How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Last Saturday morning found me up at the crack of dawn and heading into New York City by 7:15am.  I was online at the discount TKTS booth in Times Square by 8:30am.  As an emissary for my family, I volunteered to go into the city and get us discounted tickets to a Broadway show for a group birthday gift (my mom, aunt, and I share birthdays within days of each other).  My sister  and cousin would be tagging along, making us a party of five.

photo via

I quietly hoped to secure tickets to How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying but wasn’t really holding out much hope.  Saturday matinees are very popular, and with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and John Larroquette heading up the cast, I was pretty sure we’d end up with tickets to another show.

photo cred. Ari Mintz

The booth opened promptly at 10am and the line, which had swelled to easily over 200 people since my arrival, surged forward.  In a moment, I was face to face with the ticket agent and asked if she had five seats together for How To Succeed.  Imagine my surprise and delight when she nodded!  The tickets, most shows are 30-50% off retail price, were 30% off for mezzanine seats.  My next worry: Would Daniel Radcliffe be in the show today?!?

My worry was for naught–apparently, the only time Daniel missed some shows (to promote HP7.2), they actually closed the production.  As the lights went down and the orchestra music came up, the excitement in the Al Hirschfeld theater was palpable.

photo cred. atk79 via flikr

And then, there he was in all his glory.  The crowd (mostly adults!) went nuts as Daniel Radcliffe pulled himself up 20 feet into the air on a window washing contraption and began to sing!  From that moment until the intermission, I was rapt, Radcliffe, Larroquette, and the rest of the cast held me spellbound.  Typically, I’m not one for singing and dancing, but this musical was so much FUN–the actors, the costumes, the sets, the dancing, the colors–everything was magical!

Daniel Radcliffe played wonderfully off of John Larroquette who was brilliant with his comedic timing.  A strong supporting cast included Rose Hemingway, Mary Faber, and Christopher J. Hanke, and I ate up the performance.  After intermission, the first number or two were a bit slow but then it picked right back up and carried me to a crashing finale.  The plaudits were deafening–especially when Daniel came out.  He was so charming and turned bright pink trying to wave off the standing ovation.

As we filed out, an usher informed me that Daniel wouldn’t be leaving (and signing playbills) between the matinee and evening performance as he uses the few hours in between to shower, eat, and take a nap.  I then led the charge to restaurant row on W. 46th where I hoped to get us a table at Becco, one of Lidia Bastianich’s restaurants.  Serendipity was on my side because they managed to squeeze us in upstairs, and we enjoyed a lovely meal of soup, seafood, pasta, and salad.

photo via

We did a bit of walking after dinner and all agreed that it was a wonderful day.  I so enjoyed the performance that I decided to try to start using the TKTS booth every Wednesday morning during the rest of my summer vacation to see as many Broadway shows as I can handle!  I’ll let you know how my Wednesday Matinees shape up.


  • At 2011.07.25 12:52, Steph said:

    I am so envious of you! This sounds like a fabulous day out from start to finish… well, maybe not the part where you had to stand in line, but clearly that payed off! I actually really love musicals, so it sucks that I live in a city where we only get a few each year. And on top of that, the one time I saw a musical in NY, it was with a group of friends who really wanted to see the Billy Joel musical, Moving Out, which was just AWFUL. I’m not the biggest Billy Joel fan, so I’m sure that had something to do with it, but really, why couldn’t we have gone to see something like Avenue Q or Wicked instead?

    Best musical experience was actually in London where my friend and I saw Ewan McGregor in Guys & Dolls. Geez that guy can sing… It was so delightful that we actually splurged and saw it twice! Heaven!

    • At 2011.07.27 11:00, Natalie said:

      we really had a great time and the tkts booth was awesome! i didn’t even feel like i was in line that long because i had a book and magazine and spent time chatting with german tourists and a guy from london. as for ‘moving out’, i didn’t see that one but do like some of billy joel’s earlier stuff. that said, i don’t think musicals built around music (the green day show, billy joel show) are really for me. avenue q tickets are available through the tkts booth but wicked (and the lion king) aren’t. i’d love to see theater in london. ant saw a few shows on his trips over there but i have yet to do so. one day soon!

    • At 2011.07.25 16:02, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      What a fabulous way to celebrate your birthdays! I’m so glad you were able to get tickets!

      • At 2011.07.25 16:27, Dishy said:

        Happy Birthdays to all! So glad all the pieces fell into place. We just saw Harry Potter 7.2 last night and I’m still reeling from that alone. Can’t imagine how giddy I’d be seeing Daniel in person. You lucky duck!

        • At 2011.07.27 11:02, Natalie said:

          thanks, dishy! it was a perfect day (except for the part when the parking garage crashed my mom’s car)! she’s still wrangling with their corporate office for payment, but i took tons of pictures of the damage so they can’t really get around it. argh.

