Friday, January 30, 2009


Well, guess where I'm going from July 13 to July 18. Disney World. It was a birthday present. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but here's the thing, folks: I wanted a bunny. I was all set to get a black bunny and name it Patti LuPone, but a trip to Disney is a good present, too. I'm staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.

It's very A Streetcar Named Desire, don't you think? Except nobody's crazy and Marlon Brando isn't standing at the bottom of the stairs screaming, "HEY STEEEELLLLLAAAA!!!!" Well, I'm just pleased as punch. Seriously, I'm wearing my excited face right now. Plus, it's just ginger peachy that we're taking my ole chum Maisie with us. We had a fantabulous time on our 2006 trip to Disney. That trip was just riddled with great memories: me smashing my head getting off one of the rides, riding Expedition Everest and then getting hopelessly lost afterwards, the torrential downpour, the waterbugs in the hotel room, the ridiculous ripoff that was Test Track, and riding It's a Small World, wary of the smiling dolls with the wide-open eyes who could turn on you at any second. Oh, and the icing on the cake: Maisie, my brother and I attempting to be brave by going through The Haunted Mansion. All I remember of that ride is the three of us clutching each other and screaming. I don't care what anybody says, that IS a scary ride. The whole trip was a complete disaster, and I have never had so much fun in my entire life.

Anyway, a week from now I will be sitting in the aptly named Broadway Theatre, seeing Shrek the Musical. Usually, my affinity for the obscure, artsy and offbeat would make me avoid this show like a revival of In My Life. Let's make one thing abundantly clear: I am going to see this show solely for the cast.

This is Brian d'Arcy James. He is my second-favorite male Broadway actor, after Lin-Manuel Miranda. He plays Shrek. I saw him as Dan, the haggard husband of a mentally ill woman in Next to Normal last spring. I am slightly worried that I will not recognize him without Alice Ripley throwing forks at his head. Good times, good times.

This here fella on the right is John Tartaglia. Obviously, I am talking about the guy, not the puppet. He plays Pinocchio. I've actually never seen him perform, but I'm still excited to see him.

And here we have Sutton Foster. She plays Princess Fiona, and she is absolutely brilliant. I haven't seen her perform since her Little Women days, and I can't wait. Little Women has the dubious honor of being the first show I was ever obsessed with. I saw it five times. Three years later, I am beginning to realize that it was actually a pretty awful show, but I still love it. And there were people who still loved George Bush after Hurricane Katrina, so nobody gets to point fingers at me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, This Rhymes! - The Official Bad Lyrics Post

Welcome back, suckers. In my many years as a Broadwayphile, I have discovered the three most common pitfalls a show can fall into:

1. Bad lyrics. (Wicked)

2. All the songs sound the same. (Sunday in the Park With George)

3. No character development. (SIDE SHOW. They're Siamese twins. We get it.)

You all should pretty much know by now how ridiculously hard to please I am. I think I first fully accepted this when an extremely dissatisfied version of myself walked out of Wicked and saw a sign that said, "IF IT DOESN'T PLEASE YOU, YOU'RE TOO HARD TO PLEASE!" Of course, most of my discontent stemmed from the fact that I was yearning to be at Spring Awakening, but that is entirely beside the point. Anyway. The fact remains: I am the Simon Cowell of musical theatre. Oh, and shoes. I'm picky about shoes. In fact, people have used this LOLCat in describing me.

But I digress. In my extensive theeyater-goin' history, I have heard some real gems. (And by 'gems' I mean lyrics that make me want to suck my own eyeballs out.) Here they are for you tonight: The List of the Most Wonderfully Awful Lyrics in Theatre History!

1. "To kill outside St. Paul's/requires a lot of balls." - Jekyll and Hyde (Whoever thought putting that line in was a good idea should be locked in a room with Sarah Palin.)

2. "How do you light a fire/When you've got something stuck in your flue?" - Rent

3. "And I was so young and so dumb/and now I am old." - Next to Normal

4. "Omigod, omigd you guys." - Legally Blonde (I think I lost five IQ points sitting through that show.)

5. "When the day is filled with shadows that stretch into the night/I am filled with your sweet comfort like morning fills with light. - SIDE SHOW (Oh, SIDE SHOW. I love it, and I love this song, but that line needs to die.)

6. "Turn around, go back to Concord/Leave New York behind unconquered." - Little Women

7. "Enough with all your celebrated loves./You had two hands, you could have modeled gloves." - Grey Gardens (I am not going to begin to describing the meowing monstrosity that was the song "Entering Grey Gardens." All I'm gonna say is that it involved people crawling around like cats and a woman eating cat food. Youtube it if you don't believe me.)

8. "Goodbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye to blueberry pie." - Gypsy (I love this line, but it just doesn't make sense.)

And two that are not from Broadway, but are equally sub-par:

1. "And when I touch you I feel happy inside." - 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' by the Beatles (Am I the only one that's creeped out by this? Seriously, am I old enough to be listening to this song?!)

