Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let's Run Away

I have lived in New York all my life, and I'm damn proud of that. I wouldn't have it any other way. And, like most of my fellow New Yorkers, I have never been to the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, or ridden the Cyclone at Coney Island. As of this afternoon, I can check the Cyclone off my list.

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

You Don't Know

I had fun today, and I don't care what anyone else has to say. August was as wonderful as ever. Berri and my dad hated it because it was too deep and dark for them. Weaklings. To me, theatre is not worth its salt unless it's challenging. I don't go in there looking to escape my problems. That probably makes me abnormal, but whatever. I hated Legally Blonde. I thought it was stupid. If that makes me depressive, so be it. I think I'm a tad proud of that, actually. The fact that I know someone who decided to tell me that such a wonderful play "beyond sucks" is what depresses me. I just don't understand why people go for the fluffy, happy crap. Don't you feel cheated by that? It makes no sense to me that someone would want to fork over their life savings to see a show they won't emotionally connect with. Personally, I'd rather see Sally Bowles screech her brains out than watch Glinda sing her stupid-ass song about how popular she is. But maybe that's just me. Well, I introduced two people to the Westons and they hated them. I'm sure Violet and Barbara and their deliciously messed-up family would just be emotionally shattered to hear the news. Except they aren't real, so it doesn't matter. Oh, well. At least I didn't stand by. At least I f*cking tried, as Kerrigan and Lowdermilk say.Saying good-bye to August means saying good-bye to the best set on Broadway. As the play progressed, I realized that it would be great fun to be able to loot the house after the show. But doing that wouldn't have been very nice, so I remained in my seat. But, given the opportunity, I think I would have taken:

Karen's hand cream


the iced tea pitcher

plate shards

Bev's book of poetry

Bev's rum bottle and tumbler

Johnna's necklace

Violet's pill bottles

the frying pan that Johnna clocks Steve with

the piano

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

And, God, It Is So Hot

I'm slowly beginning to appreciate Sunday in the Park With George, hence today's title. It's Hot Up Here has become one of my favorite Sondheim songs. I just love Jenna Russell's accent. "Uh het thees peepuhl." It's great. Visually, it's a beautiful show. Look at that. That is gorgeous. The reason I have taken to this song is that my (un-airconditioned) room is on the second floor of the house. Quite literally, it's hot up here. "It's not my fault I got up here. I'll rot up here. I am so hot up here." Whiny painting people.

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

My New Haircut

Before we start, may Farrah Fawcett rest in peace. I done a bad thing, friends. I got my hair cut again. I don't know why I did it, but my brother did tell me that I looked high this morning. Thanks, bro. But maybe I was. That is the only possible explanation for why I decided to stroll into a beauty shop and get all my hair chopped off by a hair dresser who dropped everything she touched. Now, my hair, which reached halfway down my back when I woke up this morning, barely brushes my shoulders. Oh, God. What have I done?

When the hair dresser finished blow drying my hair, spun me around, and asked if I liked it, I nodded, faked a smile, and said yes. But really, two quotes flashed through my head. The first one was from A Streetcar Named Desire, act two scene seven. Mitch to Blanche: "Are you box outta your mind?" The second was from August: Osage County, act one scene two, Violet to Ivy: "You look like a lesbian."

This isn't good. Why the hell did I go and do this? It was reckless. It was irresponsible. It was the one impulsive decision I have ever made. As Peter Griffin said to Brian when he realized he's married to Molly Ringwald, "Oh, God, Brian. We messed up bad. We messed up real bad." My poor hair. Like Mattie Fae's casserole after Little Charles drops it, it cannot be saved. My God, I look like one of the Hanson brothers. This is a Ladies Who Lunch moment. "Does anyone still wear at hat?" Yes. Me.

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

How About That?

I just realized I want to see 9 to 5. We're not talking a burning desire here, just a tiny little trifle. I think it would be fun. Not life changing or anything, but enjoyable. It's been a while since I actually spent a light, fun afternoon or evening at the theatre. The last two shows I saw were Next to Normal and Hair. There's no denying that they're both wonderful, and I enjoyed them immensely, but they're deep shows. It takes a lot of energy and emotional participation to sit through them. I think the last show I saw in which I was not totally emotionally invested was Guys and Dolls. I don't get the hate for that show. It was not perfect, of course, and it was not the best I've ever seen. But I enjoyed it. Kate Jennings Grant and Craig Bierko gave remarkable performances. I don't know. Maybe it was me. But back to 9 to 5. This isn't the kind of show I usually go for. It's got a score by Dolly Parton and stars a former Elphaba and Glinda. Not exactly up my alley. I'm actually pretty fond of Megan Hilty, though, and now that Alice Ripley won the Tony I have no reason to resent Allison Janney. Maybe I'll pay a visit to the Marquis this summer. I've actually never been inside the Marquis. Outside it, sure, but never in. But I hear the stories, stories of lost souls wandering helplessly around the hotel that some genius decided to put a theatre in.

