Sunday, January 31, 2010


Three weeks ago, I had a dream that Alice Ripley was out the day I had second row Next to Normal seats. Last night, dreams came true. And I don't want to talk about it. And I don't want to talk about her understudy, who didn't do it right at all. Why are you trying to be so funny, lady? It makes me feel like you are faking mental illness because you don't want to go to work. All in all, here is my summary of the whole situation - "This is f-cked. F-ck this."

In other, happier, less infuriating news, we did make it down to the Hair stagedoor. It was cold and it was awkward, and Sheik and Levy took freaking forever to come out. When they finally did elect to grace us with their presence, Lenora took it upon herself to tell them we were coming to their show at Joe's Pub. (Okay, I kinda encouraged that. I think the poor darlings are getting a bit desperate.) I did NOT, however, tell her to tell them that it was for my birthday! But she did. Because she is Lenora. Here's the thing - above all else, I hate drawing attention to myself at stagedoors. In fact, I think I'm growing out of the whole stagedoor fad. If I buy a ticket, you owe me a performance and nothing else. Ripley. (Poor dear must have forgotten to take her invincibility pill. My poor widdle shattered heart will have to mend itself.) Christ, I've digressed terribly. Anyway, here's what went down.

Lenora: "Hi. Great show. We'll be at your Joe's Pub concert."
Sheik: "Oh, really? I was just talking about that."
Lenora (indicates me): "Yeah, it's for her birthday."
Me, in head, rummaging in bag to avoid looking up: "Christ, Lenora, don't."
Sheik: "Aww, happy birthday."

Okay, so that one wasn't that painful. It gets worse and more uncomfortable.

Lenora: "Hi, Caissie. We'll be at Joe's Pub for her birthday."
Levy: "Oh, is it your birthday?"
Me: "No, my birthday passed."
*awkward pause*
Levy: "Oh. Well, we'll celebrate then."

I wish you wouldn't. Some other winning moments of the night - Vanessa Ray suddenly running back down the line and screamed, "JAMES LAPINE!" Lenora pointed out what I already knew - the girl IS Allison Case in every imaginable way. Only she does it better. Another great (?) moment was Kacie Sheik standing in the doorway and laughing like a hyena over something nobody else seemed to find funny. And then there was Allison Guinn. She was decked out in a yellow beret and horned rim glasses and had an autoharp on her back. God help us, Berri said something that made her laugh. She sounds like this. Oddly enough, I don't think I ever expected her to sound any other way.

Saw Jersey Boys on Friday. "Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what foolks these mortals be!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Docket

Welcome back, suckers. It's that time of year again, the time I set up my schedule for the rest of the theatrical season. So far this year I've already hit Ragtime and Night Music, and I've got Jersey Boys, Next to Normal, and God of Carnage lined up. But I'm also thinking:

American Idiot
The Addams Family
Next Fall
Time Stands Still
possibly another go at Night Music, after Tony noms come out

And, of course, the folks at Broadwayworld are already talking Tonys. I've got a few ideas forming, but, of course, too early to tell. But I think:

Best Musical:
American Idiot
The Addams Family - possible winner

Best Revival of a Musical:
Night Music
La Cage
Finian's Rainbow

Best Actress in a Musical:
Catherine Zeta Jones
Christiane Noll - should get it, but it'll be CZJ

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Angela Lansbury - gonna get it, cause you can't be Angela Lansbury and not win a Tony
Leigh Ann Larkin really should get nominated. Hell, here I go - aside from Lansbury, she's the best thing about Night Music.

So you can all just...I don't know...sit there and read all the crap I spew. Love and all that stuff to ya.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back to Before

I just stumbled upon my first-ever Broadway ticket. It's from the days when ticket-takers actually ripped the tickets instead of just scanning them. Jesus, who remembers back that far? It's from the 2 pm performance of Beauty and the Beast on December 1, 1996. Fifth row at the Palace. I remember that I hated it and was terrified by the loud noises. I remember every single show I've seen since then. The best was Ragtime or August: Osage County. The worst? Shrek. Definitely Shrek.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Little Night Music

So...Night Music. I had a wonderful time. Let me first set the stage for you - it was the 22, my lucky day. I sat in the seat 22 of the second row of the second floor of the theatre. So all the odds were in my favor.