And, preeeesenting, in person, the worst lyrics of all time:

"Boy bands/and another one/and another one/and another one." - 'Year 3000' by the Jonas Brothers (I really hope the guy that wrote that was drunk.)

Okay, I do actually realize how bitter this post made me sound. In some last-ditch effort to support my "I actually don't hate everything" theory, here's a picture of something I actually love very much - the Don't Tell Mama costume from the '98 revival of Cabaret. It's probably my favorite costume of all time, even though saying that makes me feel like the biggest loser in the history of everything. I just love how cutesy and pink it is. I'm compelled to say that the bow is my favorite part. For the record, it was prettier when she took the giant fluffy coat off. In fact, I pretty much love this whole scene - the choreography, the lyrics, how incredibly cracked out Sally is supposed to be.

Well, that was fun. Before I go, I promised Lenora I would quote her. We were chatting about my wonderfully horrible favorite show. She said, "It's like getting your tongue stuck to dry ice. It looks good before you go through with it, but once you do it's really painful to get away." Oh, Lord. Just one of the many reasons why Lenora is fantabulous.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Factory Girls - Updated

Hello, darlings! I like to think of myself as a pretty artsy theatre-goer. Hopefully, you all know by now how fond I am of the obscure and the offbeat. I am also a terribly big fan of the rock musical. (Except for, you know, Rent.) Anyway, I am here to announce the coming of a new show that I am slowly falling in love with. There ya go. Factory Girls, a new rock opera by Creighton Irons and Sean Mahoney. It's currently only in the workshop stages, and it suffers many of the afflictions of a musical in its genesis: occasionally weak lyrics, some clunky songs. Of course, the fact that it features both Phoebe Strole and Cortney Wolfson is a tremendous benefit. If this ever actually gets to Broadway, I think one song that's definitely gotta go is The Eye of Day. Right now their strongest song is definitely The Strike. From what I understand, it's about the factory girls in Lowell, Massachusetts during the Industrial Revolution. I know that doesn't sound like something you make a rock opera out of, but Spring Awakening was about teenagers in 1891 Germany. (Of course, we all know how that one worked out, but still.) This one is just another show attempting to revolutionize Broadway. The writers seem to be just like little Sheik-Saters and Kerrigan-Lowdermilks. Toss in Joe Iconis and maybe some Kitt and Yorkey and you get a colorful cocktail of people all trying to bring about a new age of the American musical. It's a thrill to watch them grapple over the hippest, most twisted topics and grungiest sets. ("Wait, you have a girl dying of a botched abortion and a fifteen-year-old killing himself? Oh, yeah? Well, we're gonna write a show about mental illness and use one of your original cast members! How's that taste? That oughta show YOU, Sheik and Sater!")

Before I go, I promised Berri I would advertise her new blog. If you like it, it was my idea. If you don't, I tried desperately to talk her out of it. Find her at:

Update: Holy Mother of God, folks. I got some bad news today. Guess what's not getting revived: SIDE SHOW. Guess what's taking its place: Bye Bye Birdie. I know I haven't said this before, but let me say it now: I HATE BYE BYE BIRDIE!!!!! Reviving it and not SIDE SHOW is like the ultimate slap in the face, worse than the fact that a show starring the insufferable Jane Fonda is taking the O'Neill. I mean, come on. Bye Bye Freaking Birdie? Really? We're seriously gonna revive that? 'Cause there haven't been enough god-awful regional and high school productions? Why don't we just revive Oklahoma while we're at it? I wouldn't mind the loss of SIDE SHOW so much if they could revive something that actually deserves it: like maybe A Little Night Music? Or how 'bout Ragtime? I like Ragtime. Or maybe even Cabaret? They could bring back Glory Days for all I care, but, please, God, not Bye Bye Birdie. Of course, there are rumors of a Merrily We Roll Along revival. Okay, that's Sondheim. I am moderately placated. At least this isn't gonna be another Doyle-helmed production where there are no sets and the actors play the instruments, like the recent revivals of Sweeney Todd and Company. Mrs. Lovett just isn't supposed to play the tuba. I'm sorry, but it's true.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adventures in Detention

Guess what happened today, folks. I received detention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At first I was pretty upset, and Lenora was just emotionally shattered when I said I didn't want to see her Lady of Guadalupe picture. But then I realized what a great blog material this would make! I began to get unnaturally excited about doing time! As I sat through my classes clicking my heels together under my desk, I thought of all the marvelous things I would come here and tell you all. I've had all day to think about this one, children, so strap in.

The detention was issued in homeroom for the unfathomable crime of forgetting to bring in an absence note. I have to say, I was tremendously let down by the offense that landed me in detention. I always thought I would get carted off for something really radical and badass like arguing with the teacher over a Supreme Court case. Forgetting to bring in a five by three piece of paper is a pretty lame reason. The first thing I had to do was sign the detention slip. If I'd had my wits about me I probably would have said something like, "No autographs, please." Alas, I was so utterly shocked that I just scrawled my name and scuttled back to my seat. The whole situation was oddly reminiscent of one of my favorite Spring Awakening scenes where the teachers question Melchior and send him off to a reformatory. Of course, in this instance we were not rapidly switching back and forth between a nineteenth-century German headmaster's office and a pop-rock crossover song. Before I go on, I have to fulfill a promise made to a certain friend. This friend, who requested to be referred to only as Berri, said something pretty freaking clever as we were discussing my aversion to Rent. I believe it went something like this: "Just 'cause nobody gets raped or shows their butt doesn't make it a bad show!" I was so amazed that she had said it that I wasn't even offended by the blatant strike at Spring Awakening. I would love to know what this girl could do with August: Osage County.

