King Kong on Broadway – NYC

Now Playing at the Broadway Theatre

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Wow, what a production! And King Kong!!! Just Wow. Talk about an awesome puppet…

The King Kong puppet used in the production is the fourth rendition, perfected after three previous versions. It stands more than 20 feet high, weighs 4000 lbs and requires more than 30,000 pounds of steel reinforcement in the rafters to support its weight. 13 operators are responsible for his movements, including one puppeteer strictly dedicated to Kong’s facial expressions that sits INSIDE of his face! Each of his limbs are manipulated by an individual puppeteer. The physical demands on the operators are great, involving running, lifting, pulling, climbing and rope repelling. The cost of the puppet was kept confidential, but hinted to be in the millions.

So how much fine tuning does a production like take? The cast and crew rehearse 4 hours per week in between shows and have a full crew of stand-ins at every show, in case one of the members takes ill or is injured. The show runs six days per week and 8 performances are run per week.

Above notes Courtesy of Wayne Griffin who attended the show talk-back with the cast.

Now I know you want to check it out! Here is a little more info;

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The new musical King Kong is now playing at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway) where it opened on Thursday, November 8 (previews began October 5, 2018).
The all-star cast is led by Christiani Pitts, (A Bronx Tale) as Ann Darrow, Eric William Morris (Mamma
Mia!) as Carl Denham, and Erik Lochtefeld (Misery, Metamorphoses) as Lumpy.

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Written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) with a score by Marius de Vries (La La Land and Moulin Rouge!) and songs by Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice), King Kong is directed and
choreographed by Drew McOnie (Strictly Ballroom The Musical).
King Kong is produced by Carmen Pavlovic (Global Creatures) and Roy Furman.

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King Kong comes alive through an innovative mix of robotics, puppetry and stagecraft.
Based on the 1932 novel, the stage production of King Kong is a contemporary take on the classic
tale of beauty and the beast. The story follows a young actress, Ann Darrow, and a maverick filmmaker, Carl Denham, as they voyage from the bustling streets of 1930s New York to an uncharted island to capture the world’s greatest wonder.

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At the center of this 21st Composer and music producer Marius de Vries (the films La La Land, Moulin Rouge, and Romeo + Juliet) is a four-time Grammy nominee. Eddie Perfect (songs) is a Helpmann Award winner and
composer and lyricist of the Broadway-bound Beetlejuice and Shane Warne The Musical.
Pioneering creature designer Sonny Tilders developed Kong for the show, bringing together the worlds of animatronics and puppetry to a degree never seen on stage before. Tilders was honored with the Helpmann Award, Australia’s highest theatrical honor, for Outstanding Theatrical Achievement.

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King Kong’s design team for Broadway also includes Peter England (Scenic and Projection Design), Roger Kirk (Costume Design), Peter Mumford (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound
Design), Gavin Robins (Aerial and King Kong Movement Director) and Tom Watson (Hair Design).

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David Caddick is Music Supervisor and Eldad Guetta is Associate Music Arranger.

Casting by Tara Rubin Casting. Johanna McKeon is Associate Director. Ellenore Scott is Associate Choreographer.
King Kong is authorized by the Merian C. Cooper Estate.

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Tickets to King Kong are now on sale through Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 and online at www.Telecharge.com. Tickets for groups of ten or more are available by calling 866-302-0995 or by email at info@broadwayinbound.com.

Discount code for my readers, save up to $55 off of regular priced seats:

Sales/perf period 2/8/19 – 9/1/19

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For more information check out the following;

–       Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kingkongbway

–       Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KingKongBway

–       Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingkongbway

–       YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-Ezw6CfVX_TIyqrGiO-yCg

King Kong | Now in Previews on Broadway

Source: King Kong

Disclosure: This post is made possible by support from King Kong Broadway. All opinions are my own.

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Liberty Science Center Summer Fun: Dino Dig, Grossology, Arthur’s World, Planetarium and much more!

What a blast my boys and I had today at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City New Jersey.

Today was a perfect day to be at the LSC. 75 and sunny for the morning and we got there bright and early to get a jump start on Dino Dig!

20180721_111058.jpgThis is a view looking down on the exhibit from the 4th floor. It’s a huge area of imagination and digging up REAL (ok, replica) Dinosaur bones!

