New York City for theatrical people!

Let’s get one thing straight NYC is perfect for theatre people. If there’s one thing for sure it’s that the streets are crawling with dancers, singers, comedians, actors, performers and other such like professions. The theatrical side of life runs perfectly against the shimmering lights of Time Square. I remember one of my first shows I ever performed was FAME (I mean, wasn’t everyone’s) I was about 11 years old and in love with the idea of becoming a dancer. Blissfully unaware of the future.

I loved that show though, I loved the story (for the most part, and what I understood at that age) I loved the songs, everything! I remember thinking…I’ll go to New York one day! My whole outlook on New York was what I had watched and performed as a child.
When I turned 24 I actually went to New York. Bam. There I am smack bang in the middle of this world that I had dreamt about so many times as a child. I visited all the places I’d ever wanted to Radio City, The Rockerfella, Broadway dance centre, the American ballet theatre. I saw them all!

Only thing is, when you’re 24 and you’re in NY admiring all these places it’s hard not to feel hard on yourself because inside these theatres are people your age DOING IT!
You do see the streets lined with dancers singers and actors but the harsh truth is that most of them are unemployed or working at what was the most tragic part of our trip, Ellen’s stardust diner. We arrived pretty late and struggling artists half heartedly yet beautifully belted out show tunes to drunk people indulging in late night fried cheese. I couldn’t help but say how much more i wanted for these amazing artists.Clearly these people were over qualified for serving me blue coloured cocktails with several bendy straws at 1am.

One thing that fascinated me in NY was the comedy scene! It’s huge. Now it could be just as big in LDN but I often avoided or because i got plain sick of the people filtering their events in my face in Leicester Square. That being said in NY when some joker tempted the idea of seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in my direction I snapped up that ticket.

To neither yours nor my surprise.
I did not see Tina or Amy that night.

I did however see, Judah Friedlander at Stand Up NY and he was as funny as I imagined. The intimate crowd were buzzing as I took the last seat available. Right at the edge of the stage, the spot that literally said ‘pick on me’ for the comedians, before I’d even sat down the MC was calling me out about my ‘sexy outfit’ and asked me ‘ohhh girl- you out there looking for a man, damn girl you got dressed up’ With my awkward laugh i looked back over at Naomi who was sat further to the back and said ‘im not no!’ ‘good, send them my way then’ she laughed and on with the show. I was already ready for it. I was placed in the perfect position. Perhaps my highlight of being called on was when on the comedians came on, sat down, browsed the crowd and looked at me. I knew it was time, he had a joke ready. ‘ How old are you?’ he asked. I laughed. ‘Should she be drinking? Did anyone check her id?’ he shouted as i drank me beer. I’m 22 i laughed. He dryly bit back ‘ you look 12’
I agreed. and e continue with the act. I loved this, the whole interaction with the crowd. It made me so happy.
So imagine my delight when we were queing up for AssssCat 300 at UCB. Home of such talent like; Amy Poehler (SNL, Parks and recreation, Sisters) Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) Kate Mckinnon (Snl, Ghostbusters) Bobbi Moynihan (SNL) Matt Walsh (Veep) and many more! It’s such an incredible experience.

The whole show was based on audience interaction. You shout out a word and a monologist will create the foundation for a story to be completely improvised by the comedians. AND THEY CREATE AMAZING WORK. It’s so bloody funny. I was overwhelmed by the talent i saw. Heads up – que for the 9:30pm tickets and the show is FREE!

Aside from the comedy scene, as you can imagine NYC is bursting at the scenes with the chance to see a show. Broadway is forever pumping new shows out and with 5-7 shows a week you are guaranteed to find something that will create a lifetime of memories. If that be dance, drama or the favourite musical you’ve been wanting to see. It’s often that NYC has that show waiting for you. One thing i will say about this is, it isn’t going to be cheap. Tickets can cost from $59 to $199 on average. Check out the off broadway shows if you are looking for something to be possibly more money friendly. They are just as good quality shows most of the time!

