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Inside Civilian, a new Broadway-themed hotel in New York that’s brimming with theatrical pizzazz

If you love musicals, you’ll want to plan a pilgrimage to New York at some point in your life to catch a Broadway show. If you’re really into musicals, it might just be an ordinary expedition.

Even with the famous half-price ticket booth in Times Square, this can prove to be a costly affair, and the show itself can be over so quickly, leaving you hungry for more.

A new hotel has been put in the spotlight to address such issues and make your trip even more memorable.

James Murphy Checks Into The New Civilian Hotel, Which Is Located In New York'S Hell'S Kitchen District, Near The Broadway Theaters

James Murphy checks into the new Civilian hotel, which is located in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district, near the Broadway theaters

“The Civilian Is A Hotel Made By Theater Enthusiasts For Theater Enthusiasts,” Reveals James. Above Is The Library-Like Blue Room

“The Civilian Is A Hotel Made By Theater Enthusiasts For Theater Enthusiasts,” Reveals James. Above Is The Library-Like Blue Room

“The Civilian is a hotel made by theater enthusiasts for theater enthusiasts,” reveals James. Above is the library-like Blue Room

The Hotel'S Name Is Stencilled In Brightly Lit Letters On Either Side Of The Building, As Are The City'S Theaters

The Hotel'S Name Is Stencilled In Brightly Lit Letters On Either Side Of The Building, As Are The City'S Theaters

The hotel’s name is stencilled in brightly lit letters on either side of the building, as are the city’s theaters

The Civilian — or CIVILIAN as it’s officially called, in all caps — has some impressive showbiz credentials. First, it’s located in the heart of “Hell’s Kitchen,” a neighborhood that doesn’t really deserve its nickname in our day.

The area, right behind Manhattan’s cluster of theaters, has a much more “backstage” vibe: it’s busy, twitchy, brimming with snack bars and assorted pubs, flanked by the flatter sides of the skyscrapers, each keeping their garish neon faces for Times Square.

If you’re a regular theater-goer in New York, this is the perfect place to grab a beer or burger before or after the show (even, if you’re quick, at intermission to avoid the exorbitant theater prices).

The hotel itself is on the same street as the Longacre Theater (where Tom Stoppard’s glittering new play has just opened) and just one block from mega hits like Wicked, Chicago and The Book of Mormon.

Fittingly, the hotel has a large, imposing marquee, its name stencilled in brightly lit letters on either side, as are the nearby theatres, as if it were hosting a show itself. In many ways it is.

The Civilian is a hotel made by theater enthusiasts for theater enthusiasts. The intimate foyer glows with countless small lights, just like you see round dressing room mirrors. A row of seats has been ripped straight from the stalls of a theater (or the “orchestra” as New Yorkers call the main section of their auditoriums). The cheery, casually dressed front desk clerks all have the air of Broadway hopefuls themselves, though they don’t break into song like the waiters do at the Stardust restaurant (two blocks away, and so much fun).

James Says Of The Hotel'S Rooms, 'They Are Compact, Like Most New York Hotels, But Jazz Hands Have Worked Hard To Give Them A Touch Of Theatrical Pizzazz'

James Says Of The Hotel'S Rooms, 'They Are Compact, Like Most New York Hotels, But Jazz Hands Have Worked Hard To Give Them A Touch Of Theatrical Pizzazz'

James says of the hotel’s rooms, ‘They are compact, like most New York hotels, but jazz hands have worked hard to give them a touch of theatrical pizzazz’

Pictured Is James' Room, Complete With A Velvety Ornamental Curtain Tied Back, Reminiscent Of Maria Bjornson'S Iconic Phantom Of The Opera Designs

Pictured Is James' Room, Complete With A Velvety Ornamental Curtain Tied Back, Reminiscent Of Maria Bjornson'S Iconic Phantom Of The Opera Designs

1670160266 505 Inside Civilian A New Broadway Themed Hotel In New York Thats

1670160266 505 Inside Civilian A New Broadway Themed Hotel In New York Thats

Pictured on the left is James’ room, complete with a velvety ornamental curtain tied back, reminiscent of Maria Bjornson’s iconic Phantom of the Opera designs. To the right is James’ ensuite bathroom, which is “playfully lit by oversized versions of changing room lamps”

The Rooms Feature Jet-Black Illustrations Of Theater Exteriors And Set Designs By Clint Ramos

The Rooms Feature Jet-Black Illustrations Of Theater Exteriors And Set Designs By Clint Ramos

The rooms feature jet-black illustrations of theater exteriors and set designs by Clint Ramos

The elevators that take you to the hotel’s 203 rooms are decorated with Paul Tazewell’s Tony Award-winning costume designs for the musical Hamilton.

