Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A few friends and I trekked off to Coney Island this afternoon. I was the only one humming Atlantic City from Ragtime. Curious. But we had fun. We rode the Cyclone, got ripped off at the side show, and ate Nathan's hot dogs. My, how far hath Coney Island fallen. My grandfather used to tell me stories about steeple chases, weight guessers, custard stands, and spook house. Guess what. I didn't see any of those things. I saw a lot of fat half-naked people and a few rides. That was about it. I guess I'm hard to impress.
The Cyclone was fun, though. I'm a roller coaster person. Nitro and Kingda Ka were some of the biggest head rushes I've ever experienced. All the Cyclone really did was smack me around. Maybe that's why the seat were covered in six inches of padding. I look just ginger peachy in the picture from the ride. My hair is flying back, my eyes are closed, and my mouth is open. I looked better in the Kingda Ka picture. I'm not kidding. In that one, I'm laughing and my hair is flying out around me. I've been told it makes me look like Farrah Fawcett, God rest her soul.
After that, we forked over five bucks to see the Great Headless Woman. It was a lady in scrubs (?) sitting with her head behind a curtain. Ah, the rip-offery of the side show has not changed in all these years. Come on, how could I NOT visit the side show? No self-respecting Daisy and Violet fan would have been able to resist it.
And that's all I have to say about that.
The midget, the stripper, Wayne the snake, and Mrs. Jamie Wellerstein. That's me.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Karen's hand cream
the iced tea pitcher
Bev's book of poetry
Bev's rum bottle and tumbler
Violet's pill bottles
the frying pan that Johnna clocks Steve with
the ash tray
Basically, if turned loose on stage at the Music Box, I'd probably hook everything I could get my paws on. Can't wait for the tour, even if I happen to think that Phylicia Rashad was a better Violet than Estelle Parsons.Anyway, perhaps I shall tell the story from the beginning, including all the gory details, including the pigeon I failed to scare as we were walking up 45th. I swear to God, New York pigeons are the most brazen things on the planet. The feathery sons of bitches just stare at you like they own the damn sidewalk. (Oh, Lord. Will you folks protect me if the PETA people come for me? Thanks. I just don't want the tree-huggers to come and get me.) Anywho, once upon a lookin'-for-Donna time, Berri, my daddy, and I made the trek up to the citay to see the final performance of August: Osage County. We hung out in front of the Hirschfeld for a while, since I've pretty much locked in my status as a Hair fan. Berri and I snapped pictures of all the wonderful posters, including the one that says, "I DARE YOU TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF DARIUS NICHOLS!" Don't kill me for this, friends, but I barely paid him any attention during my time inside the Hirsch. Sorry. Anyway, we all know that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to seeing Broadway people. I clam up like you wouldn't believe. It's a problem. So imagine my horror when one of the tribe members came strolling past us. I also do this really weird thing where I attempt to hide behind the person I'm with. Maybe some day I'll fix that. My paranoid self turned away, whispering, "Holy crap, holy crap, no, shut up! Yeah, no, SHUT UP! I don't remember his name, okay?" Except I did remember his name. His name was John Moaru. I don't know why I remembered that, but I did. But I knew if I dared say it, Berri would attempt to flag him down. And when you're with me, there will be no flagging down of actors or actresses. To quote the dearly departed Barbara Fordham, "That doesn't cut any f*cking ice with me."
After I recovered from my mini-freakout, who should stroll down the street but Miss Kacie Sheik. Okay, let's get this straight. Even though you'd probably never know it, I'm actually a pretty big fan. And now here she was, her hair tucked up under a hat, wearing glasses, an ugly dress, and sipping a coffee. Perhaps she was trying to protect herself from the rabid paparazzi. No danger there, sorry to say.
We hurried on to Shubert Alley, where I pretended not to see Jennifer Damiano, Adam Chanler-Berat, Stephanie J. Block, and her dog. It was fun.
The show, of course, was marvelous, and I will miss it tremendously. I truly consider myself lucky to have been able to see Rondi Reed come back for one last day, even though I was looking forward to seeing Elizabeth Ashley. It amazes me that she could return to a role over a year later without missing a beat. Well, God rest ye merry Westons.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
But they're not the reason I came to blog. No, I just thought I'd share this video.