We’ve been here before, but even though they’ve seen it, my boys still seemed to enjoy it just as if it was the first time again. Finding new dinosaurs, even dinosaurs eggs and poop!

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Not to mention, I cannot get enough of this view! You can pay big money for a view as close as this to the NYC skyline. Many parts of the center allow for outstanding views but the Dino Dig section is basically in its backyard.

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We wanted to also check out some of the featured exhibits on the third floor.  These are the limited time, see em’ while they’re hot, catch them if you can kind of exhibited so I suggest you get on in!

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Arthur’s World is pretty cute.  It is an entire large portion of the 3rd floor dedicated to the children’s show “Arthur”. Although my kids were never into the show, they’ve both read the books and appreciated this fantasy room where they got to feel like they were part of the show.

20180721_101925.jpg They got to pretend to be school teachers and students of the class. There were changes of clothes they can even wear to get into character.

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They also went “camping” and played house complete with a kitchen.

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They looked around and played however it might be more in tune with the younger crowd. 20180721_101726

The most popular new exhibit is the planetarium dome theater show theat runs every hour or so.  It is included with the LSC day pass, but I believe they’d like you to sign up for showtimes to avoid having to turn anyone away.

I remember seeing shows in this awesome dome theater as a child. It used to make me dizzy, and still does,- but it’s worth it!

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They have a few different shows all based on the solar system, we saw “beyond 2 worlds”.

My 6 year old was a bit nervous, gripping on to the seats because of the virtual reality like feeling you get. Eventually he settled down and enjoyed it.  Both kids and myself left with a huge smile and slight headaches and dizziness.  It’s a love/hate relationship!

Last but certainly not least, the awesome new exhibit GROSSOLOGY was so cool!

Having 2 boys, gross is a part of my daily vocabulary… this is not for the queezy people of the world.  Many boogers, burps and farts are thrown around this room.  Many..

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I think my favorite part of this exhibit was the lifesize, real life operation game.  Squishy organs you place one by one into a cartoon body, and then go to work getting a light flashing and buzzing if you even so much as tap the metal sides, just like the game!20180721_10481420180721_104653

They would stay in this exhibit for hours if I let them.

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Aside from the fun new exhibits, we hit up some of our old favorites too. The touch tunnel;

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The animal exhibits!

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And so much more.

You definitely need a full day to really appreciate everything. There is a food court that you can stop and get a bite for lunch or dinner, so plan a full day here… see it all.

Take in all of the knowledge, fun, and views the Liberty Science Center has to offer. You’ll be happy you did!

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Hotels Tonight App w/ $25 off Coupon Code

Looking for that last Summer trip before school starts back up? Save $25 on your next hotel stay by booking on Hotel Tonight with coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS. It’s a free app available for android and apple. JUST CLICK “apply promotion” in the app.

Want to get away but not sure where to go? Or do you need a last minute hotel? Lucky for you, the more last minute you book with Hotel Tonight, the more discount you’ll get!

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Booking a hotel? Use coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS to get $25 off of your booking!

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Check out the hot places to go local to you and find the staycation you’ve been wanting!

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Happy travels!

2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD Review

2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD

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I had the opportunity this first week of April to check out the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL in Platinum Graphite thanks for DriveShop. I always love doing car reviews because seeing all of the different options available as they come out makes it really easy for me to choose a car that is right for my family. Sometimes you see a vehicle that looks really beautiful, but then you test drive it, and end up disappointed. Luckily, for anyone looking to get a Kia Sorento for their family, this is not one of the disappointments in my opinion.

Check out my initial reaction when I got the keys for the first time.

If you’ve seen any of my other vehicle reviews, you probably already know that my favorite part is the panoramic moon roof. It just adds so much life to the interior. I usually leave it open everyday to keep the inside feeling bright and big. There is nothing saying you need to keep your moon roof closed and have the car looking dark inside! I do the same with my personal car although there isn’t an awesome panoramic style moon roof in it.

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Do you see how bright it is in the car? Look at all of that natural lighting! You can do your own photo shoot in the car.

The interior in this model is black nappa leather trim and ivory. Immediately after getting into this car, I was in love with how luxurious it looks and feels inside. The seats were so soft and cozy and the front AND middle seats all offer the controlled heated seat option with the front also offering air conditioned seats which is lux-urious! The steering wheel has a heated option as well which is great.

