If we can make it there, we’ll make it there as many times a year as possible!
We didn’t realize how much we’d miss New York City until our two years away during the height of the pandemic. So we’ve been making up for lost time with two visits this year.
It all started with a quick trip in February to see Jinkx Monsoon in her Broadway debut.
Two weeks ago, however, we returned for a longer stay to cram in as much theater as possible. We saw a total of six shows, including three Broadway productions and three Off Broadway (and Off-Off-Off) Broadway presentations, each loaded with queer content that makes them must-sees for everyone in the LGBTQ community.
Because most shows on our list take place in the heart of the Broadway district, we chose to make our home base at a hotel walkable from those shows. For the rest, the location of the Moxy Times Square makes it convenient to catch a train to the farthest of our theatrical destinations. Of course, we also took many an Uber or taxi when we weren’t feeling the subway.
For anyone worried about staying in Times Square because of the noise and nonstop parade of humanity, fear not. The Moxy Times Square rises above the Garment District several blocks from the heart of the Times Square craziness. So it’s close enough to get to the area, but far enough away that you can still sleep at night without ear plugs—unless you’re a light sleeper like us and need a white noise machine regardless.
To be transparent, we’re a little older than Moxy’s target demographic of millennials and those closer to that age, but they upgraded us to a larger room than most and we loved the amount of space. We’ve stayed in far smaller NYC hotel rooms with far fewer amenities.
Speaking of which, Moxy Times Square offers several perks, including free morning coffee in the bar, a free on-site fitness center, luggage storage and a lounge for relaxing and working in case your flight takes place after your checkout time. (Aim for Silver status or higher with Marriott Bonvoy for priority late checkout. It’s life-changing!)
The Moxy Times Square charges a $30 destination fee (as do most NYC hotels that we’ve encountered). But fear not, you’ll get well more than the $30 value back if you take advantage. The destination fee includes a daily $30 food and beverage credit to use in Bar Moxy, a daily fitness pass to Crunch Fitness locations all over the city (hello hot guys!) and daily use of a FUJIFILM Instax Polaroid Camera with up to 10 film photos per day.
Other on-site highlights worth shouting from the rooftop? Well, for starters the largest indoor/outdoor all-season rooftop bar and lounge in New York City, Magic Hour. City views wow as much as the festive cocktails and vibrant energy of the space. We highly recommend making reservations in advance of your stay, but as a hotel guest you’ll have a little more pull if you have to get in last-minute.
Also, make sure to check out Legasea, an upscale bar and grill with a killer happy hour ($6 Beer, $8 Wine, and $10 Martinis in Manhattan?!). We enjoyed an incredible dinner there, highlighted by spicy crab beignets, Faroe Island Salmon with a smoked tomato vinaigrette, and an everyday $29 steak frites that’s also remarkably priced for the city.
To give you a better idea of everything the hotel has to offer, check out the video below from @LuxuryHotels on YouTube.
Then book your room at MoxyTimesSquare.com.
As for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows to add to your summer bucket list, we can wholeheartedly recommend a six-pack (just like our abs!). And as we mentioned above, each has enough queer content to hopefully keep away all those right-wing, Don’t Say Gay morons.
Nominated for 9 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Shucked got its start back with the Dallas Theater Center several years ago, so bonus points for the local connection. We laughed hysterically throughout the pun-filled show, but you absolutely, positively, no-matter-what, simply must catch it while gender non-conforming actor Alex Newell steals the show. Never before have we witnessed a standing ovation in the middle of Act One in any Broadway show before this. The memory alone gives us goosebumps.
90-ish-minute shows with no intermission? We have officially died and gone to heaven. The first of two such shows in our list, Fat Ham retells the Hamlet story through the lens of a Black family’s backyard picnic filled with plenty of drama, from death to coming out as queer. The ending will leave you cheering and on an emotional high, but it can get a little tense building up to that spectacular moment. Nominated for five Tony Awards, get tickets before an inevitable award win shoots the prices higher.
Some of Broadway’s best leading ladies suffer from bad reputations off the stage and Lea Michele has seen her own fair share of trash-talking. Whether true or not, we knew seeing her in the role of Fanny Brice in the classic Broadway smash, Funny Girl, simply had to be checked off of our Official Gay Man™ membership card. The show defied expectations from start to finish and brought with it a wonderful amount of nostalgia for quote-unquote, Old Broadway. Michele’s run ends on September 3, 2023, so don’t rain on your own parade by missing out on tickets.
Truth be told, our heart belongs off-Broadway because shows there tend to be so much more bold and irreverent. Titanique almost made us wet our pants, it’s that hysterically funny. Extended through January 7, 2024, this parody deftly skewers both James Cameron’s Titanic and the divine diva demeanor of Céline Dion to the point of pure perfection and of-the-moment topical additions that keep it fresh. Queer actors and characters weave in and out of the story and it’s pure magic. We can pretty much guarantee you’ll want a CELINE FUCKING DION t-shirt from the merch table, even if you’re not a die-hard fan of hers.
It wasn’t our intention to see two shows with French “-ique” words in their titles, but sometimes fate brings you wonderful coincidences. Now when we say this show’s off-off-off-Broadway, we mean it. It’s deep in Brooklyn and at least 30 minutes by car from the Moxy Times Square during good traffic conditions and up to an hour or more during busier times. The train, however, will get you there pretty consistently in 30 minutes or less, so that would be our recommendation. Better still, spend some time soaking in the views of DUMBO to break up the day a little bit, slowly working your way to Cocktail Magique.
The show itself combines three of our favorite things: cocktails, magic and nudity! (or at least enough skin that very little’s left to the imagination). Throughout the show, sip on cocktails made during the show itself with the opportunity to purchase additional concoctions at intermission. Plan to leave a little bit tipsy. Even if you don’t drink we think you’ll love the humor and spectacle of this very queer-embracing experience.
The final show on our list falls under the category of pure serendipity. We would’ve never heard of it had one of our besties not sent us a TikTok showcasing the wild concept of Drunk Musicals. We had an event at Yotel Hotel on a Monday night and as luck would have it, this show plays right in the very same hotel as our event.
Simple but highly effective, the show’s concept lets the audience buy shots for the performers to slam throughout the show, aiming to get them drunk enough to lose track of the lyrics or anything else they have intended to do onstage. Even if it doesn’t work, they deliver hilarious parodies of hit musicals from Liquor Shop of Horrors to The Drunk Little Mermaid (we saw Wasted, their version of Wicked). The seasoned actors dance a fine line between scripted comedy and improv with plenty of chances for things to go horribly—and hilariously—wrong.