Tag Archives: Broadway

How I Almost Walked the Red Carpet Last Week

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.

This one. Photo credit: http://resources.shopstyle.com

I lightened things up with my wedding-day earrings, which are getting a lot of play lately:

Bling-tastic

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.

Darren Criss and I Do Broadway!

Ulghhhh Sunday Happy Sunday, Chipmunks!

Here it comes…the post you’ve been waiting for!

Yesterday Babs and I headed into Manhattan to see Second Husband, Darren Criss, in his Broadway debut: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” To say I was looking forward to this day is like saying a Friendly’s Reese’s peanut butter cup sundae is ‘just okay.’ After weeks of preparing my Why Polygamy is the Right Choice For You presentation for Second Husband, the day had finally arrived.

I laid out my outfit. The guilty pleasure gods blessed me with an unseasonably warm, sunny Saturday, and I didn’t even need the gloves and jacket vest!

Uncle Jesse is torn, because while he appreciates my exceptional taste, he knows this means I'm leaving him.

I took extra care doing my make-up, and debated waterproof vs. regular mascara. Would seeing Second Husband in the flesh reduce me to tears?

Some decisions are just too important to take lightly.

I took my chances with regular mascara. Mostly because it takes whale fat, rubbing alcohol and three to four woodland fairies to get waterproof mascara off.

I then consulted Babs and put my hair in her favorite style.

That perfect "oh I'm trying...but not TOO hard" up-do.

Feeling spiffy, we headed in on the 2:42 train, with the goal of getting to the “How to Succeed” stage door by 4pm. This way, we could hopefully score an autograph from Second Husband after the 2pm matinée performance.

I'm ready for you, Second Husband! And you can't even see my freakin' awesome footwear. (Thanks, Payless! Who knew pleather calf-high boots could be so comfortable?)

Once at the Al Hirschfeld theater stage door, we secured a decent spot on line, right against a barricade.

No one needs to know I'm 29 years old...right?

I chatted up the adorable girl next to me, Christie. She had seen the play the night before, and had come back to try to meet Darren. I told her I only had the Warblers CD for him to sign, and she gave me an extra Playbill! I was thrilled to reciprocate with the latest and greatest in cutting-edge fashion, a GoGuiltyPleasures slap bracelet.

Slap bracelets make friends.

We waited about 45 minutes, and the crowd thickened. Babs and I met another lovely mother-daughter duo, Anne and Molly, who definitely helped the time pass pleasantly. After quickly assessing their chipmunkitude, I covered them in slap bracelets. Interest in my bracelets grew, but I was running out. I had to save one for Second Husband, after all!

Beau Bridges and the female lead, Rose Hemingway, came out to sign autographs. They both graciously acknowledged my “Thank you SO much!” with sweet smiles and eye contact, solidifying my hunch that I could win Second Husband over as easily with my overdone undeniable charm.

Those lips smooch Second Husband Every. Night.

An hour and a half into the wait, I started to get restless, especially because I was late meeting the glorious JM Randolph (of Accidental Stepmom fame) and her husband for dinner. I kept her updated with texts: “Sooo sorry! He’s still not out yet!” She was very understanding. It was Second Husband.

After two hours, my feet were starting to feel the burn and I was ready to do this thing. The jokester security guard suddenly said, “We’re shutting it down!” I thought he was kidding, but watched in disbelief as he started removing all of the barricades. “The cops are shutting it down,” he explained. “There are too many people on the sidewalk.”

Sure, there were probably about 150 of us waiting in a line down the sidewalk, but, but, but… c’mon!! Everyone was being very patient and calm. Sigh. No Second Husband, and me with extra room in my heart.

Not too shabby. By the way, all of the posters featuring Second Husband were already sold out! You go, Darren!

I may not have gotten to meet Second Husband, but I DID get to meet the gorgeous and charming JM Randolph and her HILARIOUS hub. We missed having dinner with them because they had to get back to work, but we had a nice chat and will hopefully get to cash in on a rain check soon.

Babs and I, starving, and more importantly, libation-less, headed down the block to 45th and 9th Ave. to try our luck at Justin Timberlake’s restaurant, Southern Hospitality (he might not be bringing sexy back, but I guess bringing baby back ribs will do for now). The wait time was 45 minutes, but the cute host caught a glimpse of my Playbill, and after I shared the details of my autograph fail, he told us we could eat in the downstairs lounge/bar, if we didn’t mind. We didn’t! We got to eat and drink on a luxurious leather couch, the service was quick (key when you have an 8 o’clock curtain) and the food was very good. The lounge was quickly overrun with twenty-somethings, and suddenly a guy walked in and the group whooped and hollered. We realized we were in the middle of a surprise party. Er….surprise!! We got the check and skidattled.

Everywhere we went, we heard the name ‘Darren Criss.’ New York City seemed to have traded in its cool indifference for superfandom. (I fit right in.) Back at the theater, we made our way to our right orchestra aisle seats and I spotted lots of folks from Darren’s theater company, StarKid.

Joe Walker of StarKid fame sat right in front of us, which meant I got to see two tweens nearly hyperventilate while asking for an autograph.

