Welcome to New York and Razzle Dazzle Chicago

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Jessica Paradysz Poster for "Chicago." Fishnets are in.

Jessica Paradysz
Poster for “Chicago.” Fishnets are in.

Me being an idiot.

Striking a pose with the dancer. I think I need a sparkly costume and heels to blend in more…. 

“Welcome to New York it’s been waiting for you,” croons Taylor Swift on her new, sexy album. I could not wait to be embraced by the breath-taking skyline, bustling streets and Broadway. It’s almost Thanksgiving (two more school days left, who’s counting?) and I needed to break free from the small, wooded campus and breathe some fresh city air (I don’t care if it’s a mix of cigarette smoke and heady perfume.)

After an almost three-hour bus ride with and watching “Pitch Perfect” for the zillionth time, we rolled into the city-in style, of course. I’m not talking a shiny black stretch limo with crystal glasses overflowing with champagne, but the coach bus with TV screens was pretty clutch.

I was able to live out my dream inside of the Ambassador theater. Built in the 1920s the sacred halls were home to many musicals and backstage rendezvous in the day. The ornate theater was complete with a gorgeous shimmering chandelier. I was tempted to swing from it like the Sia song.

Creative Commons  Outside of the Ambassador.

Creative Commons
Outside of the Ambassador.

Soon the songs of “Chicago” razzle dazzled the entire theater.

The cast opened up with the iconic “All that Jazz” and introduced us to Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart. The play moved along fast, passing the part where Roxie shots her lying lover and to when she ends up in the slammer.

It is almost like a 1920s version of “Orange is the New Black.” Almost.

The best part was the “Cell Block Tango”

Creative Commons "Cell Block Tango" was the BEST in the show. Oh yeah he had it coming.

Creative Commons
“Cell Block Tango” was the BEST in the show. Oh yeah he had it coming.

All of the lovely femme fatales lined up. Clothed in matching black bra and underwear sets, black stockings, shining black stilettos and sass, they balanced on chairs and performed the number.

I wanted to run on stage and kick my legs up singing “He had it coming.”

Creative Commons Catherine Zeta Jones performing in the movie version.

Creative Commons
Catherine Zeta Jones performing in the movie version.

The costumes were all sexy, yet in an understated way with all black. Roxie’s short V-neck lace dress, complete with lace long sleeves and sequins was adorable. I mean, for a murderess.

I was impressed by the supporting cast’s dancing. The movie version and the live version were pretty different, yet nothing beats a live show in a 1920s theater. I wanted to go backstage after the show to see bright lights on vanities littered with dark red tubes of lipstick, shimmer spray and scarlet red roses.

Creative Commons My idea of a dressing room.

Creative Commons
My idea of a dressing room.

There is something about New York. It is a place that never sleeps, with adventure, history, life and limelight intermixed in the night. Walking in Times Square with everyone starring around with wide bright eyes is like seeing a thirst for fame and fun.

It seems as though anything can happen. Even in the streets there is a sense of wonderment and being a star. This is where many families immigrated years ago to start a new life. I understand the feeling.

Of course walking around in alleys, clutching onto your purse (even broke college students don’t want to lose their money) and having creepy people try to have you donate to their cause or tip them isn’t a part of that whole wonderment thing. I don’t know if I should be scared or happy some guy said “damn you sexy,” when trying to get money. Or when guys dressed up as Minions and Elmo creepily tried to get tipped from my friends and I from standing in Times Square.

Still, everything seemed right and calm, almost like when snow is falling fromthe sky.

Creative Commons Empty iceskating rink at Rockefleer Center. A man proposed to his  fiancee. I couldn't see because I'm short, but I'm sure it was magical.

Jessica Paradysz
Empty ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. A man just proposed to his fiancee  and had the place to themselves. I couldn’t see because I’m short, but I’m sure it was magical.

There is a sense of magic standing in Times Square, letting the bright lights of towering advertisements wash over you. The air fells crisp and you feel at the center of it all. It feels like a dream.

I don’t have a swanky apartment like Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City” and I dinned at KFC after the play with my girls, but my New York Dream is still very real. Magic is in the air. It may not be as obvious as sequins raining down during a musical number or Christmas lights lighting up the night, but it does exist.

Jessica Paradysz Outside of Radio City Music Hall was buzzing with lights and excitement.

Jessica Paradysz
Outside of Radio City Music Hall was buzzing with lights and excitement.

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