Each aisle features framed black-and-white photos taken backstage at Broadway shows, from classics like Cats to the brand new Beetlejuice, which this reviewer loved seeing on this latest trip.

Somehow this makes you feel part of the moment and part of the drama.

This spirit continues in the bedrooms. They are compact, like most New York hotels, but jazz hands have worked hard to give them a touch of theatrical pizzazz.

Each has an ornate velvety curtain tied in one corner, reminiscent of Maria Bjornson’s iconic Phantom of the Opera designs. Each has its own jet-black illustrations of theater exteriors and stage designs by Clint Ramos. Each bathroom is playfully lit by extra-large versions of changing room lamps, giving you enough light to apply your own make-up.

Pictured Is The First Floor Bar Serving A Few Breakfast Staples Each Morning And Early Evening Drinks

Pictured Is The First Floor Bar Serving A Few Breakfast Staples Each Morning And Early Evening Drinks

Pictured is the first floor bar serving a few breakfast staples each morning and early evening drinks

Framed Pictures In The Bar. According To James, The Civilian Is A Handy Haven To Make Your Base In New York Because It'S Full Of Fun And Loving Details

Framed Pictures In The Bar. According To James, The Civilian Is A Handy Haven To Make Your Base In New York Because It'S Full Of Fun And Loving Details

Framed pictures in the bar. According to James, the Civilian is a handy haven to make your base in New York because it’s full of fun and loving details

1670160267 125 Inside Civilian A New Broadway Themed Hotel In New York Thats

1670160267 125 Inside Civilian A New Broadway Themed Hotel In New York Thats

The Intimate Foyer (Above) Glows With Myriad Tiny Lights, Much Like The Ones You See Around Dressing Room Mirrors, James Reveals

The Intimate Foyer (Above) Glows With Myriad Tiny Lights, Much Like The Ones You See Around Dressing Room Mirrors, James Reveals

“While few hotels in New York are cheap, it’s also a lot more affordable than many of its counterparts,” James says of Civilian. The intimate foyer, pictured, glows with myriad tiny lights, much like the ones you see around dressing room mirrors, he reveals

An Exhibition Of 'Maquettes', The Compelling Scale Models Set Designers Create For Shows

An Exhibition Of 'Maquettes', The Compelling Scale Models Set Designers Create For Shows

An exhibition of ‘maquettes’, the compelling scale models set designers create for shows

All this set-dressing is charming, but, glad to say, your essentials are also covered: air conditioning, television, remote-controlled blackout blinds, ample storage units and a safe under each bed, thick linens and towels, and fragrant toiletries.

To use the showbiz parlance, the hotel is still somewhat ‘in previews’ during my visit, and they are still putting the finishing touches on the Rosevale cafe on the ground floor, the library-like Blue Room and the Starchild bar on the roof. You’ll get a good idea of ​​what’s in store in the bar on the first floor, which serves a few breakfast staples each morning and drinks in the early evening.

Here, more theatrical inflorescences abound. There are more swag curtains obscuring a spiral staircase from the lobby.

Pictured Is The Spiral Staircase That Leads Guests From The Lobby To Their Rooms - It Is Shrouded In Gaudy Curtains

Pictured Is The Spiral Staircase That Leads Guests From The Lobby To Their Rooms - It Is Shrouded In Gaudy Curtains

Pictured is the spiral staircase that leads guests from the lobby to their rooms – it is shrouded in gaudy curtains

And there’s an exhibition of ‘maquettes’, the compelling scale models set designers create for shows. Also here are some of the current hits, including Moulin Rouge.

Adjacent is another inspired touch: the “Company Wall,” featuring a dazzling array of art specially commissioned by theater professionals and fans alike, all responding to the same lyric from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company: “It’s a City of Strangers , some come to work, some to play.’

Whatever brings you to New York… work, play, or plays and musicals… the Civilian is a convenient base-making retreat, full of fun and loving touches.

While few hotels in New York are cheap, it is also a lot more affordable than many of its counterparts.

All in all, I think of the lyrics of another Sondheim classic: “I’m just a Broadway Baby, learning to sing and dance, waiting for that one big chance… to be in a show.”

The Civilian may not be quite on Broadway itself, but it’s waiting in the wings, sure of its lines and poised for a star-studded future.

TRAVEL FACTS

James was hosted by Civilian Hotel, 305 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036. Doubles is priced from £294. For more information visit www.civilianhotel.com.

Rating: 1660180048 103 Christopher Stevens On Last Nights Tv

Virgin Atlantic operates regular flights between London and New York. Visit www.virginatlantic.com.

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Jacky

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

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