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Top Theatregoing Experiences

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Broadway Star
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#1
Posted: 9/9/16 at 2:58pm

Hi all! I know there have been past threads in similar styles to the Playbill "Top Theatregoing Experiences" but I thought it might be fun to hear everyone's top 10 favorite experiences in the theater! Here is Donna McKechnie's top 10 as a reference point! I bet some of the posters on here have some amazing ones to share!

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Jeffrey Karasarides
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Broadway Legend
Top Theatregoing Experiences#3
Posted: 9/9/16 at 3:02pm

Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple and the original Broadway cast of Hamilton comes to mind most immediately/recently for me.

Jshan05 Profile PhotoJshan05 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#4
Posted: 9/9/16 at 3:03pm

Absolutely agree with Cynthia Erivo's performance. I've seen her twice and she leaves me breathless every single time!

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Top Theatregoing Experiences#5
Posted: 9/9/16 at 3:25pm

This was crazy hard to narrow down!

John Cameron Mitchell in HEDWIG

Closing performance of IF/THEN

Original cast of NEXT TO NORMAL

WICKED with Idina Menzel and Megan Hilty

PARADE concert at Avery Fisher Hall

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD with Jason Robert Brown, Laura Griffith, Brian d'Arcy James, Alice Ripley, and Tituss Burgess

Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, and Tamyra Gray in RENT from the front row.

Danny Burstein in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Rob McClure in CHAPLIN

Even though it hasn't happened yet, closing performance of FUN HOME tomorrow. I'd include it on my top 10 list anyway, but I have a feeling closing night is going to be something special.

"I shall stay until the wind changes."
Updated On: 9/9/16 at 03:25 PM
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#6
Posted: 9/9/16 at 3:40pm

It was an extremely incredible experience being at American Psycho's closing. I have never seen such a warm and eager audience. That show should really find an Off-Broadway home. 

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Top Theatregoing Experiences#7
Posted: 9/9/16 at 4:28pm

Allegiance's closing. The King and I with Marin Mazzie. Seeing Dear Evan Hansen for the first time almost restores my faith in humanity. 

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Top Theatregoing Experiences#8
Posted: 9/9/16 at 4:30pm

in no particular order:

OG cast of OG production of Ragtime

Scottsboro boys - all three times - once at the Vineyard, once on the B'way, and once on the west end. 

Heather Headley's final performance of Aida (and the other three times I rushed the front row)

Bernadette's Final performance of Gypsy

Paulus Revival of HAIR!

Paulus Revival of Pippin

Seeing Dick Van Dyke and Chita perform together in "A Dancer's Life"

Titanic - my first B'way show

Cynthia Erivo in Color Purple

second to final RENT performance


Runners up - After Midnight, August: Osage County, and Ripley's final week of "Next to Normal", and Cherry Jones' very last performance on her final stop on tour in Philly of "Doubt"

"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
Updated On: 9/9/16 at 04:30 PM
Top Theatregoing Experiences#9
Posted: 9/9/16 at 5:01pm

OBC of Fun Home last August - front row in the 200s, almost center. What an incredible experience... it's kind of surreal being (just about) on the stage. 

I'm going to the closing performance tomorrow night, so I also expect that to be something quite special. 

Updated On: 9/9/16 at 05:01 PM
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Broadway Star
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#10
Posted: 9/9/16 at 5:30pm

Seeing Next to Normal for the first time (on tour), with Alice Ripley

The first time i heard Kelli O'Hara sing (in Nice Work, Someone to Watch Over me) i was totally smitten with her voice, and when she did that thing with the gun, i was smitten with her acting

The Goodspeed production of Carousel, with James Snyder's soliloquy - phenomenal voice and acting, and utterly heartbreaking performance (also If I Loved You - amazing voice)

My first time seeing Wicked, with a tremendously-talented Vicki Noon on as Elphaba - awesome

The tap dancing in Anything Goes, Newsies, Aladdin, BOM, and Something Rotten!, and Jeremy Jordan's Santa Fe in Newsies (i apparently love me some Casey Nicholaw tap choreo)

Aaron Tveit's last performance of Goodbye in Catch Me

Idina Menzel's last performance of Always Starting Over in If/Then

Tam Mutu as Anatoly on tour in Chess

The hilarity of Toxic Avenger and BOM, on tour, and of Something Rotten, on Broadway

Kelli and Steven's duets in Bridges, plus It All Fades Away

Being thoroughly delighted by Sister Act, despite not having great expectations based on the "religious theme" implied by the title.  Especially loved the double-costume-change sequence in I Could Be That Guy - clever, funny, and touching.

