Consume · theatre · travel

Oh My NYC! : or How I Spent my Birthday in the Big Apple, Part 3

After seeing The Humans, I had some time to kill before Chicago began at 7:30pm. I walked over to the The Drama Book Shop and had a look around. I love being in a bookstore and I don’t really get the chance to do that anymore because all the ones at home have closed. The Drama Book Shop is pretty small, but you can find all kinds of plays there and they have a wall where they promote plays and musicals currently on Broadway. I was looking for Prodigal Son, but the nice guy who worked there told me it wasn’t published yet.

Elmo on Times Square.
One of six Elmos I saw on Times Square.

I wandered around Times Square for a while. There are tons of people dressed in costumes of different characters that will take pictures with you. I didn’t get my picture taken, but I did notice that there were about six people dressed as Elmo and I thought that was probably extremely confusing to any young kids who happened to be around. Also, the characters would just randomly push up their “heads” which could be terrifying to kids, I would think. But, it’s Times Square, not Disney World. I also ran into a half-naked man who played the guitar. Literally ran into him. That was terrifying for me.

I decided to have dinner at Sbarro, mostly because I’m cheap, but also because it was close to the Ambassador Theatre and because I love that thin-sliced pizza. I’m sure there are plenty of better pizza places in New York and one day I will try some of them.

The Ambassador Theatre in New York City at night.
The Ambassador at night.

I had to stand in line again to get into the Ambassador Theatre for Chicago. But it wasn’t too long of a wait before the door opened and I was escorted to my second-row center seat. The curtain was closed on the stage, so it was just black. I had no idea what I was in for.

The musical was phenomenal. Velma was played by Amra-Faye Wright, who has played the role all over the world since 2001. It was obvious that she was no stranger to the stage. She is a fabulous dancer with an attitude that wouldn’t quit. The role of Roxie was played by Paige Davis. You may remember her as the host of Trading Spaces. At least I do, I used to watch that show all the time. Ms. Davis was incredible as Roxie. She was cute as a button and hilarious, a joy to watch. Other notable performers were Raymond Bokhour who broke my heart as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as the boisterous Matron Mama, and R. Lowe who made a sensational Mary Sunshine. By the way, Mary Sunshine has only been played by eight actors in its 15-year run and Lowe has played it the most.

And then there was Eddie. Ah, number 27. I was surprised at the amazing job he did in the role of Billy Flynn. I always knew he was charismatic but I didn’t know he could sing too! It was a great performance and you could tell the rest of the cast loved working with him. After the show, I waited outside the stage door with some other Titans fans and I got to meet him! It was a bit surreal. He was so nice, although I know he wanted to leave with his beautiful wife who was standing a few feet away. I took my picture and said my thank you’s and was on my way back to Brooklyn for a good night’s sleep.


Deliriously happy with Eddie George.

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen! That was my short birthday trip to New York. I had a blast and I can’t wait to go back. If you missed the other posts about my trip, visit part 1 and part 2. Thanks for reading!




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