Holy crap, I didn't know I could get this high tech! Thanks, Blogger! Wow, now you folks are really screwed. Well, I'm rather fond of this video. I apologize in advance for the awkward moments, and there are lots. Probably the most awkward is the fact that Caissie Levy felt compelled to show all the folks at home the massive bruise on her thigh that she got when she fell off the catwalk at the back of the set. She's lucky she didn't break a bone. That catwalk is pretty freaking high up. But there she is, pulling down her knee socks (Knee socks? Really?) and displaying her hideous bruise. Is that just what Canadians do? I wouldn't know. But you people don't know how much money I would fork over to see somebody fall off the back of the set.
Tomorrow it's back to Osage County for Berri and I. Berri is not excited. She should be. This is August: Osage County. THIS IS AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. You get excited for that. It's brilliant. It's blinding. It's practically perfect. I am so excited I am about to throw up on my laptop.
I guess I'm gonna see those damn tourists laying out in Times Square again. Okay. We all know how I feel about this. Lying on the ground in New York is only okay for protesters and homeless people. Oh, and another group who do not meet with my approval - ticket hawkers. When I was in the city last month someone tried to sell me tickets to Young Frankenstein. He said, and I quote, "You don't wanna pass this up, miss. Young Frankenstein's gonna win Best Musical this year." I should have bet him a thousand bucks it wouldn't. But really? Young Frankenstein? Do I really look that stupid? If I do, I would like to know. I swear to God, if someone tries to sell me Wicked of Billy Elliot or Blue Man Group tickets tomorrow I'm going to scream. And not just like a little yelp. We're talking a long, drawn-out, psychotic, wildcat, Idina Menzel shriek. Kinda like the Golden Girls episode where Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose watch Psycho and Sophia barges into the kitchen brandishing a knife. You know. THAT kind of scream.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Maybe we're living in some kind of alternate universe. Yeah, that must be it. We're in some kind of alternate reality where August: Osage County is closing, Farrah has passed, it hasn't been sunny in weeks, my hair looks awful, and for some reason Kacie Sheik is trying to choke Allison Case to death.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
the Neil Simon
Monday, June 22, 2009
Somehow I'd never seen it before I started searching for pictures to spice up this post. This is a great one. From bottom to top it's Leigh, Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden - one of the best examples of ensemble acting I have ever seen.
But I did not come here just to discuss the marvels of A Streetcar Named Desire. No, I have such a vast and varied wealth of things to chat about today that I simply could not think up a name for this post. Hence the reason this one's gonna be called "The Untitled Post." Hmm... let's see. I could tell you all that I'm currently listening to Lot's Wife on full volume. Caroline, or Change was a great show, and Lot's Wife is a great song. It's the Rose's Turn of the new millennium. I'm not kidding. It's one of the best breakdown songs. Lord, the breakdown song is my absolute favorite type of musical theatre song. There are just so many wonderful ones. You may have noticed by now that I don't really go for comedy. Drama is where it's at. I love those theatrical moments that grab you by the throat and slam you back against the seat, and there's no better way to do that than via a breakdown song. I have so many favorites - Lot's Wife, The Ladies Who Lunch, Cabaret, and Rose's Turn are among them.
Now on to the next pressing issue. August: Osage County is a vastly quotable play. But I think there are some lines that don't get nearly enough love. I mean, sure, everyone loves "Eat the fish, bitch!" and "I'M RUNNING THINGS NOW!!" and "The world is round. Get over it." and "This madhouse is my home.", but what about "You're about as sexy as a wet cardboard Mattie Fae."? No love for that? I also like "Well, genocide always seems like such a good idea at the time," and "We f*cked the Indians for THIS?" and, of course, "You don't wanna break shit with me, muthaf*cka!" I think by now we're all aware of my love affair with this line. I'm not kidding when I say that I want that to be my epitaph. I am going to silently cheer to myself on Sunday when that lines comes up.