 

You can tell the difference in lighting when the moon roof is closed. Do yourself a favor, keep it open!

The way this car drove was amazing. The 6 cylinders gave great pick up and the car drove smoothly and very comfortably. The new age systems inside were a little difficult to navigate as far as all of the options available, but I am sure if I had longer then 1 week with the vehicle an actually read the manual I’d have it all down to a science.

The back up camera in this model is very efficient. It took a little getting used to, but it has an ACTUAL camera view on the top of the car that allows you to not only see the back of your vehicle like most, but also the front and sides. It gives you multiple camera options too depending on where you want to look. The car monitors and beeps at you to let you know if anything is in your path.

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My one complaint with this car, and again, I did not read the manual, but I couldn’t figure it out if it is an actual option, is that I cannot control the rear heat/AC. The 3rd row has the option for the passenger to control the heat/AC back there which is great… but who usually sits in the 3rd row? Kids rights? I don’t want them controlling their own heating and cooling without me having the option to “fix” it while I am driving on the highway. I can foresee numerous fights ensuing over it which a parent is stuck listening to it without the option to fix it without stopping or pulling over. That is something that would bug me if I was the owner of this 3rd row SUV.

The trunk space is really, really tiny and it is expected with the compactness of this vehicle. But when I say small.. I mean really small. It barely fit an umbrella stroller in it when I took some friends for a play date to the local mall an utilized the 3rd row. But hey, take the good with the bad right? The inside was cozy and spacious even with the 3rd row up. Also, the trunk has a good amount of space when the 3rd row is down.

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For the price of this specific model with all of the options, I think it’s a little high for a KIA in particular with a price tag of $46k, but this is fully loaded. I say for a KIA because before these models recently, KIA was seen as a cheaply made vehicle at an affordable price. It isn’t the case anymore as they’ve stepped it up a lot, but the resale value is currently not great on a KIA at the moment. As far as the interior that I was so excited about, the nappa leather seats leave a little to be desired because although they look beautiful and I’d probably pay extra to have them, they seem like they’d rip or tear easily for like “pleather” instead of real leather which is thicker. Here is the window sticker of this exact model with all of the options I spoke about;

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19MPG avg is a little lower then I’d expect for a smaller SUV such as the Kia Sorento.

Here’s some more look into the details. Look at the gas and break, they look like straight out of a race car!

Overall, we had a great time with this car for the week. It proved to be able to take on a ny task we had for it, including BOYS! My son was trying to participate in the vlogging review of the car and he was able to stand straight up in the back which was cool for him.

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Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum – 007

Madam Tussauds’ Wax Museum is a popular attraction in NYC’s Time Square. I have yet to be to a wax museum but I always fall victim to believing that my friends who have gone actually met these famous people in real life. They look unbelievably life like, especially in photos. Wax Museum’s are fun for both adults and children alike and I cannot wait to bring my boys to Madame Tussauds’ this year.

Any 007 fans here? Well we have a treat for you!

On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Times Square attraction welcomed a travelling exhibition of not one, but SIX James Bond figures. Madame Tussauds’ 007 travelling set provides an opportunity for fans of the timeless franchise to interact with the figures of Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosna (additional figure details copied below, following my signature). Visitors must hurry to the attraction for their chance to join the 007 gang, as the set will head to Madame Tussauds Las Vegas this summer.

To help their visitors celebrate the Bonds, Madame Tussauds New York will offer a 50% off promotion off the price of admission for the duration of the figures’ stay in New York.  Poker chips will be handed out by the attraction’s staff on 42nd street and in Times Square– any visitor who asks for a chip and shows it at admissions, will receive their half-off ticket!

Figure Line up:

  • Sean Connery who played 007 in six EON films starting with Dr. No in 1962 is portrayed as he appeared in the 1963 movie From Russia With Love.

 

  • George Lazenby played Bond just once in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and is featured in a classic pose from the film.

 

  • Roger Moore played Bond seven times beginning with 1973’s Live and Let Die and is portrayed as he appeared in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

 

  • Timothy Dalton is featured as he appeared in the late 1980s in his two Bond appearances (The Living Daylights 1987 and Licence to Kill 1989).