Anyway, getting back on track. I spent the day proudly trumpeting the news of my eminent trip to detention. I was just pleased as punch to tell the tale to my friends, who could not quite understand why I was so happy about it. I tried to make them grasp the concept that I was absolutely giddy with the change. For one day I was gonna be buhbuhbuhbad to the bone! Nobody got it, and one person asked if I was on crack. It was marvelous.

When the hour of my detention finally came, I bid adieu to Lenora and proudly soldiered off to pay for my crimes against humanity. Coincidentally, the prison guard for today was a teacher who I am rather fond of. I was disappointed. All day I had been banking on a ruler-brandishing psycho who would make us recite ancient Greek and Latin texts. Imagine my disappointment when all I did was sit there and read. Really, people. I could do that at home. Here's the thing about detention, friends: It's not as fun as I thought it would be. There were no drug dealers. Nobody was blasting the radio or climbing the walls or throwing paper airplanes like you see in the movies. It was a heartbreaking letdown. I sat there and listened to fingers drumming and papers turning. It was more boring than the second act of Sunday in the Park With George. I had anticipated it being really dark and gritty, and that the lights would shift and suddenly everyone would be wearing leotards and bowler hats and start sing the Cell Block Tango. My heart was breaking worse than the time I saw Sutton Foster's understudy in Little Women.

So here's today's lesson, children: I've been to the dark side. Nobody was climbing the walls or singing ridiculously unrealistic Kander and Ebb songs. I think from now on I'll stick to the straight and narrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And STAY Out!

Welcome back, suckers. So, even though Spring Awakening closed but two days ago (and that one still hurts, trust me) I am actually doing pretty well. Sure, my chest hurts from screaming and my head's pretty cold since I don't have my lovely black beret anymore, but otherwise I'm in good shape. This video has been a massive help in the coping and acceptance process, as freaking creepy as that sounds. But the fact that Eryn Murman is singing a song that is perfectly tailored to her voice is not the reason why I came here to blog today.

No, folks, I am here to say good-bye to a dear friend. Coincidentally, this "friend" was indirectly responsible for the good-byes I had to say on Sunday night. So long, Bush! Don't let the door hit you on the way out. You gotta give the guy his due, though. A few nights ago he had to go on national TV and make a speech to an entire country of people that hate him. I don't know about you guys, but I broke out the party hats and streamers that night. The conga line got a little out of hand, though. Oh, and it's thanks to him that McCain didn't get elected. People aren't gonna let a man from the same party as the genius who let our economy fall through the cracks get elected. As we all know, this election was all about moneymoneymoney. See? Even Sally Bowles and the Emcee agree with me, and they're not even REAL!

Before I wrap it up, I have to recount an amusing little vignette to all of you. Okay, here we go.

Random Girl: "Guess what I watched eleven times this weekend."
Me: "What?"
Random Girl: "R-"
Lenora: "No, DON'T!"
Random Girl: "What? Why can't I say I watched Rent?"
Lenora: "She hates Rent!"
Me: *is confused*

Because clearly, I turn into a wild animal that needs to be chained up whenever someone mentions Rent. The whole situation vaguely resembled this classic Family Guy moment:

Bush is out, Obama's in. Spring Awakening is dead and gone, while Wicked is whoring its obnoxious green self out eight nights a week. (I can't believe I just said that, either.) What a world, what a world.

Update: I found this interview, and I decided to post it here. Before I post it, know this: I love Christine Ebersole. Ask anyone. I was cheering just as loud as the rest of the Broadway community when she won the Tony in 2007. I think Christine Ebersole is perfectly marvelous. But her political views are...interesting. Take this excerpt from a recent interview, for example:

Boroff: Are you concerned about opening in a new show in this economy?
Ebersole: I've thought about that. We haven't seen the end of the story. It's unfolding minute by minute.
Boroff: What is the story?
Ebersole: You have to look at the agenda of 9/11 to see what's happening economically. You also have to go back to 1913, when the Federal Reserve was formed. To me it's a systematic collapsing of the economy in order to usher in the amero.
Boroff: The who?
Ebersole: That's the new currency. It's going to be introduced and we'll join with Mexico and Canada. We are moving to a one-world government. It's not some crazy conspiracy theory. Boroff: Have you ever feared sharing your views would harm your career?
Ebersole: I've been told this will destroy me. This is my duty as an American citizen and a child of God, to speak truth to power.