I'm one of those people who cannot see a show without examining the theatre. If I remember correctly, I've been inside:

the Palace
the August Wilson, back when it was still the Virginia
the Neil Simon
the New Amsterdam
the Majestic
the Eugene O'Neill
the Richard Rodgers
the Music Box
the Booth
the St. James
the Nederlander

I'm sure there are more, but I seem to have misplaced the little book where I keep track of all the shows I've seen. Out of the ones I listed, though, my favorite is definitely the O'Neill, and NOT just because it housed Spring Awakening. Okay, it's partly because of that. But it really is a beautiful theatre. The seats are purple. Come on. I'm also pretty fond of the Richard Rodgers, and the delightfully orange August Wilson. On the negative side, I really don't like the Majestic. The St. James isn't that great, either.

Another thing. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I was not born early enough to be a Follies girl. I am absolutely fascinated by all things related to the Ziegfeld Follies. I think the one in the back right corner kinda looks like me. See? I could have made it in the Follies. This was the precursor to the American musical, and it's a genre in our entertainment history that I don't think gets enough love. There's a really great snapshot of one of the old dancers standing with her arms raised in the wreckage of the New Amsterdam, before Disney took it over. It inspired the Sondheim musical. I wish I could find it now, but I can't. Oh, well. Maybe some day.
Four days till August. My one regret is that I didn't discover it sooner. I like to refer to August: Osage County as the electroshock therapy of contemporary Broadway. It has the power to wipe out your memory of all else and turn you into a completely new person. "First the rush will resurrect you, then the shock will rock you right to your soul." I don't care what anybody says. The could have figured out a way to keep Feeling Electric.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Untitled Post

Well, folks, the sun is shining for the first time in weeks, Next to Normal and Hair are doing wonderfully, on Sunday I'm going back to Osage County, and June is just busting out all over. If I sound like Blanche DuBois it's because I just finished watching Streetcar. God rest your soul, Vivien Leigh, you were brilliant in every sense of the word. This is gonna sound creepy, but I truly consider her to be the most beautiful, talented women who ever lived. Top honors in the Beautiful and Talented Men category goes to Marlon Brando. Put them together, and you have an absolutely unbeatable pair. Sorry this picture is so huge, but I didn't want to shrink it. This must have been a picture they took while they were filming Streetcar.

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

Party Animal

I went to a party last night, friends. It was fun. The DJ had an unusual affinity for making fun of the Jonas Brothers. It was great. There was a Slip n' Slide. I'd never been on one in my life, so I figured I'd try it. It was more fun that it looked. I was laughing hysterically by the time I got to the end. I don't usually let loose like that, but I got up and did it again. It was somewhat reminiscent of the mud-sliding beatniks at Woodstock. (For the record, had I been alive in '69, I probably wouldn't have gone to Woodstock. I've come to the conclusion that I'm way too in-the-box for stuff like that.)

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 Golden Girls

I have a confession to make. I enjoyed the Guys and Dolls revival. But that's not the confession. Here's the confession: I am a Golden Girls fan. A big one. And I'm not overweight or over 40, nor do I own a cat. I just think it's hilarious. Let's get one thing straight. It is not a show for old people. It is simply a show about old people. I don't know about you guys, but I would rather watch Dorothy and Sophia talk life insurance than watch Blair and Serena argue over a guy. Dorothy, Sophia, Rose, and Blanche crack me up, no matter how old the "Rose is a dumbass" jokes get. I mean, sure they live in Miami, which Sir Stewie Griffin once referred to as "God's waiting room," but they're still the coolest broads at bingo night. I mean, come on. They had a lanai. A freaking lanai. And they unashamedly called it that. They didn't beat around the bush with frilly nicknames like "the porch" or "the backyard." It was a lanai, and they didn't give a damn who knew it. You can't top that.

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.

I love this Broadway Secret. To me, it kinda looks like Alice is saying, "What do you have to say about my pitch NOW, bitches!?"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And As I Say These Words, My Heart's About to Break...