 

  • Pierce Brosnan was 007 four times appearing first in 1995’s GoldenEye; he is featured as he appeared in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies.

 

  • Daniel Craig has portrayed Bond in four films, including the most recent release of Spectre. His figure portrays him as his 2012 Skyfall Bond.

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 FRIDAY.

*PHOTO CREDIT: Madame Tussauds

 

The attraction is going all-out for the arrival of James Bond: not only are the street, door and admissions teams wearing tuxedos, but visitors in the attraction can also purchase Bond’s favorite cocktail, “a medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred,” at two separate bars in the attraction.  Guests planning their visit ahead of time can pre-purchase a “007 package” on Madame Tussauds’ website, which will include a complimentary martini (or virgin martini) with the price of admission!

 

 

Legoland Westchester NY

Our Review of Legoland- Westchester NY

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During Superbowl Sunday, we took a ride to visit Legoland Discovery Center in Westchester NY since the boys have been begging to go after seeing some you tube videos about it. It was about an hour drive for us from where we live in Central NJ which wasn’t so bad. I was pleasantly surprised that it was part of an outdoor mall  and next time we go back, it’ll have to be during nice weather so I can take advantage and shop too! There were palm trees, a mall directory and even outdoor escalators. I was worried it would be difficult to find parking or that it would be expensive, but we got parking right in the Otis Garage which is the closest to Legoland and it was only $3 for the entire day to park which was fantastic!

Let me start off by saying this is not like the YouTube videos of Legoland they’ve watched. This is much smaller in size and it is the “Legoland Discovery Center” so it’s more about small play and learning, not a theme park.

When we first walked in, there was no line. I am not sure if it’s always like this on a Sunday, or if it’s just because it was Winter and also Superbowl Sunday when most people stay in or go to a Superbowl party, but we were next in line right when we entered. We had the basic tickets, and didn’t get a lanyard.

Be prepared, the first room you enter after getting your entry tickets you’ll be staged to take a family photo. There are booths inside that you will have the option to purchase the photo if you wish, but we did not due to the fact that my boys didn’t look at the camera because they were so focused on entering Legoland. Personally, I think they should take the photo at the end when everyone has experienced it already and not impatiently waiting to enter and take coats and such off.

While I am on the topic of coats, let me address a few things. YES you can bring a stroller. I advise you do so that you can store all of your belongings in it. You can put your stroller to the side near you while the kids play. The only thing that will make the stroller more difficult, is the first attraction where the line is really tight. There are also a few cubbies inside where you can store your stuff, but act quickly because they’re first come first serve, Luckily, when we entered at 10am, there were a bunch of cubbies available and we had no issue with getting one.

When we entered, we had to skip past the first attraction because my son had to pee really bad. Unfortunately the ONLY bathroom in the place is right smack in the middle of everything, so we had to quickly walk by everything to get to it, and then back tracked. We couldn’t get on the first ride which was “Kingdom Quest” because we had already past the line and would’ve had to squeeze through everyone to get back. I personally disliked how that set up was, it felt awkward to squeeze past everyone with our big heavy coats and say “sorry, just going through, we aren’t cutting… ” “sorry, my son needs to use the bathroom, we aren’t cutting in line…”. The line was pretty long too, so I didn’t want to wait in it anyway.

Here is what the entire map looks like so you can get an idea of the layout.

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Since we had to initially rush past everything, we back tracked and started at the “Miniland” which was probably me and my husbands favorite part aside from the 4D movie which I’ll get to later. The things that are built here are unbelieveable. They are replicas of landmarks in NYC equipped with sound effects and lighting that you control by pushing buttons. There is even a METS/Yankee stadium that is a working pinball machine!

Check out some of the amazing displays;

Unbelievable that these are created entirely by tiny legos right?

After we checked out Mini Land, we went to the Lego Build & Test section. This is really cute because kids and parents get the build their own lego cars and there is an official race every few minutes that everyone watches. You want to build the biggest and best car to beat your opponent. I liked watching, but my boys weren’t too big in building their own cars. After they tried for a minute they were on to the next activity.

