I love gifts that are actually gifts to both me and the recipient. For example, gifting tickets to shows so that I get to go with the friend I'm giving the present to.
Recently, I attended a matinee of the off-Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812, and I invited my friend Queenie, Georgia of Notes on Tea, and Abby of City Sweet Tooth to join me.
The show did a great job with the layout and there were so many details that added to the overall mood of the show. The theatre is located right by Times Square, but in a big tent, instead of a theatre house. Inside, it's essentially set up like a supper club.
We got there 30 minutes before the show started, when the doors opened, so we could get the afternoon tea (served at all matinee shows). We sat at a table for four and ordered off the Russian Afternoon Tea menu. Anything ordered off the menu is an extra cost and you'll get a check at the end of the first act.
$25 for two-tiers of savories, $25 for "scones" with cream and jam, $25 for two-tiers of sweets, and $25 for tea. We got one of each and there was plenty to share for all four of us (including the $25 tea which we got for the table and we got four teacups and an assortment of tea bags). "Scones" were not scones, but rather big shortbread cookies. Skip on getting those since they serve the same cookies (complimentary) during the second act.
Unfortunately, I didn't love anything we ate and it was a little difficult to enjoy since the table was so small that we could barely fit all the food and plates on it. Plus, I was a little wary of getting tea when I knew a restroom break would not be the easiest feat during any kind of theatre show. Although, it was nice to be sipping on hot tea as the show was going on around me.
Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 is a musical adaptation of Tolstoy's War and Peace and every single line is sung. It was an interesting experience and fun, with the actors singing and moving around you the whole time. They make great use of the space. The first act was a little hard to get into since they were setting up the story and establishing all the characters, but the second act was fantastic.
The major highlights for me were Phillipa Soo, who plays Natasha (above)...
and Amber Gray, who plays Hélène (above). They blew me away. They totally made the show for me. I've been listening to the soundtrack lately and I'm drawn to their songs the most.
Any Broadway show would make a wonderful holiday gift for a theatre lover, and if you are intrigued about The Great Comet, get two tickets and gift the other so you can both enjoy the show! Or even better, enter this giveaway for two tickets to the show. (Ticket price does not cover food cost.) The Great Comet is giving away TWO sets of two tickets!
Note: The Great Comet is slated to end on January 5, 2014, so make sure you will be in NYC by then to see the show. Tickets are for all matinee shows, and evening shows on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Bottom Two Photo Credit: The Great Comet