Theatre Trips

Here are summaries of each show that Stacy Karyn has personally visited on behalf of Theatre Trip. From California to Germany, and from London to NYC, Theatre Trip has experienced shows from around the world. The most recently visited shows will be listed at the top of the page.


Note: The following shows were attended through the provision of press tickets. This fact partly contributes to my decision not to assign ratings to individual performances. Nonetheless, I am committed to providing truthful information about each experience.


Lizard Boy

The three cast members of Lizard Boy playing the kazoo, ukulele, and percussion.
Lizard Boy 2024 | Photography by Stefan Kock

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Theatre: The English Theatre of Hamburg➝

Date: April, 2024

The European Premiere of Lizard Boy by Justin Huertas just took place in Germany at The English Theatre of Hamburg! Finding musicals performed in English in Germany can be challenging, so this invitation was a bit of a treat. The musical follows the story of a young man named Trevor, who struggles with insecurities due to his lizard-like qualities, leading him to hide away from the world. However, everything changes after he meets a guy named Cary on Grindr, who accepts him for who he is. The show gradually evolves into an action-packed superhero narrative, featuring entertaining and unexpected special effects. Throughout the production, all three cast members carry the music, showcasing their talents on instruments such as the ukulele, guitar, piano, and drums.

This production of Lizard Boy is starring Peter Tabornal, Jacob Bedford, and Sophie Earl. The musical will run until June 22nd, 2024. For those looking to fully experience The English Theatre of Hamburg, “Sunday Cream Tea” shows are available, offering scones, clotted cream, jam, and unlimited tea during intermission.


Mamma Mia! The Party

Greek dancing at Mamma Mia! The Party.
Mamma Mia! The Party 2022

Location: London, England

Date: June, 2022

Mamma Mia! The Party➝ is located in a giant tented live music venue/outlet mall called The O2. It’s important to note that this is not Mamma Mia! the musical – but rather a unique interpretation of the music and characters. Upon arrival, we found our table adorned with a delightful selection of dips, olives, and fresh bread, accompanied by the soothing sounds of Greek music and chirping crickets. As we indulged in the appetizers, including a refreshing Greek salad, we felt transported to a vacation-like setting. Throughout the evening, the cast and crew exuded infectious energy, infusing the experience with a sense of fun and spontaneity. Surprises peppered the night, adding an element of excitement and ensuring we were fully engaged. As dusk fell, the room twinkled with fairy lights, enhancing the enchanting atmosphere.

Our vegetarian dinner boasted an abundance of fresh vegetables, followed by a delectable lemon cake with citrus yogurt for dessert. The show’s repertoire included beloved ABBA classics such as “Mamma Mia!”, “Dancing Queen”, “SOS”, “Take a Chance on Me”, and “The Winner Takes It All”. Mamma Mia! The Party is an absolute must for fans of the musical, offering an unforgettable experience that is well worth the journey to London or Gothenburg.


BATSU!

A man introducing Batsu in NYC.
BATSU! 2022 | Photography by @nybucketlist

Location: NYC

Date: February, 2020

BATSU!➝ is a hidden gem in NYC’s East Village, where a single lantern and a doorman hint at the excitement inside. After settling at communal tables, we enjoyed sushi before diving into the Japanese game show-style entertainment. The evening kicked off with dancers, leading into a series of lively challenges and improvisation games for four competitors. Creative punishments for “losers” added to the fun, with surprises including audience participation opportunities for those willing to engage. The show also featured a sake ninja, who discreetly refilled drinks for those sporting BATSU headbands. The host, staff, and improvisers kept the energy high throughout the night, ensuring non-stop smiles and laughter. BATSU! is a must-see in NYC, offering an unforgettable and immersive experience that captures the city’s vibrant spirit.


BroadwayCon

The 2020 BroadwayCon stage.
BroadwayCon 2020

Location: NYC

Date: February, 2020

BroadwayCon➝ offers a diverse array of experiences, including panels, workshops, events, meetups, and a bustling marketplace. Panels cover a wide range of topics, catering to interests in auditioning, entrepreneurship, career development, social change, and more. The marketplace is a paradise for musical theatre enthusiasts, showcasing merchandise, creative businesses, apps, and engaging individuals. Notable vendors  included Harmony Helper and VocalMist for vocal performance enhancement, along with Scenery Bags, Parody Bill, and The Broadway Cruise!