Before I even got to the theatre, Mom and I strolled around Shubert Alley for a while. While my mother debated with a random passerby about whether or not the woman on the Chicago poster was Marie Osmond, I walked away to avoid embarrassment. Such was the coming of the talented lady in the hat to Shubert Alley. I smiled and thought to myself, "Hooooly craaaaaap, it's Alice Ripley." Three seconds later it was gone, but my night was nonetheless made.

Night Music is the most visually pretty show I've ever seen. The cast is wonderful. Before I go into detail, I have to give a shout out to Bradley Dean, who plays Frid. This is his job description:

1. Stand next to Angela Lansbury for the entire first act without saying a single word.
2. Lift her up and carry her. Avoid becoming "that guy who dropped Angela Lansbury."
3. Undress Leigh Ann Larkin.

The show is simply lovely. Miss Lansbury is an utter joy to watch. Catherine Zeta Jones is serviceable. Okay, I'll say it - the best performance of the evening was given by Leigh Ann Larkin. There I said it. I'm happy she took Night Music now. No idiot would have taken Evelyn Nesbit over Petra. What a character she is. I'm thinking she's got a Tony nomination coming to her, but she'll be in a category that puts her up against Angela Lansbury. That's rough. That's real rough.

Also of note is Ramona Mallory, a debutante trying her hand at Anne. Despite the fact that her parents named her Ramona, she is giving a very nice performance - when you can actually understand what she's saying.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Find the FG Quote

Just got my God of Carnage tickets. My aunt and I are going on February 21. I hope it makes it till then.

Night Music and Junior's cheesecake with Mummy tomorrow. I'd like to remind the viewers that this is absolutely not gay.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Till We Reach That Day

Hello, darlings. I am not a particularly outgoing person. I prefer to stay in when I can, and I trust only a small group of friends and family. But I do like to go out on afternoon walks sometimes. I put on my feathery hat, black peacoat, black leggings, and purple flat-heeled boots and wander around the neighborhood. I like to observe people. Some people stare at the feathers. I wonder how many of them actually realize that I wear that hat for the sole purpose of getting people to stare at me. I wear it and walk around proudly. Look at my hat. This hat is different. It makes me different from all the people wearing hoodies and Uggs. And it cracks me up, because some people give me dirty looks and other mutter "freak" under the breath.

Yes. I am a freak. Come look at the freak. The freak is happy, and the freak knows you don't have much else to look at. How very sad for you, you sweat-pants wearing teeny bopper, to live in a world that is so tragically small. Wake up. Look around you. See? Life. And diversity. And people who aren't like you, and people who don't care what you think, because who are you? Who am I? We are people, and we are one. We need to start acting like it.

One thing I cannot stand, will not tolerate in any capacity, is people who make fun of other's misfortune or disability. That constitutes deliberate cruelty in my book, and Blanche DuBois spoke the truth. It's not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. I don't see how anybody has the right to mock another human being's illness or disability. It makes my blood boil. I thank the Lord I've never known any great illness is my life, but I know people who have. I have a cousin who has several severe brain defects, and I've seen people stand in front of her and laugh. I've seen grown men tell their children how funny it is that she can't sit up, see, feed herself, or speak. Because that's just so obviously hilarious.

It also makes me boiling mad that gays do not have the right to marry in this country. I am a Catholic. There are still traces of that little pro-life activist in me. But this is one issue on which I stand completely firm with my fellow Democrats. I am not particularly sure that religion should have the upper hand on this one, but even if it did - Jesus preached love. Love thy neighbor. Love the outcasts. And let thy neighbor love whoever the hell thy neighbor wants. And besides. You look me in the eye and tell me Chip and Dale's relationship does not have homoerotic undertones.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Hello, darlings. I done a bad thing. This afternoon, with my editing done for the day and nothing left to do but laze around, I succumbed to the horrors of Jersey Shore. I have honestly never seen such a conglomeration of ignorance, arrogance, and silicone. Without a doubt, these are people to be pitied. The show is basically a lopsided mishmash of self-tanned, highly sexualized guidos. defines a guido as "An adolescent or young-adult American male of Italian ancestry or descent; esp. one of lower-middle-class socioeconomic background or status and thought of as being dim-witted, excessively aggressive, and prejudiced against perceived outsiders, particularly homosexuals and members of other races." Okay, folks. That's being nice.

Here we have Jwoww. I don't know her real name, and if I did I wouldn't post it. There's no need to further embarrass her family. As you may be able to tell from this picture, the lady is an all-around class act. She doesn't say much, because, let's face it. When you look like that, anything you say is largely inconsequential. When she does talk, her monologues are peppered with four-letter words and the vocabulary of a Washington Square hooker. Oh, Jwoww. Your mother must be so proud.