If that is still out of your budget i recommend taking tours of the theatres. We looked around Radio City Music Hall, New York City Ballet, Rockefella Centre and Carnegie hall. Just go look around, go admire the stages, the seats, the feel of the building, the costumes, the rehearsal spaces. The foundations of the theatre are all there waiting for you to walk around.

One of the shows i have always dreamt about seeing is the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City. I was lucky enough to go on a tour of the theatre when i visited last time and it made me want to go back at christmas more than ever and watch the spectacular…one day.

Have you ever been to NYC and seen a show? Let me know in the comments before what you saw and how your trip was !

Danielle Jade.

 

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A guide to exploring Copenhagen.

Hello everyone, i’m back with another travel blog!

Todays post is about my recent visit to the wonderful city of Copenhagen in Denmark.

 
I was lucky enough to go for my 24th birthday and whilst away on our short trip together Naomi and i managed to fit in as much as possible. Now first of all let me just say, If you’re debating the trip over to Copenhagen, then stop now, just get on skyscanner and book those (usually found cheap) flights. Its a wonderful little city and i fully enjoyed every single second we were there.

Now let’s take a look at my trip to COPENHAGEN (points to you if you said it like Brittany Snow does in Pitch Perfect Two)

Upon arrival we hopped in a taxi to our hotel, we were staying at the Ascot Hotel, right by the Tivoli Gardens. (The taxi was super cheap and cost about £20) When we arrived at the hotel, we were shown to our room, put down our bags, sorted ourselves out, put on our coats, grabbed our umbrellas and head out. We only had the evening of the first night so we head straight to the city centre and walked amongst the shops of the beautiful Strøget. The streets were lines with beautiful christmas decorations and fairy lights lit up the front of many grand shops.

 

Hungry from our flight we head into a beautiful little restaurant/cafe and pulled up our little table for two. As soon as i saw it on the menu, i was ready for it, Espresso Martini. OH boy, this was delicious just look at it;

 
It was exactly what i needed. Here i am, the birthday girl with my favourite birthday drink.

As it was my birthday Naomi had paid for us to go watch the Dans2Go performance whilst we were over there, they were doing the White Swan adagio of Swan Lake at The old Stage in Copenhagen.

 

It was a beautiful stage, for an excellently performed ballet and a perfect evening. I adore ballet, i alway have, i always will. You know that feeling you get when you see something you love so much and you feel instant joy, i felt that way throughout the whole piece.After the ballet finished, we were both very tired so called it a night.

The next day we were up early, hitting the breakfast in the hotel and ready for the day! Now, my friend Laura had just been to Copenhagen and recommended that we take the train up to the north  to Humlebæk and visit the Louisiana Art Museum. When we got there it was beautiful! The museum over looks the sea and it was stunning.

 
The exhibition that was on at the time we arrived was Yayoi Kusama, I highly encourage you to google Yayoi Kusama and bathe in the wonder of her life. Here’s a few of my favourite moments around the museum.

 

You see the first picture, all the colours are made up from singular sticky dots. You take your sticker and place it wherever you desire. It was such a cool experience.

After we had a look around the shops (I’m looking at you Sephora) we decided we would head back to the hotel. We wrapped up warm before heading for food and to what i was most excited to explore on this trip, the Tivoli Gardens. For those of you who may not already know what Tivoli Garden is, it is an amusement park that come December time is turned into the most magical Winter Wonderland.

 
Just look at the architecture;

 
The little huts, hosting different shops and stalls were the perfect escape from the bitter cold. As we wandered around the whole of the Tivoli Gardens we realised just how much time you could truly spend in the wonderland. There were a lot of different aspects to the park, you could go on the rides, shop the cabins, grab a bit to eat in the restaurants, indulge in the chocolates and treats or like we did, stroll aimlessly for hours and then grab a hot chocolate to warm up.


Perhaps what i found most amazing about the Tivoli Gardens was that it wasn’t crowded AT ALL. It was perfect, maybe that’s because we did go early afternoon but it was already dark by 5 so we didn’t miss the winter atmosphere.