Meetups offer opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, with themed gatherings for Shakespeare enthusiasts, Playbill and ribbon trading, LGBTQIA+ communities, and specific musical fandoms. The MainStage hosts exciting events such as live podcast shows, panels featuring hit shows like Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Six, as well as entertaining activities like BroadwayCon’s Game Night, Star to Be, and Cosplay Contest, serving as the central hub of the convention.


Funny Business

An actor on stage pouring a drink for his costar.
Funny Business 2019 | Photography by Stefan Kock

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Theatre: The English Theatre of Hamburg➝

Date: November, 2019

Funny Business, by Derek Benfield, played at The English Theatre of Hamburg from 2019-2020 under the direction of Robert Rumpf. The plot follows Ferris as he reluctantly takes over his sister’s hotel in her absence, only to discover that an anonymous critic would soon evaluate the establishment. Played by Stephen Chance, Ferris’s frantic attempts to identify the critic led to comedic chaos. David Habbin shined as Ferris’s sidekick, grounding the lively production. As misunderstandings escalate, the audience was swept into laughter, particularly in the second act.

The English Theatre of Hamburg is a great location to check out English-language plays and musicals in Germany, welcoming both native and non-native speakers to enjoy the offered shows.


Preludes

Keith Ramsay lying near a piano in Preludes.
Preludes 2019 | Photography by Scott Rylander

Location: London, England

Theatre: Southwark Playhouse➝

Date: September, 2019

The U.K. premiere of Dave Malloy’s Preludes took place at Southwark Playhouse in London. Directed by Alex Sutton, the show delves into the life of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, exploring his struggles with relationships, writer’s block, and mental health. Keith Ramsay mesmerized as Sergei “Rach,” while Tom Noyes, predominantly at the grand piano, embodied Rachmaninoff’s inner turmoil. Rebecca Cane impressed as Dahl, delivering a convincing portrayal of a hypnotherapist. The cast, including Georgia Louise, Steven Serlin, and Norton James, exhibited exceptional talent and chemistry. With its unique blend of classical music and contemporary storytelling, Preludes offers a hypnotic and captivating theatrical experience, showcasing Malloy’s musical prowess.


Falsettos

The cast of Falsettos in London.
Falsettos 2019 | Photography by The Standout Company➝.

Location: London, England

Theatre: The Other Palace➝

Date: September, 2019

Falsettos played at The Other Palace in London in 2019. The production’s innovative set design, initially in black and white, transformed as color spilled into the picture frames, while video projections added depth to the staging. The story follows a small family navigating breakups, changes, and power shifts in their pursuit of happiness. The talented cast delivered a memorable performance. A standout moment was Matthew McKenna’s impromptu performance as Whizzer, demonstrating remarkable talent and dedication. Falsettos at The Other Palace was a magical experience, blending raw emotions with theatrical brilliance.


La Traviata

Novaria Artists' La Traviata.
La Traviata 2019

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Theatre: Palau de la Música➝

Date: June, 2019

Theatre Trip attended a performance of La Traviata at the stunning Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Spain, produced by Novaria Artists. The production featured a full symphonic orchestra and over 80 artists on stage, creating a visually and musically captivating experience. The opulent setting of the Palau de la Música added to the magic of the evening, with its intricate details and elegant ambiance. La Traviata, one of the most beloved operas worldwide, unfolded with Marga Cloquell delivering a mesmerizing performance as Violetta, alongside Carlos Cremades and Alberto Cazes. The production’s innovative staging, including dramatic set reveals at the start of each act, added to the overall sophistication of the performance. The orchestra and the natural sunlight filling the music hall contributed to the dramatic atmosphere, making it an unforgettable evening of magic and romance.


Forever King of Pop

"Michael Jackson" in all white in Forever King of Pop.
Forever King of Pop 2019

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Date: May, 2019

Theatre Trip attended Forever King of Pop➝ in Barcelona, Spain, part of its ongoing tour across major cities in Europe. The show, a celebration of Michael Jackson’s music and legacy, surprised with its dynamic mix of pyrotechnics, break dancing, confetti, and special effects, creating an immersive concert-like experience. Each performer showcased immense talent and energy, embodying different aspects of Michael’s iconic performances. The show highlights the impact of his music on pop culture and personal memories, making it a nostalgic journey for fans of all ages. With no single performer portraying Michael, the production emphasizes the collective talent and passion of the cast. Forever King of Pop offers a thrilling blast from the past, evoking cherished memories and emotions associated with Michael’s music.


Wer hat Angst von Virginia Woolf?

