By Lauren Yarger
Summer is almost here and I know many of you are headed into the Big Apple. Every year I get tons of emails from readers asking which shows they should see while they are in New York, where to stay, where to eat and what to do besides see good theater.
One option that combines theater with seeing the sites in the Broadway Up Close Walking Tours.
I took the The ACT One Tour with affable and knowledgeable owner Tim Dolan, right. Armed with a tablet for photos to enhance the tour, we began at the Nederlander Theatre on 41st street between 7th and 8th avenues and visited a number of theaters between there and 45th Street in Times Square in about two hours (additional tours -- Act Two -- also are available. You can't possibly see all 42 theaters in one trip!).The tour not only gives you a chance to stop at some of New York's beautiful Broadway theaters (we even stopped inside the former Empire Theatre, left, now the lobby of a multi-plex movie theater) and saw photos Tim (an actor when he's not giving tours) took when he was granted a rare visit to the supposedly haunted apartment atop the Belasco Theatre (below, right, my personal favorite -- the Tiffany stained glass and wood trim in there are gorgeous.)
We learned amazing history about rooftop parties on competing theaters on 42nd Street (did you know there once was a farm up there?) The tours are scheduled to last two hours and 45 minutes and cover a half mile of terrain without a break or a chance to sit, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
Broadway Up Close Walking Tours doesn't operate with a set schedule. They customize tours based on travel needs. Tours are $30 per person. Private tours and group rates (15 or more) are available upon request.Contact firstname.lastname@example.org; 917-841-0187; http://www.broadwayupclose.com/