<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usWed, 18 Jan 2017 05:35:45 -0500Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:35:45 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Concert, Food and Drink Specials to Snag on Inauguration Day]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:10:41 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/inaugurationcrop.jpg

There are a few days until the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.You can simply watch the inauguration from home or get in the political spirit at one of these events in NYC. Check out some ways to celebrate inauguration day.

Inauguration Day Sneak Peek, 33 35th Street 6A, at Brooklyn’s Industry City is the perfect opportunity to do a good deed. Industry City Distillery is offering an opportunity to "take the edge off" by purchasing beers from two of Brooklyn’s newest breweries, Wartega and Lineup. The $35 ticket includes four beers and a shot. All proceeds will go to the charity of the brewery's choice.

E's BAR, 511 Amsterdam, will celebrate Inauguration Day with a burger and beer special for $10 all day long. If you find yourself bored by the festivities on TV, there are more than 100 board games to choose from to keep yourself entertained and bring everyone together.

United Palace Cathedral, 4140 Broadway, is hosting "Inaugurate Love: Dreaming Our Nation United." This free event will be a day full of group meditation, indigenous ceremonies, sound healing, drumming circles, spoken word, short-play readings, poetry, dance and movement, live art, vocalists and instrumentalists. Special guest performances will include Ellen Burstyn, Gary Jules, United Palace Band and Ensemble Choir and more. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Bagatelle, 1 Little West 12th St., is one of many restaurants in the Meatpacking District donating $1 from every specialty Sangria Rose sold in January to the American Civil Liberties Union. There isn’t a better day to support that cause than on Inauguration Day. 

Gold Sounds Bar, 44 Wilson Ave., is inviting everyone for a night of positive vibes. Come at 7:30 and jam out to some musical tunes. The proceeds from the $10 admission fee will be donated to Ali Forney Center for LGBTQ youth. Visitors are also encouraged to bring a coat for the New York Cares' annual coat drive. 

Mundo, 37-06 36th Street, is serving up food specials from 5-11 p.m. to sooth your appetite. Guzzle some “Get Trumped” well shots for $4.50 or try the "America is Great" beer and burger combo.

Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th Street, will showcase "United: A Concert for the People" at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 and all proceeds will be donated to American Civil Liberties Union. The grand production will feature Marisa del Campo, Angela Novy along with many other performers.



Photo Credit: NBCU]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Catch the Fireworks Across the Tri-State]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 03:50:58 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fireworks+watch.jpg

If you're looking for the best place to watch fireworks this year, you won't run out of options. And if you can't watch the show in person, you can catch it live on your phone.  

For the third year in a row, the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" will be on the East River, making for great spots across three of New York City's five boroughs (and on TVs everywhere on NBC). But there will also be some pretty great displays in other parts of the city and throughout the tri-state. 

Despite all the options, revelers will face crowds as tens of thousands look to the skies. Here are some of the area's best places to see the displays:

Brooklyn

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO: This is considered the “golden spot” for seeing the display, offering breathtaking looks of the fireworks and the lit-up Manhattan skyline. It’ll get crowded quickly, so be sure to get there early.
  • Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: Another couple of spots that offer sweeping views of the Macy’s display, but you’ll have to stand.
  • Berry Park, Greenpoint: The venerable watering hole off McCarren Park features a roof deck that should offer great views of all the barges. You’ll need to buy a drink to stay for the display, but the bar has a wide selection of German and Belgian brews and a fully stocked bar.
  • Fornino Pizza, Brooklyn Bridge Park: This pizza shop offers sweeping views of lower Manhattan that should make for a great fireworks display. Tickets for the roof deck are already sold out.
  • Brooklyn Grange, Greenpoint: The sprawling rooftop farm offers spectacular views of both Manhattan and the fireworks display. Tickets have already sold out.
  • The Ides Rooftop Bar at the Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg: There’s a $25 cover charge, and doors will open at 7:30 pm.
  • Grand Ferry Park, Williamsburg: The waterfront park in tony Williamsburg is sure to be crowded, but you should get a great look at the fireworks coming off of barges near midtown.
  • MCU Park, Coney Island: You won’t be able to see the Macy’s spectacular from the Cyclones’ park, but the stadium will be shooting off fireworks after the team’s game against the Williamsport Crosscutters. You should also be able to see that display from other parts of Coney Island.

Manhattan

  • South Street Seaport: The Manhattan attraction has been voted the best viewing spot in the city. Like the popular spots in Brooklyn, get there early to assure a spot.
  • The Battery: You should be able to catch the Macy’s spectacular and the Freedom and Fireworks Festival in Jersey City
  • FDR Drive: How often can you say you got to walk on the FDR? There will be several entry points along the highway, which should offer some unique views.
  • East River Park, Lower East Side: The large park should be another great place to see the display.
  • Circle Line: Another fireworks cruise option. Tickets start at $149 a person and boats board at Pier 83 starting at 5:15 p.m.
  • NY Water Taxi: This sightseeing cruise service is offering a couple of cruise options. Tickets start at $199.

Queens

  • Gantry Plaza State Park, Long Island City: One of the few places in Queens to catch the fireworks, so get there early.
  • Flagship Farm, Long Island City: This rooftop party will include music from DJ Mickey Perez and food from Butcher Bar. Tickets are $75 and still being sold.
  • Z Rooftop Bar, Long Island City: The bar near the Queensboro Bridge should offer some great views of the northernmost fireworks barges.

Staten Island 

  • Richmond County Bank Ballpark: Catch the Staten Island Yankees and a show for $9-$18.

New Jersey 

  • Liberty State Park, Jersey City: A huge carnival with some concert acts will precede a fireworks show with the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.
  • Hoboken, Weehawken and other towns: Get away from the New York City crowds, and still catch some great displays.
  • Atlantic City: Fireworks will be shown on the Boardwalk and Marina District starting at 9:30 p.m.
  • Long Branch: A huge, all day family friendly festival with music, food, and fireworks at 9 p.m. 
  • Wildwood: Fireworks will be shown on the beach starting at 10 p.m.
  • Point Pleasant Beach: Fireworks will be shown at Jenkinson's Boardwalk.
  • East Rutherford: Bring the family to State Fair Meadowlands for a carnival, live entertainment and evening of spectacular fireworks. The fair will begin at 2 p.m., and tickets cost $11 for adults and $9 for children.  
  • Camden: Fireworks will be shown at Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival at 6 p.m.
  • Seaside Heights: Head to Seaside Heights for an evening of fireworks on the oceanfront at 9:30 p.m.
  • Margate City: Celebrate Independence Day with a beach fireworks display at 9 p.m. 

Long Island, Westchester and the Hudson Valley

  • Jones Beach: Finish off a day at the beach with a fireworks display. 
  • Several towns will be offering their own fireworks displays, so check your town’s Facebook and Twitter pages.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Aladdin' Star James Monroe Iglehart Headed to 'Hamilton' ]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:03:38 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/JamesMonroeIglehartHamilton.jpg

The Genie is leaving his lamp.

James Monroe Iglehart, who won a 2015 Tony Award for his portrayal of the Genie in "Aladdin," will exit the production after three years to take on the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical "Hamilton" -- the characters originated by Tony-winner Daveed Diggs.

The 42-year-old actor is expected to make his "Hamilton" debut in mid-April, with a specific date still to be announced. His final performance in the Disney musical will be on Feb. 19.

Major Attaway, the current Genie standby in the Broadway company, will take over the role full time beginning Feb. 21. Deonté L. Warren will make his Broadway debut as a stand by for Genie.

Iglehart's not the only "Aladdin" actor leaving Agrabah. Title star Adam Jacobs will debart the production on Feb. 12 to lead its North American tour this spring. Like Iglehart, Jacobs, 32, has been with the production since its Broadway premiere in March 2014.

No replacement has been named for Jacobs yet, but Playbill.com reports that "In Transit" actor Telly Leung has been cast in the role. A Disney Theatrical representative had no comment to NBC 4 New York on the report.

Meanwhile, five of the original stars of "Aladdin" have extended their contracts with the show through February 2018. They include: Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), Brian Gonzales (Babkak), Clifton Davis (Sultan) and Don Darryl Rivera (Iago).