This is the largest part of the facility, the “Play Zone”. This is just a large crawl through obstacle filled with foam legos, slides, and tunnels. I loved this part because me and daddy were able to relax while the boys played safely. They will not let them out until you come to get them from the gate which was really nice. We were able to see them from the small dining area and we got some refreshments and snacks which we watched them play. They stayed inside for about a half an hour and then we had snacks and moved on to the featured 4D movie.

What is 4D you ask? It is A-Maz-ing! Not only do you get 3D glasses to experience the movie up close, but you also FEEL everything going on such as wind and water from rain, etc. It was really cute. The movie we saw was a weekend special, the “new” Lego Movie made specifically for Legoland. I think it was a short term show, and they change it weekly but it is always 4D. It was 10 minutes, and my 7 year old still talks about it today. My 3 year old liked it, but he wasn’t a fan of the 3D and didn’t wear the glasses. Personally, I thought it was really cute and would’ve done it again! It is all included in your entry fee and there is no additional cost. You can go in as many times as you’d like too. Here is the trailer of the one we watched; https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester/lego-4d-movie/

There are a few other sections, like the Master building class which we did not do because my 3 year old probably wouldn’t be good in the room an might be a distraction. There was a Lego Village with a karaoke area that both boys loved. Also, a Lego Duplo area specifically for kids under 5, and another ride that me and my 8 year old went on called  “Merlin’s Apprentice”.

I can’t forget to mention there is a Lego store when you exit the center, and it has some really cute but pricey sets. We got the mini-figure key chains 5 for $20 which was the best deal – you can remove the key chain part and you have mini figures!

We w12714423_10208592151341773_2141372526_nent to eat afterwards at one of the diners outside in the mall. There isn’t much to choose from inside Legoland itself besides a few basic sandwiches and chips. You’re NOT allowed to bring your own food into Legoland (although you can bring a juicecup/bottles) but they did not really check any bags either.

Overall, if you’re not too far from it, I’d say go check out the Legolan Discovery Center in Westchester. Like I said, we will most likely go back during the Summer so we can make a day out of it and hit up the outdoor mall stores as well. It was much smaller then I thought, but then again it wasn’t for me. It was for my boys and they had a blast.

Have you visited this location? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Check out the video from our visit;

Also, if you’re interested in visiting, you can save 20% on your tickets by using my promo code after clicking below:

Visit the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester kids attraction and explore the biggest box of LEGO® bricks. Best prices guaranteed.

When you are purchasing your tickets, there will be a tab titled “Promotional Code” when you click on it you will be prompted to input the code and the discount will be added to your order.

  • JUST FOR MOMS READERS PROMO CODE IS: MB16008

Follow the prompts to complete the purchase.

ENJOY! Let me know below in comments if you’ve visited!

Visit the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester kids attraction and explore the biggest box of LEGO® bricks. Best prices guaranteed.

Broadway Playhouse – Ticket Giveaway!

I am honored to be able to assist you in introducing your child to Broadway musicals! Enter here for a chance to win tickets to the March 6th show (details on the showing below).

> > ENTER NOW < <

BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE

Kids love musicals! The family-friendly Broadway Playhouse performances introduce young theater fans age 4-11 to Broadway classics through mini musicals, medleys, games and sing-alongs. This season, children will discover the great 1950s songwriting duo Richard Adler & Jerry Ross (Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game); the groundbreaking Dorothy Fields (Sweet Charity), Broadway’s first woman lyricist; and rock legend Elton John (The Lion King). Some kids will be invited on stage to roar with Simba from The Lion King or play baseball with the devil from Damn Yankees! Hosted by Sean Hartley, Broadway Playhouse features music director Jihwan Kim and stars Jason Robinson, Martin Landry, Kathryn Markey and Gabrielle Stravelli.

 

2016 Performances:

Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11 am

Broadway Playhouse: Dorothy Fields

Broadway’s first woman lyricist wrote more than 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films, paving the way for the likes of Lynn Ahrens (Seussical) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). She wrote classics like “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and won the 1936 “Best Song” Oscar for “The Way You Look Tonight,” a collaboration with Jerome Kern. This family-friendly celebration of one of Broadway’s greatest woman writers features songs from the musicals Sweet Charity, Seesaw, Redhead and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and the Hollywood films Swing Time and Roberta.