Okay, don't get me wrong. I am not judging her based on her political views. She is a brilliant actress and a brilliant singer. But, and I say this with all due respect, her political views creep me out. It's all a little too reminiscent of Brave New World and 1984 for me. (For the record, I loved Brave New World and hated 1984. Just thought you should know. You're welcome.) Look I'm not saying she's a wacko. I'm just saying there...might have been a reason she portrayed Edie Beale so wonderfully. (And let's not go saying I think Edie Beale was a crackpot. I happen to be a huge fan, actually.) To quote the pivotal-but-only-in-one-scene father from August: Osage County: "I don't know what it says about me that I have a greater affinity with the damaged. Probably nothing good." Yes, I am aware that I have been quoting this play entirely too much lately. It probably won't be long till I start smashing plates and screaming, "EAT THE FISH, BITCH!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

There Are No Words for This

Know how you sometimes build something up so much that the real thing can't possibly compare? This was not one of those times. I just got in, and I am absolutely reeling. I am freezing, and sopping wet, and missing a hat that I happened to love very much, but these are small sacrifices. Our day started out with a trek down 48th Street. As soon as we turned on to 49th, we saw the throngs of people still stage-dooring the matinee. The girl I was with is a huge Hunter Parrish fan, so we leaped over puddles and darted through crowds to get a picture. After that she claimed to have seen one of the original cast members walking by, but I didn't believe her at that point. We snapped a few more pictures, and then we spotted Alexandra Socha. I made the mistake of pointing her out, without remembering how snippy she can be. Before I could stop him, my dad asked her, "Alex, how do you think the show's gonna go?" to which she absentmindedly grumbled, "I don't KNOW how the show's gonna go." My flabbergasted dad then mumbled to me, "Not a very friendly one, is she?" To quote Stewie, "Oh, bitch, he got you, bitch." After that less-than-ideal encounter with Mademoiselle Socha, I spotted one of the chorus girls, and we got a picture with her. We then crossed the street to Colony. (I believe I have already told you all about my love affair with this store. If I haven't, freaking Google it. I have other things to talk about.) I had a blonde moment and searched for twenty minutes for the Follies songbook only to have it pointed out to me by a total stranger. Yay for good samaritans. We ate a very sophisticated dinner at Sbarro's, and then crossed the street to get on line. It done mah heart good to see how many people there were. The line stretched around the corner. I haven't seen it like that in a year. Here's to going out with a bang. My friend and I struck up a conversation with a rather dapper young fellow. I don't know if I've said this before, but Spring Awakening tickets are practically guy magnets. Of course, most of those guys are of the homosexual variety, but I'm pretty sure this one wasn't. We chatted about Avenue Q and August: Osage County. It was perfectly marvelous. I was very impressed that he was able to keep up with me. As the conversation started to run itself into the ground, I turned around and noticed Senor Robi Hager standing a few feet away. Robi was one of the original cast members, and the very first one I ever met. Before I was able to smile and look away, I heard screaming. I reeled around and realized that the ENTIRE original cast was right there, and the abnormally short girl in front of me who had been giggling nonstop for the past ten minutes was, in fact, Remy Zaken, who was and still is my favorite cast member. I looked over her head (and that is not hard to do) and saw Phoebe Strole, Jonathan Groff, John Gallagher Jr., and Brian Charles Johnson. Oh, my sweet Jesus, I have never been so pleased to see anyone in my whole entire life! As always, I started shaking and smiling so wide it hurt my face. I turned to everyone else and said, "If that's just the beginning, this is gonna be one hell of a night." It was starting to snow pretty heavily, so I was glad when we were finally let in. Once I got in, I saw Lilli Cooper, another one of the originals. By now my heart was pounding almost out of my chest. By the time my friend and I had staggered to our marvelous seventh-row seats, we were clutching each other and screaming incoherently about how excited we were. Trust me, we were not the only ones. By now the news that the original cast was there had spread like wildfire, and the room was absolutely electric with anticipation. (I am also told that Johnny Depp was there, but nobody cared to talk to him, poor chap.) The lights went down, and the screaming started. I screamed with the best of them, like an untamed savage. This show practically saved my life, more than any of you folks will ever know. I have to show my endless gratitude somehow. At intermission I broke one of my own rules and got up to roam around. As I was sidling down the center aisle, who should brush past me but Duncan Sheik, who wrote the music! I stood there shocked for a minute. After all, this was the man responsible for the entire evening. If I had known what I was doing I probably would have started babbling like a fool. Thank goodness for delayed reactions. I thought I would lose it during the second act, but I really didn't. Actually, I haven't been so happy in a long, long time. By the time Totally F-cked came along, I could see the people around me shifting in their seats, anticipating the song. It was obvious that the actors were rushing through the preceding scene, eager to get to it. And it was a moment worth waiting for. It practically blew the roof off. I screamed my lungs out, and when I couldn't scream anymore I sat there and bopped and stomped my feet and laughed hysterically, because I was just so incredibly overjoyed to be there. The audience was on its feet by the end of the song, but something strange happened. It wasn't ending. The final note kept droning throughout the entire theatre. We all just looked at each other confusedly, and then there were three heavy drumbeats, and the whole place exploded. They all danced around and sang the chorus again, and the entire audience danced and sang/screamed along with them. I was jumping and dancing with everyone else. And I DON'T dance. The end of the song was like a rock concert, with the audience and actors screaming "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" together. Actually, reading that over, it sounds like the secret greeting of some strange cult, but I swear it wasn't that creepy. The song just tore the house down. That one'll be on Youtube tomorrow, if it isn't already. At curtain call, I realized I was missing both my hat and an icon from my bracelet. I happen to love both said hat and said bracelet immensely. Oddly, I don't care that they're gone. It's kinda fitting that I left something behind. Plus, if I had to lose the hat somewhere, I'm glad it was in a place I love so much. By the time we got outside it was a bona fide blizzard. We all waited in the cold and snow for the cast to come out. As the girl next to me sagely observed, "Wow, it's really snowing." Nothing gets by you, does it, Bright Eyes? The first three out the door were Lilli, Remy, and Phoebe, all from the original cast. Phoebe got down to us and signed my Playbill. Two seconds later she tried to take it back, and I said, "No, no, you signed it already." She got this really hurt and confused look on her face, and now she probably thinks I'm a freak. Not the greatest way to end it, when I'm probably never gonna see her again. (And from that point on all I could think of was Ivy storming out of the house in August: Osage County screaming, "YOU WILL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