Next on the docket: Apparently, LuPone went off on an unsuspecting texter in her Vegas audience last night. According to one Broadwayworldian, she stopped the show to unleash a rant that culminated with her saying, "I scared the shit out of you, didn't I?" Yes, Patti. I'll wager you did. I would love to be at one of the shows where she flips out on someone but I'm terrified. I mean, I know it's rude to text or take pictures during a show, but this is getting a little out of hand. She's having freak-outs left and right these days, it seems. And her devout fans are egging her on. "Yeah, Patti. LuPwn that bastard. Show him who's boss." Sorry, but I'm not of the camp that fall over each other to congratulate her when she stupefies another audience member. What ever happened to class?
Finally, I love this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_-eWpbZ2AY&feature=related It breaks my heart that Brynn O'Malley was out the day I saw Hairspray.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
There was also a water balloon fight. I don't like fighting. Perhaps I shall start to call myself a pacifist. Still, I could not resist the urge to hurl a few balloons down the hill at a some unsuspecting partygoers. It was a "You don't wanna break shit with ME, muthaf*cka!" moment. Except not really. (For the record, I cannot WAIT to hear Amy Morton say that line next Sunday. One of the highlights of my first visit to Osage County was Johanna Day spreading her arms, throwing back her head, and screaming it to the rafters. Also, it's been discovered that Lenora is unable to come with us on Sunday. How sad. Don't worry, Lenny. We'll bring you back a shirt that says, 'The world is round. Get over it.') Anyway, after the water balloon fight was Pin the Tail on the Donkey. When it was my turn, I lost my balance and sort of fell on top of the inflatable donkey, prompting the DJ to ask me if I had been drinking. I stand by my theory that they spun me around too much. Alas, the cops showed up and told us to turn the music down. It was a total buzz kill, man. Didn't matter to me though, since I had a panic attack and left an hour later. Good times.
Before I go, I feel compelled to share this video with all of you fine people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0969UKKFE5w&feature=related Helene York sings Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's "Not Her Way." I looooove me some Kerrigan and Lowdermilk. In case you're wondering, that's Caissie Levy sitting behind her, and the disembodied arms slamming on the piano belong to Kait Kerrigan.
Friday, June 19, 2009
The girls are like cheesy 80's songs: Everybody's got a favorite. Personally, mine is Dorothy, as played by the late, great Bea Arthur. Is it so terribly weird that I secretly want Dorothy Zbornak to be my grandma? Aside from Edie Beale, Alice Ripley, and Daisy and Violet Hilton, Bea Arthur is my freaking hero. She was bosom buddies with Angela Lansbury, and I have to say there has never been a greater team. I have to say I was moderately disappointed when Angela did not mention her in her Tony speech. But I am a huge Bea fan. She shaped a lot of my humor, actually. Every time I insult someone to their face in the hopes that they'll laugh, it is just another product of the days I spent watching Dorothy rake Rose, Blanche, and Sophia over the coals. It really was great fun.
RIP, Bea. You're cooler than Miley Cyrus.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This is one show I'm gonna miss an awful lot. We're losing a good one, friends. We're losing an awful good one. I just realized that this is the reason I was talking about hope in my last post. Of course, I had no idea that the announcement would be today. Don't get me wrong. This has been a long time coming. I just didn't know it would be today. But this is the reason I had to hope. Maybe I'm psychic. We're never gonna find Bin Laden. There. See? I'm psychic.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
At 10:30 last night, I got an e-mail from Lenora. Apparently, her uncle is a security guard at Good Morning America and can get us in the day the Hair tribe is on. Well, I think you folks can pretty much imagine what my reaction was. I screamed. The shock knocked me off the bed, and for some reason that was funny to me. So for the next ten minutes I just kind of sat there on the floor, biting the edge of the blanket so no one would hear me screaming. I got so excited that I started to cry. It was pathetic, but I had drunk two blue Powerades, and they make me hyper. I didn't get to sleep until two in the morning because my little reverie had brought on a panic attack. Lord, I'm plagued by panic attacks. But sometimes they can be fun. Like the one I had when I saw Next to Normal. That was a fun one. So eventually I fell asleep, and had a dream that Andrea Martin was riding a moose through Central Park.