I'm reeling. My heart is broken. August: Osage County is closing on June 28. It's no secret that I'm a huge August fan. I wanna be just like Barbara Fordham when I grow up. I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss the Westons. I have so much love for them and their dysfunction. My God, this is bad news. Well, I'll be there. Maybe not at the closing itself, but I'm making one more journey with this show before it closes. I will not allow myself to miss Amy Morton. No way. You guys thought I was determined to go see the Hair tribe? Well, in all honesty, screw the Hair tribe. These are the Westons we're talking about here, people. You don't wanna break shit with them. I've been a Weston fan long enough for some of their incredible vitality to rub off on me, and in the five-minute break from blogging I just took, I was able to run downstairs and secure three tickets to the closing for Berri, Lenora and I. Technically, Lenora doesn't know she's coming yet. I took the liberty. (If you read this, Lenora, I'm sorry about that. But everyone deserves to meet the Westons at least once. You're welcome.) Well, God bless August: Osage County, this brilliant show. When the plates hit the floor on the 28th, I'll be there, with love in my heart and tears in my eyes, as corny as that is.
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

It Never Ends

So, as we all know, my poor little heart has just been utterly decimated. Seriously, I may not live through this. It's the absolute travesty of the century. I don't see how I could possibly go on. And yet...for some reason I am hoping. I have absolutely no reason to believe that this is gonna work out for me. But still there is some little sliver of me that is hoping. I once read a book that said, "This new affliction - hope - may kill me faster than any disease I have suffered." Perhaps that's true. Perhaps it's not. Perhaps nobody cares. Perhaps I don't even care. Perhaps we'll start one more sentence with the word "perhaps."

I don't know why, but I have a feeling this is gonna work out. As Sally Bowles says, "It's gotta happen...happen sometime. Maybe this time I'll win." Or maybe I won't. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter at all. It just would be nicer to be in Central Park chatting up Gavin Creel and Will Swenson than sitting in an overheated gym listening to a fat priest droning on about how we're all going to hell. Anyway, maybe it's better that I don't go. If I did, I might not be able to overcome the fear that Kacie Sheik would cut me to ribbons with her beaver teeth. Wow. Even I thought that was kinda mean. Sorry, Kacie Sheik. Oh, well. It'll work out or it won't. Only thing to do now is wait.

And, just 'cause I think this is freaking hilarious. You're welcome.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Split Decision

Damn it damn it damn it damn it damn it. The high I was on when I last posted has been brought to a cruel and abrupt halt. I was loving my life. It was perfect. It was right there...I was, quite literally, tripping.

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

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love

I am shaking from head to toe. I have a bump on my knee. I'm crying actual tears. This is all Lenora's fault, and at the moment she is my favorite person on earth. Well, second favorite. First is Stephen Sondheim. Sorry, that's a tough spot to knock. I'm not gonna say anything yet so I don't jinx it, but I will say that I don't think I've ever been this excited in my entire life. And I saw LuPone Gypsy. All in all, this is what we call a Lot's Wife moment - a moment so incredibly electrified that it can only be expressed via Lot's Wife from Caroline, or Change. You know - "Slam go the iron! Slam go the iron! Flat! Flat! Flat! FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTT!!!" Yep. That's about it. Except, unlike Caroline, I don't want God to murder me, and I don't want to be turned into a pillar of salt. And I'm not trapped 'tween the devil and the muddy brown sea. At least not at the moment.

Into the Woods

Yesterday, I ventured into the woods with my sister, Maisie, Maisie's nice friend, and Maisie's loudmouthed friend. Here's the thing - I'd never been in a forest of any kind. I'm from New York. Bryant Park is forest enough for me. I was excited! It was gonna be an adventure! I was gonna get to sing Sondheim songs! So off we went, without cell phones, food, or flashlights, while my sister worried over the rain and I sang Into the Woods and stopped every two feet to snap a picture.

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

And The People Rejoiced

As of today, it's official. Ragtime is getting revived in August. I am so excited that I forgot how to spell "revived." My God. I can't...no words. Absolutely no words. Just sheer, unadulterated joy. I'm banking on it taking the Neil Simon or the Nederlander. At this point, I wouldn't care if it played in the basement of the McDonald's on 42nd Street. No matter what house it plays, no matter where I sit, no matter when I go, I will be seeing this show. It's Ragtime. It's freaking Ragtime. How could I miss this? I'd never forgive myself. You might consider it a stretch, but I truly consider Ahrens and Flahrety's score to be one of the greatest of all time, certainly the greatest of the decade. I have so much love for this show. I am so excited to see this that I'm practically jumping out of my skin. D'you hear that? It's the music of something beginning, an era exploding, a century spinning, in riches and rags and in rhythm and rhyme. The people called it Ragtime. And it sho is a happy day.
Love love love love love love love so much love for Ragtime. So much love for Broadway. So much love for my family and my friends. So much love for everything. Except Matt Cavenaugh. Matt Cavenaugh gets no love.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Aftermath