"Aladdin," based on the popular 1992 Disney animated film, features a score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice — with a new book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. It lists the Oscar-winning "A Whole New World" and Oscar-nominated "Friend Like Me" among its score.

"Hamilton," based on Ron Chernow's biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton, features music, lyrics, and a book by Miranda. It won 11 Tony Awards at the 2016 ceremony and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, among other successes.

For more information about "Aladdin," visit aladdinthemusical.com

For more information about "Hamilton," visit hamiltonbroadway.com



Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard]]>
<![CDATA[Take a Sneak Peek at NYC's New 'Golden Girls' Cafe]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:11:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/Golden+Girls+TV+Awards.jpg

If you're a "Golden Girls" fanatic whose imagination has been running wild since the announcement of the themed cafe, here's a memorabilia-packed treat.

Rue La Rue Café has been posting photos of its interior design progress on Facebook. 

The eatery posted a before and after photo Sunday of a wall in the cafe adorned in memorabilia inherited by owner Michael LaRue, Eater New York reports. LaRue was a close friend of the late actress Rue McClanahan, who played feisty widow Blanche Devereaux on the hit show and inspired the cafe. 

"The electrician is coming on Tusday to wire all the new stuff and then...Rue La Rue Café," the post reads. 

Decadent portraits of the eatery's inspiration lined the cafe's walls along with McClanahan's encased 1987 Emmy Award and mannequins displaying some of her iconic looks.

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Could this mean an opening for the highly anticipated bistro is right around the corner

Signature treats were also teased on the cafe's Facebook page, including a "Betty White Cake" that will be a daily staple on the menu. The sassy septuagenarians even have their own flavors of their favorite delectable dessert: cheesecake.

The cafe will be on Broadway between 187th and 188th Streets in Washington Heights. 

Rue La Rue posted a replica Walk of Fame star for McClanahan in September, which will be placed at the restaurant's threshold. 

The cafe said it did not have a set opening date, but would post on its Facebook page when the time came. 

"Golden Girls" ran on NBC for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Your State's Favorite Netflix Original Series Is ...]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:28:03 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Netflix-GettyImages-464215297.jpg

If you ever found yourself hunkering down under a blanket at home weathering some type of storm, be it physical or emotional, you've probably turned to Netflix for solace at some point.

According to Fortune, more than half of Americans use the streaming service for access to both movies and TV episodes, and in recent years, many subscribers have turned to Netflix originals for some fresh content.

So which binge-worthy series was most likely to be streaming in neighborhoods near you? Cable TV looked at state data from Google Trends in 2016 to identify the top Netflix original series for each state.

New York's favorite original Netflix series last year was "The Get Down," a show about a ragtag group of teenagers running wild in the streets of the Bronx in the 1970s, according to Cable TV's research. 

Streamers in New Jersey, along with Netflix bingers in 13 other states, preferred "Daredevil," while Connecticut viewers streamed "Bloodline" more than any other original series provided by the service.

Click here to see the full methodology and map by state. 



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['The Present,' or, Cate Blanchett's Explosive Birthday Bash]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 15:33:22 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ThePresentMain.jpg

Hollywood superstar Cate Blanchett, who has appeared on New York stages in three earlier Sydney Theatre Company productions, makes a belated Broadway debut in “The Present,” an austere update of Anton Chekhov’s first play.

If at times illuminated with an item of bold lingerie or sniping remark, most of the color in director John Crowley’s frenzied, engaging production comes from the party balloons Anna Petrovna (Blanchett) has hung to mark the occasion of her 40th birthday.

Fireworks, here, are both metaphorical and literal: Halfway through the three-hour drama, the sensual leading lady detonates the countryside summer house where much of the first act has transpired. 40 ... it's the new 14?

An adaptation by Andrew Upton, who is Blanchett’s husband, “The Present” arrives at The Barrymore Theatre with its original Australian cast intact. Anna’s foil, Mikhail, a childhood friend and former paramour, is played by Richard Roxburgh, who may be best known to American audiences from Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge.”

Upton has relocated Chekhov’s untitled play (discovered more than a decade after the playwright’s death) to post-perestroika Russia, where an eclectic lot of friends are gathering to raise glasses of wine and Stoli to Anna, the independent, but compromised, widow.

Though no wilting rose, Anna realizes her currency as an eligible woman will deteriorate as she ages. The value of the land inheritance from her late husband is tied up in a web of leases she will require political connections to exploit. So she’s playing a couple of her late husband’s comrades off one another, with a scheme to marry the one who makes the better offer.

Her other motivations aren’t entirely clear, but Anna doesn’t want to reach this milestone alone, so she invites 10 or so guests to the house she’s inherited, among them a trio of friends from her youth—chief instigator among them is Roxburgh’s puckish Mikhail, with whom Anna shares ... much that's unresolved.

Blanchett and Roxburgh, with more than two decades of experience acting opposite one another, make for an appealing duo. Her Anna has settled into life as a widow, whose method of rebellion is making trouble socially; his Mikhail into one as a schoolteacher whose method of lashing out is simple philandering.

Blanchett has the easier time locating her character. She’s diva-like, knowing she can keep a man under her spell, yet also self-aware—a woman in increasingly desperate straits, who yet somehow never seems like a desperate woman.

It's harder to sense the misgivings underneath Mikhail's bluff exterior. He seems to have a clear-eyed sense of the tradeoffs he's made, and while his regrets are obvious (“Marriage—after ‘I fell in love’—is one long renovation,” he remarks despairingly to one of his old chums), he never seems quite so destabilized a playboy as to invite the outcome Chekhov and Upton have devised for him.

Upton divides “The Present” into four scenes: an outdoor introduction to the characters, which tends to meander; the party; a hallucinatory scene in fog, during which Mikhail’s mischievous side is front-and-center; and, a post-soiree segment, when things really go to hell.

Crowley (on film, “Brooklyn”; on stage, “The Pillowman”) keeps things moving quickly, given the number of connections he’s obliged to juggle. “The Present” is ultimately more coherent than this season’s earlier Chekhov offering, “The Cherry Orchard,” though both conclude on characteristically despairing notes.

“The Present,” through March 19 at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St. Tickets: $59-$159. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn 



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Jimmy Fallon Talks Golden Globes Gig With Natalie Pasquarella]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 20:25:03 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000014542752_1200x675_849410627617.jpg The Tonight Show's own Jimmy Fallon is hosting the first big awards show of the season. It's the Golden Globes. News Four sat down with Fallon to find out if he's nervous! Natalie Pasquarella reports.]]> <![CDATA[Balloon Challenge: Jimmy Fallon Tells Natalie Pasquarella What His Last Meal in NYC Would Be]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 22:07:03 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000014540764_1200x675_849360451721.jpg Natalie Pasquarella and Jimmy Fallon have a little fun talking about what their last meal on earth in New York City would be. ]]> <![CDATA[Broadway Dims Lights Friday in Tribute to Reynolds, Fisher]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:20:16 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Debbie-Reynolds-madre-carrie-fischer.jpg

Broadway theaters will dim their lights Friday night in honor of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, the mother-and-daughter actresses who died one day apart last week.

Fisher died Dec. 27 after having a heart attack on a flight the week prior, and her mother Reynolds died the next day of a stroke. 

Theaters will dim their marquees for one minute on Friday at 7:45 p.m., the traditional sign of respect from the Broadway community for a notable passing. 

Both debuted on Broadway in 1973 in the musical comedy "Irene," for which Reynolds received a Tony nomination. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NY Neighborhood Makes '52 Places to Travel in 2017' List]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 14:39:40 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-87980703.jpg

Fancy a holiday in 2017? Look no further than the South Bronx.

The South Bronx ranks alongside the Maldives and Budapest as one of the 52 Places to Go in 2017, according to the New York Times.

The New York neighborhood crept in at No. 51, ahead of an archipelago of 160 islands in Japan.

It was featured alongside other stunning corners of the world such as Botswana, Tijuana, Marrakesh, Stockholm, Madagascar and Madrid.

In 2016, the newspaper covered every murder in the the 40th Precinct in South Bronx.

It acknowledged the South Bronx had suffered "in reality and reputation", but said things were on the up and up. 

