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5/28/11

Why Yes...I Would Love to Be a Broadway Star

Of the many things that fill up my spare time, two go-to activities are board games and Broadway shows. You could not pry the nerd out of me with a machete if you tried.

So, what happens when the two are merged together? A wild explosion of awesome entertainment

Future Broadway Stars! Hi Amy!
I am talking about one of my new favorite board games “Be A Broadway Star.” I heard some buzz about the game around the start of this past winter; once I caught a description of the game, I whipped out the credit card. I must have been one of the first few people to purchase the game.

Fast forward to April, and not one opportunity arose to play this game; some of the components were still shrink-wrapped in my dorm room. Enter Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, a Broadway and Off-Broadway production company that created the game. They were having their own “Be A Broadway Star” game night at their studio with a bunch of staff, bloggers and Broadwayspace.com people that I have interacted with on Twitter.

Gotta make that money!
The thought of getting inside Davenport Studios and meeting other Broadway fans was enough to provoke me to go, but the evening in itself sounded like a blast. Once I got on the list, I called up one of my best gal pals Amy and off we went.

It was a thrill being there; pizza and beverages were served and at least five “Be A Broadway Star” games were in place. Amy and I entered a game upon arrival and the fun began right away.

I would describe the set-up and game play as the three-way love child of “The Game of Life,” “Monopoly” and “Cranium.” The idea is to rise the ranks as a Broadway performer and make it to the “Hall of Fame,” while accumulating the most fans and money along the way. The game board in question…


Very “Life”-esque as they vary from advancing your game piece forwards or backwards or gaining or losing fan cards or money. This is all set to a variety of Broadway occurrences, such as paying for headshots or getting paid to understudy a role. For the most part, the game board spaces are fun, whether benefiting or suffering from the trials and tribulations of being a Broadway performer.

What really sets the game apart (and further integrating the “Cranium” aspect further) is the “Audition” and “Make or Break It” spaces.


Landing on an “Audition” space affords the player the opportunity to purchase an equity card, an agent or a publicist depending on whether it is the first, second or third time respectively. Making the investment could mean more money or fan cards on future show salaries depending on which you are able to get.

This was where I fell in love…another perk of picking up an “Audition” card was a role and show, in addition to a salary, is printed on the card. By singing two lines from the show, the player can roll again. The shows and roles range from the good…


To the great…


To the FABULOUS…


I loved this portion of the game so much that I was a little disappointed when I picked up a “Audition” card and got cut.


Ow. Funny though.

While it is not exactly earth-challenging difficult to sing two lines from a show the large quantity and variety of shows was challenging enough that I was only familiar with about half of them. Besides, everyone usually sang a whole verse just for the fun of it. By nights end, I auditioned four times in total and was able to pick out one song from each show.

I love that I got mostly female roles!
My first audition card was Miss Hannigan from Annie; I sang the oh-so-cliched “Tomorrow” because I blanked out on all the other songs. My second audition was Louise from Gypsy, where I defaulted to “Rose’s Turn.” If it were not for the sassy Kurt Hummel on Glee, I would not know any of the show’s music.

My final two auditions were easier for me; the munchkin from The Wiz and my Broadway Hall of Fame audition was Victoria from Victor/Victoria (the final space on the board; successful completion required two lines from the show AND the specific character unlike a normal “Audition”).

As for the “Make or Break It” cards…they are the spaces where anything can go down. From singing a verse of a song to acting out a scene to doing something random and absurd, the “Make or Break It” spaces inject more fun into the proceedings. C’mon…


Fun!


Hilarious!

 

Interesting, in a good way. Since the goal is to accumulate as many fan cards as possible, succeeding at the “Make or Break It” spaces can be a game changer.

Along the way to the Broadway Hall of Fun are the Tony awards tracks, where you can actually win a Tony Award and get more money/fans. Awesome!

The game concludes when everyone makes it to the Broadway Hall of Fame and tallies up their fans and money. There is also a bonus point value awarded depending on when you made it into the Hall of Fame; in short, one of the many perks of the game is that luck is slightly favored, so the playing field is relatively even regardless of Broadway knowledge or experience playing the game. The final standings are in order of the highest total point value…and that is that!

This is not a game meant to be taken seriously. It is often times hilarious and so over-the-top; just grab some junk food and your closest Broadway fans for a night of campy good entertainment. I do not see myself playing the game often as this is strictly for those who can handle multiple decades of musical theater combined into one game…but know, that when the board game comes out from the game closet, a night of Broadway epicness will commence!

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