It's been less than 48 hours since the Tonys, and already Guys and Dolls and reasons to be pretty have gone to the chopping block. That oughta show YOU, producers who think you can make a buck tossing a B-list Hollywood actor into a mediocre show! Also, I'd like to point out that Next to Normal sold 99% of its tickets last week. I'd also like to point out that their neighbor Billy only sold 98%. Huh. A small victory, but a victory just the same. Love it love it love it. Maybe Next to Normal won't be a flop after all. I was practically dancing around the living room when they got Best Score. The immature, vindictive part of me was half-hoping that Tom Kitt would get up there, grab the mike, and say, "How about that? You don't wanna break shit with ME, muthaf*cka!" Alas, he and Mr. Yorkey are better than that.

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.)

While we're on the subject of fashion, I have to say that I was very excited to see what the Hair tribe would be wearing. Some of it was lovely. Some of it was not. We're gonna start with the good stuff and work our way down. On the far right is the director, Diane Paulus. I must say how much I loved her dress. She would have looked so beautiful up there accepting her Tony. Second from the left is Sasha Allen, looking utterly fierce. Chasten Harmon is next to her. Chasten Harmon forgot to get dressed. "Ain't go no outfit. Burned it burned it burned it." I'm sorry. I just had to.

Here on the right we have the leading ladies, sans Sasha Allen. From left to right it's Megan Lawrence, Caissie Levy, Allison Case, and Kacie Sheik. Okay, I have several issues. Megan Lawrence- it would have worked if you hadn't curled you hair quite so tightly. Kacie Sheik- it's a pretty color, but you ODed on the ruffles. Allison Case- I'm assuming you picked that color to go with your hair. How very original. Caissie Levy- not the color I would have chosen, but you look great. See? Wonderful things happen when you don't straighten your hair.

Here we have Talent, Looks, and Class. And John Stamos. Gavin Creel and Will Swenson: The biggest bromance since Peter and Jesus.

Anyway, I think we can all agree that the audio for Sunday's ceremony was just supercalifragilisticexpialatrocious. It is so a word. If you rewatch that amazing opening on Youtube, listen closely during the beginning of the West Side Story portion. You'll hear Josefina Scaglione, who obviously didn't know her mic was live, trilling backstage.
And, of course, you're nobody till Broadway Abridged makes fun of you. http://www.broadwayabridged.com/scripts/tonys2009.shtml Oh, what that man did with August: Osage County. Anyway, this is my favorite part: "We see the company of HAIR perform the ONLY OTHER DECENT MUSICAL PERFORMANCE TONIGHT. Pay special attention to the redhead giving Uncle Jesse a lapdance!" Oh, Lord. I just rewatched the video, and it's true. Thanks for ruining it for me, Broadway Abridged. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1GzYCsoVv4

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Queen Has Been Crowned

Ripley got it. Alice Ripley is the 2009 Tony winner for Best Actress in a Musical, as I knew she would be. Lenora and I were screaming for her. Congratulations, Alice. It was certainly a Tony well-deserved. And I could not be one little bit happier that Next to Normal took Best Score. How about that, Elton John? And Hair. Oh, beautiful, brilliant Hair. Congratulations and may it be a long, prosperous run. Love and congratulations to Angela Lansbury and Karen Olivo. These two lovely ladies most certainly deserved their awards.

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.

Best Dressed:
Jennifer Damiano
Karen Olivo
Angela Lansbury
Alice Ripley
Marcia Gay Harden

Worst Dressed:
Jane Fonda
Will Swenson
Gavin Creel
Piper Perabo

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Welcome back, suckers. I had a wonderful time shopping in the theatre district this morning. I saw the Naked Cowboy. Dude needs to put some freaking pants on. I also saw a homeless guy screaming at a pigeon. I believe he said something along the lines of, "It's your fault, Kennedy!" Of course, this guy had the right idea. As we all know, everything is more effective if you SCREAM IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS!!

