Friday, February 3, 2012
Similar to the way movies and actors are documented on imdb.com (Internet Movie Data Base), there is now a counterpart for Broadway productions. Called ibdb.com (Internet Broadway Data Base), this website is a treasure trove of the the plays, musicals and theatrical events that have played a Broadway theatre.
Most searches people will make will be by show title or people. The show title search will list every production (original and revivals) of a show that have played Broadway. For example, search for 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and the search results in nine productions of the classic play written by Tennessee Williams. Click on any one of the productions listed and find out the opening and closing dates, number of previews and performances, theatre and opening night credits. Additional links will list Tony and Drama Desk awards and nominations. For musicals, an extra link is included that will list the songs in the production.
Search by performer and find out which Broadway production the actor first appeared which may have been in the ensemble before landing their first starring role. Also find out the awards and nominations the performer received and, where available, their date of birth. A search for actress Kristin Chenoweth reveals she was born on July 24, 1968 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before she starred in 'Wicked' as Glinda, she already had three Broadway productions under her belt including a Tony Award winning role as Sally in the revival of the musical 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.' Despite two additional starring roles, Chenoweth has not received a Tony Award nomination since 'Wicked'.
But the search I love best of all is by 'theatre'. Presently there are only 40 official Broadway houses, click the venue name under the 'theatre' tab and the results show every show that have played the theatre and various name changes throughout its history. For example, the Foxwoods Theatre which currently houses 'Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark' was first named the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in 1998 then the name changed to the Hilton Theatre in 2005 which remained until its current name in 2010.
Only the search by Broadway grosses lacks the detail that can be found elsewhere on the internet (such as on BroadwayWorld.com and Playbill.com).
The website is presented by the The Broadway League. Click HERE for the IBDB app for iPad and iPhones.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This is the third and last part of a series of posts covering websites to comparison shop for airfares. The first post covered Kayak.com and the second post covered Superfly.com.
Very similar to Superfly, MileWise.com allows users to find the best value for flights using cash, miles or points. MileWise tracks all your rewards in one place by telling you how much they're worth, warns you if they are about to expire and supports over 500 reward programs. Their search will figure out how many miles you will earn and factor in your elite level in your reward program.
MileWise is attractive like Kayak and Superfly in its ease of use. From the home page enter your departure and arrival cities, dates of travel, class of service and if you want to shop by exact dates or by flexible dates.
The search results page will sort the airfares by price. The choices will also include flights that can be redeemed with only points or miles. MileWise will translate the reward points/miles into dollars so you can compare if it is worth it to redeem them or pay for the ticket. MileWise also includes the miles/points/rewards you will earn if you belong to an airline rewards program. This is assuming at some point you will redeem the miles you earn.
Search results can be narrowed by ways to pay (cash, miles, points), airlines, cards (American Express, Starwood, Chase, Capital One, Citi), the number of stops and departure/arrival times. If you choose the 'flexible' option from the search page, MileWise will list results by day from which you can narrow search results. MileWise uses Orbitz for flight bookings.
MileWise does have one big shortcoming. It does not display flights for American Airlines nor show any rewards for the airline's Aadvantage frequent flier program. Like Superfly, Southwest Airlines flights do not show up in the search results either. Although I fly American, this website is useful to compare my other reward programs (credit cards American Express, Chase and Citi and Hawaiian Airlines Miles which I use for business travel)
MileWise launched last summer so it's possible further enhancements to their service will be forthcoming.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Superfly.com unlike Kayak.com also allows you to manage your frequent flier miles, hotel, car and credit card rewards in one place. Similar to Kayak, I like that the search page for Superfly is clean to view and simple to use.
Step 1, select your status if you belong to a frequent flier reward program. Step 2, search for your flights by entering your departure and arrival cities, dates of travel, the number of persons traveling and class of service.
The search results page will list the available flights by 'Net Value' which Superfly indicates is the net of 'Price' less 'Rewards'.
Here is how Superfly defines each part of their formula.
Price - This is the amount you will be charged for the ticket with most taxes and fees included.
Rewards - This is the personal value of the rewards you will receive as a result of purchasing the ticket. Superfly multiplies the flight's distance by your personal base value of mile. They then add any bonus you may receive as a result of the class of your ticket, any multiplier you may have due to your elite status and any extra miles relevant due to airline minimum benchmarks per leg.
Net Value - This is the value specific to you. It combines the ticket's price and the value of your rewards. Superfly reminds you that the cheapest ticket doesn't necessarily offer the best value when you consider the miles earned or rewards you may or may not receive. This is the primary reason users like Superfly.
In other words, if you won't be earning any miles the cost the cost of the ticket is more to you in the long run. But this assumes that you will redeem the miles you earn at some point. Still puzzled about their math. They accept inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE to view their frequently asked questions page.
Once you have chosen your flight, click the 'book' button and you will be directed to Expedia or the website for your airline of choice. So if you are part of American Airline's reward program and you choose an American flight, your browser will be directed to American's website. If you do not belong to an airline's reward program for which you choose to 'book' a flight, Superfly will direct you to Expedia.
Search results can be sorted by price or rewards. You can filter the search results by the number of stops, time of departure or arrival, cabin and preferred airlines. Click 'details' on the same page to find out the type of aircraft and duration of the flight.
If you register at Superfly, you will be able to manage all your rewards in one place, receive help to retrieve passwords for your reward accounts and show off your status on Facebook.
It should be noted that Superfly which launched in May 2010 and covers 65 reward programs does not include Southwest Airlines flights in their search results.