Your Guide to Making the Most of Broadway
Seeing a Broadway show is one of the great joys of New York City. But there’s a way to do it right — and wrong. Queue The Shops at Columbus Circle, which is waiting in the wings to help. Every year, The Shops at Columbus Circle hosts the annual Broadway Under the Stars, a free series with performances from the hottest shows on Broadway. We caught up with Host George Psomas, who has appeared in shows like Fiddler on the Roof and South Pacific. He shared his insider tips for how to make the most of Broadway.
Make a Plan: “New York can be hectic, and you want to make sure you're relaxed when you go to the theater. You also don't want to be late — a lot of theaters won't seat you until after a certain point in the show,” says Psomas. “In terms of planning, it’s important to find a place to eat that speaks to you. Sometimes people are called to the restaurants right in Times Square, but if you head a few blocks away to The Shops at Columbus Circle, you'll find a whole new avenue — no pun intended — with great restaurants and shops and things to do to fill your time before and after the theater.”
Check Out The Restaurant and Bar Collection: With so many top restaurants under one roof, you’ll be spoiled with pre-theater dining choices. “I love the homemade cookies and treats at Bouchon Bakery & Café,” says Psomas. “When I was doing South Pacific at Lincoln Center, it became a between-show ritual.” Other great spots include the British brasserie Bluebird London, Porter House Bar and Grill for a classic steakhouse experience, the Asian-inspired Momofuku Noodle Bar, the Salon at the Michelin-starred Per Se, and Bar Masa for the best sushi in the city. Another tip from Psomas: “Tell your server that you’re heading to a show; they'll get you out in a timely fashion.” You can get more pre-theater dining tips here.
Consider Post-Theater Plans: Check what time your show ends — it might make more sense to have dinner after the theater. “A lot of people in New York go out for dinner as late as 9:30,” says Psomas. There's a reason why New York is called the city that never sleeps. Depending on the night, some of The Restaurant and Bar Collection locations serve food as late as 10:30 or 11 p.m. And for night owls, there's Center Bar and Ascent Lounge New York for drinks and bar snacks.
Attend Broadway Under the Stars: Want to preview new shows and get to know your favorites even better? Head to Broadway Under the Stars, held every Monday at 5 p.m. from November 11 to December 9. “We're bringing a little bit of that live experience to The Shops at Columbus Circle so that people can get a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of Broadway,” says Psomas. “You get to know the performers on a deeper level and find out what it's like to do a show eight times a week.”
Enjoy the Perks: From November 11 to December 9, bring your Broadway ticket to the Guest Services Desk and you’ll receive a VIP Shopping and Dining Pass. And on Monday nights during Broadway Under the Stars season, you can enjoy Broadway-themed cocktails and treats at The Restaurant and Bar Collection.
Turn Off Your Phone: This might sound obvious, but not everyone remembers this important piece of advice. “When people have their phones open, it's not only distracting to us on stage, it's also distracting to the other audience members — and to yourself,” says Psomas. “You came here for a reason. This is an opportunity to give yourself over to the artistic experience that's being presented to you and to take a break from technology.” So sit back, relax, and give your regards to Broadway.
Broadway Under the Stars takes place every Monday night at 5 p.m. from November 11 to December 9 on the second floor at The Shops at Columbus Circle and includes shows ranging from Chicago and Frozen to Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. Visit theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com for more details.