11921
New York

The Best of Theater in New York: Behind the Velvet Curtain

From Broadway to Off-Broadway to behind-the-scenes of Broadway, dive deep into the world of New York theater as you take in three performances and meet with theater professionals.
Rating (4.85)
Program No. 11921RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
1,649
39 Reviews
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4.85 Average
R’na
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Our group of 4 had a 6hr flight delay & although I texted (no response btw) the contact listed in our pretrip info, I was told it would not have been received. What!?! An emergency contact which isn’t monitored? Shame on you RS. Unfortunately, we didn’t know this and had no way to contact our trip leader Stephen Cole. We missed both the Trip Orientation and arrival dinner. I suggest that you provide a number that is monitored & maybe the name of the restaurant so latecomers can join the group, as we were not alone! Loved the leaders Stephen Cole & Dan and their knowledge of the On & Off Broadway theatre scene. Their talks & guests were impressive. i was not impressed however with the show selection including 2 dramas with suicides. (One of our RS group left during the first intermission of Greater Clements & I should have too) I guess if you intended the play selection to be disturbing- you nailed it Road Scholar! Also the outrageous amount my friend Donna Hinton got from Hampton Inn for our additional 2 nights, and your discount code which is supposedly of value - ha!- was a joke. It didn’t work online and they refused to assist her either on the phone prior, when booking or in person. Yet others in our group had their reservations extended for $325 +- while ours was over $600 per night!! I’ve done theater tours since 1982 and stayed at the Days Hotel (now Hilton Garden on 8th) and for at least 15yrs the Marriott Marquis. Let’s just says the Hampton Inn does not compare in any way. Having a bathroom for the breakfast buffet down one floor in the basement is outrageous! Must say I did love the Temptations - Ain’t too Proud and our personal selections Tootsie & Tina. I was hoping I’d love this ‘class’ and want to do it annually, but at this point I’m not sure I’d recommend it. Sincerely, R’na Komarek rckomarek@yahoo.com

Road Scholar
Dear R’na, Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are disappointed to hear that you had issues with the logistics of this program. It is one of our top-rated programs in New York City, and many people do return to it again and again. While we believe you hit a perfect storm of unfortunate anomalies, we are already looking into the points you raise. Please know that our experts choose the shows based on what is available in a given week; each program features a different line-up. Our goal is to choose shows that provide the most interesting educational experience possible, which means that the selections often include content that engages and provokes as well as entertains. Our hope is always that all of our participants will find value in all three shows, but it can be challenging for us to make selections that match the interests of everyone in the group. That being said, we value your feedback on our selections and will keep them in mind moving forward. We’re also surprised that the hotel did not meet your standards. Other participants consistently give the hotel high marks and enjoy the central location in Times Square, and it’s a Trip Advisor top-quartile hotel. We hope you will re-consider and join us in the future. We’d love to have you back to see a new season of offerings in New York City. -Team Road Scholar
Georgina
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was the right time for Broadway. We saw "To Kill a Mockingbird" which was absolutely wonderfully written, directed and acted. The main male actor won a Tony for his performance and his daughter (actor)did also. A memorable week. We went backstage in one wonderful Broadway theatre, tried on costumes from the Lion King, and others, talked with a Broadway producer, then a Broadway actress. So many questions answered. Thanks to all.

Jane
(5)

This program provides an outstanding overview of NYC theatre. The information shared enhanced the journey even for the experienced theatre goer. A wonderful week in NYC!

Ann
(5)

Hello, I wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience in NYC. The accommodations and location were perfect. The breakfast buffet and staff at the Hampton Inn were pleasant, helpful and generous. We could not have asked for a more welcoming and safe haven to stay. The instructors for the classes, Stephen, Dan and John were experienced, knowledgeable, friendly and just a joy to listen to. I learned so much. The chosen shows were all good, some more than others. I was not as fond of the Underlying Chris as the other two. I would like to suggest that the meals be portioned somewhat smaller. I do not need dessert at lunch AND dinner. That said, the food at all of the restaurants was wonderful. Thank goodness we walked a lot to burn off all the calories we consumed. I would also suggest that you NOT use RIU buffet as a meal choice. Despite the food being delicious and abundant, the staff of the restaurant were not very friendly. It was difficult to get a glass of wine, and then I was promptly given the check for it. I was never asked if I would like another, etc. The Matre D was curt and unsmiling. It would be nice to have a bit more free time, in case you wanted to shop or visit a museum. Most days we had only 2 hours or less of free time, which did not lend itself to more touring. Meeting an actor was a thrill. We learned much about his history and that made me appreciate his performance even more that evening. I would suggest that attendees be encouraged to wear their name badges while inside the classroom. I did not feel that I got to know names as well as I could have bc noone wore their names after the first date. Thanks for a great trip.

