Bright Lights. Museums. Central Park. Broadway. All things I associate with “The Big Apple”. I was born in New Jersey and raised in the Bronx, so I am very comfortable with crowded streets, tall skyscrapers, subways and an all around busy city. Growing up in New York, I was able to experience museums centered around history or art, various zoos and aquariums, the beauty of Central Park, but the thing I remember the most is watching Broadway musicals. I was introduced to Broadway at a very early age because of my mom. When I was in elementary school (many many moons ago), my mom performed in her college’s production of The Wiz. She thought it would be a cool idea for my older sister and I to be a part of the play with her. I’m so glad she thought of it because it was in that moment that I fell in love with all things involving musicals and theatre.
Growing up I participated in several musicals in high school and it only fueled my love for musicals even more. During my time in New York, I was fortunate enough to experience various musicals. Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, Lion King are just a few of the ones I have seen, some of them I have watched multiple times. Fast forward to present day and I now live in Florida. I actually live in a very small town in Florida, where orange groves are my neighbors. No more sky scrapers, no more subways, no more Central Park and no more Broadway…..or so I thought. I always felt out of place here in Florida even though I love living here. I could never put my finger on why I just wasn’t comfortable living here. Then two years ago, I saw the most amazing commercial (I know, I usually skip commercials too). It was an ad for Beauty and the Beast, the Broadway Musical was on tour! I had seen Beauty and the Beast when I was in high school and it was one of my favorite plays, so I was extremely excited to see it again. Beauty and the Beast was going to perform at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, FL., a place I have never been to, let alone explored. I have heard that Miami is a “mini” version of New York, specifically Manhattan. So I was a little excited because I thought this might be what I needed to help with the feeling of not being comfortable. Sure it was a 3+ hour drive, but I was willing to take the trip to see if maybe I have found a little bit of The Big Apple. Miami is just as people have described! It was like someone put New York in a Snow Globe and named it Miami.
The Adrienne Arsht Center was everything I was hoping it would be. Gorgeous Lobby, amazing staff, large auditorium (with comfortable seating, a major plus!), but most of all? The Adrienne Arsht Center had Broadway! It was the thing I missed most about New York, seeing the musicals. Since seeing Beauty and the Beast, I have seen two plays on my bucket list, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera as well as The Sound of Music. Each play was equipped with talented actors and musicians as well as gorgeous scenery and costumes, it was like I was transported back to New York and suddenly I didn’t feel so out of place anymore. Last month I received their show catalog for the season and I’m excited about the new selections of musicals. I’ll be seeing Dirty Dancing and Annie, as well as Andrea Bocelli in concert! For those who are interested, the Adreienne Arsht Center also has a paid subscription called Broadway in Miami, where you can all 6 shows (Annie is not included and has to be purchased separately) of the season with packages starting at $187. Whether you choose to subscribe or just see a few plays, it is definitely worth experiencing such great talent on stage. I may not live in New York anymore, but I found a piece of it here in Florida. What musicals have you seen and which are your favorite? Leave a comment below, I would love some suggestions! I’m hoping they bring Rent and Hamilton to Miami soon!