"Though crime is still an issue in the area, numbers are way down from heights in the early ’90s," it said.

It pointed out a number of eateries, galleries and retail stores had opened in the Bronx neighborhood in 2016, including To_Bridges and 9J, La Grata Neapolitan pizzoteca, and Milk Burger.

The South Bronx, home to celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Fat Joe, would also be getting a rooftop beer garden and food hall in 2017, the Times said.

These were the New York Times' top five places to go 2017:

1. Canada

2. Atacama Desert, Chile

3. Agra, India

4. Zermatt, Switzerland

5. Botswana

See the full list here.

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<![CDATA[Mark Ruffalo Returning to Broadway in 'The Price' ]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:15:17 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-505877282.jpg

A decade after making his Broadway debut, Mark Ruffalo is back.

The 49-year-old actor will join Tony Shalhoub, Jessica Hecht and Danny DeVito in the Roundabout Theatre Company's upcoming revival of Arthur Miller's four-person play "The Price."

Performances begin Feb. 16 at the American Airlines Theatre, with an opening set for March 16. The limited engagement production is scheduled through May 7.

It'll be the fourth revival of "The Price" on Broadway. The drama, directed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company co-founder Terry Kinney, tells the story of estranged brothers dividing the positions of their now-deceased father -- three decades after the Great Depression wiped their family fortune away.

Shalhoub and Ruffalo will play the dueling brothers, with Hecht as the wife of Ruffalo's character. DeVito, who makes his Broadway debut in the production, will play a furniture dealer appraising the family possessions.

John Turturro, who was previously announced in Ruffalo's role, had to withdraw from the production due to an unspecified film commitment.

Ruffalo's first and only Broadway credit is the 2006 revival of "Awake and Sing!" -- a role that earned him a Tony nomination for best featured actor. He has received three Oscar nominations in his long film career, most recently for his supporting work in 2016's best picture "Spotlight."

For tickets and more information, visit roundabouttheatre.org.



Photo Credit: Jeff Spicer]]>
<![CDATA[IHOP Brings Back 'All You Can Eat Pancakes' ]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:20:09 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ihop+GettyImages-84259123.jpg

IHOP is bringing back its “all you can eat pancakes." 

The restaurant chain said the offer, which will be available at any time of day, will continue until Feb. 14. It started Wednesday. 

As part of the deal, customers can order either five “famous buttermilk pancakes” or a short stack of two pancakes with a combo plate of eggs, golden hash browns and a choice of breakfast meats. Once the initial serving is finished, customers can “keep a short stack of two buttermilk pancakes coming again and again until they have had… all they can eat,” the restaurant said.

“Since the moment we opened 57 years ago, our guests have been able to get the perfect breakfast any time of day,” Kirk Thompson, vice president of marketing for the International House of Pancakes, said in a statement. “And now, with the return of All You Can Eat pancakes, one of our most beloved traditions, it’s even easier for our guests and fellow breakfastarians to get their fill of our warm, delicious buttermilk pancakes, morning, noon and night through February 14 — and what better time to end this promotion than Valentine’s Day, when breakfastarians can celebrate their love of IHOP!” 

Pancake eaters can add toppings to their pancake stacks for an additional cost, according to IHOP. 

The offer is available for dine-in only and price and participation will vary, the company said. 

IHOP, which is based in California, has more than 1,600 restaurants across the country and in Canada and Mexico.

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<![CDATA[Girl Scouts Release New Cookie Flavor]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 22:33:06 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/207*120/smores-cookie.jpg

Girl Scouts cookies fans can look forward to a new flavor that honors an old campfire classic: the s'more. 

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scout Cookies, the company has added two s'mores-inspired treats. The ABC Bakers S'mores layers a creme icing and a chocolate coating over a graham cracker wafer. The Little Brownie Bakers version is a "crunchy graham sandwich with creamy chocolate and marshmallow-y filling."

The new flavor pays tribute to the Girl Scouts' history of getting girls outdoors, and of course, enjoying s'mores around the campfire, the organization said in a press release.

The Girl Scouts were one of the first to spread the recipe, publishing it under the name "Some More" in 1925 in a Girl Scout Leader magazine.  

During the six-week 2015-2016 cookie season, girls in the NYC area sold 1,107,524 individual boxes. All proceeds from the annual fundraiser remain within the five boroughs, with $0.65 per box going directly to the individual troop. 

Customers can use the Cookie Locator App to find the nearest booth sale. The upcoming cookie season is set to begin early this spring.



Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas]]>
<![CDATA[Blazing Comet to Illuminate Sky on New Year's Eve]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 12:17:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nasa+comet.jpg

The iconic Times Square ball with its 32,000 LED lights won't be the only thing lighting up the sky over the Crossroads of the World on New Year's Eve -- according to NASA, a comet might be visible as revelers ring in 2017. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages many of the agency's exploratory robotic missions, tweeted an image of the comet's previous tilt across the solar system from October 2011 with the message, "Say farewell to 2016 in cosmic style by looking up to see the #NewYearsEve #comet on December 31." 

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova returns to the inner solar system every half decade or so, NASA said. 

The comet is visible now using a telescope or heavy duty binoculars, according to USA Today. On Saturday, anyone who wants a glimpse should angle their devices to the west shortly after sunset; the comet, a bluish-green body with a long tail, should be to the left of the moon, the website reported. 

Comet 45P will swing back around the sun in February, offering an even brighter view. 



Photo Credit: NASA
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<![CDATA[10 Sensational Theater Performances of 2016]]> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 22:27:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/BestOf2016Theater.png

Here are the performances NBC New York theater writers Robert Kahn and Dave Quinn will remember most from 2016, listed in alphabetical order.

Laura Benanti, "She Loves Me"
It was a part she called her dream role, but watching Laura Benanti's Tony-nominated turn in the Roundabout Theatre Company's celebrated revival of "She Loves Me" felt more like a dream for audiences. The soaring soprano brought the perfect balance of humor and sincerity to the role of Amalia Balash — the strong-willed 1930s perfume-counter clerk who is unaware that her anonymous romantic pen pal is actually her quarreling coworker. Benanti's take on the show's signature stream-of-consciousness tune, "Vanilla Ice Cream," brought down the house — and reminded us all that her lush voice and impeccable instincts are Broadway's sweetest treat. —DQ

Corbin Bleu, "Holiday Inn"
He was known to many as Zac Efron's BFF in the Disney Channel's megahit "High School Musical" franchise. And though he's had stage credits before ("In the Heights," "Hairspray"), Corbin Bleu cemented his place as a Broadway bigwig this year with his toe-tapping turn in "Holiday Inn." As crooner Ted Hanover, the 27-year-old actor was able to show off his triple-threat talent — with his effortless and electric energy breathing new life into the show-stopping number "Let's Say It With Firecrackers," made famous by Fred Astaire in the 1942 film. Time for a "42nd Street" revival? —DQ

Stephanie J. Block, "Falsettos"
You'd be have a meltdown, too, if your husband left you for a guy, and the son you share was reneging on his promise to have a Bar Mitzvah. Block helped contemporize the James Lapine-William Finn classic, giving us a modern Trina holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting. Realizing she won't have the life she thought she was signing up for, Trina adapts ... but not before a show-stopping turn with "I'm Breaking Down," using as her props a knife, two bananas and a couple of limp carrots. Marvin and Whizzer were wise to leave the room; the rest of us were lucky we stayed. —RK

Amber Gray, "Hadestown" and "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
This is what they call a "one-two punch." Amber Gray delivered back to back blows this year — first in the New York Theater Workshop's sensation "Hadestown" and then in her acclaimed Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812." Gray brought an alluring sense of danger and vulnerability to each character (Persephone, loyal wife of Hades, and Hélène, scheming wife of Pierre, respectively) while still never forgetting their strength. And her sharp and sultry voice put her center stage — even if director Rachel Chavkin often had her singing from the sidelines in both immersive productions. When actors can often be so black and white, this year showed us there's beauty in the gray. —DQ

