Musicals or Museums

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dmwnc1959
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Musicals or Museums#1
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:11am

Musicals. Gotta love them. But I love a really good museum too.

So, if you only had one day in NYC - sunrise to sunset - and had never been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Guggenheim, would you choose to spend a hot summer day in a theatre or museum? Would you spend the day along Museum Mile, or go see a couple of shows that are getting all-over-the-board lackluster-to-enjoyable reviews?

I’m already coming back in late-August for Hadestown and Moulin Rouge after seeing Kinky Boots and Phantom of the Opera last month. 

Tough choice: museums or musicals? 

Michelle Birnbaum
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Musicals or Museums#2
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:26am
If you are in NY sunrise to sunset, you have time for both a show and a museum stop Why do you mention lackluster musicals? Besides Hadestown, have you seen Tootsie? What about seeing a musical Off-Broadway, catching one of this season's wonderful plays, or going to 54 Below or Joe's Pub?
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Musicals or Museums#3
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:30am

I would (as I do frequently when I visit). Divide the day into thirds. Be at the museum for a 9/10 am opening. Tour around til 1. By then I’m typically mentally exhausted by the overstimulation of art and history. Head to the theatre for a matinee and then and evening show.   

You could also add a late night show at 54 below or joes pub or sleep no more (if you’ve never been)

But if I could only choose one. Typically the theatre.

Updated On: 4/7/19 at 10:30 AM
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Musicals or Museums#4
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:50am

Already on my To Do List was to hit up the Donut Pub first thing (always a tasty treat) at 7am, then visit Rockefeller Plaza and the Top of the Rock between 8-9am or so. That’s why it sort of complicates things with visiting the museums at the very beginning of the day. By time I get up there it’s already 10am. I listed those two museums specifically because of their content and architecture. But I’d have to break up the day and keep backtracking: do the Top of the Rock, then museums, then back to Broadway for a matinee, then back to the Guggenheim after 5pm, then back to Broadway for a short evening show. Some where in there is lunch and dinner.

As for the shows - Beetlejuice, Tootsie, and/or King Kong were on the top of my list just for the spectacle of it. The play would have been Gary. But I’m relying on Rush tickets to keep the cost of this little birthday jaunt down to a reasonable amount, and not exceed $500 round trip from Pittsburgh door-to-door. The evening show would have to end by 10pm for me to be able to walk back to the Megabus departures point and be there in plenty of time for boarding the bus.

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Musicals or Museums#5
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:55am
Personally, I would rather spend a day on museum mile as I can do everything at my own pace, but strategize and see what special exhibitions are happening when you're in town.

And may I recommend the Neue Galerie on 86th and Fifth? Not only will you see Klimt's "Woman in Gold," but it also houses a wonderful restaurant and cafe!
ArtMan
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Musicals or Museums#6
Posted: 4/7/19 at 11:05am

I sent you a pm.

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Musicals or Museums#7
Posted: 4/7/19 at 11:09am

...and this will all be on a Saturday, if that matters. :)

Updated On: 4/7/19 at 11:09 AM
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Musicals or Museums#8
Posted: 4/7/19 at 11:15am

ArtMan said: "I sent you a pm."

Replied. 

 

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Musicals or Museums#9
Posted: 4/7/19 at 11:23am

scripps said: "Personally, I would rather spend a day on museum mile as I can do everything at my own pace, but strategize and see what special exhibitions are happening when you're in town.

And may I recommend the Neue Galerie on 86th and Fifth? Not only will you see Klimt's "Woman in Gold," but it also houses a wonderful restaurant and cafe!
"

 

Very, very intriguing. Had to Google this museum and artwork. Fascinating, and in same vicinity between the Guggenheim and the Met. 

 

As for doing RUSH for any of the aforementioned shows, especially in the Summer and on a Saturday, and hour or less before curtain, is that even feasible? Or am I getting my hopes up too much? 

 

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Musicals or Museums#10
Posted: 4/7/19 at 11:45am

Unless you really want to see something that might close before you get another chance, just go to the museum. The Metropolitan Museum is on the level of the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum and the various British museums. The quality and breadth of the collections, the knowledge/research of the curators, the quality of the displays... these museums are something special. I enjoy museums of all kinds but you're missing something if you skip one of these. 

Personally, when I'm traveling I tend to go sightseeing or wander through museums instead of seeing live performances. I suppose part of it is that I'm spoiled living here in NY so there's rarely something I feel the need to see elsewhere. There have been exceptions but if I'd had to wait in a rush line or anything like that, I probably wouldn't have gone. 

