or... Julia's Big Day
Julia is a huge fan of musicals, and following her Christmas present of tickets to see Les Miserables on stage earlier this year, she has been plotting and planning and watching lots of YouTube video clips of other things she would like to see. Julia doesn't have a ton of different interests, but when she gets into something, she really gets into it (and therefore it makes it impossible for us not to support it)... One of her recent obsessions has been The Lion King. Unlike Les Miz, The Lion King isn't touring, so if we saw it, it would have to be on Broadway. For Julia's recent birthday, we decided to splurge, and we got her 4 tickets (to make it a full family event) to see her new favorite show. Her birthday was a month ago, but the Saturday matinee date that made sense was this weekend, so she has been anxiously awaiting the day for weeks.
We left home at around 9am and were in the city by a little after 11am, having made great time. We knew the general location of the Minskoff Theater on Times Square, and parked nearby. As it turns out, when we walked up out of the underground garage, the first thing we saw was the Minskoff marquee, with Lion King in big bright lights. Julia was thrilled.
|Grace and the Diners, Drive ins and Dives car|
The show started at around 2:10pm to a packed house with lots of kids. The opening scene, "Circle of Life", is terrific, with all sorts of life sized animal "puppets" making their way to the stage from all different parts of the theater. For this part, it would have been great to be down low near the stage as the animals all came up the aisles, but our seats still had a great view, and there were performers along the sides of the balcony as well. The first act lasted about 65 minutes, followed by a 15 minute intermission that was closer to 25 minutes, and a 55 minute second act. So it was not a long show, but very impressive nonetheless.
|View from our balcony seats (pre-show)|
If I were to have any complaint at all, and it is a minor one, it would be that the singing was hard to hear at certain points. I am not sure if this is because of how the performers were miked, or the volume of the orchestra and percussion, or the sound mixing (or our balcony seats). Independently, Amparo had the same observation, so it wasn't just my imagination. Vocal quality was fine, volume was not so much so sometimes.
Julia had a wonderful day and was very appreciative of us doing this for her. She has said over and over "I never expected anything like this for my birthday." Which makes it even more special.
By shortly after 5:30pm, we were back in the car and heading toward Amp's sister's house in north Jersey to hang out with them overnight, returning home Sunday. An A+ weekend for sure...