Heather Headley, "The Color Purple"
If there was a Tony Award given for replacing casting, Heather Headley would be the clear winner this year. The stunning soprano returned to Broadway in her first role in 15 years, playing the sultry blues singer Shug Avery in the Tony-winning revival of "The Color Purple." The part's been played by many an actress before (including Jennifer Hudson when the revival first opened, and Margaret Avery in the 1985 film), but Headley's time up at bat felt like the first time anyone truly saw Shug. A gripping performance textured with anger and wit confronted audiences with Shug's inner demons and outer charm — showing an overconfident woman fighting to silence the scared little girl within. Plus, Headley's powerhouse voice allowed those who failed to see her all those years ago in "Aida" to remember just what Broadway's been missing. Don't wait another 15, Heather. —DQ

Jefferson Mays, "Oslo"
You could be forgiven for questioning the dramatic potential in a play about the backstage machinations involved in bringing together an Israeli prime minister and a Palestinian leader. But playwright J.T. Rogers grasped onto the cynicism that crept over the Middle East in the wake of the multinational Oslo Accords of the 1990s, and crafted a taut, thrilling narrative arguing that the storied agreement set events on a better course, even if not the one bargained for. Jefferson Mays, as a wonk at a Norwegian think tank, shined as a well-intentioned, occasionally fumbling policymaker with a will of steel. He brought something into "Oslo" I wasn't expecting: laughter. —RK

Janet McTeer, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" and "Taming of the Shrew"
How's this for versatile? This year, McTeer managed to command a stage once lying provocatively on a plush couch in the 18th century Paris of the French epistolary novel, and then again standing up against a tree, unzipping her fly and peeing, as she did in The Public's vibrant, all-female take on "Shrew." In "Dangereuses," the Tony winner was a conniving La Marquise de Merteuil, crafting dangerous plots that eventually returned to haunt her. And for Shakespeare in the Park, she donned a butch leather jacket to woo Cush Jumbo's tantrum-throwing Katherina. Lloyd's interpretation offered numerous updates, including the thundering appearance on stage of a camper driven by McTeer to steal away with "his" near-hostage bride. Her redneck license plate? "PISA ASS." —RK

David Hyde Pierce, "A Life"
If one performance left me off-balance this year, it was Pierce, as an everyman gay New Yorker in "A Life," by author Adam Bock, which had its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons. Pierce played Nate, a proofreader with a relatable circle of friends. Just as we're discovering the parallels between his life and our own, Nate collapses. The drama's second half depicts the banal mechanics of a distinctly urban death: a medical examiner interrupts the process of body removal for a casual cell phone chat, and so on. Even as a lifeless corpse, Pierce managed to leave audiences dwelling on what's arguably every New Yorker's greatest fear: dying alone. —RK

Ben Platt, "Dear Evan Hansen"
Years from now, Ben Platt's pitch-perfect performance in "Dear Evan Hansen" will be discussed with the same "you had to see it to believe it" rhetoric often associated with Broadway legends. In the hands of another actor, the show's title character could easily play as a self-absorbed, annoyingly neurotic geek. But Platt finds levels to Evan not seen on the page — so supremely embodying his anxieties and complexities that you can't help but relate. It's a raw, full, and frighteningly realistic performance that will bring you to tears multiple times throughout the show and surely propel Platt to stardom. Did I mention he's just 23 years old? Start prepping that Tony speech now, Ben. You'll no doubt need it. —DQ

Daniel Radcliffe, "Privacy"
The Public's "Privacy" was a disquieting comic thriller about the degree to which ordinary consumers have unwittingly released private details of their lives into the world. Who better to guide us on that tour than innocent and trustworthy Daniel Radcliffe? "Privacy" was a participatory project, with audiences encouraged to keep cellphones on, logged into a dedicated WiFi network. Turned out, that network was scanning our Facebook profiles and learning the private networks we'd previously signed onto ... and soon displaying them on a digital screen above Radcliffe's head. One effective sequence had the British actor speed-dating with audience "matches," and being forced to admit he lied on a dating profile about his height. I went home and changed every password I had. —RK

Honorable Mentions:

Carmen Cusack, as a woman telling her unbelievable story in "Bright Star" ... Johanna Day, as an uncompromising factory worker in "Sweat" ... Chris Fitzgerald, as a scene-stealing persistent romantic in "Waitress" ... John Gallagher Jr., as fragile son Edmund in Roundabout's "Long Day's Journey" ... Megan Hilty, as a ditzy blonde actress going through the motions in "Noises Off" ... Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, as the hilarious Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland in "Oh, Hello!" ... Kecia Lewis, for both CSC's "Mother Courage" and the Atlantic's "Marie & Rosetta" ... Amy Ryan, as a selfish boomer in "Love, Love, Love" ... Michelle Williams, as a sexual-abuse victim in "Blackbird."



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[News Team Gags on Artichoke Dip Gone 'Terribly Wrong']]> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:46:02 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Global-News-Calgary-artichoke-dip-choke.jpg

Something went "terribly wrong" when one Canadian newscaster made artichoke dip to share with her team, and the noxious results are being seen across the world.

The team at Global News Calgary was sharing holiday recipes last week and traffic reporter Leslie Horton decided to make artichoke dip, according to a clip from the news agency posted to YouTube that's racked up more than 800,000 views since Friday.

The soggy, yellow dip that Horton whipped up gave her co-hosts the jitters, and when Horton passed it around she admitted, "I'm telling you right now, this did not work out."

Only two of her three colleagues were brave enough to find out first-hand.

Meteorologist Jordan Witzel took a big bite and nearly turned green.

"At first I'm like, well, it's not that bad, but the vinegar..." he said.

"But there's no vinegar in there!" Horton replies, before Witzel cuts her off by retching the food into a napkin.

The Global News team took turns laughing and gagging as they wondered what possibly could have turned a holiday artichoke dip so foul. Turns out, Horton improvised a bit when she made the recipe, trading lemon for an orange she had in the house and spicing it with celery salt and oregano.

Anchor Amber Schinkel also took a bite and managed not to bad-mouth the bad-tasting dip, at least until she was asked what she thought of Horton's creation.

"It burns," she said, holding her throat.

That vinegar taste apparently came from Horton's use of pickled artichoke rather than the real thing, she tweeted as the video went viral. Horton took the "#CookingFail" in stride, telling her TV station, "My co-workers’ reactions were priceless" and saying it's a good reminder that the morning news team has its fails, just like their viewers do.

She even tweeted "The Ellen Show" Monday that she's happy to share the recipe, "if you're up for it."

The video jumped as high as #21 on YouTube's trending video page Monday, with under a week until Christmas.



Photo Credit: Global News Calgary / YouTube
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA['Sunday in the Park' with Jake Gyllenhaal ]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 12:54:23 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SundayInTheParkwithJake.jpg

Scheduling conflicts caused him to back out of this spring's planned revival of Lanford Wilson's 1987 play "Burn This." But now, it appears actor Jake Gyllenhaal's 2017 calendar has opened up.

The 35-year-old Oscar nominee will return to Broadway in February in another revival of an acclaimed '80s work — this time, Stephen Sondheim's 1984 musical "Sunday in the Park with George."

He'll play painter George Seurat in the show, which follows the painter in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the La Grande Jatte." Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford will join Gyllenhaal, as his character's neglected lover Dot.

The pair first tackled the roles together in a concert staging of the show at New York City Center in October. While that production only ran for a handful of performances, it will transfer — giving fans 10 weeks to catch Gyllenhaal "finishing the hat" on Broadway.

Previews begin Feb. 11 and an opening is planned for Feb. 23. The show is currently scheduled to close on April 23.

"Sunday in the Park with George" will re-open the historic Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street — as Gyllenhaal's "Burn This" revival was first scheduled to do. The playhouse originally opened in 1903 and is currently going through an extensive, multimillion-dollar renovation funded by the Ambassador Theatre Group.

Gyllenhaal, who who made his Broadway debut in 2015's "Constellations," will be direction in this staging by Sarna Lapine — niece to the show's book writer James Lapine. Additional casting and members of the creative team will be announced shortly.

For tickets and more information, visit thehudsonbroadway.com or call 855-801-5876.



Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger]]>
<![CDATA[7 Free New Year's Eve Parties in NYC, New Jersey ]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 21:45:30 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lead+photo+free+nye.jpg

If one of your New Year's resolutions for 2017 is to cut back on spending (you're not alone) why not start when the clock strikes 12? There are plenty of free events going on in New York City and New Jersey on New Year's Eve.

From free entry at bars to family friendly fireworks and midnight fitness parties, here's your guide to celebrating NYE without breaking the bank.

Fireworks at Prospect Park | Family Friendly
The entire family can enjoy a free evening of fireworks and live music at Prospect Park. People can view the fireworks from three locations:
1. Grand Army Plaza
2. Prospect Park's West Drive
3. Along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza & Ninth Street. 
The fireworks go off at midnight, but live music begins at 11 p.m. Just a tip: dress warm, bring extra layers (gloves, hats, scarves) and lots of blankets! RSVP and find out more info here

NYE in Times Square | Family Friendly
Thousands of determined people will take over Times Square on December 31 to watch the ball drop live. If you think you can handle the chaos, get there early in the afternoon or even in the morning to secure a spot. Live performances from pop's biggest stars begin at 6 p.m. Keep in mind there are no public restrooms and bundle up! For more on NYE in Times Square, click here.

NYRR Midnight Run | Family Friendly 
Know somebody running in the NYRR Midnight Run at Central Park this year? While runners pay to run, they can bring a guest for free. The 4-mile run begins at midnight, but celebrations start at 10 p.m. with a dance party and face painting. Runners and guests can also opt for the Tavern on the Green NYE package to celebrate with food and drink before, during and after the midnight run. For more info, click here

Fireworks from the Staten Island Ferry | Family Friendly
So it may not be an official event, but if you hop on the Staten Island Ferry just before midnight, you'll get a spectacular view of fireworks going off in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey. Dress cozy and warm. Ferry schedules and more here.

Time's Up 19th Annual NYE Bike Ride | Family Friendly
Start your 2017 fitness goals early with an NYE bike ride and outdoor after-party in Central Park. Riders can start biking from three different locations:
1. Williamsburg Bridge (Brooklyn side) at 9:45 p.m.
2. Washington Square Park arch at 10 p.m.
3. Madison Square Park (23rd St. & Broadway, Flatiron side) 10:20 p.m.
The final destination is Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Music, dancing and fireworks will all be free, but participants should bring their own food and drink. If you want to party but don't want to ride, meet at the Belvedere Castle at 11:45 p.m. Details on the event can be found here

New Year's Eve Watchnight Service | Family Friendly 
For a quiet celebration, join the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine with a special late-night service. The event runs from 11 p.m. on NYE until 1 a.m. on New Year's Day. The cathedral is located at Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street. There is also a NYE Concert for Peace prior to the late-night service (7 p.m. - 9 p.m.) with tickets starting at $40. For details on the free NYE late-night service and also on the Concert for Peace, click here

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten, Jersey City | 21+  
It's not easy finding free entry to a bar or club on NYE, but the Biergarten in JC has you covered. The German bar and restaurant has no cover charge, lots of beer, a DJ and dancing to really ring in 2017 with a bang. Hats and noisemakers will also be handed out. Find out more here



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Gary Hershorn]]>
<![CDATA[Video of Employee Giving Wii U Console to Boy Goes Viral]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 12:50:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/best+buy+act+of+kindness.jpg

Heartwarming video of an employee at a Long Island electronics store giving a Nintendo console to a boy has gone viral.

The act of kindness was captured at the Valley Stream Best Buy earlier this month after store employees pitched in to buy a Wii U for the boy.

Workers noticed that the boy had been playing the console at the store for weeks. Employee Ken Fernandez gathered some of them together and they put money towards buying the gaming system for him, Best Buy confirmed.

A YouTube video that had amassed some 1.3 million views by Tuesday shows Fernandez giving the stunned boy the Wii U.

“On behalf of all of us here at Best Buy, we got you a Wii so you don’t have to come here every day and play,” Fernandez says in the video.

The disbelieving boy looks on as he sits at the Wii U playing station.

“For real, it’s just for you. It will be your Christmas present, an early Christmas present,” Fernandez says. “You don’t have to be here, you can go home and play.”

Fernandez later dropped off the console and a copy of Mario Kart, which cost around $300, at the boy’s home.



Photo Credit: Rahiem Storr/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Best Places to Watch the New Year's Eve Fireworks ]]> Mon, 26 Dec 2016 18:05:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fireworksnyccrop2.jpg

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and it’s time to make some plans. Wondering where to get the best views of the New Year’s Eve fireworks? Here are the best places in NYC to take in the fireworks spectacular.

Prospect Park at Grand Army Plaza and Ninth Street is the perfect cozy spot to huddle up with a cup of hot cocoa and watch the fireworks burst over Long Meadow.

Central Park at South 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue is the spot where runners participating the Midnight Run will meet after the run but all are welcome to join the party. Bring your dancing shoes because there will be music and other New Year's celebration activities.

Luna Park at Steeplechase Plaza makes for a magical evening of fireworks by the water. Do something different this year and revel in the excitement from Brooklyn’s own Coney Island. New Year’s Eve at Luna Park is sure to be a packed night of entertainment, food and fun. 

Times Square at Broadway and Seventh Avenue never fails to put on the ultimate New Year's Eve experience for tourists and New Yorkers alike. Claim your spot around the grand ball by 3 p.m. and rock out to show-stopping performances from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Grab a snack and plenty of water to avoid losing your spot in the crowd.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hal Prince's Career Basis of 'Prince of Broadway' Musical]]> Sun, 11 Dec 2016 14:37:46 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PrinceofBroadwayJapan.jpg

He's produced some of the biggest shows on Broadway, including the premiere productions of "West Side Story," "Damn Yankees," "Fiddler on the Roof," "She Loves Me!," "Cabaret," "Follies," "Sweeney Todd," "The Pajama Game," and "Company."

He's also directed some megahits, like "The Phantom of the Opera," "Evita" "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Candide" and "On the Twentieth Century."

And now, the six-decade career of 21-time Tony winner Harold "Hal" Prince will come to the stage in "Prince of Broadway" – a new musical set to open at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre this summer.

Previews begin Aug. 3, 2017 with an opening night set for Aug. 24, 2017.

The musical, which will feature musical highlights from shows produced and/or directed by Prince, was originally announced for Broadway in 2012 but didn't get a full-scale production until late 2015 when it opened in Tokyo, Japan.

Its cast, then, included Broadway veterans Tony Yazbeck, Ramin Karimloo, Emily Skinner, Nancy Open, Josh Grisetti and Shuler Hensley. No word whether they'll reprise their pieces in the Broadway production. Casting will be announced at a later date.

As for a director for the new musical, producers have turned to a proven hitmaker: Prince himself.

He'll lead the piece, with co-direction from Susan Stroman ("The Producers"). She'll also choreograph the musical — reuniting with Prince after first working with him in the 1994 "Show Boat" revival."

Prince is also reteaming with composer Jason Robert Brown after directing Brown's 1998 musical, "Parade." Brown will provide "Prince of Broadway" with new songs, musical supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations.

The show's book comes from David Thompson ("Chicago," "The Scottsboro Boys").

"Of course I’m delighted that many of my favorite artists will be interpreting the material from a lifetime of work," Prince said in a statement.

For more information, visitmanhattantheatreclub.com.



Photo Credit: Ryoji Fukuoka]]>
<![CDATA['In Transit' Cast Sees Something, Sings Something ]]> Sun, 11 Dec 2016 14:35:18 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/InTransitMain.jpg

If “Swipe Again” messages and surly token clerks have taken their toll on your daily commute, perhaps an elixir can be found at the Circle in the Square Theatre, where “In Transit,” an all-a capella, electronically amplified musical, has just pulled into the station.

“In Transit” takes that most harped-on of artistic cliches—it’s the journey, not the destination—and builds it out, with a superior cast and some catchy music.

The solid behind-the-scenes pedigree includes Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the Oscar winner for “Let It Go,” from “Frozen,” as one among a foursome of writers. Deke Sharon, who prepared arrangements for the “Pitch Perfect” films, has similar duties here. Three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (“Nice Work …”) directs.

