Let’s face it. We can’t afford to go to NYC on anything approaching a regular basis. It’s just not in the budget. We tried to make it this fall, but even if we had the money for flights, food, and lodging, the prices for show tickets in NYC (Opera, Symphony, Broadway…) would have put us waaay over budget.
In terms of operas and orchestras, there are other professional options closer and cheaper. Even dismissing Ottawa, there’s Montreal and Toronto. But professionally staged Broadway shows are harder to come by. The next best option from NYC is Toronto, and even there the choices are limited and the tickets, costly.
So it was with some glee that I found out about the Broadway Theatre League of Utica – a group that specializes in bringing professional touring productions of big Broadway shows to little old Utica: a town that’s only about 3.5 hours away!
That’s where we went last night. It was kind of a rush, but a weeknight getaway is a weeknight getaway, and we made it work. Taking off Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, we were able to get down to Utica in plenty of time for the show and then drive back this morning in time to finish out the afternoon in the office.
Worth the Trip
I was a bit leery about the production – not knowing whether the quality of the show would be worth the drive – but the cast and crew of In The Heights put on a top-notch show. Aside from a couple of minor lighting issues, this was definitely a professional production all the way, and even brought us to tears a few times.
Given that the league brings in about 8 shows a season – in a stunningly gorgeous old downtown theatre – Utica greatly expands our Broadway options. The only concern is that their season runs through the winter. Driving to Utica in a snowstorm is probably not ideal – but the season runs from September through May, so we could probably get to about half the shows without too much concern over bad weather. And at $50 a ticket, it definitely makes for a cheap alternative…
…Or at least it would have been cheap, if we hadn’t made a stop in Syracuse en route to Utica to pick up a few hundred dollars worth of footwear!!