By Kevin Canessa Jr.
If you’re one of the many people who love Broadway shows, but hate the hassle of having to drive into Manhattan, hate the tolls, hate the traffic and hate the cost of parking, Mary’s Theatre Parties and Tours has a deal for you to go to see the new show “On the Town” without all the headaches.
Mary Catena has been running her tour company for the last 35 or so years. And on Oct. 14, for just $132, you’ll get a ticket to the show, a full-buffet dinner at the San Carlo, 620 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, and coach bus transportation to “On the Town” at the Lyric Theatre in Manhattan.
Catena says there’s no better way to see a Broadway show than how she arranges it.
“I’ve always said this is the perfect way to see Broadway,” Catena said. “You get to see the best shows, you get great seats, a wonderful dinner and best of all, transportation to New York City. Getting picked up and dropped back off at the San Carlo is the only way to go.
You don’t have to worry about the tolls and parking — just get on the bus and go.” Catena says she’s been using the San Carlo as a preshow dinner spot for close to 30 years now.
“They’ve always treated us so well — and the food is spectacular,” she said.
She also says she used to do up to five shows or trips a month — but now that she’s virtually retired, — it’s just too much to do on a regular basis. She says the trips have become more special because they’re not as frequent as they once were.
She says she tries to pick Broadway shows that have promise if they’re new — or that are popular and marketable. That’s because she’s responsible for buying the tickets in advance, taking out ads to sell them — and then being reimbursed from ticket sales. So “On the Town” was a no-brainer. The pre-show reviews have mostly been raving.
“Oh and it was such a wonderful movie,” Catena said. “It had Frank Sinatra in it. It had Gene Kelly in it. I really think this will be a special night for everyone.”
Patrons are responsible for their own transportation to and from the San Carlo. Dinner is at 4 p.m. and the bus for New York City leaves Lyndhurst at 5:30 p.m. sharp for a 7 p.m. curtain at the Lyric Theatre. The $132 price per person is all-inclusive, and gets you dinner (including all taxes and tips), a ticket to the show and the bus ride across the Hudson.
Not a bad deal at all, considering how expensive shows are these days.
“It’s just ridiculous how expensive these shows are these days — it’s basically unaffordable, isn’t it?” Catena said. “I like to make the experience fun and affordable for everyone who goes.”
While this is the last trip Catena has planned for now, she says there could be more in the future. Be sure to check The Observer for additional shows and schedules.
“On the Town” comes to Broadway this month with preview shows. The show’s website reveals there are 30 cast members and that the show boasts the largest orchestra of any show on all of Broadway.
“It’s the story of three wideeyed sailors on a whirlwind musical tour of the city that never sleeps,” the website says. “With just 24 hours of shore leave, they’re eager to experience all that New York City has to offer … including a chance to discover love with the girl of their dreams.”
Tony Award-winner John Rando is the producer and Joshua Bergasse conducts the grand orchestra. Leonard Bernstein composed the original musical score.
To reserve seats for the Oct. 14 event, call Catena at 201- 998-1030. An initial deposit of $100 is due immediately, and the balance is due by Sept. 15. To find out more about the show “On the Town,” check out the website www.onthetownbroadway.com.
Kevin Canessa Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.