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Musicals or Museums#11
Posted: 4/7/19 at 1:09pm
I love the simplicity of Louis Armstrong's ordinary home in Corona, Queens. The memory of that visit has stayed with me much longer than visits to any other NY museum.
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Musicals or Museums#12
Posted: 4/7/19 at 3:25pm

As opposed to asking for opinions of which show to see from people who've seen both, whether to go to a museum or a Broadway show is such a personal decision based on someone's own interests, tastes and what they're in the mood for that day when they wake up, I can't imagine why someone would care what choices anyone else would make. But I'll play the game. The Guggenheim, Neue Galerie etc. are nice but the Met is one of the world's preeminent museums and it's huge. Plus, unless you're a NY State resident or a student, it's $25 to get in. If you've never been to it, spend your day there. Don't even bother trying to cram in one or two other museums but do make sure you get to the Met's 2nd branch in the old Whitney Museum building on Madison which is included with your admission. Rush a show in the morning, get your ticket at 10 a.m. for the evening performance. Immediately head over to the Met and spend the day there. On Saturdays, they are open late so you'll have till about 6 or 6:30 before having to head back to the theater district to grab a quick bite and see your show at 8:00 p.m. 

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Musicals or Museums#13
Posted: 4/7/19 at 3:59pm

UncleCharlie said: "As opposed to asking for opinions of whichshow to see from people who've seen both, whether to go to a museum or a Broadway show is such a personal decision based on someone's own interests, tastes and what they're in the mood forthat day when they wake up, I can't imagine why someone would care what choices anyone else would make."

 

You’d be surprised at just how much some of us don’t know, or what may be right in front of our face and we don’t see it.

I’ve been trying to plan the little adventure for months now. With more than a dozen replies in this thread and via PM from helpful members, I’ve been able to adjust and fine tune my trip even more than I could have done so without the advice of experienced residents and tourists alike. Everyone that had input has been incredibly helpful, and for that I am grateful.

Hoping to make this a jammed packed, wonderful, adventurous, and fantastic 60th birthday. 

Signed,

Me - trying to enjoy life while I still can. Musicals or Museums

 

mar6411
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Musicals or Museums#14
Posted: 4/7/19 at 4:05pm

I have a hard time going to NYC and not seeing a show.  Most museums are closed in the evening (although I think the Met stays open longer on Saturday) so I always figure that means I have to go to a show.  But if you feel indifferent, then maybe it's not meant to be.  But you can always walk up to the TKTS booth at 5 or later and see what's there.

I love the Met - and everyone here is right - you could spend days there.  I definitely recommend a visit there.  My other favorites in that area (Fifth Ave) are the Frick and the Jewish Museum.  These and the others mentioned are smaller and may be a break from the Met if you want to go somewhere else.  There are so many wonderful museums in NYC so go to a different one every time.  Check out the exhibitions and see what strikes you and put that one on your list.  I update my museum list with the exhibitions that are of interest to me and decide accordingly.  But all of us have our own way of doing things.

Most museums don't open till 10 (I'm pretty sure the Met doesn't) so you could do the Donut Pub (got to try that on my next trip) and Top of the Rock on your original schedule and not feel like you have to go back and forth.

When it comes to museums - or choosing any activity - it's hard to make a bad choice in NYC.

Enjoy!  And then let us know - I love your posts about your trips.  The enthusiasm makes me want to go back again even if I've just been there.  

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Musicals or Museums#15
Posted: 4/7/19 at 6:30pm

Really interesting question! I go to NYC twice a year, and usually for specific shows that I buy months in advance - like Hamilton. I also come to the city for specific museum exhibits like David Bowie Is at the Brooklyn Museum. But I almost never do both the same day. If I spend 4-5 hours at the Met or MOMA, I love it, but I’m drained. Ready for a long dinner in a quiet restaurant. Many people will do as much as they can squeeze in, but I prefer to do less and come down more often. If there isn’t anything you’re wild about in theatres, I’d go with a museum until you hear about a special show to see, and spend the $. I’d rather see 1 great production, than 3 meh. Next on my list this summer is Hadestown, but I don’t have tix yet. Have fun!

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Musicals or Museums#16
Posted: 4/7/19 at 8:46pm
I'm going to chime in again as a long time volunteer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: it is a spectacular institution and one that you will need to set aside a large amount of time to fully appreciate!

Note that since you will be visiting on the weekend, any museum you go to will be crowded. The Met is open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and will generally be a bit less crowded during the extended hours, but with the Costume Institute "Camp" exhibition in full swing by then, it may not make a difference.

I'd recommend really seeking out what type of art or artists you would most like to see and strategize from there. The Guggenheim has a limited collection, and if you are seeking something more modern, the Met might not be where you should start.