I'm 76.8% certain I got a picture with Lilli, but I think I missed Remy, and she was always my favorite. Oh, well. As they say, though, you always fixate on the one that got away. It was getting obscenely cold and wet out there, so we got the car. I had already promised myself weeks ago that I wasn't going to look back as I walked away. My resolve broke halfway down the block, and I turned around for one last look. To get to the West Side Highway, however, we had to drive down 49th Street. Why yes, that WAS me who had the windows open with Totally F-cked blasting. (However, the one screaming out the window was my friend, not me.) Everyone gawked, and the last thing I saw was Alexandra Socha look up from the Playbill she was signing, and smile. Here's to good times.

Spring Awakening
12/10/2006- 1/18/2009

I took this picture in the car on the way there. I happen to think it is perfectly marvelous.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Know It's Today

I'm warning you now, folks. This one's gonna get sentimental. It's now 9:30 in the morning. I have been up for the past six hours. I went to bed at midnight and then woke up at two, shaking. It's today. I don't know how the time went by so fast, but it's today. I just looked out the window, and it's snowing. Honestly, that shouldn't surprise me for two reasons. A) It's freaking January. B) It's either rained or snowed every single time I've seen this show. I am nowhere near ready to go tonight. I don't even WANT to go anymore. Okay, that was a lie. I still want to go. But I'm dreading it. I know some people slept in the freezing street last night to try to get tickets, and two of the chorus girls bought them all pancake breakfasts. (Thankfully, I'm not THAT far gone yet.) Nine and a half hours to go. It's getting ugly out here, children. Consolation comments would be perfectly marvelous right about now. And cream puffs. I like cream puffs. I'm not really in ultra-panic mode yet, but I'm rapidly spiraling toward it. Right now I'm just grateful I'm sitting here all warm and cozy in my peguin pajamas and clutching my marvelous seventh row seats, not freezing out in the snow on 49th Street and clinging to the faint hope of seats in the rear mezzanine. (For the record, I happen to love the rear mezzanine, though the ushers up there are moderately snippy.) There are dozens of things that I should be doing right now, but I'm gonna let them go for a day. I feel like I'm breaking up with someone, or moving out. Or both. All morning I've been packing things away, looking at old pictures, reminiscing, and trying my absolute hardest not to cry. I am hoping that tonight is going to be brilliant enough to rival the legendary May 18, which is truly the most fun I've ever had in my life. That is remotely depressing, but whatever. I'm fairly certain I will miss this show tremendously, but we won't know till it's gone, now, will we? Once it's gone, my new favorite show will be August: Osage County, and I don't think that will be around for much longer. And once THAT'S gone all I'll have left is In the Heights, unless the SIDE SHOW revival actually happens. (You people don't know how happy I would be if SIDE SHOW came back.) Here's to Spring Awakening. May it go out with a bang. And here's to the Bush Administration. May it just GO.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Little Perspective

Okay. So, as we all know, Spring Awakening is breathing its last on Sunday. This past week has been a barrage of stupid questions, so I thought I would clear up any confusion right here on my blog. Yes, I'm excited. Yes, I'm very upset. Yes, I'm probably going to cry. No, I am not going to attempt suicide by jumping from the mezzanine at intermission. (You gotta admit, though, that would be a pretty great way to go.) What I'm trying to say is this: No one has died. It's a play. Contrary to popular belief, I am going to be able to cope with this. I will not be one of the loonies lighting candles on 49th Street crossing off the days to the revival. It's been fun, but did anybody really think it was gonna last forever? Yes, it was fun. Yes, I loved every minute of it. But shows open and shows close. The end. To quote Cabaret: "It was a fine affair but now it's over." Still, I can't resist a little tribute to a show that really helped shape my character. (And that explains a whole lot, I'm sure.) August 9, 2007 in Bryant Park. My first Spring experience, and still my favorite. March 20, 2008 on Good Morning America. I was in the studio for this, and I can truthfully say I've never been happier to get up at five in the morning. (I attempted to make that not sound creepy, but I reckon it's impossible.) May 18, 2008. I was there for this. This song and the five minute standing ovation that followed were the most electric, brilliant moments of my life to date.