When Darren descended from the ceiling as a window washer in the opening scene, the crowd went berserk. His StarKid friends/college mates were ecstatic. They grinned wildly and pointed to each other – their friend! On Broadway! It was a treat to witness.

Darren’s performance was hilarious, captivating and exuberant. (I’m being as objective as I can, I swear.) His enthusiasm, combined with the audience’s energy, made the two and a half hour show fly by. (If you read my lukewarm post about seeing the very same play back in April, when Daniel Radcliffe was the star, you know that I’m not always as easily won over.) Darren made the performance seem effortless, the way only great actors can. To think he only had two weeks to rehearse! And yeah, he looked drop-dead, too!

I should mention there’s a whole ‘fight song’ about a rivalry with a school whose mascot is a chipmunk. A chipmunk! I heard Second Husband say chipmunk!!! Babs nudged me so hard I almost landed at the peep show next door.

He was actually smiling throughout the curtain call, but I think in this moment he realized he didn't get a slap bracelet.

We didn’t have the stamina to try to get an autograph after the show, since we weren’t sure Darren would come out (he did…double sigh), but we made the 11:11 train, which was a miracle in and of itself. I lose at least two pounds every time I go into the city. (To see some great pictures of Darren from January 7th that Babs DIDN’T take, click here.)

The night ended with a text from Peppermeister: “How was it? Am I still your ONLY husband?”

For now, First Husband. For now.

But I Don’t Even Like Horses (THIS is the blog about Daniel Radcliffe in “Equus”)

DISCLAIMER: The following representation of “Equus” is the view of one blogger and one blogger only. And even though said blogger is 28-years-old and should be able to write about plays and nudity with a certain level of maturity, in reality, she can’t. So, this post bears little resemblance to the actual play itself, which is obviously a masterpiece worthy of Daniel Radcliffe and his penis. Thank you.

The jokes were flying during the spring of 2008, once my mom said she wanted tickets -for her birthday- to the new Broadway show, “Equus,” starring a naked Daniel Radcliffe.

Harry Potter’s Magic Wand.

Harry Potter’s Hairy Potter.

You name it, I said it. Of course, she wasn’t the only one who had interest in the play. I’d been reading the J.K. Rowling books for a decade. Now things were getting serious, and I wasn’t sure what to make of my beloved Daniel Radcliffe’s new acting endeavor. Any amount of Harry Potter-special-feature-viewing will show you that Daniel is the coolest, most modest, mostest talented bloke around.

But, was I ready to see his…PENIS? With my MOTHER? I couldn’t even think the thought without blushing!

Much ado about nothing, you say? No, that’s a different play. I have a LOT to say about this one. Our seats were really close.

November 15th finally rolled around, and it was time to face the music. Except this wasn’t a musical. The play is, in case you are not familiar with plays about emotionally disturbed teenage boys who love (I mean LOVE) horses, a bit of a downer. In fact, it’s downright disturbing. Sexy men in intimidating metal hoof-clogs stomp around in the dark, wearing tights and horse heads made out of wire, while Daniel, completely dwarfed by these creatures, strokes them suggestively.

It’s around this time that you’re thinking, This isn’t the type of gay porn I’d normally sit down to enjoy with 1,156 perfect strangers and my mother. But the acting is phenomenal, so you try to tell yourself you’re not just waiting for the Big Reveal. You pat yourself on the back for paying attention to the dialogue. You are a cultured, forward-thinking Broadway theatre-goer. You even spell ‘theatre’ with the ‘r’ before the ‘e’ in your head, and pronounce it like John Lithgow would. Thee-A-Tahhh.

You do wonder how it’s going to happen, though. There are quite a number of horsemen (and by horsemen I mean the men dressed as horses) to pick from, and they all kind of look the same, as horses do. Plus, it’s so dark. Will you be able to see anything? You didn’t pay $119 plus processing fees and convenience charges for a G-rated experience.

A blonde girl, the same age as Daniel’s character (17), is introduced, and you start to hope he’ll snap out of his equine trance and go at it the old-fashioned way. Well, he does, in a matter of speaking.

Sometime shortly before you convince yourself you can hack it, Daniel and his lady friend strip down to what their mommas gave them and he mounts her on top of a large black box (a hay bale?). They mock hump while Daniel’s character fantasizes about Black Beauty and you not-so-objectively critique the girl’s breasts (which you later recall when she makes her debut on “True Blood”). He can’t close the deal and runs around the stage in a rage, his naughty bits jingle-jangling about (did I mention he blinds six horses? That’s the kind of drama we’re dealing with here, people).

When I say this kid has balls, I’m not trying to be cute. Seriously, what 5-foot teenage boy has the nerve to do this 8 times a week in front of thousands of people? Does he ever get aroused? Obviously he doesn’t have anything to worry about, or he wouldn’t be up there. Right?

…Right. Sorry to disappoint you, readers (really, I am). Everything checks out. He’s got a perfectly above-average*, uncircumcised, unaroused Little Daniel. What’s more, I DIDN’T die of embarrassment. What I AM having a hard time (pun intended) shaking, though, is all the horse stroking. I REALLY don’t like horses.

*I should tell you that when I was discussing this upcoming post with my mother, she had a different take. “Disappointing,” was the word she used. “But I wouldn’t expect you to know any better,” she added. …Thanks, Babs.