September 11: ny that wonderful town
This day didn't come quite soon enough for me.
Last night the he casting went smoothly for Pippin. But we did lose one of our accompanist who didn't bother to tell us that she wasn't going to be there. burn bitch burn. I don't want to call freshmen stupid...but i just remember the hard work Mark Hartman, Ash Curtis and I put into this damn company when we were that age and we were thankful for having the opportunity. Don't make a committment if you can't reasonably stick to it. unless you talk to someone about it and don't just NOT let it happen.
end of that rant.
So yeah things were going quite well. We only went about 30 minutes past schedule, and made up for that time by casting the show in near record time: less than an hour...an almost unheard of feat in pauper player history. Again the players (ensemble) took longer to cast than did the leads. Not that we didn't have a huge discussion regarding Pippin and the Leading Player, but the rest was pretty much known before all of the callbacks were completed.
For the male ensemble we flip/flopped on the last male spot three times before making the final decision and even after we had made the final decision, we changed the casting again about 10 minutes later.
The women were a MUCH harder call. We had a core group of six women that both jen and i wanted. 6 out of a cast of 7 women. There were 8 people who could have filled that last spot...and that's what took the bulk of our decision making time. who would that lucky girl be?
anyhoo, on to the real deal.
I'll spare you guys most of the details but did want to say a couple of things while it's still (somewhat) fresh on my mind.
First things first! NEVER EVER EVER EVER take a 6:30am flight into the city or out of the city. I bow down before the almighty sue and her famed abilities to hop on a flight and hop into work. tis not for me. i shall be taking two days of vacation from now on, thank you.
I arrived in Newark at 8:10am on Saturday on a blistery bright day for someone who still ached to be between the sheets. Not having gone to bed the nite before until 2am to be at the airport at 5am, you know what kind of boy I was.
So I meandered through the airport trying to orient myself after my all-to-brief nap on the plane. I decided that i need the jolt of caffeine that coffee brings, since i had slept through my snack on the plane (though i did manage to snag one of the pastries to stow in my travel bag. I bought a regular cup since it was a mere $.50 more than what i'd pay in north carolina...i didn't feel like i was getting gyped.
I then headed to Olympia Bus terminal to purchase my ticket and found out where it would be picking me up. Arriving at the gate I had to throw away my just purchased $2 cup of coffee in order to board the bus or wait another 20 minutes. damn. I didn't want to fall asleep at the bus station. NJ asleep bags and money=eek.
And the quicker I got to the city the quicker I could get to napping at my friend jon's place.
Jon had gone to the shubert to get Chicago tickets for us that nite (bless him) and had left me voicemail on my pager (WHICH DOESN'T WORK OUTSIDE OF THE CAROLINAS) saying where he was and for me to stop by. I could have easily since the theatre is a mere 3 blocks from his apartment.
So yes, I waited outside a new york city apartment building for two hours trying desperately not to fall asleep for fear of theft or arrest (see new jersey sentence). By the time Jon arrived I was actually too wired to try and sleep. So I pretended to be pissed, just to get his goat...and wearily trudged up the four flights of stairs.
Oh, I didn't tell you....my boy lives in a 5 or 6 floor walkup with NO ELEVATOR. egads.
But I was in the city and going to see shows and visiting people some of whom I hadn't seen in more than a year and not worrying about this f#$@#@$%ing human resource shites back in north carolina.
And then I left on Tuesday at 4:30am so that I could go to work. Lawd.
Well, Jon and I puttered around the apartment for a while as i tried to sleep and it just wasn't happening. So I got up and watched an episode of Pokemon and some tennis and tried to get in contact with a whole slew of people to no avail.
One of our favorite statements to use now. someone is really digging the ethnic men in the city. and so there's this italian restaurant at the end of the block which has this very sauve (yet slightly greasy looking) guy of undeterminate nationality as a waiter. he's got some meditterannean in him...though he could be hispanic.
Well luck would have it that "ray" was our waiter for brunch. jon told me of their first couple encounters and misnaming and waving escapades and how he says this one word: enjoy. well i guess you really had to be there. it's cute.
The brunch was delicious but the lack of grape jelly for the toast kinda threw this southern boy for a loop.
After brunch, we headed over to our first show of the weekend: Annie Get Your Gun. I love bernadette peters. I mean truly. She number three after Barbara Streisand and Patti Lupone as my theatre dreamcast members. Her recordings of Song and Dance, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, not to mention her own Sondheim, etc album are nothing short of brilliant.
But like so many of the others. I've never had the opportunity to see her perform live. josh and eris were going to "surprise" me for my birthday last january with a trip to DC to see her in the pre-broadway revival, but that fell through at the last minute. So i have to thank jon immensely for the opportunity. he got us tickets in the orchestra for the matinee (which surprisingly had a full cast).
Bernie is beautiful but she has some weird quirks about her when she's performing. The ovation she got when she first came on board was great and well deserved, she can hold your attention like few performers that I've seen recently. diction at times was problematic...but hey i like patti lupone as well, so what do i know?
The updated script is even more banal than the original with lame jokes which caused much wincing by the audience. Many people have attributed the wincing to the "pc-ness" of the updating. I don't know...I think that the problems come in because of the frothiness of the rest of the show. it's a light-hearted musical comedy and this bouts of "reality" just spank the show even more in the ass.
Tom Wopat was phenomenal. really and truly amazing. Even though he was often eclipsed on the Dukes of Hazzard by John Schneider, Tom is very much the leading man. Following the whole "leading men don't dance" genre...he was more than adequate as a singer and an actor. Though Frank doesn't have a wide range of emotions in the show in a stronger year Tom would have at least gotten a tony nomination (especially over Scott Wise, but we wont' go there.)
I can't remember the eldest sister's name (who's also bernie's understudy) but she was truly gifted in her role as well and I would be interested in seeing her performance. But i won't becasuse I cannot sit through this show again. impossible.
Well maybe...considering susan lucci is taking the role of Annie Oakley for three weeks in december. hmmmmmmm
The first act was horrendously long as evidenced by several people around us who nodded off (but of course not wired little me....oh no).
And I'm not sure what homoerotic male fantasy was going through graciela danielle's mind when she did the choreography for Frank Butler's 'the girl i marry" <--may not be the correct name of the song...i'm doing this from memory here, but the gyrations and mass pile orgy humping in the middle of the stage BENEATH tom was worth the price of admission. ooochile. funny.
Moonshine lullaby is now one of my favorite songs.
After the show, jon and i hung out at the stage door to see if bernie was going to come out. we gawked and dished dirt at people and I had one of my brilliant tekay moments. these two women COULD SEE that we were standing there patiently just like everyone else in an optimum spot to view the door and see the performers coming out. well, for some reason, they decided that the inch of space that was in front of me and another group of people was just enough room for them the squeeze their fat asses into. well, some passive-agreessive pithy statement spewed from my mouth at jon and he stood there agape as the women tucked in their tails and moved away from us. this may have actually happened saturday nite....jon will let me know i'm sure and as to what i actually said.
We went back to the apartment so that jon could take a nap...and i watched more tennis (INCLUDING SERENA WILLIAMS WINNING THE US OPEN!) w00.
afterwards, our night journey began.
I'm extra-ordinary, I've got to do extraordinary things.