And, I love this song in all its played out, unoriginal glory. I figure it kind of fits the situation.

I'm sure Sunday night is going to top all the past Spring experiences I've had, but after that it's over. To quote the Green Day song I'm currently listening to: "For what it's worth, it was worth all the while." Indeed it was. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fantabulous News

Welcome back, suckers. I have some earth-shattering news for all of you. You are not going to care, but it is brilliant news for me. The article is dated June 18, 2008. My question is: HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! I LOVE SPEECH AND DEBATE!! Yes, I love it so much that I felt the need to put that sentence in bold and italics and throw in two exclamation points. Of course, I am fully prepared for this movie to be a big fat flop, but I don't care. Speech and Debate stands alone as the single most brilliant show I have ever seen. August: Osage County is right behind that. Maybe straight plays are my true calling, not musicals. Interesting stuff, here, folks. Now, I know most of you are sitting there quoting the ridiculously overrated Eric Cartman: "Big f-cking deal, bitch!" Don't lie. I can hear you. And to you I say: "Why, yes, this IS a big f-cking deal to me! Thanks so much for noticing." Now that I've got the ball rolling, might as well turn this post into a love letter to My Favorite Play That I Almost Didn't Go See.

This is Stephen Karam, the playwright. Is it mere coincidence, friends, that he has the same first name as one of the greatest songwriters whoever lived? I think not. This is the guy who provided us with such gems as, "You read my blog? That's my private journal!" and "Boy watcha doin'/boy watcha thinkin/ boy what's your name/It's Abraham Lincoln" and the immortal line that only I laughed at (and since there were like twenty people in the room, everyone heard me) : "Yeah, it's pretty casual. Get an abortion and a slice of pizza." I know it's not funny now, but it was back in January. Forgive me my weaknesses.

Here at the electric keyboard we have Sarah Steele as Diwata. This is from one of the first scenes where we learn that she can't play and sing at the same time, via the musical number I Can't Play and Sing at the Same Time. The non-idiots will notice that the blackboard behind her says, "EXTEMPORANEOUS COMMENTARY." If I am not mistaken, there is an entire scene where she explains what it means, but I don't really remember it now. Anyway, Sarah Steele is a pretty fantabulous actress. If you don't think so, well, then I have nothing more to say to you.
Believe it or not, I almost didn't go see this show. I bought tickets while the stage hands were on strike and I didn't know if my Spring Awakening tickets would fall through. Even though they didn't, this has to rank among the best backup plans of all time. Is there someone keeping track of that? I cannot believe that I almost missed this wonderful little show. My not seeing this show would have altered the course of history more than it would have changed if John Wilkes Booth had missed. (Obviously, I am exaggerating. I just wanted an excuse to use the John Wilkes Booth joke.)
Okay, that's enough of that. So, as you may but probably do not know, Spring Awakening had begun its final week on Broadway. I had intended to shove all my favorite Spring memories into one giant megapost on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, but instead I'm going to give it to you in doses. I figure these videos are kinda like a bottle of aspirin. Take one at a time and you feel wonderful. Swallow 'em all at once, and you die. First up is the Tony Awards performance. I love this video, in all its censored glory.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Freaking Birthday

Well, folks, I am breaking one of my own rules and posting two days in a row. I have not broken this rule since the epic Kristen Stewart Smoking Pot in Broad Daylight episode back in November. Last night, soon after I finished blogging, I was called downstairs and told to take a shower, put on my pretty black-and-cranberry dress, and wear more makeup than is earthly possible for a human being's face to endure. Everyone was in quite a tizzy, and going out of their way to create alibis for themselves. So we trekked out into the snow, piled into the trusty Sienna, and sped away. We finally arrived in a neighborhood that I had never been in before. It was rather alarming. I was ushered into a restaurant, where my arrival was greeted with cries of, "SURPRISE!" and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Granted, I had known about this party before the invitations had even gone out, but I am told my reaction was something like this:
Aaaaanyway, moving past that, I looked around and realized that, seated around the center table, were my dearest darlingest bestest friends! Before I could make it over to them, I was passed from arm to arm, hugged and kissed and petted by people who see me every day of their lives and yet acted like I was returning from a year-long journey to the Amazon. I roamed around, examining everything. The centerpieces were made out of Playbills from my favorite shows - Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens, Hairspray, In the Heights, and August: Osage County. My table had the Spring Awakening one, and I am told that was no accident. And there were cookies! Dear Lord, COOKIES! They were shaped like Spring Awakening and Phantom Playbills. After dinner, I was obliged to take 397578364589723645782645782 photos with every single person in the room, not including the two waitresses. Coincidentally, one of my presents was a camera that I named Fiona. Fiona has a turbo-flash, so I was blind by the end of the night. When the spots in front of my eyes had cleared up, they brought out the cake. I have never seen something so perfectly marvelous in my life! It was round, two-tiered, white with red polka dots, and decked out with Playbills from all the current Broadway shows plus Grey Gardens and Little Women. Cue 453453845345 more pictures. Well, I was just pleased as punch, from my tacky tiara right down to the ruffles on my shoes.

