Seat Talking: Tales of the Balcony with Nick Bonacci

January 14, 2022

Seat Talking: Tales of the Balcony, Seat F103

Seat Talking is a new series inspired by loyal, long-time Broadway Utica subscribers. Their stories highlight the reasons why they made the wise decision to become subscribers while giving theater lovers an inside look at the person occupying a seat to the left or right of them.

Before the curtain rises and patrons are locating their seats, Row F Seat 103 on the balcony of the glorious Stanley Theater is where Nick Bonacci can be found, quietly reflecting on the vacant balconies that remind him of Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets, and the fixtures that resemble a lion’s head.

“The moment you walk towards the theater, you’re greeted by bright lights that bounce off the street and light up the night. It’s like everything suddenly comes to life. Then you step inside the theater and you are surrounded by the magnificent architectural details. There’s the Meyda Tiffany chandelier, the vintage curtains, and antique carpeting that leads you to your seat,” Nick said. “It’s as if I get lost in the arts that surround me before the show even begins.”

Nick has been to Broadway. He’s experienced musicals in Florida and dabbled in a few non-speaking roles in school plays, including a performance as a custodian in Annie. Yet, if you ask him where his love for Broadway comes from, he’ll proudly smile and say his mother, JoAnne.

“My mom loves performance art. She took us to Broadway shows and gathered us together to watch every live Broadway show that aired on television. She’s the reason I have a seat with Broadway Utica. I know she wants to make sure the arts and Broadway are always a part of me,” Nick stated.

An artist who dabbles in pottery, painting, and drawing, Nick’s work has won “Juror’s Choice” at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute and “People’s Choice” at Rome Regional’s 100 Mile Reach Art Exhibition, which accounts for the set designs that capture his attention.

“The colors and set-up of the stage stand out to me. I look forward to seeing what a show has chosen to place around the stage. This tells me part of the story they’re going to create. After the show, I’ll think about the symbolism of the colors and why they put certain props in the set,” Nick explained. “A set designer’s job is to make things beautiful and to play on the imagination of the audience. That takes a lot of work and a lot of time to bring it all together.”

Nick experienced his first Broadway musical during a class field trip to Manhattan where he saw Beauty and the Beast. He remembers the stage, the costumes, and the details of the set. For the past three years, as he’s experienced Broadway in Utica, his amazement and admiration for shows continue to weigh in. Thus far his favorites include Escape to Margaritaville, Fiddler on the Roof, Rudolph, and Beautiful, the Carol King Musical.

“People think there’s not much going on in our area, especially in the winter. But these shows make you realize there are lots of things happening here. Each month you get to take a seat in a soft, comfortable seat, let the area go dark and quiet, and embark on an adventure that always seems to go by too fast. Every time a show ends, I leave excited to come back and see the next one. They’re always that good.”

While Nick is looking forward to the new season’s lineup, his heart is set on Spamilton, since he’s a fan of comedy. He’s also hoping to have shows like Nemo and Beauty and the Beast come to the Broadway Theatre League of Utica in the future.

“I missed coming to the shows during COVID. It’s exciting to be back in my seat and have tickets to all these shows again. It’s like a surprise every month. I can’t wait for all I get to see!”

Opening night, Nick will be seated beside his mother JoAnne, enjoying the Stanley’s classic warm, gooey, homemade chocolate chip cookie. The curtain will rise, and all will be right in Nick Bonacci’s world.

Interested in being a season subscriber? There is still time. For more information click HERE or call 315-624-9444. Our box office is open and welcoming patrons Monday – Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm. Broadway Utica is located at 258 Genesee St. Utica.







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