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