When I got back home, I started opening my presents. To the best of my recollection, I have received:

A beautiful Swarovski crystal necklace, customized Twilight sneakers, Blue Man Group tickets, Coach wristlet, Coach pocketbook, two bracelets, and money which I am going to use to fund a trip to Blithe Spirit and possibly a return visit to August: Osage County.

Before I go, I am morally obligated to post this video. Yes, that's Taylor Swift as Annie. While we're on the subject on Taylor Swift, I must show you my latest theory, direct on the heels of the Joe Jonas Looks Like Alice Cullen Revelation.

totally sounds like

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Harvard, Here We Come

Hello, darlings! I am the type of person who goes to bed at one and wakes up at one. It's not a terrible way to live, let me tell ya. Last night, however, I watched a Streetcar Named Desire. It's my favorite movie of all time, and I love it immeasurably, but it puts me to sleep. It was six o'clock, and I was so tired. I'll just take a nap. A small nap, and wake up in a half hour. I didn't wake up until midnight, and by then I was too tired to attempt to get up. So I went back to sleep, and woke up at nine. I actually had a panic attack because I didn't know how I would possibly fill up the extra hours, but somehow I managed. But I was bored. Booooorrrrreeeedd. I finished watching Streetcar, got my eyebrows done, listened to my iPod, read August: Osage County, and then watched a little bit of Cabaret. Now I'm just sitting here at my computer, spinning myself around in my chair. But that's not why I'm blogging. No, friends, I am actually here by request. I overheard a rather interesting conversation on the bus yesterday morning, and then repeated the aforementioned conversation to a Certain Person. Certain Person suggested that I tell the whole world about the epic exchange, so here I am, flexing my fingers and preparing to tell you all the saga.

Alright. Here we go. So I was sitting on the bus yesterday, and, since my iPod had lost power in the middle of The Night that Goldman Spoke at Union Square, I took to listening to the conversations that were going on around me. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard, "Do 'moon' and 'room' rhyme?" Well, I could tell right away that this one was gonna be a doozy. I pulled my backpack onto my lap and positioned my head to better hear what was sure to be a perfectly marvelous monologue. Five minutes later, the girl who had brought up this very deep, philosophical topic and the friend who had refuted her theory were still debating the topic. When they settled upon the conclusion that moon and room do not, in fact, rhyme, they veered onto another SAT-worthy conversation. Girl One started rambling about how her bass (instrument, not fish) was getting married to her best friend's guitar, and they were going to have a whole ceremony and party and invite other instruments. Girl Two found this to be a perfectly marvelous idea. By then I had come to the conclusion that these girls were either very, very stupid or very, very lonely. After that topic was dropped, they really went in for the kill. Girl One asked, "You know how when you write XOXOXO on a card, and it means hugs and kisses? The X stands for a hug because you say it first, right? And the O stands for a kiss? Right?" Oh. My. God. These girls are really headed for a Pulitzer each, aren't they? Now, I'm not going to pretend to know WHY society has fallen to writing out this abbreviation in place of actual hugs and kisses, but I'm going to venture to say the O stands for a hug, since hugs are round. But that's just my reasoning.

And you all wonder why I worry about the future state of America.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today is My Birthday