The story, a series of vignettes, focuses on 11 New Yorkers whose lives, in assorted stages of dishevelment, occasionally intersect, either in a station or on moving cars. The narrator is a mellow fella named Boxman, apparently living off the residuals from past success with a “Dr. Pepper” commercial.

Steven “Heaven” Cantor, alternating with Chesney Snow, has beatboxing duties and is a winning shepherd for the evening’s affairs: “Attention passengers: due to scheduled weekend service changes, all Expresses are running local, all Locals are running express, the A is the B, the 2 is the 3, and the Q is a bus.”

Been there, right?

Eventually, “In Transit” becomes a showcase for the talents of a duo perhaps overshadowed in their last major outings: Margo Seibert (Adrian in 2014’s “Rocky” musical) is Jane, an office-temp and wannabe actress; her love interest is Nate (James Snyder of “If/Then”), unemployed after an unfortunate “Reply All” misstep.

Some of the story lines played out unpredictably, zigging when I expected them to zag, in the best of ways. At other times, “In Transit” settled into overly worn devices.

Initially, I cringed when I saw that gay couple Trent (Justin Guarini) and Steven (Telly Leung of “Allegiance”) would have difficulty planning their wedding, because Texas-raised Trent was unwilling to tell his mother he’s gay. But a bittersweet twist to the thread played out as both sincere and, I dare say, brave.

There are distinguished contributions from Moya Angela in multiple roles, none more entertaining than a disinterested token clerk who seems a permanent obstacle to down-on-his-luck Nate. Erin Mackey is sweet as a peach as Ali, who is trying to get over a breakup but can’t stop texting her ex.

The song “A Little Friendly Advice,” which has the workers at Jane’s temp office encouraging her to forget about a career on stage, has both the jubilance and unconventional wisdom of a number from “Avenue Q” (co-created by Ms. Lopez’s husband).

The musical offers insider nods to the average Manhattanite, in the form of jokes about an apprehensiveness toward buses, and a cameo by a celebrated pizza-loving denizen of the underground.

Donyale Werle’s two-tiered set is a fanciful subway station with authentic-seeming MTA signage, if no basis in reality—if there is a stop where the G, R, N, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 converge, please, somebody text me ASAP—and a conveyor belt that works effectively in the theater’s shape.

“In Transit” manages to create a reality-distortion field that left me feeling the MTA isn’t the hostile environment I know it all too well to be. For that alone, go ahead and swipe your MetroCard.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

“In Transit,” at Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St. Tickets, $89-$159, on sale through June 25, 2017. Call 212-239-6200.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Life-Sized Lego Creations Debut in Downtown Brooklyn ]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:11:10 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/LegoExperiencebrcrop.jpg Brick Fest Live debuts their life-sized Lego creations in Downtown Brooklyn. The Lego experience at City Point features six interactive exhibits including a Large Lego Pit, a Star Wars Mosaic and Brick Fest Derby that both children and adults can enjoy. Check out the display Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. Tickets are on sale for $12-15 at http://www.brickfestlive.com.

Photo Credit: Bianca Rosembert]]>
<![CDATA[Delta Latest Airline to Upgrade Its Snacks]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:14:05 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/delta-snacks.jpg

If it's true that an army travels on its stomach, will better snacks keep passengers loyal to one airline? 

Delta Air Lines is rolling out new free snacks for customers in the main cabin, including brand-name yogurt bars and pretzels. Some will come in larger portions than before because, Delta has figured out, that's what customers crave. 

The menu move comes about a year after United Airlines brought back free snacks by offering noshes like stroopwafels — a gooey Dutch confection — and better coffee. Earlier this year, American Airlines restored free snacks on domestic flights. 

Airline executives say they're focusing on both big and little things in the battle for customers. 

Delta said Thursday that beginning next week it will retire the airline's brand of peanuts and pretzels and replace them on longer flights with Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Squirrel honey-roasted peanuts and NatureBox yogurt bars. 

Fans of the Biscoff cookies need not fret — those are staying. 

Delta also is testing free sandwiches and other meals in economy on some flights between New York and California.

The company stopped selling food on its flights in 2005, The New York Times reported at the time

For decades, air travelers took it for granted that they would be served meals as part of their ticket price. Airlines gradually took away that perk to save money, but came off looking Scrooge-like. 

Continental Airlines claimed it would save $2.5 million by no longer giving away pretzels in 2011. That year parent United Continental Holdings Inc. earned $840 million. 

Airlines today seem even more financially healthy enough to feed their customers: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. earned $4.5 billion last year.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Our Top 15 Facebook Posts for 2016 Offer Surprising Mashup ]]> Tue, 27 Dec 2016 09:38:42 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lead+image+for+top+15+fb.jpg

Photo Credit: AP/Suzanne Mapes]]>
<![CDATA[These Are Our Top Tweets of 2016]]> Sat, 31 Dec 2016 13:48:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/chelseaexplosionnextdayresponse.jpg

NBC 4 New York's Twitterverse has a thing for breaking news. Of the top 11 tweets from @nbcnewyork over the course of 2016, six were breaking stories. View those, plus some hilarious bloopers from the Rio Olympics here. 



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Colin Kaepernick Buys $3.21 Million Condo in TriBeCa: Report]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:30:43 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/KaepStill.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started a national firestorm by refusing to stand during the national anthem at NFL games to protest what he called a "system of oppression" against black Americans -- and fueled that firestorm when news broke he declined to vote in the presidential election -- is making some moves in the real estate market. 

The 6'4" 2011 second-round pick inked a contract on a $3.21 million condo in TriBeCa, according to property records obtained by The Los Angeles Times. Kaepernick likely wasn't making any rash moves following his benching in an abysmal Week 13 performance against the Bears: the website reports he closed on the purchase in July. His sister is listed as the trustee. 

According to the Times, the 1,733-square-foot unit in One York tower has oversized windows, vaulted ceilings and wide-plank wood flooring. 

Though the purchase preceded his benching last week, Kaepernick did restructure his contract in October to allow him to become a free agent next season. Head coach Chip Kelly has said Kaepernick will get another chance to start this week -- against the Jets. Maybe he and Gang Green can talk about the New York City housing market, because neither the 49ers (1-11) nor the Jets (3-9) have been doing much in the football realm this season. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Photo of Fake 'Happy Hour Playset' Sparks Online Outrage]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:30:08 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fisher-price-photo2_blurred-faces-2.jpg

An online backlash over a supposed “happy hour playset” for kids has proven to be misplaced since the item in question doesn’t exist.

After a Facebook user posted a photo Tuesday that showed the set –  complete with bar stools, plastic bottles and featuring what appeared to be the Fisher-Price logo – people began to post messages on the company’s social media pages condemning the product.

The box featured three toddlers, two holding bottles while a third appearing behind the bar.

The hoax debunker website Snopes.com investigated the item and found that it isn’t real.

Fisher-Price also responded with a statement saying the set is “not endorsed, produced or approved.”

]]>
<![CDATA[Target Reissues Menorah Recall Over Fire Hazard Concerns]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:55:26 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/menorah11.jpg

With Hanukkah several weeks away, Target is reminding customers it has recalled thousands of menorahs because they post a fire hazard.

The clear acrylic menorahs, sold in Target stores nationwide from October 2015 through December 2015 for about $20, can melt when the candles burn, Target says. The company said it has received eight reports of the menorahs melting, including three reports of fire. No property damage or injuries were reported.

The 2,600 menorahs were originally recalled in May, but if customers still have them, they should toss them before the holiday or return them to Target for a full refund. 



Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[Top 10 Places for Child-free Dating Revealed]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:48:01 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/217*120/date-generic-couple.jpg

Looking to date but not procreate? Move to Queens. 

Of 500 large locales analyzed by Match.com, the outer borough has the highest percentage in the country of single people ages 18 to 45 who don't have kids and don't want them in the future, according to a new study by the dating website and real estate company Redfin. 

Single people don't need an extra bedroom or rooms for their offspring, so the study also looked at the market for one-bedroom homes in the locations that ranked tops for child-free singles who want to stay that way. 

Queens came in third-cheapest at $250,000. 

