Whoever said bloggers were lame, basement-dwellers who lack the talent of ‘real’ writers has never met the awesome array of bloggers I have via WordPress. I’m continually amazed by the gifts and goodness they possess.
Deb Bryan (The Monster In Your Closet) and Chris (From the Bungalow) just shaved their heads for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, The Byronic Man has made commercials, Clay Morgan (EduClaytion) and Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) have book deals, and Renee Fisher (Life in the Boomer Lane) and Tyler Tarver have published books, just to name a few.
So I guess in some ways I wasn’t surprised to receive this text from JM Randolph (Accidental Stepmom) last Thursday morning:
Totally last minute. CC can’t come to my opening nite show. I only got 1 ticket- do you want it? 6:45 curtain.
The show JM was referring to was Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened on Broadway March 22nd. Thanks to JM’s gig doing sound for theater, I just scored an invite to opening night – on Broadway! I responded accordingly:
Hi JM! I just saw this! Is it too late to say hell yes!?
And so it was. We agreed to meet at 6:30 in front of the theater. I went to Kohl’s on my lunch break and picked up two new blazers because, of course, nothing in my closet was right. I settled on all black: black stretch pants, black calf-high boots, a black high-necked shirt with a sheer overlay on front, and a black blazer with similar sheer trim along the bottom.
I lightened things up with my wedding-day earrings, which are getting a lot of play lately:
I boarded the 4:23 NJ Transit train, excited as could be. JM and I met for the first time in January, before I saw another Broadway show, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I was really looking forward to seeing her again. From reading JM’s blog, it’s obvious she’s smart, witty and completely badass. I expected to meet a tough, somewhat no-nonsense chick. Which intimidated the hell out of me. Oh, how wrong I was! JM is warm, welcoming and lovely. And gorgeous! Not I’m going to wear leather pants to kick your butt gorgeous, but Princess Bride gorgeous.
Our first meeting in January.
It was only on the train, nearly to Penn Station, that I saw an earlier text from JM (I’d been having battery issues with my phone all day):
oh and dress semi-fab. you will need a pic of yourself on the red carpet.
Red carpet?! Moi?! My honest-to-goodness first thought was: I think my stretch pants are see-through! I was willing to accept that any pictures of me would be less than flattering, but transparent pants was where I drew the line. It was akin to stepping out of a limo with no underwear.
We've all seen it happen. Photo credit: fashion.about.com
I quickly texted JM:
Oh holy shoot. For some reason I just saw your text about the red carpet. I did buy a new cute blazer on my lunch break BC that’s how I roll LOL but I don’t think it qualifies as fab?!?!?!?!
JM assured me it was no big deal, and that at least one person would be in sweatpants. I couldn’t tell if I’d just gotten myself out of it.
It was a gorgeous day for March, 75 degrees and sunny, and Manhattan was absolutely packed. It took me 40 minutes to work my way through the throngs of people to Neil Simon Theatre (I always prefer to walk to the theater district versus taking the subway or a cab from Penn Station, even though it’s at least a mile). I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen Times Square so jammed up.
There was also a huge crowd in front of the theater, though I couldn’t see who was on the red carpet. Several skeletal women passed by me in bright, silk dresses; it was clear they’d spent the entire day getting ready. My heart was in my throat at the prospect of sharing any kind of floor space with Broadway elite. I didn’t know the names of these producers and directors. I wouldn’t know Edward Albee if I tripped over him (just to make this reference I had to Google ‘living playwrights’).
When JM met me outside and handed me a ticket, I followed her lead. Okay, good, we weren’t headed towards the flash bulbs and cheers. Instead, we walked in through a side door. Hallelujah, I was spared! Under different circumstances, I would have been disappointed. But not that night. Not in see-through pants.
JM showed me to her motherboard, which was on a platform at the back of the orchestra section. She introduced me to some of her colleagues and it was clear they all adored her (and vice versa). Being part of the in crowd really is all it’s cracked up to be, Chipmunks.
Darn phone. This is a picture of a picture. Yes. I have a new phone now.
I told JM I was learning about the inner workings of Broadway from one of my new favorite shows, Smash. She said they do actually do workshops like the one currently depicted on the show, confirming my suspicion that I can learn everything I need to know from TV. She paused.
“You do have crazy eyes.”
I laughed. I recently wrote a post about my crazy eyes; in it I described my giant pupils. Being in a dark theater surely made them noteworthy.
“I know,” I replied. “Everyone thinks I’m high all the time. …I wish.”
“Do they even need to dilate your pupils when you go to the eye doctor?” she asked with a good-natured smile.
Can I have some of your toe nail clippings for my collection?
Because the show was soon starting, I bid a temporary goodbye to JM and found my seat in the center of the balcony section. I smiled to myself when I saw the skinny-minnie-silk-dress girls in seats right by me. Ah, opening night on Broadway, what a great equalizer you are! I felt smug until I realized my see-through-panted butt could still barely fit in the wee Broadway seats (despite, and let me pause to brag for the first time here, a significant weight loss in the past year).
The audience was extremely enthusiastic, and while I’d never seen the play before, I was blown away by the production value and, most of all, the voices of the cast. (I bet some of that can be attributed to JM!) Andrew Lloyd Webber came out during the curtain call, and the standing ovation was the longest I’d ever taken part in.
I didn’t linger because I had to catch my train home, but hoped I managed to convey my gratitude and enthusiasm to JM before dashing. (In the end, I missed my connecting train -for the first time in my life- because I was too busy texting about my fun night out!)
Hey, we can still pretend I shared the spotlight with the likes of Megan Hilty (from Smash) and Andrew Lloyd Webber:
Hey, wait a second, Lisa Lampanelli…
…That dress looks familiar…
My surprise bridal shower, May 2008.
I’m so ahead of my time*! Maybe see-through pants will be in four years from now! Damn. I guess I should have walked that carpet.
*I bought this dress for $25 from Target 4 years ago. I cannot believe it’s on the red carpet right now.
Photo credit (marquis and red carpet pictures): broadwayworld.com.