The cast of Wer hat Angst vor Virginia Woolf?.
Wer hat Angst von Virginia Woolf? 2019 | Photography by Arno Declair

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Theatre: Deutsches Schauspielhaus➝

Date: May, 2019

Theatre Trip attended Wer hat Angst vor Virginia Woolf? (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg in Germany. Exploring the intricacies of marriage, the play unfolds over a single evening as George and Martha return home from a faculty party, sparking a series of events upon inviting a younger couple over for drinks. The production, directed by Karin Beier, featured compelling performances by Josefine Israel, Matti Krause, Maria Schrader, and Devid Striesow, whose chemistry brought depth and authenticity to the narrative.

Despite its dark undertones, the play was punctuated with moments of unexpected humor, offering a candid exploration of relationships’ imperfections and vulnerabilities. Wer hat Angst vor Virginia Woolf? delivered a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant theatrical experience, prompting audiences to navigate a spectrum of feelings alongside the journey of the characters.


Rent el Musical

The cast of Rent, el musical.
Rent el Musical 2019 | Photography by by David Ruano

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Theatre: Teatre Condal➝

Date: April, 2019

Theatre Trip attended Rent el Musical at Teatre Condal in Barcelona, Spain in 2019. The production featured standout performances by Anna Herebia as Maureen Johnson and Albert Bolea as Angel Dumott Schunard, capturing the characters’ energy and essence with authenticity. However, the highlight of the evening was the band, led by Miquel Tejada’s music direction, delivering a powerful and dynamic performance that added depth and intensity to the musical’s iconic songs. Notably, Pol Barbé’s bass solo in “Santa Fe” was a stand out moment. Rent el Musical offered a captivating theatrical experience, blending passionate performances with vibrant live music.


The Servant of Two Masters

The cast of The Servant of Two Masters at New Village Arts.
The Servant of Two Masters 2019 | Photography by Daren Scott

Location: Carlsbad, California

Theatre: New Village Arts➝

Date: April, 2019

The Servant of Two Masters played at New Village Arts in Carlsbad, California, and is based on the original Italian commedia dell’arte play by Carlo Goldoni. Written by AJ Knox and Samantha Ginn, who also stars in the lead role of Truffaldino, the production is a whirlwind of high-intensity comedy, filled with witty wordplay, physical humor, and rapid-fire jokes. Notably, New Village Arts supports various initiatives, including fundraiser tickets for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a professional training program called “The Mainstage Players,” which provides opportunities for young adults with neurodiversity to make their professional theatre debuts. The company’s commitment to community engagement and education underscores its mission to create adventurous artistic experiences that awaken the human spirit.


Freaky Friday

The cast of Freaky Friday at San Diego Musical Theatre.
Freaky Friday 2019

Location: San Diego, California

Theatre: San Diego Musical Theatre➝

Date: March, 2019

Theatre Trip attended Freaky Friday at San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT), a non-profit organization renowned for producing musicals in the heart of San Diego and nurturing young talent through pre-professional productions. Directed by Katie Banville and Noelle Marion, this production showcased the exceptional abilities of young actors (aged 12-20) and highlighted the power of empathy as it follows a mother and daughter who swap bodies. SDMT’s commitment to fostering emerging talent was evident in the stellar performances of its cast, particularly Rivers Harris, whose portrayal of both Ellie and Katherine captivated audiences. With its blend of comedy, vulnerability, and impressive puppetry by John Perry Wishchuk, Freaky Friday was a wonderful theatrical experience.


Vault Festival

Entrance sign to VAULT Festival 2019.
Vault Festival 2019

Location: London, England

Date: February, 2019

Theatre Trip had the pleasure of attending the 2019 VAULT Festival➝ in Waterloo, London. Over three days, we experienced a diverse range of shows, including Balaklava Blues, Counting Sheep, and A Wake in Progress, each leaving a lasting impression. What struck us most about VAULT Festival was its dynamic setup, with events scattered throughout Waterloo and hosted in various venues, many of which were underground. The festival’s vibrant atmosphere was palpable from the moment we stepped through what appeared to be a simple door in a graffiti-filled tunnel, revealing a bustling hub of creativity within. Inside, we were greeted with a maze of theatre doors, each promising a unique performance. Our experience was topped off with a Silent Disco Show, featuring live entertainment such as burlesque, hula hooping, and fire eating alongside the infectious beats.


