Updated 11/01/2010 10:58 AM
Tour Bus Blurs Line Between Ride And Reality
A new tour bus company is putting a unique spin on the tradition, using street performance and the natural spontaneity of the city as entertainment. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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If all of New York is a stage, then these are the best seats in the house.
There's no need to go to a Broadway show to get caught up in the throes of New York City street theater, because a new tour bus blurs the line between the ride and reality.
“You have to expect the unexpected, meaning you’ll never know if it’s part of the fabric of New York or we’re producing it ourselves,” says Jonathan Danforth, chief executive officer of The Ride.
The Ride starts with a fleet of four tricked-out buses covering 4.5 miles of ground in Midtown.
“The bus is a bus that we manufactured for about $1.5 million, with enough technology like an IMAX theatre, sound, video, lights,” says Danforth.
With a stable of revolving actors playing the role of two bus tour guides, the ride also employs several street performers. They play out various vignettes of New York City life, such as two performers who enact the famous V-J Day kiss in Times Square.
During the hour and a half tour, The Ride mixes lively banter with fun facts about famous landmarks.
Passengers sitting in three horizontal rows facing expansive windows take their turn as spectacle for those on the outside looking in.
“That’s really what made we want to do it, I saw it down the road the other day,” says a tourist.
“It’s way better than just watching a movie inside,” says another.
While The Ride is gaining a fan base with foreigners, it also seems to pass muster with a notoriously tough crowd.
“It’s really neat, living here, there’s so many elements. It’s so New York you just don’t know what’s going to happen as you go around,” says a native New Yorker.
With Yankee Stadium dark for the season, The Ride becomes the understudy location for a familiar anthem, “New York, New York.”
Now here’s a D’Elia’s Deal you don’t want to miss. If you take The Ride before the end of the year, you can get $10 off when you enter the promo code NYVAL online at broadwayoffers.com, or mention the promo code when calling 866-299-9682 or at the Marriott Marquis box office. Holiday blackouts apply.