As the time went by it was becoming later and later and my stomach was rumbling.
We head to the Meat Packing district in Vesterbro and found the best place for pizza EVER (bold but true statement) called Neighbourhood. Naomi and i love to eat well and these pizza were all organic! AMAZING. Also did i mention they were huge!
Check it;

  

After that we moved onto a hidden  almost speak easy cocktail bar called 1656. We had looked up places to get a drink and this one just kept popping up on the list. Now let me tell you something, this place was not easy to find. It is extremely hidden away. You would not know that this is a bar.


At first i didn’t trust Naomi when she suggested we just walk in, i was convinced it was the door to someones home! We saw one person exit and peeped around the door before entering. Once we got inside, it reminded me of a bar you’d find in Cabaret. It was very dark, with only minimal dim lighting and old chesterfield furniture filled the place. Moving on to the best part of the night, the cocktails there….OH MAAAAA. They were incredible! See for yourself;

 
They were truly delicious. Mine of course was gin based, it had in elderflower and was dressed with edible flowers. So refreshing. So adorable. After we had a few cocktails, we decided to call it a night and enjoy the walk back to our room.

The next morning we got up super early and again head down for breakfast. With it being our last day we packed and got prepared to spend out last hours in Copenhagen sight seeing. We head back through amongst the shops and carried on walking to hit some of the most popular tourist attractions.

This part of Copenhagen is called Nyhavn. Here are the little houses you think of when you picture Copenhagen . FUN FACT: Hans Christian Andersen lived in three different houses on this strip.Nowadays though there are very few (if any) that are used for living in and most have been turned into restaurants and pubs. All boasting different music, atmospheres and genres this strip is a must see for anyone looking to eat in Copenhagen.

 
Our next stop was to admire the beautiful scenes around The Royal Danish Opera House. The view here is breathtaking, you have to get a boat over to the Opera house. The calm ambience that surrounds this area can only be compared to a dream. The walk from here up to the Little mermaid statue is long but peaceful. It was a perfect sightseeing walk and a chance to relax and collect your thoughts. (Side note; If you don’t want to be silent for a while i suggest you get bikes, this journey felt long!)

 
Walking past the Royal Danish Playhouse we arrived at the Little Mermaid statue. Honestly the main reason i went to admire this statue was because my best friend adores the Little Mermaid and there was no way i was leaving without getting a photograph for her. It was busier than i expected at the site of the statue, with not a lot more around i expected it to be quiet but it was a whole group of people climbing down the rocks to pose for a photo with the mermaid.

  As we sat on a bench by the mermaid it dropped cooler and we decided to head back down to the centre, this time walking amongst the houses and heading through a beautiful park to see the Amalienborg Palace. This palace was outstanding, so grand, so elegant and as luck should have it we arrived just as the guards were changing and watched their changing of the guards parade.

 
Continuing down we head back towards the meat packing district to find somewhere to eat, after what felt like hours of hunting, we decided on a little cafe/pub and we ordered a lot of food! We had a starter of bruschetta to share, each had a main with a glass of Prosecco then a chocolate pudding and a hot drinks to finish. It was going to be our last meal in Copenhagen so we did treat ourselves. Did i need the hot chocolate? Probably not. Did it taste delicious. YES.

 
As we wandered around Copenhagen taking the scenic route to our Hotel, i was sad to be leaving. What i admired most about this trip was that it didn’t feel like i had gone away from home. Everyone is so friendly,so individual, and as a city it really does give off the vibe of such a relaxed place to be. I didn’t feel like i had any pressures or worries whilst i was there. Given, i was on a birthday break, so i literally didn’t, but also because it isn’t the largest of places to explore therefor it’s easy to navigate around and most importantly it feels safe. Copenhagen was very tranquil and very beautiful. I went in winter when it was pretty cold and i admired the markets, the theatre, the museums, the restaurants. Everything. I think it’s perfect for a weekend break. You can get a lot done in a few days because it isn’t too big. Next time i’ll be sure to ride a bike around Copenhagen as that appeared to be the most used mode of transport. Honestly, didn’t get this at first and nearly walked into a GROUP of bikers. Not my finest moment.