 

Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 11 am (THIS IS THE GIVEAWAY SHOW)

Broadway Playhouse: Elton John

Broadway musicals are known for memorable songs that feature big production numbers with lots of glitz, glam and show-stopping moments. So it’s no surprise that when one of rock music’s most entertaining and successful performers turned his attention to Broadway, the results were phenomenal. Join the as we explore Elton John’s recipe for Great White Way success – inspirational stories that feature mega-watt style. Come roar with Simba from The Lion King and sing along to hits from Aida and Billy Elliot.

 

Kaufman Music Center is New York’s go-to place for music education and performance.

It’s where music lovers, from curious fans to renowned performers, come together to explore their musical passions. Founded in 1952 as a community music school, today’s Kaufman Music Center is one of the city’s most vibrant cultural organizations and home to Merkin Concert Hall; Lucy Moses School, New York’s largest community arts school; and Special Music School, a groundbreaking K-12 public school for musically gifted children.

Merkin Concert Hall
at Kaufman Music Center

129 West 67th Street

New York, NY 10023

> > ENTER NOW < <

BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE

 

Tickets at KaufmanMusicCenter.org/MCH or 212 501 3330.

3-concert Broadway Playhouse subscription: $50

2+ concerts (any combination of Broadway Playhouse and Poppy Seed Players): $17 per ticket

Single tickets: $20

Broadway Playhouse: Richard Adler & Jerry Ross

One of the great songwriting duos of the 1950s, Richard Adler and Jerry Ross hit the Broadway big time with three wildly successful shows in three years: Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game and John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. Their partnership was cut short when Adler died tragically in 1955 at the age of 29, but their shows have lived on in film adaptations as well as numerous revivals. Come visit the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory, where Love is on strike, and find out if “Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets”!

 

 

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day 2015

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20THANNUAL ARTHUR ASHE KIDS’ DAY PRESENTED BY HESS

ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 29TH IN FLUSHING MEADOW, QUEENS

ESPN to Host Broadcast for First Time on ESPN2

The annual event takes place Saturday, August 29th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, NY, from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m to kick-off the 2015 US Open, which runs from August 31st – September 13th.

 

From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., families can enjoy an exciting array of free tennis games geared toward kids, plus live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic as well as musical performances by Bea Miller, Kalin and Myles, Natalie La Rose, Jacob Whitesides and American Authors. Additional participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), www.usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the official card of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $25. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will be broadcast nationally by ESPN2 on Sunday, August 30, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (ET). 

POP MUSIC BREAKOUTS BEA MILLER, KALIN AND MYLES, NATALIE LA ROSE AND JACOB WHITESIDES, ALONG WITH CHART-TOPPERS AMERICAN AUTHORS TEAM-UP WITH TENNIS SUPERSTARS NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND REIGNING MEN’S SINGLES US OPEN CHAMPION MARIN CILIC.

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World’s Preeminent Tennis & Music Festival Kicks-Off 2015 US Open at 

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Blogger Bash 2015 – Make an Impression

Blogger Bash 2015 – Overview & tips for Newbie’s

My journey through Blogger Bash 15′ as a full-time working , crazy newbie blogger from NJ

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Day #1:

As a ‘newbie’ blogger, I was nervous to have purchased my first ever ticket to Blogger Bash. I quickly googled Blogger Bash 2014 to see what I was in for, but nothing could’ve prepare me for these 2 days this past weekend. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get off of work for 2 full days, and had to pick an choose what I MUST attend. Unfortunately, I missed the first half of the first day including the Care Bear Brunch and the Blue Man Group show, but I was able to follow along with some of my fellow bloggers on social media, and I am so happy I got to see what was going on over at BB while I was at work.

Full of emotions, dragging my sister and mother on the ferry with me after work so I can make the Toy Insider Sweet Suite night of play, terrified I wouldn’t make it before the end, and even more terrifying, going into those doors ALONE! But guess what? I LOVED every moment of it once inside those doors. I felt so at home! Walking into a bright room filled with smiling bloggers like myself, MOMS playing with TOYS, like me! It was such a turning point to give my name, an get my ‘Attendee’ badge. To know I was a part of something so big, that others have traveled so far to get to.