This morning, however, it all came crashing down on me. There's just one tiny problem - the date of the concert is June 26, which is also the last day of school. For me, that's no issue. I would be more than willing to skip school for this. It's the last day. They're not gonna teach anything important. Lenora, not so much. This throws a wrench into our plans. Somehow I knew this was gonna happen, folks. It was just too good to be true. Right now I'm going through some kind of Edie Beale phase, like the one where she laments over her missed audition with Max Gordon. "God damn it, Mother! You may me stay home! I was gonna get it! I gave it all up!"
I sat through an English final conjuring up ways to get over this obstacle. Here's the thing: I'm a terrible, narrow-minded, selfish person. Don't think I didn't consider pulling an Eric Cartman and saying, "Screw you guys, I'll go alone." And I'm not gonna lie. It's tempting. I'm pretty much ruthless when you get right down to it. Normally, if an opportunity like this presented itself, I'd go for it and let everyone else find their own way. I am so incredibly disgusted with myself, but I've always been that way. Which is why I am suppressing the willfulness for once. If Lenora isn't going, neither am I. Trying...very....hard...not to...quote... Sorry. I'm a weakling. "Wherever we go/Whatever we do/We're gonna go through it together."
So there you have it. I'm not gonna say missing this wouldn't be disappointing. It certainly would be, and I'd most likely be mad as hell. But too bad for me. I'd recover eventually. I got over the fact that SIDE SHOW didn't win in '98. Somehow I'll force my poor itty bitty heart to mend.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I felt so earthy and bohemian. Imagine, strolling through the woods around the edge of a lake without a cell phone! It didn't matter that it was a nature trail and there were markings on the trees. I was still having fun. After a while, though, it started drizzling, and we lost sight of the lake. My sister started to cry because she wanted to double back. I, however, insisted that we all soldier bravely on, although my own confidence was starting to waver a little. It was getting dark, and the ground was muddy. The trail was starting to get overgrown with trees and shrubbery, and Maisie fell down a hill and hurt her knee. Suppressing the panic that was quickly welling up in me, I focused my energy on comforting my sister, who was thoroughly displeased with our situation. Nobody had a cell phone. People were gonna start to worry. The dingoes were gonna descend upon us at any given moment.
As we kept going, I nursed the realization that all those shows that use the woods as romantic, exotic symbols are utter bullcrap. Melchior and Wendla were not lying under a tree. Sally and Brian were not discussing the baby. Claude and Jeanie were not smoking pot among the ferns. Nobody was trying to sell a cow for a handful of magic beans. I was emotionally shattered. Really. Just decimated. It was, however, a Flesh Failures moment. "We starve/Look at one another/Short of breath/Walking proudly in our winter coats..." Life was, actually, around us and in us. But I was still scared as hell. It was cold, darkening, and rainy, like at the end of Lord of the Flies. How could we be sure that an angry mob of British boys wasn't gonna ambush us? The possibilities were practically endless.
When we finally made it back, people swarmed us like we had been missing for years. Here's the thing. We'd been gone for all of a half hour, and we were all basically unscathed, aside from Maisie's bleeding knee.
So I've been through the woods. It wasn't fun. It wasn't like the musical. I don't like nature very much. And I guess that's it.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
And Alice. Oh, Ms. Ripley. Your bizarre speech entertained me more than it should have. At first I was a little bewildered by the screaming, but then it made total sense! We all know how god-awful the sound was, so instead of risking another mic incident, such as the one that befell Tituss Burgess, she just decided to get up there and scream. As I previously mentioned, everything has more oomph when you SCREAM IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS. I think it was an utterly ingenius decision. I love this picture of her and the Tony which she wholly deserved. It is possible that I love this picture more than the one of pothead Kristen Stewart. May I take a moment to point out that Alice Ripley was one of the night's best dressed? Some people got it, some people don't. (Don't pretend you can't hear me, Patti. I haven't forgotten the dress you wore last year.)