 
I hope you enjoyed reading my Copenhagen blog.
Let me know in the comments if you have or are planning to visit Copenhagen.

Thanks Danielle Jade

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The Last Five Years – Musical.

Today I thought I would write something a little different. This ones all about the wonderful world that is musicals.

So first I ask you all, what’s the most recent musical you have seen?

Mine was The Last Five Years starting Anna Kendrick and and Jeremy Jordan. Now I first saw this when it came out at the cinema and now it has become my most recent ‘go to’ film when getting ready for work.

I just love it.

First of all, it’s Jason Robert Brown. Now if you don’t know who Jason Robert Brown is, you’re absolutely missing out in the world of Musical Theatre. He is responsible for such works as Songs for a new world, Parade, 13 and many more. Google it.

I dare say Jason Robert Brown is one of my favourite musical theatre composers. I find that when given the chance to sing his work I can instantly connect with the wonderful lyrics and get lost in the beautiful melodies. That’s why I was over the moon when I heard they were making the Last 5 years into a movie.

I had already listened to the off Broadway (2002) album probably over a hundred times since it was released, sung by the wonderful Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott, so I was immediately on edge to find out who was playing the roles of Cathy and Jamie when adapting the musical to film. I must say though, I have now downloaded the film soundtrack as I just adore Jeremy and Anna’s voices together. So round of applause to casting on this one, you nailed it.

In a nutshell the story goes as follows, Jamie is a rapidly rising novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress, living in NYC we see the exploration of their 5 year relationship. What’s interesting about this musical however is the form of how we see the story play out. Cathys story is told in reverse chronological order where as Jamie’s is told in chronological order. Sounds confusing huh? Well don’t worry it’s not! It is what makes the film even more captivating. Seeing one perspective against the other really does show the highs and lows at their most extremes. It’s one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve seen on screen.

Within the last five years there are 14 musical numbers. Jamie sings 5 solos Cathy sings 6 and there are 3 duets. Covering different stages of their relationships songs are used in times of trouble, relief, anger, to fast forward the story and most incredibly still hurting is to show the end of a relationship at the start of the musical. The reason I describe this as being incredible is because it is hard to connect instantly to someone upset about a relationship you haven’t watched grow, you have no concept of how their relationship has been until now, you haven’t made an attachment to the characters yet something in this songs melody and Anna’s perfect performance makes you instantly feel sorrow and you empathise with her character right off the bat. Really if you haven’t seen her in this film yet you are missing out, it’s by far one of her best performances to date. That being said my favourite song in the film adaptation is called moving too fast and is sung by Jamie. This one tells quickly the story of how his career is progressing and Jeremy Jordan’s voice is absolutely flawless. Seriously he is incredible.

Perhaps what I adore about this film is how they successfully transferred the story from stage to screen. They managed to keep the subtle vibe to the couples life in NYC without adding too much Hollywood glamour that could have been done when given a story of a young couple living in the big apple. I find that the jump from stage to screen can be a daunting task when trying to decide how to successfully convert. In particular i was intrigued to how different they would have to make the visuals. I say this as in the musical stage version the two lovers barely interact until their duets. They each sing their solo’s as their way of story telling from opposite sides of the stage and when the time comes for their stories to cross, as do they and the story continues. This however would have made, probably the worlds most boring film and i am glad that the director Richard LaGravenese didn’t take an unrealistic approach to the adaptation and in fact i quite liked the minimal and slightly un imaginative approach. Watch it, you’ll see what i mean.

 If you haven’t already seen this movie I highly recommend it. I then recommend you download the album, research Jason Robert Brown and get hooked on his works as they are truly magical.

If you’ve seen the film before then do let me know in the comments!

Danielle Jade

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