No trip to New York City is complete in my books without taking in a show on Broadway. During a recent girlfriend getaway to the Big Apple, I had the opportunity to see ‘Gigi’ and be transported to the magical world of La Belle Epoque Paris at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.
Set in the turn of the century, ‘Gigi’ tells the story of a free-spirited teenage girl who is being groomed to be a courtesan. But Gigi has different ideas for what she wants her life to look like, and when her friendship with eligible bachelor Gaston blooms into something more, she has to decide between following the rules of society or the calling of her heart.
The stage musical, based on a 1944 novella by Colette, first came to Broadway in 1956 staring Audrey Hepburn in the title role. A film version went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1958.
The 2015 Broadway revival stars Vanessa Hudgens in the title role. Fans of Disney’s High School Musical will be delighted to see Hudgens live on stage and won’t be disappointed by her acting, dance and singing skills. The talented Hudgens is joined by Corey Cott who plays the show’s love interest Gaston. He and Hudgens are well matched and together they bring great chemistry to the stage. The rest of the all-star cast includes Tony Award- winner Victoria Clark as Mamita, Tony Award-nominees Dee Hoty as Aunt Alicia and Howard McGillin as Honoré Lachaille, and spotlight stealer Steffanie Leigh as Cott’s other love interest Liane d’Exelmans.
The musical includes entertaining songs including Thank Heaven for Little Girls, Paris is Paris Again and I’m Glad I’m not young anymore. My favorite was The Night They Invented Champagne. During the performance, bubbles swirled down on the audience!
In addition to being a delight for the ears, the musical is a delight for the eyes. Elaborate dance numbers, fanciful scenery and enviable costumes, make for a visual treat filled with colors and textures of an imagined Paris of the past. While I watched the show I couldn’t help but wishing the version of Paris on stage was real and that I could go there!
Gigi is an admiral and relatable character with her independent mind and rebuttal of societal customs. Though she lives in the turn of the century, I found her ideals very poignant. Girlfriends or mother and daughters will enjoy bonding over her modern qualities.
With high fashion, romance and of course, plenty of Paris, ‘Gigi’ is the perfect Broadway pick during a girlfriend getaway to New York City.
The show runs Tuesday through Sunday with evening performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com or call (877) 250-2929. If you are in New York you can also purchase tickets at the Neil Simon Theatre Box Office located at 250 West 52nd Street. Ticket prices are $67- 147.