Three local/regional productions that improved (for me) on their Broadway/tour counterparts:  Cabaret, with Cliff's powerful songs left intact and a heartwrenching performance of the title song by the same wonderful local actress who played Diana in that theatre's N2N; Mary Poppins, with wonderful tap choreography (best i've seen at that level); and Avenue Q

Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple

Cherry Jones in The Glass Menagerie and also in When we Were Young and Unafraid


Updated On: 9/9/16 at 05:30 PM
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#11
Posted: 9/10/16 at 12:03am

Going Off-Off-Broadway here, but Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War by The Mad Ones is still one of my favorite nights I've ever spent in a theatre.

The wall coming up at the end of the original Roundabout Cabaret revival when I was 16 is still indelibly etched in my mind.

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Top Theatregoing Experiences#12
Posted: 9/10/16 at 9:24am

-Matilda (all 11 times I have seen it)

-Billy Elliot

-an absolutely glorious local production of Ragtime that was better than a lot of Broadway shows I have seen


-Dear Evan Hansen

-Lincoln Center's The King and I

-and then the one that takes the complete cake... Cabaret at Studio 54 with Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming. I was seated at a table right by the stage. The whole production was unlike anything I have every ever experienced.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#13
Posted: 9/10/16 at 10:33am

Guys and Dolls with Faith Prince in '92

The joy and optimism of Hairspray (original cast)

The last moments of Cabaret with Cumming.

Smash's Hit List at 54 Below

Newsies' choreography and energy

Big Fish with my dad days after his father, my grandpa, had passed.

Birthday at On the Town with Hal Prince in the audience

Opening night at Something Rotten

Hamilton - the show itself and the experience of attending the show with Meryl Streep sitting right near me.

Hunchback of Notre Dame at PaperMill - I was crying within the first five minutes.  Front row watching Michael Arden transform into Quasimodo right before my eyes.

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Top Theatregoing Experiences#14
Posted: 9/10/16 at 10:34am

-Raul Esparza in Company from the front row.

-OBC of Fun Home. I don't think I've ever cried harder in a theatre than during Ring of Keys.

-the second preview of Matilda.

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Top Theatregoing Experiences#15
Posted: 9/10/16 at 11:45am

Cherry Jones in "Doubt"

Robert Cuccioli doing "Confrontation" in "Jekyll & Hyde"

Harvey Fierstein in "Torch Song Trilogy"

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in "The Producers"

Betty Buckley singing "Memory" in "Cats"


Glenn Close & Jeremy Irons in "The Real Thing"

Alice Ripley in "Next To Normal"

The dancing in "Moving Out", especially John Selya and Elizabeth Parkinson.

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Top Theatregoing Experiences#16
Posted: 9/10/16 at 10:30pm

Hello, Dolly!(all 74 times I saw it)

That Streisand Woman in Funny Girl

Richard Kelly in LaMancha

Keach in Hamlet

James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummet in Othello

Angela Lansbury in Mame and Dear World

Tony Yazbeck in On The Town

Zoe Coldwell and PattiLupone in Master Class

David Furr in Noises Off

LuPone in Gypsy

Bernardino in Fiddler


   I hate auto correct!




"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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Top Theatregoing Experiences#17
Posted: 9/11/16 at 1:14am

I can't guarantee my list would be exactly the same if you asked me tomorrow but for now:

- Colm Wilkinson as Valjean in Toronto (never thought I'd get to see him in the role live)

- seeing the original Broadway production of Side Show about a week before it closed 

- the first Off-Broadway preview of Urinetown (I remember the invitation and wondering what sort of show with that title I was getting into on April Fool's Day, no less)

- The final performance for Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitesic in the London production of Once 

- Side Show revival's first preview 

- Something Rotten's first preview (best promo price blind buy I've made)

- The Last Ship with Sting 

- The first time I saw Dear Evan Hansen in DC 

- specifically Ben Platt's performance in DEH (the individual moments I'd highlight keep changing, most recently it was way he played the speech leading into "You Will Be Found" that took my breath away )

- Brian d'Arcy James final performance in Something Rotten


Updated On: 9/11/16 at 01:14 AM
Top Theatregoing Experiences#18
Posted: 9/11/16 at 2:01am

Fun Home best musical I have ever scene

Top Theatregoing Experiences#19
Posted: 9/11/16 at 11:53am

A little bit different because I'm not from NYC, so shout out to Chicago productions

Gypsy - Concert at Ravinia w/ Patti

Ride The Cyclone at Shakes - Seriously everyone needs to see it at MCC

Twist of Water at Mercury theatre - Right time right place great production

Caroline or Change at Court Theatre - Again right time and right place great production

Spring Awakening w/ OBC (Broadway)