Derren Brown: Secret

Are you wanting a night out on Broadway but looking for something different than the normal play or musical? Now on performing on Broadway, Derren Brown: Secret just might be it.

What is the Secret? I can not tell you but what I can say is this was an entertaining and thought provoking 2 and a half hours. Mr. Brown is an illusionist, a mind reader a performer and more. He currently has three specials on Netflix dealing with psychological manipulation, myth debunking and social experiments. I watched one before the show and it accurately depicts some of the psychological programming and manipulation he brings to light on stage. It is a one man show and Mr. Brown uses the audience throughout the show.

Some of the elements reminded me of the Magician at The NoMad, but this being in a Broadway theater it is on a much larger scale. Mr. Brown does well to keep the crowd interested and engaged throughout the show.

I highly recommend this show to anyone looking for an entertaining and thought provoking evening on Broadway. The only hesitation is If English is not understood well I would go a different direction.

Secret is scheduled to play through January 4, 2020. Go enjoy and get ready to have your mind blown!


Moulin Rouge finally comes to Broadway


Spectacular, spectacular, spectacular… it’s not just what I heard but what I saw when I attended the recently opened Moulin Rouge at what used to be the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Make no mistake, you are walking into the Moulin Rouge when you arrive. They have done an amazing job of transporting you as soon as you step through the door. Retina burn red neon glows like a NO VACANCY sign in the middle of nowhere, gilded dance cages occupied by promiscuously attired dancers of no particular persuasion frame the proscenium, chain smoking cast members meander and strut about to slowly hypnotize and draw you into hypnotic slumber only to jar you awake with the bombastic first number.


Yes this Moulin Rouge musical is based on the Baz Luhrman film of the same name, but it is only same in structure. Much of the meat of the story has been transformed for the stage production including some story elements and characters. The Duke (Tam Mutu) is played less Snidely Whiplash but more menacing and intimidating. Christian (Aaron Tveit), is an American songwriter from Ohio rather than a writer from London. The true Diamond of the show though is Karen Olivo playing Satine. The character of Satine is relatively the same background-wise, but portrayed by Ms Olivo, at times she comes across as a strong “Woman Hear Me Roar” presence while at others displays a pure sensitivity and fragility. Then there is Ziegler (Danny Bernstein) equal parts Emcee and “Mama” Morton practically chewing up the scenery to include the audience, but in a good way. You will also notice some song additions and subtractions. The subtractions probably have more to do with rights than story but the new stuff while at times seemed silly in the long run worked for me just fine.


There has to be special mention to the gorgeous and seamless set design by Derek McLane. The details and beauty of the set cannot be overstated. Same goes for the costume design by Catherine Zuber. Sitting in the Can Can seats one gets up close looks at both and you get to truly appreciate great art at work.

About those Can Can the interactivity with the cast and being so close, to a point. Be prepared to spin your head around multiple times to try to catch what is going on. These “Can Can” seats are located in two separate sections surrounded but below the stage so you are always looking up. It helps to stretch before the show. Perhaps a special themed cocktail might make it more enticing but I probably would not sit there again. You are literally looking straight up as Satine descends on entrances. I believe your best views would be Orchestra Center 5th Row and back.

One more thing I want to say is that I love the fact that you are not shunned for taking pictures pre-curtain. These guys get it, it’s free advertising for the show and a way to show off the set. Now of course you can not use flash and once the curtain goes up away go the phones and cameras but you still get plenty of time for pictures.

I recommend this show to anyone that is a fan of the movie or a lover of musical theater. It is a very well polished show with immediate story and music recognition for a wide variety of audiences.



The Ribbon Midtown


The Bromberg Brothers have done it again. Located in the space vacated by Guy Fieri on 44th street in the heart of the Theater District is the newest hit from those responsible for Blue Ribbon, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken and more. The menu focuses on American staples and comfort food as well as contemporary twists on classics. You can find a amazing deviled eggs, a classic French dip, steak, seafood and even a “Beyond” burger.


As you walk in you have a busy bar on your left that has an incredible happy hour; 8pm - Midnight. Stop by for a nightcap after your Broadway show! The main restaurant is a few steps up featuring antiqued wood to give a warm welcome feel. The restroom area is wallpapered with retro menus to continue with the throwback feel.

Another feature they have is their lounge/club downstairs, Blue. This is an homage to the old club days complete with caricatures of famous New York musicians, think of a rock n’ roll/hip hop version of Sardi’s walls. Blue will be doing nightly programming with DJs and performances by musical artists as well as others like magicians.




Be More Chill


Be More Chill is a contemporary musical from Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz. In a nutshell it is the story of a high school geek that takes a secret pill to become “cool.” The show bills itself as a mashup of Little Shop of Horrors and Dear Evan Hansen and I can definitely see the influences in some over the top characters and the central character being the outcast.

The songs have a contemporary feel to them with some witty lyrics. The performers were all of Broadway standard and put on a great show. I cannot really say any particular one stood out to me.

Overall the show has a good message “like who you are” and I can see a lot of people really enjoying this show. If you like Mean Girls or Kinky Boots, this might be for you. It seems to be very popular with teenagers as there was one sitting behind me mouthing every lyric. I cannot honestly say this was my cup of tea but it might be a favorite of yours.