I did something similar last year actually. I went to Boston to see Moulin Rouge but spent the better part of the day at the Museum of Fine Arts to view their John Singer Sargent collection and murals.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me!
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Musicals or Museums#17
Posted: 4/7/19 at 9:21pm
I do enjoy going to museums while in NYC. However, on one DC/NYC vacation, I OD’d on museums so toward the end of the NYC segment of my trip (it was sandwiched between D.C. on either side) when I went to The Met, I was just overwhelmed and couldn’t completely enjoy it. In fact, I had planned to go to The Cloisters after The Met that day but realized I was maxed out. I think I only spent an hour or two (part of which was spent in the cafe) at The Met. As someone who is a bit of a completist/perfectionist, I found it overwhelming especially after visiting so many other museums that trip. It an abundance of pleasures. I hate to admit I’ve never been back and have never made it to The Cloisters in the years since. I’m sure I will one day. All of which is preamble to me saying that I would advise you not try to do more than one museum in one day, especially if one of those museums is The Met.

I would also, depending on the shows, chose a show over a museum. But that’s just me.

By the way, my favorite NY museum (I admit I haven’t been to all of them) is The Whitney. I tend to enjoy modern art (so l also enjoy MoMA) plus I like the edited way they display their collections. When I was in NY for 7 nights in June, I saw 9 productions plus had time to visit The Whitney, The Guggenheim and MoMA (although my visit to MoMA was absurdly rushed).
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Musicals or Museums#18
Posted: 4/7/19 at 9:35pm
Also, I’m looking forward to Tootsie despite some of the negativity about it on here. But by time you’re there, there will be critic’s reviews and Tony noms to perhaps help guide you. But as has been mentioned, there is off-Broadway to consider too. I know you saw Fiddler on tour, but Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish is just unbelievably great.

Lastly, I saw you mentioned Top of the Rock. If you mean going to the top, even if you prepurchase your ticket, plan on lines especially in the summer. It may take you longer than expected.
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Musicals or Museums#19
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:30pm

To combine ideas... it's worth checking to see what's at the New York Performing Arts Library (at Lincoln Center) while you're here. They often have Broadway-related exhibits, which might be of interest.

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Musicals or Museums#20
Posted: 4/8/19 at 12:13pm

THANK YOU again to everyone for their amazing posts and PM’s. I sat there yesterday and worked on this little journey for almost 10hrs - juggling sightseeing and shows, determining the exact subway and walking routes, and trying to figure out when and where to eat during all of this activity. I’ll probably just hook up an IV and run with it. lol

One thing I had budgeted on was buying a VIP Access ticket to the Top of the Rock in order to significantly reduce times in lines and waiting on elevators. 

When all is said in done it’ll be a fascinating trip. And I’ll probably be exhausted, needing plenty of rest from this little vacation. 

 

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Musicals or Museums#21
Posted: 4/8/19 at 12:19pm

Musicals over museums, but love them both. I could get lost in the Natural History Museum or Brooklyn Museum of hours - just people watching and learning. 

We ain't no cheerleaders.
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Musicals or Museums#22
Posted: 4/8/19 at 12:44pm

My daughter and I were just in NYC last weekend.  We wanted to go to the Natural History Museum but the line was out the door and down the block, so Plan B was the New York Historical Society a couple of blocks away down CPW.  It's a little known gem.  They have an amazing collection of Tiffany lamps on display.  There's also a very interesting exhibit on the history of Hudson River development (really!). Highly recommend.  I've been there a few times and it's never been crowded.

We like musicals too.  Saw Tootsie (okay, not great) and Merrily We Roll Along (loved it).  Whatever you do, happy birthday and have a great time!

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Musicals or Museums#23
Posted: 4/8/19 at 4:03pm

amaklo said: "My daughter and I were just in NYC last weekend. We wanted to go to the Natural History Museum but the line was out the door and down the block, so Plan B was the New York Historical Society a couple of blocks away down CPW. It's a little known gem. They have an amazing collection of Tiffany lamps on display. There's also a very interesting exhibit on the history of Hudson River development (really!). Highly recommend. I've been there a few times and it's never been crowded.

We like musicals too. Saw Tootsie (okay, not great) and Merrily We Roll Along (loved it). Whatever you do, happy birthday and have a great time!
"

Not sure if you went to Natural History Museum at opening.  I went last year to kill some time.  When I arrived about 20 minutes before opening, there was a huge line and down the block.  I walked across the street, bought a drink from the vendor and sat until opening.  By 10:10 the huge line was gone.  Walked up and got inside the museum 10 minutes later.  This may not be typical with their lines.  Just a thought, to keep in mind for any future visits.

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Musicals or Museums#24
Posted: 4/8/19 at 4:03pm

double



 

Updated On: 4/8/19 at 04:03 PM
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Musicals or Museums#25
Posted: 4/12/19 at 9:43pm

What you really mean is that some musicals have become museums themselves.  The reason some have been running for 30 years or more is because people from every where have got to see them like the Metropolitan or Modern!