April Events + 6 Top Online Travel Forums (04/22)

Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being. Stay Safe.

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For the month of April we are going to try a different format – on some days we will go visual and offer a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos, YouTube videos, or Pinterest Pins. On other days you will find info on the Best NYC Restaurants or Top Online Travel Forums with NYC info. We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here. Today it’s Top Online Travel Forums.

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6 Top Online Travel Forums.

Traditional travel guides and blogs, whether online or in paper format, give you a lot of content but still have their limitations. Chances are you’ll have specific questions and concerns that they didn’t cover.

online travel forums (the original social media) are one of the best ways to find information you can’t find elsewhere, and to find answers to specific questions. These online communities of travelers are ready and willing to offer their insights and first-hand knowledge.

Which are the best travel forums – the forums with many informed and active members who will answer your questions promptly and accurately? with moderators who will ensure that discussions stay relevant and civil?

Here are my six favorites:

> Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree
An old timer (since 1996) – you can search by destination or interest, search for a travel buddy or just have a chat. 7.1M results for “everything ever.”
Search here for New York City

> Trip Advisor’s Travel Board
Their motto: ”Get the truth.Then go” Search by destination or interest. The New York City Travel Forum has 189K topics and the sidebar “Top questions about New York City” is very helpful.
Search here for New York City

> Frommer’s Community Forums
Not as active as some other forums, but archived topics can be helpful. Search by destinations, trip ideas, tips&tools.
Search here for New York City

> Fodor’s Travel Talk Forums
This is a big one with 2.1M posts for the USA and 3.9M posts for Europe and can be difficult to find what you are looking for. In order to use all the features of the forum, you will need to register.
Search here for New York City

> Flyer Talk Forums
Been around a long time. Heavy, of course, on air travel and airports. But the destinations section has a New York City forum with many posts. Unfortunately, browsing through the threads is time consuming, and the search engine is not very helpful.
Search here for New York City

> Rick Steve’s Travel Forum
This is a Euro-centric Forum, so it won’t be much help for NYCity. But Rick Steves and his travelers have so much good information on the site, including travel technology, I just had to list it. Be sure to use it when you travel to Europe.
Search here for technology tips

Of course, your FaceBook friends and Twitter world may be helpful too.

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We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here May 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.

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Broadway theaters closed on March 12 as New York City enacted rules to promote social distancing and slow the spread of Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a show. The NYC theater community has responded with initiatives and online shows to help support its members and entertain audiences via the internet while we’re staying away from crowds.

We’ve put together a sampling of streaming performances you can watch from your laptop or phone:

Broadway, NYC, Virtual NYCKinky Boots. Photo: Matthew Penrod

Broadway HD 
Starting in 2015, this online service began offering HD versions of classic and recent Broadway plays and musicals. You can try it out for free (with a one-week trial) or buy a subscription (from $9 a month) to watch some of your favorite shows. You can see stars like Katherine Hepburn in 1973’s televised version of The Glass Menagerie as well as musical hits like Kinky BootsAn American in Paris and Cats.

Stars in the House 
Broadway actor, director and writer (and radio host) Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, host two shows a day from their house on YouTube. The hourlong shows, which air live at 2pm and 8pm (the usual Broadway start times), raise money for the Actors Fund, helping to provide emergency relief for those unemployed in the theater community.

Living Room Concerts 
Broadwayworld.com has started posting daily concert videos from an array of performers, mainly those whose shows were running before the recent closure of Broadway. They’re posting a new video every day—stars featured include Carolee Carmello (Hello, Dolly!), Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little Pill) and teenager Andrew Barth Feldman, the former lead in Dear Evan Hansen.

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
This West Village bar, known for sing-alongs to Broadway show tunes, has taken the experience online. They’re streaming two main sets of songs each evening, usually starting at 4pm, with different pianists tickling the ivories. To watch, join their Facebook group and tune in to “Sing out, Louise” (in the comfort of your own living room). You can also tip the piano players via Venmo or PayPal, with details during each performance.