          • At 2011.07.27 18:28, Dishy said:

            UUuugh, so sorry to hear about your mom’s car. Hope it’s resolved asap.

            • At 2011.07.27 18:52, Natalie said:

              well, my mom is sicilian. it will be resolved one way…or the other. lol.

        • At 2011.07.25 16:58, Meg said:

          Oh, so glad you had such a lovely time — and I would have been flipping out when Daniel Radcliffe took the stage! What a great way for you fine ladies to spend a day. Too fun!

          • At 2011.07.27 11:03, Natalie said:

            i was SO excited to see him in such a different type of performance. i think i saw the book he was holding shaking in his hands when he was first suspended in the air as the play opened. i don’t know if he was nervous to sing solo or nervous to be up in the air on the window washing contraption. or maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me!

          • At 2011.07.25 20:12, Jenners said:

            How awesome that you got the tickets to the show you wanted … and got to see Harry … er, I mean Daniel …. perform in such a different setting. I imagine it is draining being in live shows … and several each day too. Yay for you!!

            By the way, I’m catching up with the blog posts I missed while on vacation but I’m only leaving one comment. Otherwise, I’ll drive myself insane!

            • At 2011.07.27 11:05, Natalie said:

              glad you’re home safe and sound from montana–it’s gorgeous out there, isn’t it? i LOVE the tkts booth and would recommend it to anyone coming to town. and harry, er, daniel, was superb! 🙂

            • At 2011.07.25 21:28, softdrink said:

              Very cool! My mom and I thought about standing in line for tickets when we were in NY…but chickened out when we saw the line!

              • At 2011.07.27 11:21, Natalie said:

                the line really does move quickly–and there are two other locations, one in brooklyn and the other at the south street seaport. at the seaport you can buy matinee tickets the day before. you know, in case you ever come back out east to visit! how’s the burger boy doing???

              • At 2011.07.26 00:28, Constance Reader said:

                What an amazing experience! Sounds like a charmed day for sure. 🙂

                • At 2011.07.26 00:36, Carol said:

                  Thanks for a wonderful day. I loved the show, (Daniel was quite the song and dance man), much to my surprise. Dinner was delicious, and a very pleasant surprise, as I love watching Lidia’s cooking show. Count me in for any tickets you can score for Wednesday matinees.
                  Love, Mom

                  • At 2011.07.27 11:22, Natalie said:

                    glad you had fun and we’re on for ‘baby it’s you’ in august (just you and me!). xoxo

                  • At 2011.07.26 23:47, stacybuckeye said:

                    I’m so jealous. When we were in midtown for 4 months we went to 1 to 2 shows a week. I spent many a hour in that same line 🙂 This one looks great. Lucky girl.

                    • At 2011.07.27 11:24, Natalie said:

                      the tkts booth is the best, isn’t it? the line moved quickly and i even had a laugh when the guy at the next window asked for tickets to CATS, a show that closed in 2000.

                    • At 2011.07.27 01:02, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

                      Oh jealously!! This sounds like an awesome way to celebrate a group birthday. I’m so jealous! I’m glad Daniel didn’t disappoint. Did I mention I’m jealous?

                      • At 2011.07.27 11:25, Natalie said:

                        come visit nyc and we’ll go! daniel is contracted until the end of the year, i think!

                      • At 2011.07.28 07:20, Beth F said:

                        I LOVE Becco’s! Their pasta sampler is so good. What a fun, fun day.

                        • At 2011.07.28 08:57, Natalie said:

                          yes, the pasta sampler was especially good that night. we enjoyed mushroom ravioli in sage butter sauce, rigatoni alla vodka with shrimp (my sister and i had a special order without the shrimp, though), and a pesto pasta which i wasn’t so big on. i’m not really a pesto type of girl.

                        • At 2011.07.28 18:42, Kathleen said:

                          Sounds like you had a great time! Glad to hear that the whole experience was entertaining AND fun!

                          • At 2011.07.29 20:02, Christy said:

                            Glad everything worked out for your day – to see the show you wanted and have a meal at the restaurant you wanted! I’ve only seen two musicals on Broadway – Les Miserables when I was in high school, and then last year, I saw Promises, Promises with Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes. I loved Promises, Promises.

                            • At 2011.07.31 13:16, Stephanie said:

                              I’m so glad you were able to get the tickets you wanted (which is virtually impossible at the TKTS booth) and that you got to see Harry Potter live on stage! 😉

                              • At 2011.08.09 03:29, Monica (aka monnibo) said:

                                I am so very jealous but excited that you and your family had this opportunity. What an amazing birthday event for you all — I love when serendipitous things like this happen!!

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