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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NY Public Library & Les Mis Rush | Weekends in New York Vlogs

Enjoy my vlog from last Saturday of me and my friends hanging out in the city. x

Monday, June 20, 2016

Review: Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots’ message of the importance of being yourself and not conforming is one that seemed especially relevant after recent events in Orlando. It was my first time ever seeing the show after listening to the West End cast recording on repeat for months and it did not disappoint. The costumes and sets are beautiful, the music had me dancing in my chair (yes, I’m embarrassing), and the dancing was incredible. I would definitely recommend going to see Kinky Boots anywhere that you can, be that Broadway, the West End, or on tour.

Kinky Boots is the story of a man named Charlie Price who has inherited a failing shoe factory after his father’s death. As he struggles to decide if he wants to pursue his own life or carry out his father’s legacy, he meets Lola, a drag queen who has some issues of her own. Together they team up to try to save the factory.


Alan Mingo Jr. was absolutely stunning as Lola. Not only does he have an incredible voice and is he a great dancer, but his stage presence is exactly what the character of Lola needs. Not to mention that he walks better in heels than I do! He absolutely broke my heart when he sang “Hold Me in Your Heart.” Alan is by far the strongest member of the Kinky Boots cast. (And he was a total sweetheart at stage door.)

I have to mention Jeanna De Waal as Lauren, Charlie’s love interest, and Daniel Stewart Sherman as Don, a burly worker, as well. Jeanna's Lauren was absolutely hysterical, while still likeable and…dare I say it…relatable. Her rendition of “The History of Wrong Guys” was amazing both vocally and acting-wise. Daniel was also simultaneously hilarious and heart-warming as Don.

The only cast member that didn’t completely thrill me was Andy Kelso as Charlie Price. While his singing was lovely, he was lacking in the charisma that is necessary to make Charlie not seem like a jerk. I especially noticed this in “Soul of a Man” and the voice mail part of “Hold Me in Your Heart” which fell a bit flat, in my opinion. I also have to admit that I think I’m a bit spoiled for the role of Charlie because I’m used to hearing Killian Donnelly on the West End cast album, who has a stunning voice and enough charisma to fill all of Manhattan. 

My roommate Kendal and I with Alan 
Despite whatever flaws it has, the Broadway production of Kinky Boots is truly one that shouldn’t be missed. Alan Mingo Jr. shines in the part of Lola, the dancing will blow your mind, and you’ll leave much happier than you were going in.

PLAYBILL GIVEAWAY!

Because I ended up with an extra playbill for Kinky Boots, I wanted to do a little giveaway. Not only is it a playbill in great condition, it’s also a Pride Playbill! If you’d like to enter to win, just leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite show you’ve ever seen is. Don’t forget to leave your email address or Twitter username so that I can contact you to tell you if you’ve won! The competition will close on July 1. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Best Places in NYC: The Strand Bookstore

I made a little video about one of my favorite places in New York...and a mini bookstore haul!

Friday, June 17, 2016

UPDATE on Posting Schedule

Hi there readers,

I wanted to give you a quick update on my different posting schedule for this summer. Between work, class, research, and simply living in New York, I don't think that I can hold myself to posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Plus, sometimes I'm struggling because I want to post more than that!

Instead, for the summer, I'll be posting three times a week but not on any set days. And I may post more if I see more than three Broadway shows in a week (I'm seeing four this week!). I'll be discontinuing Friday Internet Finds just for the summer, to make more space for posts.

In regards to my YouTube channel, I'll hopefully still be uploading a video either Sunday or Monday of every week.

If you have any suggestions for posts or videos, please put them in the comments below or Tweet them to me at @nicoleackman16.

Love,
Nicole xx

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review: Bright Star

Bright Star might just be the most uplifting show currently on Broadway. My roommate Kimmy and I went and got rush tickets yesterday morning for last night's show. I still can't quite believe that we paid just $30 for orchestra row C!


I don't want to give away too much, but the show is set in North Carolina in two different time periods: 1923 and 1945. There are two storylines interweaving around the character of Alice Murphy (brilliantly portrayed by Carmen Cusack). The first act ends with one of the most shocking moments I've ever seen on a Broadway stage. The resolution in the second act is fairly predictable, but heartwarming nonetheless. The music, if not particularly memorable, is unique for its bluegrass style. My personal favorite was definitely "Another Round," a hilarious dance tune about drinking.

After seeing the show, I definitely understand why it was nominated for a Tony for Best Musical and it's clear that Carmen Cusack deserved her nomination for Best Actress. While her vocals are flawless, it was her acting that stood out to me. She had me in tears three separate times! I also have to mention that she was so lovely at stage door and just a ray of sunshine.

I honestly don't know what my face is doing.
Another standout performance was A.J. Shively as Billy, a young man who has returned from World War II and wants to pursue a career as a writer. With a lovely voice and believable acting, he stood out amongst the cast. His comedic timing was also on point and he was suitably adorable in his romantic scenes with Margo.


The main reason that I wanted to see Bright Star was because of Paul Alexander Nolan, who stars as Jimmy, Alice's love interest. I absolutely adore Paul on the Daddy Long Legs and the Doctor Zhivago cast albums, so I wanted to see him in person. How do I even describe how wonderful Paul was? His voice is stunning and he was just so charming.

We also had a nice chat at stage door about Daddy Long Legs, which I think surprised him a bit. He even told us a bit of trivia about our favorite song from that show, "My Manhattan"!


Sadly, the news that Bright Star is closing on June 26 came out while we were at the show. If you can possibly get to the show before then, I would highly recommend it. The bluegrass music has a great bounce to it, the cast are impeccable, and the show will rip your heart out only to put it back together again better than it was before. With everything that's been going on in the world these past few days, this show was exactly the inspiring message that I needed to see.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: She Loves Me on Broadway

On May 28, I finally achieved two of my life goals: I saw Laura Benanti perform live and I met the voice actor behind my favorite Disney prince (Flynn Rider, of course).

If you're in New York, go see She Loves Me as soon as you can (especially because it closes July 10). If you've seen the movie You've Got Mail, then the plot may seem familiar: parfumerie employees Amalia and Georg are at odds in their daily life, but they each have an anonymous pen pal that they're in love with...any guesses how it ends? 


Laura Benanti is absolutely stunning in the lead role of Amalia. When I saw the show, she was actually sick with a cold but her vocals were still insanely amazing. I've loved Laura for years, but seeing her live completely exceeded all my expectations. She's absolutely charming as Amalia and the audience can't help but like her. (Side note: She doesn't stage door most of the time because of how often she's been sick, but she sends out a stack of signed playbills. Bless her.) 

If having Flynn Rider's voice wasn't enough to make me adore Zachary Levi, his lovely portrayal of Georg certainly did the trick. His vocals surprised me by how good he was (not that I'd doubted him; I just had never heard him sing like that before) and his comedic timing was impeccable. I came out of the theatre kind of in love with Georg myself.

Zachary Levi was the absolute nicest at stage door!
I also can't not mention Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski, both of whom make their somewhat odd characters so very likable. Their dancing and chemistry are both incredible and I had no idea that Jane can sing as well as she can. She's so much tinier in person than you would expect and photos and video somehow do not do justice to how pretty she is. 

If I had an infinite supply of money, I would go see this show every single day (in addition to buying Hamilton tickets). It's by far my favorite thing I've seen on Broadway this summer and not just because I too would fall in love with a guy who brought me vanilla ice cream. x

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

NYC Room Tour

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, but I've been settling into my new apartment in New York City! So I thought that I would share a little tour of my new place with all of you. x

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