained contact with one of the people on line with me in the group (even though I’m now in California and he’s in South Carolina).
    I think what made this such a great and memorable experience for me what not that it was just a great show (I’ve seen lots of great shows), but that on that day I felt completely interconnected with the actors, the production, and my fellow audience members. Thinking back, it may explain why I felt empty after watching the movie version…

  • Lucy says:

    Follies just a few weeks ago in DC!

  • Noah P. says:

    My favorite theatre-going experience outside NY was Arena Stage’s production of The Arabian Nights. I was blown away by the way they told these incredible stories and the actors in it. It was so theatrical and spectacular, yet so simple, and it was truly magical. I’ve never seen anything told or done quite like that and it will always stick out in my mind.

  • says:

    Over ten years ago I saw a production of A…My Name is Alice at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and to this day I can still picture the cast, the choreography, the set. I loved every minute of it!

  • Erin O'Brien says:

    Last week in San Francisco I saw Tales of the City, The Book of Liz and The Pride. As a New Yorker, I like to think we have the best theater in the world right here, but it was great to see three excellent productions on the other side of the country.

  • Josh Scheer says:

    Definitely seeing CHICAGO in Moscow, Russia. It was performed in Russian, which I knew very little of. I was a big fan of the current Broadway revival when it first opened and had seen it several times. It was the pretty much the exact same physical production, save for the language change. The performers–especially the dancers–were just incredible!

  • Yosi Merves says:

    When I was in college in Boston, I saw a production of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s Parade at Speakeasy Stage, I believe at the Calderwood Pavilion, and I was just blown away. The show was very emotional, and at the end I felt as if I had been punched in the gut, as the final scene is just gut wrenching. One of the best productions I have ever seen, and of a very controversial and emotionally charged musical.

  • Lester says:

    One of the first plays I ever saw was The Dybbuk at the JCC in Cleveland. I was four. It was electrifying, stunning, scary, moving, gorgeous, touching, soulful. That day I knew I needed to make a life in the theatre.
    Also in Cleveland (perhaps productions of our childhood have the most lasting impact) I saw a production of Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Dobama theatre. It was in a tiny venue and was emotionally brutal. The most brilliant touch was that Nick and Honey were black. So George’s confrontation with Nick demanding, “What’s it going to be, stud or a houseboy,” had unbelievably powerful resonances.
    Needless to say, all the shows I worked on in regional theatre have been life altering to the audiences.

  • Tom says:

    San Francisco……ACT’s production of Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Brilliant play, incredible staging. Michael Hayden was amazing, and the cellist who wrote and performed the original music was out of this world.
    I’d love to see Silence!

  • Rafi Levavy says:

    In the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of great shows at small theaters in Chicago – recently excellent productions of Killer Joe, The Robber Bridegroom and Pacific Overtures. Taking it back a little further, you can add Tape, Autobahn, Stop Kiss Equus and many more to that list. I really love that the Chicago theater scene seems to be made up mostly of smaller theaters doing AMAZING work.

  • Marina Barry says:

    The wildest theatrical event was in Swansea, Wales (yep, that’s the UK) seeing my first ever Rocky Horror Show live onstage. OMG all these Welsh people dressed like Dr. Frank N. Furter – Brad, Janet and forget about all the Magenta’s. Afterwards we went to a pub where most of the audience went (still in costume) and sang all these Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey songs. It was so much fun and so unbelievably weird!

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