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There was so much going on and so little time since I had gotten there on Day 1 at 8:30 pm into Sweet Suite. I immediately went for a quick glass of wine, and some food to munch on since I had just rushed from work in NJ, through rush hour(s) – into NYC via very transportation method available. Are you kidding me with the attention to detail that was put into decoration this place? There were tables set up with chef’s preparing your small food selections, and small desert tables with adorable candy center pieces. I mingled at the vendor tables, and quickly met some blogger friends I hadn’t met before. I wanted to interact with as many brands as I could an make sure to hand out my card. There were many brands I was well aware of, and some that I was not. The best part is how enthusiastic each an every PR rep was about their product and how proud they were to show it to me. I loved every moment of it, sharing their joy and hoping to be a part of something bigger in the near future. That 45 minutes I had there was amazing. But it was only a taste of what was to come in the upcoming day!

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Unboxing of my Sweet Suite Swag Box! Check out all of these awesome new toys!!

Day #2:

I was lucky enough to have fellow bloggers to travel with to BB on day 2. I was still exhausted from the night before since I traveled back home after Sweet Suite and it took nearly 3 hours to get home and I was so excited I could barely fall asleep. I had to be up and ready to leave at 7am to travel back into NYC to make the first task on the agenda, the Disney Infinity Breakfast.

Disney Infinity Breakfast: Can you say WOW!?

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The food. The food at an event is something everyone will remember, even if they don’t remember much more. They definitely treated us like royalty with the assortment of breakfast items they had at the buffet tables. The bacon was perfect, and the french toast was just amazing. The decor was breath taking and felt so fancy for 8:30 in the morning. On the large screen was the preview of the new Disney Infinity 3.0 and there were also gaming console stations set up. What’s even better? I felt honored that we were given a Disney Infinity swag bag containing Mulan and Hans Solo characters that aren’t being released until August. I am one of the lucky moms who has actually played Disney Infinity before, so I know my son will be excited to add these characters to his collection!

Rite Aid Recharge:

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Next up, we walked back over to Pier 60 to the Rite Aid Recharge station that would run 10am-6pm. I cannot express what an AMAZING job they did converting the room into a relaxing space to meet with more PR reps that probably would’ve been out of my reach if it weren’t for BB. The amenities there were something you’l find at a 5 star hotel in NYC. Cucumber water, refreshing lemon lime water, chocolate bar… wait for it…. MASSAGES on the pier in front of the water with a view of the city – FREE. Yes, this was possibly the best part of my entire trip.

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There was a quiz that Rite Aid prepared that would custom tailor a swag bag just for you. It was a cute little feature to help get their products out there, and let us mommies try products we otherwise wouldn’t have.

The PR tables ranged from Alex’s Lemonade Stand which is a personal favorite for me for #AlexsMillionMile, to Project Gravitas, to Vermont Vacations. The CEO of Evite did an awesome presentation on the psychology of people when it comes to blogging/choosing items and I had front row seats! I was in and out of this recharge room all day an was so thankful it was there because it gave me a place to really recharge, sort of like a home base.

Baby Palooza:

My youngest is now 3, but I still wanted to get in on the action in the Baby Pallooza room and I am beyond glad that I did. Anne Geddes did a Q & A, and you guessed it, I had front row seats! She spoke so honestly about her meningitis campaign and how it touched her heart personally. She also did a book signing and I got my personalized copy! This book is just so cute you have to check it out!

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YouTube – Taking the Leap:

I wanted to get in on this speech by the amazing speaking panel on YouTube taking the leap. This was moderated by Mommy and Gracie’s “Mommy” and I loved every minute of it. Although I do not have a huge youtube presence, it gave me great insight into what to look forward to, and how to manage it effectively including how my children interact with content.

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Peanuts Keynote Lunch:

Again, hurray for FOOD! They fed us more, and even better, we got to see the children who are the cast of the new Peanuts 3D movie. I cannot wait for this movie to come out because it reminds me of when I was a young child and I want to share it with my children. They completely changed the venue appearance again, and this time, the big screen featured a preview of the new movie, and even Snoopy came to visit! They did a fishbowl giveaway, and gave away a new happy dance snoopy toy. I didn’t win, but I still had a blast. They gave us all a keepsake laundry bag filled with stuff to take home, My favorite is the Linal coffee cup!