Joan
(5)

This was my first trip with Road Scholar. I plan to enroll in many more! Thank you for your thorough planning and excellent choice of leaders!

Rich
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This trip met all expectations for touring the Theater District and learning about Theater from insider perspectives. We got to see excellent theater - an off-Broadway play, a Broadway play, and a Broadway musical. A big thank you and cheers to a wonderful Tour Leader Stephen Cole and his supporting staff: docents, educators, and artists. Would recommend this for anyone interested in NYC, Manhattan (in general), and specifically the Theater District and Times Square. There were members of our group who had been to this trip in previous times - they were excited to return and I suspect they will likely come again for another time. Thank you, Road Scholar - Rich Roy, Arkansas

Marylou
(5)

Behind the Velvet Curtain exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Steven Cole, was the best (no exaggeration), the three plays we saw were each different and thrilling, the hotel was well-located. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Philip
(5)

Perfect experience! Stephen Cole is a terrific leader with a personality that keeps you entertained. He clearly has the energy and spark with extensive knowledge of Broadway theatres and regional theatres to keep us interested. Dan Egan lead the debriefings and interviews in a style that made literally everyone engage in the conversations. His background, personality and expertise in theatre differs from Stephen and messes well. The walk around Times square lead by Stephen to visit theatres and especially the tour of the New Amsterdam were stimulating and very valuable. The chemistry of the 24 participants made it easy to sit and chat during meals and get to know each other. There was no one who dominated the conversations and everyone had important thoughts and questions during the formal sessions. Two of the three performances, "Tootsie" and "Ferryman", were excellent deserving of Tonys, but the off-broadway show, "Happy Talk," needed significant work. Dan's handling of the contrast during the debriefing helped us understand what worked and didn't work among the shows. It was in depth and enlightening. The hotel, Hampton Inn, one block from Times Square was convenient to everything allowing us to walk everywhere. Only drawback was Times Square can get really old with all the people, noise and dirt on the streets. So far this has been our best trip with Roads Scholar.

Vicki
(5)

A Fabulous trip with very knowledgeable leaders/facilitators! So much fun!

Patricia
(5)

What a wonderful experience in the NYC theater district! Saw Tony-nominated shows (Tootsie and Ferryman), met an actor, had great discussions with expert-leaders and learned our way around Broadway. Steve Cole was a fun, energetic, and attentive program leader and we enjoyed all the others who met with us.

Jackie
(5)

This program is superb! We are theater lovers and this provided such a rich background into the creation of a show. Hearing about the creative process from a writer, director and actor added to our appreciation of the finished product; theater folks are some of the hardest working people out there! The theater historian's presentation was also fascinating. We attended three wonderful shows, and the discussions of them afterwards were very illuminating. Guide Stephen Cole is a force of nature! He is a true delight, and brings such joy to sharing his love of his hometown, and his theater world. He alone is worth the price of admission!

Elizabeth
(4)

The "Behind the Curtain" trip was a great adventure; it was my first time to New York City. My friend and I stayed in NYC after the program and we had no trouble navigating the subway and around the city. Our tour leader did a great job orienting us to the big city.

Ginger
(5)

This is not a program we would have considered had it not been suggested that some of us friends meet in NYC to participate in this one. We're much more into outdoorsy programs, but were pleasantly surprised at how much we learned and how much we enjoyed this theater program. So, if you think this isn't your "thing," don't discount it; sometimes stepping out of our comfort zones is surprisingly enjoyable!

Ruth
(5)

This is an amazing program- the leaders are fantastic, the hotel is comfy and convenient, the shows are amazing- you must have the cheesecake at Sardi's-I can hardly wait for next year!

Michael
(5)

This program is fantastic. We have participated last two years, and may well in the future.

Bobbie
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

I thought the week in NYC was fantastic from the plays that we saw to the wonderful discussion groups. All the different leaders were outstanding. My only suggestion is to tell the participants about the hearing aid devices that are available in all the theaters. I have compromised hearing and wear a hearing aid, and could not hear much of the first play we saw as the actors were not projecting well. Others without a hearing loss also said they could not hear well. It was not until the second play we attended that I suddenly noticed some people in the audience wearing a sound enhancement device. The play was about to start when I was able to ask an usher about the devices, so was not able to secure one until intermission, but then found it to be terrific and I could hear perfectly. I learned that they are at all theaters and so for the remaining two plays I used one with total success. How I wish I had known about them before trying to struggle through the first play!

