I have just returned from NYC. One of the things I wanted to visit was the 'Off Broadway' show The Blue Man Group (BMG). You may have seen The Blue Man group in a recent Pentium III TV advert (they where blowing out light bulbs from what i can remember). Basically there are 3 guys have have shaved bright blue heads and blue hands. They dont say a word throught their shows, it's all done using their facial expressions. Their shows are currently taking the states by storm in NYC, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. Visit http://www.blueman.com/ for more details. As of yet they havn't really hit the shores of the UK. I hope they will someday though. I was recommended this show by a friend, I was told the show was going to be mental but I had absolutley no idea how mental it was going to be! I was in tears with laughter throughout the entire show. On first entering the theater you are given a paper head band to wear. A little odd, but hey I went along with it (as did everybody else). I won't spoil what happens too much but their show is based around percussion instruments and crazy stunts involving paint, for example, they catch marshmellows in their mouth (aprrox. 15 one after the other and he doesn't appear to swallow them either!!!) They also create spin art by spraying paint from their mouths onto spinning card. Also banding drums whilst paint is been poured over the drums producing a colourfull experience to say the least. There is plenty of audiance partipitation and the 3 Blue Man leave the stage several times to climb through the audiance (even onto the balcony)! The finale of the show involves the entire theater been filled with roll after roll of paper. Be warning though there is a large amount of flashing strobe lighting. Ponchos are provided for the first 3 rows of seating as food items (including marshmellows and breakfast cerial) often leave the stage! The
only bad thing I can say was the fact the 'F' word was used on 1 occasion which I though was not necessary so therefore this show would not be suitable for small children. I guess the BMG has a cult status in the US and I was just glad to be a part of it. Already planning my next show in Las Vegas at the Luxor hotel (it's about $80 each there) The show plays at the Astor Place theatre in NYC (about a 15min cab drive from Times Square) which seats around 200 people I think. Pre-booking seats is an absolute must as every show is a sell out. Tickets can be pre-purchased online via ticketmaster.co.uk for all their venues at around $60 per person. As I pre-purchased my ticket online,you can choose to collect your ticket 30mins before the show commences at the Astor Place box office. If like me you are not into muscials but still want to say you been to a show in NYC than BMG is an absolute must see.
Nine weeks in Manhattan with eight weeks at film school, what's the main thing you're going to be doing in your spare time ? Watching movies of course, it hepls that the USA gets most movies first as well which kind of makes us brits feel like we're attending a premiere. Manhattan caters for all kinds of tastes. There are of course the mainstream multiplexes that show all the latest releases but there are a lot of arthouse and smaller theatres around the city that show some great stuff. A visit down to the lower west side and you can be watching 1950's horror film The House of Wax starring Vincent Price in a new print and in 3-D. Glasses covering eyes you sit in a small theatre and I mean small, almost like a shoe box but great fun. There are also theatres that have seasons of films from directors with showing of classics like Raging Bull, Mean Streets. Mainstream movie theatres are all over the city. The main chains are Loews and United Artists. There are several Loews thatres with several screens in key ares such as Times Square while United Artists have a large multiplex right in Union Square. All are quite nice inside but there are a few problems. Because of some of the building designs theatres have seating that just goes in rows without any sloping. This means that if you don't get there early you could be craning your neck to see the film. Also I found New Yorkers aren't the most civilised movie goers. I saw Scary Movie and had a couple sitting next to me practically eating each other for long periods. People also talk and don't turn off mobile phones. Some of the older theatres are also very hollow, one felt like we were sitting in a converted barn or somebodys garage. Still it all adds to the experience. Ticket prices are around $9-$10 a showing with no reductions, it's pretty pricey but that's Manhattan for you. One theatre on the west side does show films that are coming to
the end of the theatre run for around $4 a throw. Normally movies on opening night (friday) get sold out quite quickly for primetime showings so it's best to but tickets early. So next time you're in Manhattan if you get the chance, check out the independent scene.
Singapore has several large movie-plex areas showing mostly American blockbusters. Average price for an adult ticket is about S$8 - although some theatres have special seats which are S$20 each and are reclining with a small table - if you are in the mood for luxury. They are about on a par with England - a couple months ahead for somethings, a couple months behind for others. You can also find Chinese, Hindi and Tamil movies - although finding the subtitled versions might be a little difficult. You can watch these on TV to get a feel for them - Hindi and Tamil movies in particular can be hilarious. In terms of stage, you can find cantonese opera for free at Boat Quay - it used to be Wednesday nights, and still should be going. Boat Quay also often has bands playing - once they had 'British Week' and had a Beatles tribute band. Finally there's the Singaporean Musical "Beauty World", about a young girl off to find fame and fortune who ends up getting a job at a caberet bar. Cue light entertainment and mixed english/mandarin lyrics, although it is mostly English and you don't need to know any mandarin to understand the plot, such as it is. This is a very entertaining little show, and if you can't catch it live there are endless reruns on TV. And that's about it really.
Hello, I like to give you a small cinnea tour in Hamburg. There we have got the big cinemas. The movies all translated. There we have the biggest right next to the subway station Dammtor. It's called Cinemaxx. In room no. one is a laser show before the movie starts. In the western part of Hamburg is the Village Cinema. It war close to the Company of the Warner Brothers. Bugs Bunny and the other toons are in that area. In the eastern part of Hamburg is also a cinema with a laser show in room no. one, but that is a very bad one. The cinema is called UCI and is right next to the Highway A7 (Autobahn). The way of is Othmaschen. O.k., that are the biggest ones, but I guess more interest for you is the cinema City. It is right next to the big train station in Hamburg. The movies in there are in original language. The most movies are comming from america so they are mostly in american english. Sometimes there are also british movies. On Wednesdays they have a sneak preview of the upcoming movies. Thats cult. The atmosphere are unbelievable. You have to try it if you are coming to Hamburg. There are a lot more cinemas in Hamburg like metropolis, there are also sometimes movies shown in english. There are so many small cinemas I don't think that all of them in interest for you. Enjoy if you are coming to Hamburg.
I love musicals (though sometimes not fully understand what the performers are singing) and have seen quite a few so far. I personally think the best is 'Cats', which I had seen in Broadway, New York city. A lot of people say that Broadway shows are in parallel with London musicals. I haven't seen 'Cats' in London so can't really compared. But the one I've seen in NYC is really excellent!!! Tickets are expensive, but there are ticket booths (similar to those in Leicester Square, London) where you can get some cheap ones, at half the original price. Can't remember where the ticket booths are since it was about a year ago (is it Times Square??). But I remember the ticket was $40 (original price $80), and it was a fifth row seat. Queues for the cheap tickets were horribly long. The stage was not as big as I imagined but the setting was excellent, so as the make-up and costumes. The story is not as good as Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera but the show is very lively and entertaining with lots of dances and great songs. My favorite song from this show is 'Memory', a great great song!!! Throughout the show 'cats' were running around the whole theatre. They don't just stay on the stage. They were very very 'cat-like'. I remember especially the girl who played a siamese cat, so willowy and graceful. It was a great musical and I will definitely see it again, but not in NYC. I'll see it in London, just to have a comparison of whether Broadway shows are better, or London's.