Meet the Concierge

Your Personal Concierge

Top Broadway Musicals in the Form of Concerts

Juan Santamaria
,
Concierge, Le Parker Meridien New York
Juan Santamaria
Concierge, Le Parker Meridien New York
119 W. 56th St.
212.245.5000

A good musical should possess the ability to transport the audience to its setting. Be it the show-stopping, circus-like atmosphere of Pippin or Wicked’s fantastical world of Oz, the viewer should feel as if they are right on stage with the characters. Theatergoers looking for the adrenaline-pumping fun of a concert are in luck because several shows on the Great White Way deliver just that. Juan Santamaria, concierge at Le Parker Meridien New York, shares his top three. Motown The Musical follows Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to music industry magnate. “The first half of the show introduces the main acts and deals with the intricacies of the relationship between Gordy and Diana Ross, the second half is more like a mini concert,” Santamaria says. Several actors portray Motown legends, including Smokey Robinson and a young Michael Jackson, and their chart-topping hits feature heavily in the show. For a look back at the psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s, head to A Night With Janis Joplin, which celebrates the singer and her musical influences, including Etta James and Aretha Franklin. “The show is absolutely phenomenal and a must for any fans of Joplin’s music,” Santamaria says. Next, Santamaria recommends Mamma Mia! and Rock of Ages, both of which he describes as “jukebox musicals” or musicals that use previously released popular songs as the musical score. The former, based on songs from the 1970’s Swedish pop group ABBA, follows a soon-to-be bride on her quest to find out the identity of her biological father. Santamaria describes the latter as “what you would get if Cabaret and Mamma Mia! had a baby.” Like Cabaret, Rock of Ages features an emcee. “Similar to Mamma Mia!’s use of ‘70’s songs, Rock of Ages pulls from classic rock hits from the 1980s,” Santamaria says. “I absolutely love them both.”