Damn. Berri and Lenora just got me second row tickets for Next to Normal on January 30. I'm a bit concerned that an impending strike will take them away from me, but what difference does it make? An offer comes, you take. Right? Of course right. Apparently, we've had the seats since the end of October. That means that for the past month and a half, Lenora, who never lies about anything, sat there and read all my gushy Alice Ripley posts and didn't say a word to me. Oh, Nora, you sly boots. (She also got me feather earrings. I love feathers.) So I am excited. Very excited. And very scared. Next to Normal had me riveted to my seat from the last row of the mezzanine. I can't imagine what the second row will be like.
So I saw Hair on Thursday. And it was empty. Ridiculously empty. From my seat in the seventh row of the mezzanine, I could tell that the entire rest of the mezz was completely empty. Really. Not a goddamn soul up there. That said, it is still a wonderful show. I let myself loose, screamed, laughed, and danced. Normally I am very careful not to disturb people, but the sad truth was that there really wasn't anybody to disturb. It is still the same show. Will Swenson is still wonderful, Gavin Creel's wig is still not good, and Kacie Sheik still uses a voice that sounds absolutely nothing like her real speaking voice. But then it is not the same show. Something is missing. An audience, perhaps? Hang on, darlings. You can make it through the winter.
I got my very first experience with audience interaction. Hannah Shankman caught me singing along to Ain't Got No Grass. She climbed the railing in front of me and started screaming the song in my face and thrashing her head. I got frazzled, forgot the words, and stopped singing. She stopped singing and we stared at each other for a moment before she awkwardly climbed down and walked away. It was so epic and uncomfortable.
Will Swenson decided to choose a sixteen-year-old girl as his mother and proceed to make out with her in front of the entire theatre. I want to be Will Swenson's mom. Other than that, there's really nothing to say except that Allison Case's replacement is her in every way, shape and form. She sings like her. She sounds like her. She looks like her. There was one point where I couldn't tell that it wasn't her. But she is wonderful. She is better at being Allison Case than Allison Case is.
I ran down to the stage, as always. By myself. And I danced. By myself. Kacie Sheik complimented my peacock feather earrings. I elected not to tell her that they were Lenora's. Since I had shoved daisies into my hair and down my shirt, the new Allison Case stopped me as I went down the stairs.
Girl Who is a Better Allison Case Than Allison Case: "Oh, I love your flowers!"
Girl Who is a Better Allison Case Than Allison Case: "Can I give you a hug?"
That was also epic and uncomfortable.