I think the title says is it all, folks. Hoy es mi cumpleanos. I'd say it in another language if I knew any others. My day started when I trekked up the stairs to my locker. Lenora was kneeling by her locker, which is coincidentally right next to mine. She looked kinda glum. I asked her what the matter was, and she replied, "Nothing." Okay. Nothin'. As soon as I opened my locker to get my stuff, I was ambushed from behind and ordered into the classroom. I waited out the half hour in lonely exile while Lenora and three others worked their magic on my locker. Finally, like excited little hens, they excitedly ushered me into the hallway and barked at me to open the locker. I thought the minute it took for me to spin the lock was going to kill them. They were jumping up and down and clapping their hands. When I finally got it open, I peered in door, saw Blance DuBois and Stanley Kowalski, and slammed the door shut. Great. So there's a mentally unstable woman and a big New Orleans bully in my locker. I was coerced into opening the door again. At second glance, I realized that my locker door had been decorated with the logos from all my favorite shows, generously donated by Lenora. If I remember correctly, my locker is now adorned with pictures from: Spring Awakening, Parade, SIDE SHOW, Grey Gardens, Cabaret, Company, Speech and Debate, A Streetcar Named Desire, In the Heights, and August: Osage County. I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting. There are also pictures of Stewie, Vivien Leigh, and Sarah Palin, and tomorrow I shall finally bring in some pictures of my own to add to the creative genius. When I got home, I received some perfectly marvelous presents. Among them are diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, and tickets to see Shrek on Broadway. Normally, I wouldn't want to see Shrek, but this show has a great cast. This is Brian d'Arcy James. This is John Tartaglia. This is Sutton Foster. THIS IS A BIG DEAL TO ME. It couldn't please me more if I got the chance to play Sally in Cabaret. Actually, that probably would please me more. I'd give my left leg to play Sally Bowles, though that might make the choreography for Don't Tell Mama a tad difficult. So another birthday has come and gone. This year's birthday has been fun, certainly moreso than last year, when I was nearly knocked unconscious by a Tony winner. Maybe if I had actually gotten knocked out some of his talent would have channeled into me. Until that time, I'll stay here and belt Cabaret until the blood vessels in my throat burst.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Welcome back, suckers. Today I'd like to chat about the most hilarious show ever, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. It is the trashiest, least believable, yet most addicting show ever. Actually, that honor goes to Gossip Girl, but I refuse to stoop to that level. It's one of those shows that ruthlessly tries to appeal to teenagers by having absolutely no plot and/or substance. The characters are cardboard cutouts, the scripts are hilariously cringe-inducing, and it's the perfect show to watch at midnight when the insomnia kicks in. And yet, I love this show. It's my second-favorite, after Family Guy. (Of course, Family Guy actually TRIES to be funny.) This poor show is like a car wreck. You don't want to look, but you don't have a choice. I, of course, am just pleased as punch that the show's second season premieres tomorrow night. Coincidentally, it's the night before my birthday. Isn't that just perfectly marvelous? I think I lucked out more than George Bush did in the 2004 election. You may be asking yourselves just WHY I subject myself to this mindless drivel. Well, here they are, boys! Here they are, world!
Here's Allen Evangelista on the left, and Amy Rider on the right. They are universally known as "The Chinese People." They're pretty much secondary characters. I'm not even sure they have real names. But they are hilarious, and the reasons I tuned in every week. Granted, they were only in the like ten minutes per episode, but once you get past the opening credits you're hooked. Blast you, evil corporate producers, with yer fancy-schmancy Hollywood marketing skills!
On a side note, if you're ever feeling stupid, take a look at this video. I promise your will immediately feel leagues better. Nothing like a bunch of crazy Alabama hicks thinking they have a leprechaun in your town to make you feel like a bona fide Einstein. My personal favorite part of the video is when they guy screams, "EV'REHBUDDEH DAT SEES DA LEPRECHAUN SAY YEEEEAAAAHHHHH!" Oh, and don't forget to check out the "Amateur Sketch." It looks like it was drawn by Napoleon Dynamite. (And no, I am not one of the brainless frat boys who found that movie hilarious.) Why yes, I DO have an undeserved sense of superiority. Thanks so much for noticing.
Before I wrap it up, I have to pay my respects to the Broadway shows that are breathing their last today. It's been fun. Most of the time. So fare thee well to
Young Frankenstein
Dividing the Estate
Slava's Snow Show (Though that shouldn't have ever even made it.)
Liza's at the Palace
White Christmas
Next week's casualties are Gypsy and Spamalot, and then Spring Awakening on the 18. In all this carnage, I'm kinda glad Spring Awakening got a day to itself. Better that than go down in a blaze of glory with the rest of Broadway.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Everybody stop what you are doing. Seriously, stop. Drop whatever you're holding. Now go see August: Osage County. Better yet, take me with you. Go, have fun, and watch out for flying plates. I saw it this afternoon. Sitting in the front row, I got papers and plates thrown in my face, breathed in massive amounts of fake cigarette smoke, and the annoying, desperately happy forty-year-old daughter almost fell on me as the rejected, cold, cynical forty-seven-year-old sister tried to choke their mother to death. It was lots of fun. August: Osage County was pure brilliance, and as close to perfect as a play can possibly be.

This is Johanna Day. She is perfectly marvelous as the oldest daughter Barbara Fordham. My only complaint is that she never terrified me. When I read the play, I pictured Barbara as a cold, cynical, bitter woman. I never really got that feel with Day's performance. Otherwise, nothing bad I can say about her.

This is Estelle Parsons. She is also perfectly marvelous as Violet Weston, the matriarch of the Weston family. There is a reason she has won an Oscar and a Tony. That's all I have to say about that.

The whole show was just one big, brilliant, electric shock. I wouldn't advise sitting in the front row, though. The intensity of being so close to so much drama is incredible. I would liken it to getting hit by a train. Of course, I've never actually been stupid enough to stand in front of a train, so that's just a ballpark figure. August has been running for a year, and I hadn't seen it before today. I cannot believe this is what I've been missing.

Unfortunately, I don't think A: OC is very long for the cause. It hasn't been doing very well. I thought Spring Awakening didn't deserve to close. That's still true, but that's nothing compared to how little this show deserves it. I suspect it'll be around until the end of winter (and I am VERY good at predicting closings), so go see it while you can. You won't regret it.