Here's the rest of the top 10 spots in the country for child-free singles, according to Redfin and Match: 

2. Portland, Oregon (average price for a one-bedroom home: $298,526) 

3. Kirkland, Washington (average price for a one-bedroom home: $285,000) 

4. Pasadena, California (average price for a one-bedroom home: $459,000) 

5. Fort Collins, Colorado (average price for a one-bedroom home: $204,900) 

6. Seattle, Washington (average price for a one-bedroom home: $504,950) 

7. Aurora, Colorado (average price for a one-bedroom home: $118,000) 

8. Jersey City, New Jersey (average price for a one-bedroom home: $317,000) 

9. Santa Cruz, California (average price for a one-bedroom home: $394,300) 

10. Portland, Maine (average price for a one-bedroom home: $329,450) 



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[This New York Restaurant Was Named Best in America]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:58:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gettyimages-620171728+%281%29.jpg

New York eatery Blue Hill at Stone Barns has been named Restaurant of the Year by food publication Eater.

The Pocantico Hills restaurant topped the list of Eater's "38 restaurants that defined dining in 2016".

After a year of travel, tastings and careful deliberation Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison named chef Dan Barber's restaurant the best in the country, and served the accolade with generous  praise.

"Stone Barns isn't just an exquisite fine-dining restaurant serving magnificent tasting menus; it's an experiment, a laboratory, a learning center, and a model for the future of agriculture," Addison said.

Blue Hill also has an outpost in Manhattan, but Addison said the Pocantico Hills restaurant was particularly special, partly due to its location.

"On the train or in a car, the city falls away, mile after mile, until finally you turn down the farm’s long, winding driveway, where the surrounding lushness tunes your mind and senses for the feast ahead," he said.

Three other New York eateries also made the list. 

Cosme, a Mexican restaurant in an old strip club space in Flatiron was listed as one of Addison's "most relevant" restaurants, while Momofuku Noodle Bar in East Village made the list for the third year in a row.

Brooklyn pizza joint Roberta's also made the list for a third time.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for New York Magazine]]>
<![CDATA[Our 10 Most Liked Instagram Photos of 2016 ]]> Sat, 31 Dec 2016 13:47:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Ilovenybrcrop.jpg As we say goodbye to 2016, we take a look back at our most popular Instagram photos on our @nbcnewyork page. Check out 10 awesome shots, from photos of the noble Lady Liberty, to the changing colors of the season liked by our loyal Instagram followers.

Photo Credit: @biggz3579/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Ballerina Misty Copeland Launches Dancewear Line ÉGAL]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527358950.jpg

Ballerina Misty Copeland, who is known for breaking body stereotypes in the dance world, has launched her line of dancewear apparel.

The prima ballerina has often spoken publicly about her career-long struggle to find dancewear designed for women who have busts, hips and thighs. It from that void that Copeland says ÉGAL Dance was born.

ÉGAL Dance features designs inspired by Copeland's personal style and a desire to provide dancewear that is "truly supportive, appealing and flattering to a variety of body types."

"The ÉGAL woman is looking for high-performance, functional dancewear that is fashionable, durable and most importantly, helps them to achieve their movement goals," says Copeland. "We have shared our garments with both professional and recreational dancers, and early feedback has shown that dancers from dance forms including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, and Broadway, have an overwhelming need for this type of leotard."

ÉGAL Dance's initial launch is comprised of the brand's capsule collection including leotards, crop tops, a skirt and a warm-up tunic. Copeland's dancewear line is available exclusively online at www.egaldance.com.

Copeland made history last year as the first African-American woman promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

Reaching the pinnacle of success as a dancer was only the beginning. The world-renowned ballerina has been able to forge a career outside the dance world with her trailblazing accomplishments, a rare feat for someone from the dance world. In addition to various endorsement deals and TV appearances, the 33-year-old has published two New York Times best-selling books, was the subject of a documentary, appeared on Broadway, named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and was recently honored with her own Barbie doll.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Working Class Tale 'Sweat' Will Transfer to Broadway]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:04:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SweatBroadway.jpg

"Sweat" -- the acclaimed new drama about floor workers at a steel plant in Reading, Pennsylvania, and how they cope with changes in American manufacturing -- will transfer to Broadway this spring after a sold-out run at The Public Theater.

Performances begin March 4, 2017 at Broadway's Studio 54. Opening night is set for March 26.

Co-commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stages, the tale comes from Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage ("Ruined") and will mark her Broadway playwriting debut. Direction comes from Kate Whoriskey ("The Miracle Worker").

The entire cast from the Public Theater is expected to reprise their performances on Broadway. A performance schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

"America needs 'Sweat,'" Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "No piece I know captures in such brilliant and absorbing particulars the drama and fury of Americans who feel left behind in our new economy. We need to listen to these voices with openness and compassion; Sweat allows us to do just that, in a brilliantly theatrical way."

"Sweat" runs at The Public Theater through Dec. 18. 

Tickets for the Broadway engagement go on sale Dec. 9 via Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, or the Studio 54 Box Office (254 West 54th Street). Ticket prices will range from $59 - $149.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[ Broadway's 'Dear Evan Hansen' Delivers Letter-Perfect Notes]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:28:36 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BenPlattRachelBayJonesDearEvanHansenBway.jpg

On paper, it's hard to believe the stunning and original new musical "Dear Evan Hansen" would work as perfectly as it does.

Now open at Broadway's Music Box Theatre after an acclaimed run at the Second Stage Theatre last spring, it tells the story of an anxiety-driven teen named Evan Hansen who pretends to be best friends with a stoner boy at school after the loner commits suicide.

Creating a web of lies and false documents to prove their bond, Evan rides his manipulation to popularity among his peers, a surrogate relationship with the boy's family, a romantic relationship with the boy's sister — and even internet stardom.

Rarely has there been a protagonist so morally flawed. Evan's not murdering people like Sweeney Todd did, of course. But the way in which the 17-year-old unintentionally preys on the vulnerable and tricks those on social media into believing his hero narrative, you'll want to hate Evan for his corruption.

But the fact that you don't hate him — and in fact, root for him — has a lot to do with star Ben Platt's gut-wrenching performance.

In the hands of another actor, Evan could easily play as a self-absorbed geek. But the 23-year-old "Pitch Perfect" alum so supremely embodies Evan's anxieties and complexities, you can't help but relate. It's a raw, full, and frighteningly realistic performance unlike any seen — and one that will surely propel Platt to stardom. (Start prepping that Tony speech now, Ben). 

Platt's brilliance can be seen clearly throughout, but it's in numbers "Waving Through a Window" and "Words Fail" where he truly shines. The first gives Platt the opportunity to showcase his rich tenor and his character's "outside looking in" mentality, while the latter finds a tearful and fragile Platt allowing Evan to face the realities of his own inner demons — and doing the unthinkable: forgiving himself.

Bring tissues. They'll come in handy there, and in a few other spots throughout the show.

Platt won't be the only one receiving acclaim for "Dear Evan Hansen." Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have written one of Broadway's most exciting and catchy new scores. The songs are reminiscent of those from piano-driven singer songwriters like Ben Folds, yet each tune sounds fresh and authentic to its character. (The cast album releases Feb. 3, 2017, and you'll want it immediately).

Pasek and Paul are also the writing team behind the lyrics to the new Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling musical film "La La Land," which is poised to be a major Academy Awards contender. After a string of critically-acclaimed musicals like "Dogfight" and a handful of tunes for NBC's "Smash," the duo have clearly delivered a one-two punch here. 

Much love should also be thrown towards book writer Steven Levenson, who has done wonders crafting a story filled with characters and dialogue that expertly avoids the cliché. (It's loosely based on a real experience Pasek had in high school). As the piece races towards its inevitable conclusion, Levenson finds surprises along the way while never failing to explore his characters' often-conflicting emotions.

Broadway veterans Michael Park ("Tuck Everlasting"), Jennifer Laura Thompson ("Footloose"), Laura Dreyfuss ("Hair"), and Mike Faist ("Newsies") are strong anchors the musical's cast of eight, while newcomers Will Roland and Kristolyn Lloyd give memorable debuts. There's not a false note given by any of them.