But my favorite, my very favorite, is there here fella. His name's Ronnie, and he is basically a walking steroid advert. I think Jwoww is his girlfriend, but that falls in the realm of Things I Don't Really Care About. Oh, Ronnie. How sweet thy diction and how incredibly subtle thy actions. A conversation with Ronald here goes something like this.

Person A: "Hey, bro."

Ronnie: "WHAT THE F*%@$ MAN? WHY YOU F%&*@#$ MY GIRL?"

Person B: "Hey, man, calm down. Be cool, bro. Be cool."


Scintillating. Come up and see me sometime, Ronnie. I'll teach you how to speak without using the word "youse."

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Week in Review

First off: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - excellent, excellent, excellent play. Fine, I'll say it. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a better play than A Streetcar Named Desire. Cat is the Father, Streetcar is the Son, and Glass Menagerie is the Holy Ghost.

Second - people amaze me. I'm sitting here with a gigantic blooming bruise on my shin because some idiot does not see what is going on around her. I was riding the bus home, and a girl who was...hell, I'll say it - she was really fat, was standing near me and seeing how long she could stand without holding on. Of course, the bus stopped short, as she hoped it would, and she went flying forward, as she hoped she would. Attention whore. Her little chorus of friends burst into laughter while she launched towards the front of the bus and pinned my leg against a pole. I was sitting there saying, "Ow...damn it, ow....son of a bitch, ow!" And she continued to sit on my foot, causing a metal piece to dig into my leg. When she finally got her fat ass up, she neglected to even apologize, which is mostly why I'm mad.

Third. I was shut out of a discussion on The Grapes of Wrath this morning. Okay, that one was mostly my fault. But then I had to sit there and listen to the group giggle nervously when they didn't know that the title came from The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Okay, so that may have been my fault too. But it was still a Norma Desmond moment. "Those iiiiidiots. I'll show them, so help me!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

She Wanted to Say

I'm back, and I really wish I weren't. Ragtime's gone. It's over. The era of Ragtime has run out. I have been to many closings of many shows, but this was the only one I am not willing to let go. I've always been able to accept the fact that shows close. Not this one. I know it's over. I logically know that there will be no more performances. I don't accept it. I don't know why I can't accept it. All I know is this show deserved so, so, so much better. It was hands down the best thing I've ever seen. I wasn't sure of that before this afternoon. Now I am.

I don't know what to do right now. I need to work on my book. I need to set a date for God of Carnage. I need to get my clothes ready for tomorrow. All I want to do is lie in bed and think about what I have just seen. Why didn't I go see it as much as I possibly could while there was still time? What was stopping me? Jesus. I regret that now.

It's a day of peace.
A day of pride.
A day of justice we have been denied.
Let the new day dawn.
Oh, Lord, I pray.
We'll never get to heaven till we reach that day.

11/15/09 -1/10/10

One Final Tribute

Something I forgot to say-


Oh, long live Ragtime.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Make Them Hear You

I know the closing isn't until tomorrow, but I'll say my good-byes now. Ragtime was one of the best shows I've ever seen. I'm sure you all know I'm sincere about that. And I will miss it tremendously.

Broadway isn't doing so well. There's no need for me to tell you that. The odds were just against Ragtime. It's nobody's fault. I'm not blaming anybody. It's closing, and there's nothing I or anyone else can do. All I know for certain is that it was an excellent show, and I'm extremely grateful that I got to see it.

Let us not forget that there are worse things than this.s Shows will continue to open, and shows will continue to close. There will continue to be unfair things in life, and we will continue to deal with them. "The world is round. Get over it."

I guess all we can do now is make them hear us. So listen up, everyone. This is what I want you to hear: I love Ragtime. It's taught me so much about tolerance and beauty and love. And that's what I want for the future. God bless the show and everyone involved.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I know it's Friday night, but I chose to stay in and edit my book. I like to listen to music while I work, except I can't do that because there are three teenage boys sitting in my living room yelling, "PENIS!" and seeing how much they can stuff into a ten-year-old's E-Z Bake oven before it explodes. As Violet Weston would say, "Scintillating." It's times like these when I'm most grateful for my all-female high school education. Nobody interrupts the teacher or step-dances in the back of the classroom. The bathrooms are clean. If you cry, you will be hugged. There are no goats running around in the halls. My brother goes to an all-boys high school. I hear things. I know.