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After the lunch there was more Rite Aid recharge lounge fun to be had, and mingling with more PR reps.

We left just before the Lentils Carnival so we could beat the Friday rush hour traffic, but from photos it looked amazing!

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As a newbie to the blogging world, I am so glad I got the chance to interact in the blogging world at this event and I cannot wait to attend next year’s 2016 event because I am sure it’ll keep getting better and better each year which is hard to believe it can get any better. If you are a new blogger, or maybe an established blogger who hasn’t taken the leap and gone to Blogger Bash, this is a PSA: YOU MUST GO! It is A-Maz-Ing! I am still exhausted from the travel, but the experience and meeting new friends made it all worth it.

Hope to see YOU next year at Blogger Bash 2016!

2015 New York Baby Show – Momtrends Blogger Lounge Edition; Bumpboxes, Mabels Labels, Uber, The Nanny League & More!

2015 New York Baby Show Blogger Lounge Edition

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I was invited to the Blogger Lounge hosted by Momtrends (pictured above) this past weekend at the New York Baby Show in NYC. It was such an amazing experience even though I was running around that day.

The “view from the top” in the lounge was amazing. Being in a location with hundreds of people cramming around, especially with a toddler and a 7 year old can be overwhelming. Especially when you’re a blogger and trying to make connections with vendors and learn about all of the new and upcoming items they have. The Blogger Lounge was a nice retreat to normalcy, or even luxury I might say.

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imageThe Glam Squad was there to help us moms get dolled up imagewith a little “mommy time”  and relaxation mani/pedi. They were also doing hair and make-up. Glam Squad is an on-demand, in-home beauty service in NYC that sends the hair stylist and makeup artist straight to you. Check them out!

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The Nanny League “College-Educated Nannies” was on call for those of us who had the tots tagging along. I mean, we all know it’s hard enough to get dressed with the little ones running around, nevermind get done up by the glam squad or talk to vendors. I was exclusive to bloggers, and that was very nice. I felt at ease when my little ones were playing in there and being watched by The Nanny League. They’re available in the NJ/NY/PA/CT. Check them out www.thenannyleague.comimage

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Mabel’s Labels had a table set up in the lounge and so graciously provided us mommas with a custom Mabel’s Labels set. If you haven’t heard about Mabel’s Labels yet, they provide custom labels for all of the stuff kids loose! They are all washer safe, UV safe, and come in various styles. Think of all of the items you can label to ensure they come back with your little ones. These are perfect for daycare or camps, but can even be useful for daily outings and finding shoes at a play place.image

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I did not get to visit all of the vendors that I had planned to visit because we got there late due to missing our train, however I am excited I got to chat with the vendors at Bump Box. I am a subscription box junky, and I love the “Christmas feeling” I get whenever a new box shows up at my doorstep with unknown contents. Although I am not expecting, I have tons of friends who are, or who are planning to get pregnant soon. The contents are not only for baby, but geared toward the moms and items that they can try in order to make their pregnancy for comfortable. For instance, this box I received from them to review has an EOS (ahhh, I love EOS!) lip balm in sweet mint. I never tried this flavor and it is very soothing on the lips. It also contained a caffeine free energy drink (yess!!!) a mini mascara for on the go, and some Babyganics hand sanitizer because we all know that new moms need to stock up on this in every room! You can order a monthly subscription (use code BUMPLIFE40 for 40% off your first $39.99 subscription) or just pick out items you like from their list (get 20% off any item code BUMPLIFE20). The great thing is, you can get a random box OR build your own. If you do go with the random box, and you get an item you already have, you can send it back and they’ll refund that portion or provide you with another comparable item! Check out Bumpboxes.com today.image

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I also loved the Cannon demonstration, the Baby Healthcare Station, and the Babies R Us tables. Baby Mum Mums was a life saver with their samples because my 3 year old doesn’t eat a lot of variety. He refused to eat the sandwiches that were provided, and only managed to eat 1 cookie (yes, he refused all other cookie offerings). He ate 3 Baby Mum Mums while we waited for our Uber!

All in all, even though I rushed around, it was a great experience and a calm one in the midst of all the chaos thanks to the Blogger Lounge. Thank you Momtrends for an amazing day out in NYC with my boys!image
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