Muriel
(5)

Join this program if you want to learn about theater from the inside-out. Join this program if you enjoy lively discussions facilitated by a master seminar leader.

Scott
(5)

This is an exceptional program. You come away with an understanding and appreciation of Broadway that inspires you to explore more of the big splashy shows and the more hidden Off Broadway theaters and productions.

Roberta
(5)

This was our first Road Scholar trip ("Behind the Velvet Curtain"). Highly recommend this! Everything about it was topnotch.

Cheryl
(5)

The hotel was located in the HEART of the "Theater District" and very convenient. Our leader Stephen was a "Broadway" show in/of himself! Very entertaining.

Joel
(5)

I highly recommend this program to others 55 and over.

Connie
(5)

A terrific opportunity to learn about the theatre first hand from seasoned professionals. Excellent program, location and pace.

Don and Sue
(5)

What a great program to learn something about how Broadway shows come to be and to attend some terrific examples!

Vicky
(1)

I have mixed feelings about this trip. From the trip's title, I expected to get a really good look at "behind the velvet curtain." But that expectation was only partially met. I enjoyed hearing from an actor what his experiences in theater had been and listening to a playwright describe his creative process. But I'd hoped to actually tour backstage and see how the lighting, etc. is done, see how makeup and wardrobe are put together, etc. We had none of that. We did have excellent guides and speakers. The plays themselves ran the gamut, from OMG to "when will this thing be over with?" I had heard of none of them prior to the trip. Hotel and meals were passable but nothing special.

Shelley
(5)

Excellent website, comprehensive, user friendly and plenty of details that inform. Accurate program descriptions that provide realistic overviews of each trip.

Saretta
(5)

These surveys are much too long. Repetitive and essentially useless. I had a great time and loved the program.

Mitchell
(5)

What a fantastic trip. Anyone with an interest in Broadway should take this tour. Our guide Stephen was an amazing wealth of information and showed us how a play is developed from start to finish. While being both entertaining and informative he lead us through a history of the area and the numerous theaters. I can’t imagine this excursion being any more informative or interesting than it was. Definitely should be on your, “to do” list of Road Scholar trips.

Patricia
(5)

I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in the theater, even if only remotely. The information presented will greatly enhance your future theater experience.

Carol
(5)

The Broadway program is an awesome experience ~ the Big Apple is a glorious place for excitement, theater, interesting and curious people and wonderful meals and sights and you are welcomed and led by Stephen ~ the master of the house and Broadway expert extraordinaire!

Judith
(5)

A complete theatrical experience with knowledgeable presenters and couldn't have asked for more.

Deb
(5)

This was the first evaluation I received for this class. Many others got theirs much earlier. Why?

Judith
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This trip was great! The hotel was comfortable and close to Times Square. The shows we saw were entertaining, thought-provoking, and well-chosen. The leader was knowledgable and enjoyable. I would go again, and I recommend the trip to anyone who enjoys theater.

Rita
(5)

This is the second time we attended this New York program. It gave us a chance to experience Broadway and its secrets. The discussions in between the plays and musical gave us all the more reason to participate again. Stephen Cole and Daniel Egan added another dimension to the program with their comments and commentary.

Julia
(5)

My recent trip to New York as part of the "Behind the Velvet Curtain" group was wonderful. Everything was well-organized and the leaders were knowledgeable and fun. I would highly recommend this trip!

Ruth
(5)

You cannot go wrong with this program, you don't need anything more than the desire to see a show in New York to be delighted beyond your expectations. Don't miss this one!

Michael
(5)

Outstanding play selection. Great leader. Good to excellent food.

Kay
(5)

What a wonderful, exciting, enlightening experience I had on my Road Scholar Program "The Best of Theater in New York: Behind the Velvet Curtain". I saw three shows, toured one of the theaters and received background information on the theater and the current performance, and had some of the most delicious meals in wonderful restaurants! I would recommend the Road Scholar experience to anyone who wants excitement and being given the "Royal Treatment"!

Judy
(5)

Road Scholar provides the best of everything - don't hesitate to plan a trip with them. You'll love it!

Deanna
(5)

I found the trip to New York’s Theater District wonderful in that it provided an experience I never would have gotten any other place. The staff were knowledgeable, easy to understand and receptive to all who attended. I will never forget this trip.






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