Here we have Talent, Looks, and Class. And John Stamos. Gavin Creel and Will Swenson: The biggest bromance since Peter and Jesus.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
But other than that, my heart is broken. I've made my mind up, folks. I am never going to see Billy Elliot. Never. Never, never, never. I'll never go see it and I'll never stop saying that the Tony belonged to Will Swenson. One Tony for Hair? Really? And no Tony for Diane Paulus? I've lost faith in the Tonys. As the night wore on, I got increasingly disgruntled. Seriously. Billy Elliot is not the Second Coming, people. Shut the hell up. (I am, though, very happy that Next to Normal was able to hold its own in Score and Orchestrations.) My poor heart just about broke in two when the three little ballerinas robbed Gavin Creel. It was pathetic, really. It was a slap in the face to the other four nominees. "We don't care that you've been working on Broadway for years. We're gonna give it to the three little ballerinas." What ever happened to awarding an actor's 'body of work?' Come on. We all know that's why you tossed a Tony to that oaf Greg Jbara.
And, of course, we all know that Best Musical went to Billy Elliot. God damn it. God DAMN it! (Sorry. I love saying it like that.) I'll admit it. I was hoping against hope that Next to Normal would get it. I was on my knees for them, praying for a miracle. And the miracle did not come. Screw you, Billy Elliot. You're Broadway's next punch line.
Before I go, here's my lists for Best and Worst Dressed.
Marcia Gay Harden
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I hit about five stores in an hour, and managed to pick up presents for Berri and Lenora, posters from August: Osage County, Next to Normal, and Cabaret, magnets from August and Ragtime, and the Hair sheet music. Donna is one hard song. I am moderately let down that the Cabaret poster is from Molly Ringwald's time as Sally. I put that one of the back of my door so I won't have to see her scowling at me all the time. The Next to Normal one went above my bed, and the August one on the opposite wall. Now the first thing I see every morning will be Violet Weston clawing at me. That's what I call starting the day off right.
For the record, I wholeheartedly disapprove of the fact that Times Square has been turned into a pedestrian walkway. It's not a theme park, people. I mean, I know it's basically the tackiest, glitziest place on earth, but some of its charm is diminished when I can cross the street without nearly getting mowed down by a taxi. It's just not the same. People were sunning themselves in lawn chairs in the middle of the street. As Leslie Kritzer would say, "This is unacceptable." Indeed it is. I don't want to see some fat white guy from Indiana laying out in front of the Palace. If that's not a slap in the face to the theatre community, I don't know what is. I can't believe this is what it's come to. Leonard Bernstein is rolling in his grave. If I ever feel the urge to sun myself in New York, I'll go to Bryant Park, thanks.
Well, tomorrow's the day, folks. Excited? I am. Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store. Lots of love and luck to Hair and Next to Normal, and, dear God, don't let those ballerinas get Best Actor.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Anyway, Happy Tony Week, everyone! It's the second most holy week of the year. It's true. I checked. I'm so excited I could just asplode. I'm also nurturing this fanciful dream that Next to Normal will take Best Musical. Never gonna happen. That said, these are my picks for the winners' circle:
God of Carnage
Best Revival of a Musical:
Best Revival of a Play:
The Norman Conquests
Best Leading Actor in a Musical:
Gavin Creel - Hair
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Will Swenson- Hair
Best Actress in a Musical:
Alice Ripley - Next to Normal
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Karen Olivo - West Side Story
Best Director of a Musical
Diane Paulus - Hair
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Best Original Score
Next to Normal (If it's Billy Elliot, you'll never hear the end of it.)
I am fully prepared for a Billy Elliot sweep. However, I have but one request. Please, God, don't let it get any acting Tonys. Carole Shelley and David Bologna don't have a prayer, and if Greg Jbara got it, I might have to cut a bitch. The only ones who might actually bring home the award are the three Billys. They don't deserve it, not in my opinion. They're dancers, people. Come on. Give it to Gavin Creel, who's giving a stellar performance in Hair. J. Robert Spencer isn't exactly undeserving, either. If Brian D'Arcy James managed to win, I wouldn't be too heartbroken. I will not even credit that other loser with a mention. But, please, folks, don't give it to the Billys. So there you have it. Let the bloodlust being. P.S.IneverlikedWestSideStory.