Download recent shows, like the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, on Amazon  
Many recent shows are available to rent or buy on Amazon and other online streamers, usually in the range of $3–12. Highlights include Rent, taped just before it ended its Broadway run; 2013’s Carousel, via Live from Lincoln Center; 2010 Tony Award winner Memphis; and the original Broadway production of Into the Woods, starring Bernadette Peters.

Virtual Hal Prince Exhibit at Lincoln Center 
In December 2019, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts opened an exhibit on the late Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer behind megahits like The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd. While the library is closed, you can take a virtual walk-through and 30-minute guided tour of the gallery with Doug Reside, the show’s curator.

Broadway Dreams Live Lessons 
The Broadway Dreams Foundation is hosting free daily lessons, led by some accomplished Broadway-caliber talent, for aspiring actors, singers and dancers. Their lineup has included actors from FrozenHead Over Heels and Chicago. To watch, get the Zoom link from their Facebook page. Sessions begin at 1pm; each day’s links are posted five minutes before class begins, though the schedule is listed earlier than that.

Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays 
Every year, the 24 Hour Plays event presents a series of shows that are written, cast, directed and performed in one day with the involvement of talent from the NYC theater community. Now they’re doing a mini version, with online monologues, on their Instagram account. They’re performed by actors like Denis O’Hare and penned by playwrights like David Lindsay-Abaire.

Groove to disco versions of Stephen Sondheim songs
Broadway Records just released the digital version of Losing My Mind, a compilation of Sondheim songs with a dance beat. Conceived by Broadway performer Joshua Hinck and arranger Scott Wasserman, the 12-song album is an expanded version of a popular concert they put on in 2018. The album features singers like Alison Luff (Waitress) and Chip Zien (from the original Into the Woods). You can preview a track, “Unworthy of Your Love,” from Passion; hear the collection on Spotify; or order a copy from the Broadway Records site.

Broadway Backwards 2020 Encore 
Broadway Cares, which produces number of annual AIDS fundraisers, has put together a special encore series of recent star-studded performances from Broadway Backwards, at which performers belt out famous show tunes with gender-swapped roles. They’re also asking viewers to support an emergency fundraiser for actors affected by the Covid-19 crisis—you can make a donation at broadwaycares.org.

Watch Broadway classics like Cabaret for free on YouTube 
These days you may be wondering, “What good is sitting alone in your room?” You can get a very direct answer on YouTube by watching the 1993 version of Cabaret, featuring Alan Cumming in his breakout role. Other star turns worth checking out for free are Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in American Playhouse‘s 1986 broadcast of Sunday in the Park with George;  Carol Burnett in 1964’s Once Upon A Mattress; Nell Carter in a 1982 broadcast of Ain’t Misbehavin’; Lauren Bacall in 1973’s Applause; Gregory and Maurice Hines in 1980’s Eubie!; and Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra in 1954’s Anything Goes.

Jason Alexander sings on Twitter 
While most people know Jason Alexander as George from Seinfeld, he got his big break on Broadway in a Stephen Sondheim musical (Merrily We Roll Along). He recently went on Twitter to sing a song from the show that got him interested in theater, Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin. The beautiful ballad, “With You,” has a message of love and support we can all use today.

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WFUV Live Online (April 16-22)

Live Online

4/16 – Closer in Crisis at 8pm, to benefit mental health programs for the music community. Dispatch’s Chadwick Stokes, Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, Foy Vance, Langhorne Slim, Jade Bird and more, streaming on the Relix Channel on YouTube.

4/16 – Tedeschi Trucks BandSwamp Family TV” Broadcast (Every Thursday) at 8pm

4/18 – One World: Together at Home, 8pm, an curated by Lady Gaga with Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eddie Vedder, Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves, Lizzo and more. Organized by World Health Organization and Global Citizen. On YouTube, TV and screens everywhere.

4/22 – Jersey 4 Jersey at 7pm – with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Bennett, SZA, Jon Stewart and more – is a webcast-broadcast-TV show benefit.

WFUV LIVE MUSIC ONLINE

A running list of live on line concerts and more safe entertainment at WFUV.org .

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STAY HOME FOR A BIT LONGER – STAY SAFE.

 

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