"Pippin" standout Rachel Bay Jones is especially good as Evan's mom Heidi — a well-intentioned single mom who struggles to say the right thing and connect with her son between shifts working as a nurse's aide and studying to be a paralegal. Jones delivers a masterfully delicate and grounded performance. When she finally breaks through to Evan, in the showstopping "So Big/So Small," it's Jones who will break your heart.

Director Michael Grief, of "Rent" and "Next to Normal," has done a remarkable job at managing the show's many messages. With the aid of set designer David Korins ("Hamilton"), he interweaves social media into the story in a smart way (it brings the show's anthem "You Will Be Found" to new heights, for one). Choreography by Danny Mefford ("Fun Home") is understated, but effective.

What's so profound about "Dear Evan Hansen" is how it exposes its audience to the things we hate the most about ourselves, and reminds us all that we're worthy of loving ourselves in spite of them. The false identity Evan creates might allow him to feel like he belongs more than he ever did as himself, but it's ultimately a futile effort. Our dear Evan Hansen will only ever feel love from others once he learns to love the ugliest versions of himself. Bravo.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” at the Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St. Tickets: $69 - $175 Call 212-239-6200 or visit DearEvanHansen.com.



Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[When the Guards Look Away: Silly Photos at The Met]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:50:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/crop+for+cover.jpg Sometimes, we just can't help ourselves. Despite our best intentions, visiting the museum -- with all its nakedness and drama -- can bring out our silly sides. This is what happens when the guards look away at one of New York's cultural jewels -- The Metropolitan Museum. ]]> <![CDATA[De Niro's 'A Bronx Tale' Musical Doesn't Hit ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:25:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ABronxTaleReview.jpg

Nostalgia, when used properly in a new musical, can feel like a warm hug and a slap in the face at the same time. It can simultaneously remind you the best things about a time period, while waking you up to how much the world has or hasn't changed since. Think "Hairspray," "The Color Purple" or even "Ragtime."

But when done poorly, the trend can come off tired and cliché. Like a bad cover of a great song on a reality singing competition, it can feel like a watered-down version of what once was — and make you question the purpose of the story as a whole. 

Unfortunately, that's the feeling evoked throughout "A Bronx Tale" — the musical staging of Chazz Palminteri's often-told, '60s-set story now open at Broadway's Longacre Theatre. Despite the best efforts of its cast and creative team, this once-exciting story comes across stale and banal. 

It's a shame too, because "A Bronx Tale" has assembled some truly talented folks to help give life to its story — about a mob boss who takes a young boy under his wing, and an interracial relationship that threatens to cause a neighborhood war.

There's music and lyrics from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater — the team behind stage adaptations of popular films "The Little Mermaid," "Sister Act" and "Leap of Faith." A book adaptation from Palminteri himself. And direction from four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks (of "Guys and Dolls," another gangster tale), who staged a non-musical version of the show on Broadway in 2007.

And then there's Zaks' co-director, Robert De Niro. The two-time Oscar winner made his big picture directorial debut with the 1993 film adaptation, and makes his stage directorial debut here.

It's unclear how he and Zaks worked together. One might expect that Zaks moved the action during the show's bigger musicals numbers, while De Niro lent his expertise to its book scenes, though neither components are strong enough to match either director's skill.

Menken and Slater's doo-wop and Motown-style tunes don't do them any favors. As a whole, the score feels far too vanilla and somewhat forgettable. (Menken's "Little Shop of Horrors" score — set in a similar time period — is far more catchy).

There is one bright spot throughout, and that's actor Nick Cordero as Belmont Avenue's reigning gangster Sonny (played by Palminteri in previous incarnations of the story). Cordero's gruff tone and non-nonsense demeanor captivates whenever he's on stage — and will make you wish his character was given the chance to reveal more of his internal motivations.

Cordero received a Tony nomination for playing another role originated by Palminteri — in 2014's "Bullets Over Broadway" — showing he does good gangster.

Bobby Conte Thornton, who narrates the story as Sonny's now grown-up protege Calogero, makes a fine Broadway debut, though his character sadly doesn't get much to do until Act II (a sweet but pitchy Hudson Loverro plays a younger version of Calogero earlier). Thornton is forced to rush the musical through its entire racial subplot without much time to breathe, a disappointment since he shows hints of depth that would have been lovely to see explored.

The stunning Ariana DeBose (of "Hamilton" fame) does the best she can as Calogero's love interest, Jane. But as only one of two female characters given names and speaking roles in the show, her role is written remarkably thin. 

Set designer Beowulf Boritt has been featured for weeks now on a television commercial for HP Spectre x360 and Windows 10, showing off his creations for "A Bronx Tale." They're beautiful to see in person. But like his commercial, that joy only lasts about 30 seconds.

"A Bronx Tale" has had many incarnations in its history — a one-man show, a movie, a play, and now a musical. This last version is by far its most ambitious (it comes to New York after a tryout in New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse last winter). But it's also a harsh reminder that some stories don't need reinvention. 

“A Bronx Tale,” at The Longacre Theatre, 220 W 48th St. Tickets: $50-$187. Call 212-239-6200 or visit abronxtalethemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia]]>
<![CDATA['Jersey Boys' Found Liable for Copyright Infringement ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:01:38 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/JerseyBoysCast.jpg

It's scheduled to wrap up its decade-long run on Broadway this January, but the drama depicted on stage in the Tony-winning musical "Jersey Boys" is nothing compared to what happened Monday behind the scenes. 

A federal jury in Nevada found the show's writers, director and producers liable for copyright infringement, attributing 10 percent of the musical's success to an unpublished biography by author Rex Woodard, NBC 4 New York confirmed.

The book was about Four Seasons band member Tommy DeVito, whose story -- along with the story of band-members Frankie Valli, Bob Guadio and Nick Massi -- is depicted in the documentary-style musical.

In the show, each of the Four Seasons gets his own turn at telling how the 1960s-era supergroup came together, and the secrets behind hits like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man" and "December, 1963." 

Its writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice told The Washington Post in 2009 that they individually interviewed each band member when crafting the musical, including Devito, who they said told them "Don't listen to those guys. I'll tell you what really happened."

But the Nevada court appears to have felt differently. While the jury did not indicate which parts of the autobiography were copied, Forbes reported Judge Robert C. Jones did identify 11 similarities between Woodard's manuscript and Brickman and Elice's book. That included dialogue between songs, character development and some scene descriptions.

Woodward had been hired by DeVito in 1988 to ghostwrite his still-unpublished memoir, "Tommy DeVito -- Then and Now." The two men had agreed to split profits for the book, but Woodward died in May 1991 of lung cancer before lining up an agent and publisher.

After "Jersey Boys" opened on Broadway in November 2005, Woodward's widow, Donna Cortbello, hired lawyers to look into publishing her late-husband's manuscript, Forbes reported. The copyright for the material was registered to DeVito in January 1991, though she was able to amend the registration to have Woodward listed with DeVito as a co-author.

She then opened suit on the "Jersey Boys" team for developing the derivative work. The suit included "Jersey Boys" scribes Brickman and Elice, as well as director Des McAnuff and producers from Dodger Theatricals. 

Daniel M. Mayeda, co-counsel for the defendants, maintained his client's innocence to The Wall Street Journal.

"You can’t own historical events," he said. "A lot of things that are similar are facts, names and characteristics of personalities …I f you are talking about the same subject matter, they are going to have similarities." 

A spokesman for the show told NBC 4 New York, "'Jersey Boys' certainly plans to appeal the decision, and has no further comment at this time."

The damages have not been determined. According to numbers provided by the Broadway League, "Jersey Boys" has grossed more than $549 million on Broadway since its opening.

The musical plays its final performance on Jan. 15 after 4,642 shows at the August Wilson Theatre. It is the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history, has also toured the country and was adapted into a 2014 film by director Clint Eastwood.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Santa's North Pole Home Listed on Zillow]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:31:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/p_f_Outside_024.jpg Popular real estate marketplace company Zillow added a new property listing to their website just in time for the holidays -- Santa Claus' North Pole house. Maison Krin is described as a "toy-lover's paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole -- perfect for spirited reindeer games." The company priced the home using "comparable homes in remote locations" and "applying a Santa premium," they said in a press release.

Photo Credit: Zillow]]>