Barcelona Improv Festival

The cast of Werewolves: The Improv Show.
Werewolves 2019 | Photo by Ville Välimäki

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Date: November, 2018

Theatre Trip attended the BIG IF 5 Barcelona Improv Festival, featuring 16 improv shows and 40 workshops over four days. Professional improvisers from around the world showcased their talents, making it a must-see for improv fans. Opening night featured four strong improv shows. “Werewolves: The Improv Show” engaged the audience in a fun adaptation of the party game, while “Bonnie & Clyde” showcased a mixed team of improvisers from across the globe. La Carpe Haute delighted with their show, “Just Play”, incorporating audience objects into their scenes. “Le Noir” offered an experimental concept, inviting the audience to close their eyes and experience the show through soundscapes. Barcelona Improv Group also offers regular courses and monthly improv shows in Barcelona.


La Jaula de las Locas (La Cage aux Folles)

A production shot of La Jaula de Las Locas.

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Theatre: Teatro Tívoli➝

Date: October, 2018

La Jaula de Las Locas (La Cage aux Folles) played at Teatro Tívoli in Barcelona, an entirely Spanish rendition of the Broadway hit. From the moment guests entered, they were greeted by a glamorous drag queen for photos, and a lavish theatre, adorned in velvety red and golden accents. La Cage aux Folles follows the story of Albin and Georges, owners of the drag club “La Cage aux Folles,” whose lives are turned upside down when Georges’s son announces his engagement to the daughter of conservative parents. With strong leads, flawless orchestration, dazzling set design, and dynamic audience interaction, the show provided a night of pure entertainment.


Der schwarze Obelisk

A woman singing on stage. Production still from Der schwarze Obelisk.
Der schwarze Obelisk 2018 | Photo by Katrin Ribbe

Location: Hannover, Germany

Theatre: Schauspiel Hannover➝

Date: September, 2018

Der schwarze Obelisk is centered around the year of inflation in Germany in 1923. The play deals with the topics of politics, finance, business, and mental health, which were all common areas of struggle at the time. Although the issue at hand is heavy, there are still moments of humor and relevant connections to the present. This production features a cast of strong actors, including Carolin Haupt, Antonia Eleonore Hölzel, Silvester von Hösslin, Janko Kahle, Christoph Müller, Hagen Oechel, Jonas Steglich, Sebastian Weiss, Tronicat la Miez, and Die Klosterbrüder. This piece was directed by Lars-Ole Walburg, and the stage design is by Robert Schweer. Costume design is by Nina Gundlach, musical direction by Lars Wittershagen, and dramaturgy by Kerstin Behrens.


GOP Varieté Theater Hannover

An empty stage at the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover.
Photo by the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover.

Location: Hannover, Germany

Theatre: GOP Varieté Theater Hannover➝

Date: September, 2018

Theatre Trip enjoyed a show at the GOP Varieté Theater Hannover, a classic institution dating back to 1948. Featuring variety shows and high-quality entertainment, the theater constantly refreshes its program. We saw “Appartement,” which offered a unique blend of variety and circus acts within a traditional theatrical setting. The ambiance exuded glamour, with a red carpet entrance leading to cozy seating surrounded by candles. The show, themed around an apartment where performers co-resided, showcased talented actors intertwining mini theatrical pieces with circus acts. Notable highlights included a thrilling performance involving bendy wood, strongmen, and a skilled acrobat, captivating the audience with daring feats and exciting surprises.


BLAM! The Show

The cast of BLAM! in their "cubicles".

Location: Odense, Denmark

Date: August, 2018

Theatre Trip enjoyed Kristján Ingimarsson Company’s BLAM! during the Hans Christian Andersen Festival in Odense, Denmark. This explosive show, likened to “Die Hard meets The Office,” unfolds in a mundane office setting with hidden surprises. As four disillusioned office workers navigate through imaginative scenarios, including vengeful villains and makeshift superheroes, the production seamlessly blends slapstick comedy with unexpected romance and thrilling stunts. BLAM! delves into the universal desire to break free from routine, celebrating innate creativity and talent.


Tivoli Ballet Theatre

Three ballet dancers on the stage.
Photo by Annett Ahrends

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: July, 2018

The Tivoli Ballet Theatre➝ is nestled within the picturesque Tivoli Gardens, and the open-air theatre hosts captivating ballet performances amidst traditional seating and cozy lawn lounging. The evening began with “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” a vibrant fairy tale ballet by Hans Christian Anderson, where characters in bold costumes brought a colorful storybook to life. This lively adventure seamlessly transitioned between the “toy world” and reality, captivating audiences of all ages. Following this, “La Sylphide” offered a stark contrast, delving into themes of lust, temptation, and the allure of the unknown. The graceful performances and magical atmosphere left a lasting impression, blending beauty, grace, and life lessons.


 

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