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

Gimme a Head With Hair

I'm feeling very hippie-ish tonight. Note to self: Taking Benadryl and listening to the Hair cast album is probably not a good idea. I feel like this is an appropriate time to mention something I overheard while strolling in the city a while ago. I was minding my own business, trying to make my way to Colony, when I overheard an elderly couple in front of me talking. The wife said, and I quote, "I really wanna get stoned and go see Hair." Good for you, ye olde hedonist. Stick it to The Man. But I'm digressing. Yes, I feel positively tribal. I braided my hair. I haven't braided my hair since I was five. I also drew a flower on my hand and put on my most outrageously long earrings. (This led to the realization that my left earlobe is ridiculously longer than my right. It comes from years of absentmindedly tugging on my left ear while writing with my right hand. I don't even realize I'm doing it anymore. Don't judge me. We all have our vices.) Should I be ashamed of the fact that my earlobes are not the same size? I have bad news, friends. My right eyebrow has a little bit more of an arch than my left. Oh, the humanity. Obviously, I'm hideous. I think I accepted this a few weeks ago when a certain person who shall remain nameless leaned uncomfortably close to my face and gasped, "Where's the makeup?" How endearingly shallow. I should have responded with one of my favorite Golden Girls quotes: "Why don't I just wear a sign that says, 'Too ugly too live'?" I've come to the conclusion that I am decidedly average-looking.

I have to say, though. I really hate my hair. I used to have beautiful hair. That sounds incredibly shallow and stupid. (It's 'cause it is.) But I cut it. And dyed it. And it was the worst decision I ever made, aside from chosing to see Legally Blonde over Grey Gardens. Alas, the hair I loved so much took a year to grow back, and still it was never the same again. My therapist has been telling me I need to accept my loss and move on, but I'm struggling. (I'm kidding. My therapist and I never talk about my hair.) Maybe I'll get a bob over the summer, or perhaps a perm. Over lunch yesterday, Lenora and I discussed how I would look with an afro. "You wouldn't look good," she said decidedly. "You're not black." Oh. Oh, okay. Nevermind. As long as we're not being racist.

Don't get me wrong, folks. I don't actually care about my hair that much. Most days I just twist it up and clip it. It's fun. When I was younger, I always lamented over the fact that my hair wasn't curly. Not even a little. Not even wavy. Unfortunately, I am one of those people. You know, the ones who have painfully straight hair. (Side note: The phrase "those people" can also refer to Rock of Ages fans. As in, "No, I will NOT go see Rock of Ages with you. I never knew you were one of those people." Oh, Lord save us. I love the elitist bitches that theatre produces.) By now, I have finally accepted the fact that the only way I will ever get my hair to curl is by subjecting myself to forty minutes staring at myself in the mirror while holding a blazing hot curling iron within inches of my face. Good times. I have grappled many years with my good friends Self Loathing and Hair Envy. (Except not really.) I have mostly gotten over that, but I still readily admit that I am monumentally jealous of Kacie Sheik's hair. Except she looks like a beaver. So nevermind.
Two days to the Tonys, and I am going off the wall planning for my Tony party. I love parties. Sometimes. This is the reason why I am getting up at eight tomorrow to go into the city and get party favors for Berri and Lenora. (If you two read this, don't flatter yourselves. You know I wouldn't pass up and opportunity to go into the city.) We're gonna have a trivia contest. They have sworn to study all weekend and "take me down" , as they put it. I can't wait to get taken down by two girls who didn't know that The Sound of Music and Fiorello! tied in 1959.

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Conviction

I done a bad thing, folks. We're not talking about the time I threw a pitcher of milk at my elderly aunt, though that actually did happen in my younger and more vulnerable years. Touch the cream puffs again, bitch. I dare you. Anyway, back to my great sin. In my last post, I had the absolute unmitigated gall to call the current production of West Side Story mediocre. Of course, Lenora wasted no time in berating me for this incredible crime against humanity. Trust me, folks. She pulls no punches when it comes to unrealistic musicals about Latinos living in the inner city. (Surprisingly, there are more than one.) I was accused of calling it "my most hated play of the year." Oh, dear. I obviously have not told you guys about American Buffalo. I was also flamed for hating Matt Cavenaugh. Now, look here, folks...actually, nevermind. But here's the thing. I see Lenora almost every day, and she seems to have it in for me now. Which is why I have invested in one of these bad boys. Of course, footing the bill for this sucker means I'm not going to eat for the rest of my life.

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:

Best Musical:
Billy Elliot

Best Play:
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 Choreography
Billy Elliot

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Billy Elliot

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.

Edit:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKY3_HqZOBo Here's the new commercial for Hair. I happen to think it's stupid. And cheesy. Yeah, I'm talking to you, guy who thought it would be a good idea to have Case kiss the cop. At the right is my interpretation of what that moment would look like in LOLCatReality. Also, the roof? Really? No, really? (I'm using my Stewie voice. I talk like that now.) Something about this commercial brings to mind the Even Stevens episode where they start a band on the roof of the school and the young man has his head in a bird cage. Yes, I did watch Even Stevens. I also loved and continue to love Arthur. Yellow sweaters are where it's at.