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Plan your perfect theater getaway weekend in New York City

Metropolitan Opera House
Metropolitan Opera House
Keely L. Herrick

Atlanta is only a short flight from New York, and with the hourly trips scheduled throughout the day on Delta Air Lines, you really have no excuse for putting off that theater binge vacation this summer. With Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Idina Menzel, and other big names scheduled to appear on the Tony Awards this year, Broadway has an exceptionally starry summer buzz. With so many options out there, it might be overwhelming to try and choose a few shows for your weekend trip, but here are some suggestions to create a well-rounded experience.

When considering what shows to see, it's a good idea not to pack your weekend with only one variety of performance, especially if you're traveling with friends or family who might not be willing to sit through three musicals in a weekend. The Disney shows and bigger productions like Phantom of the Opera all regularly pass through Atlanta, so consider checking out something that you can't see at home. The biggest star power on Broadway right now belongs to the ladies, with Idina Menzel in If/Then, Audra McDonald in Lady Day, and Sutton Foster in Violet.

To balance out your big budget musical, consider a smaller show like the Edgar Allen Poe piece, Red-Eye to Havre de Grace. This unusual production defies categorization, as it uses a mixture of traditional narrative with athletic movement and fanciful music to create a topsy-turvy depiction of the poet's final days. The passion behind the work is evident, and you'll find yourself mulling it over days later.

If you're in the mood for a comedy, consider The Realistic Joneses. It's a quick one-act ride and stars Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, Toni Colette, and Tracey Letts in a twisted, funny look at two couples and the secrets we keep from each other and ourselves. Finally, if you still have room in your schedule, pop up to Lincoln Center to catch American Ballet Theatre in all its summer glory at the Metropolitan Opera House. Yes, we have ballet in Atlanta, but not like this. When you see Herman Cornejo or Marcelo Gomes defy gravity, you know you are in the presence of something truly spectacular, even if you don't regularly attend dance performances.