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HC UFL’s Token Theatre Expert Reviews 4 Broadway Shows

This year was my third annual spring break trip to New York City — solely for the purpose of seeing Broadway shows. As an avid theatre lover, I love watching the Tonys, but these past few years I’ve been able to have a deeper connection to them.

Having watched the plays and musicals that are nominated for awards, it makes you feel more a part of the award show. Just like when you watch an Oscar nominated film, it gives you a sense of closeness to the Oscars. If you are planning a trip to New York and need a Broadway show suggestion, here are my thoughts.

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd is about a barber who seeks revenge on his past enemies. This production was technically Off-Broadway. But it had such good reviews, and I couldn’t get tickets last year, so I knew I had to see it this year.

Something special about this production of Sweeney Todd, is that it is Immersive Theatre, where the actors break the fourth wall and sometimes interact with the audience. So my seat was actually on stage in an actual pie shop. Sometimes, the actors would try to scare people and pop-up in their faces or pick certain audience members to sing too. It was so much fun! I sat front row and the actors sang and acted on top of my table. Although the whole experience was fun, not every single singer had an amazing voice. When a few peoples’ voices are spectacular and others are just good, you notice the difference. There were some characters that I thought needed to sing louder or could have made their characters bigger. If immersive theatre is something you’re interested in, you will definitely have a fun time at this less expensive show.

Angels in America Part 2

Angels in America is a two part political drama centered around the AIDS crisis. And who was the lead? Andrew Garfield. And how was he? Fantastic.

Garfield’s portrayal of Prior was excellent. I personally think it’s weird to think a straight man could play a gay man so well, but he did. Another big actor, Nathan Lane, was also very talented, but not as impressive as Andrew Garfield. I didn’t get to see Part 1 of Angels in America, (because I got to see Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show instead), but my mom said that the actor Lee Pace, who plays a closeted gay Mormon in Part 1, was not the best in the cast. When I saw Part 2, I understood what she meant. Pace was not always “in it” one hundred percent. Sometimes it felt like he was just saying his lines. I know the show was still in previews so hopefully during the main runs he gets his groove back.

Lobby Hero

Lobby Hero is about a security guard learning his place in law enforcement and battling a moral dilemma. Only four actors were in this play, but wow were they brilliant. Three of them are people you may recognize: Michael Cera, Chris Evans (Captain America), and Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi from Atlanta). The play was set in an NYC apartment lobby on a turntable. The turntable would move to represent a passage of time and show the different perspectives of the characters. Michael Cera played his quirky and awkward self — perfect for his character as a goofy security guard.

Chris Evans was fantastic as a 1990s NY police officer. He played douchey and pretentious very well.  Brian Tyree Henry played a tough yet vulnerable, serious yet funny security chief that gave his character so many dimensions. Bel Powley, who played the only female in the whole show was small and feisty. She was a good actress, but just didn’t seem as experienced as the rest of the actors in the play.

Once on this Island

Once on this Island is similar to the story of The Little Mermaid, where a girl gives up something to be with the man she loves. The lead actress, who plays the island girl Ti Moune, was phenomenal! Everyone in the cast was full of so much life and energy the whole time; non-stop action. And did I mention Lea Salonga, the singing voice of Jasmine and Mulan, is in the cast as well? Just the perfect group of talented performers. The theater was set in the round, so it really felt like a little island was the stage that included real sand and water. If there is only one musical you have time for in NYC, it’s this one. Make time because you won’t be disappointed.

I am truly so lucky to have a mom that takes me to see all these Broadway shows. Tickets are not cheap. I suggest looking at TodayTix, where you can get ticket discounts. Out of the four shows I saw I believe Once on this Island will leave you with the most emotions and memories. I encourage anyone touring New York City to give Broadway a shot, you might just like it.

Kelvy is a third year at the University of Florida double majoring in Theatre and Telecommunication Production. After graduation, she hopes to work in the entertainment industry. She loves movies and TV shows, but most importantly I love all things Disney!
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