Sitting up here in my room and listening to these three animules perform their primal adolescent rituals is truly a joy. Their laughter is somewhere in the range of Maria Callas going for the end of Un Bel Di. According to my calculation, their conversation averages two unfunny sexual jokes per five minute period. When I went down there to ask them to lower the radio, I was told to go upstairs and not come back down under penalty of being shot with a BB gun. But that's okay. Because Victor Fleming once told Vivien Leigh to "take the script and shove it up her royal British ass." Ooh, there was just a very expensive-sounding crash. I assume it was the TV or the mirror in the hallway, but, like Coalhouse Walker, I will not move from where I'm standing. Let these assholes figure it out on their own.

Now they're taking videos of themselves. Keep it up, gentlemen. The world can't wait to see what cinematic gems you're ready to turn out. DeMille and Kazan are absolutely trembling in their boots.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Made My Mind Up Back in Chelsea

There's a quote from Gone With the Wind that goes - "Only Ellen and her mammy ever knew the whole story of the night when the girl sobbed till the dawn like a broken-hearted child and rose up in the morning a woman with her mind made up." Of course, I don't have a mammy and I don't cry over trivial idiotic things like this, but that quote has stuck with me. I repeat it to myself whenever I'm faced with a decision.

So my mind is made up. I'll go see God of Carnage. Scintillating, I know. I certainly did not cry over this, and it didn't take me very long to make the decision. I was sitting in Spanish class. I dropped my pen. I leaned over to get it. I thought, "I think I'll go see God of Carnage."

Anyway, that should be fun. I like straight plays, but can rarely find anyone willing to see one with me. After August: Osage County, Berri turned up her Rent-loving nose and vowed never to see a straight play again. (You know what, August is awesome. I'll not have people telling me it isn't.)

And I learned how to do the hora today. L'chaim.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Sad Day

Today's my birthday. The only thing I wanted was for my two-year-old cousin to call and tell me happy birthday. She threw herself on the floor and then hid in the corner to avoid having to talk to me. That broke my heart.

My very generous aunt has promised to take me to any show I want for my birthday. And here's something terrible - there is nothing I want to see. Nothing. I can't see Hair again. It's gotten to be such a tired show. God help me, and God help them. Sunday will be the end of beautiful Ragtime. So what's left? Ooh, this is so sad. I miss the days when I couldn't decide what to see because there were so many great options. Now I can't decide because there's nothing but play revivals starring big name movie actors. If that's what Broadway is coming to, then I'd rather not continue on with this little infatuation. It's a dirty little war, and they're dropping like flies.

I was thinking maybe I'd see West Side Story. I do like Karen Olivo, and now with Matt Cavenaugh out of the way it might be safe to test the waters. I don't actively want to see it, but it's better than getting dragged to Rock of Ages. I'm already seeing Jersey Boys, and this ungrateful bitch is none too happy about that.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Things I'll Never Say

Anecdote before we start: I was in Philly today, seeing my cousin in a play at the Walnut Street Theatre. (Hugh Panaro is a very good Fagin, and an all-around great guy.) As I was leaving, a girl passed by wearing a purple cloche hat, a purple peacoat, beautiful heels, and purple stockings. One thought crossed my mind - That's what I wanna be. I vow to find you one day, epic hat girl, and ask you where you get your clothes. Above all, I loved her freaking hat. I was wearing my black hat with the feathers, and she stared at it, as everyone usually does. We nodded at each other in a moment of mutual acknowledgement of epic headwear.

I should be working on a project, but it's been months with that damn thing. I need a break, so I thought we'd play a little game - you post a few things you know you'll never be able to say to certain people, but you don't include their names. It's fun. Ready, and awaaaay we go.

1. Your mother looks like Nurse Ratched. Also, fix your roots.
2. I lied about the dress.
3. Why don't you see what you mean to me?
4. I love you. I love you. I love you. Please understand that I love you.
5. I'm so worried about you.
6. I know for a fact that I'm much better at what you do than you are, but I'm too terrified to try.
7. I'm not sorry. I'm not even going to pretend that I'm sorry.
8. The worst part of going away will be leaving you.
9. Are you aware that you look like you have no eyebrows?
10. I don't forgive you.
11. Thank-you.
12. Look at me. I want you to look at me.
13. I know for a fact that you're jealous of me. Sometimes I'm so jealous of you that I can't stand it.
14. There is no earthly need to IM me whenever I'm on Facebook.

There now. That was lots of fun.