Asta 2

With About Twenty Minutes to Spare.....

The main reason for the trip to New York was the shows. So, let me skim over the was great, crowds were not. Nothing like having an additional three million in an already crowded city. Oh, and Arnold Schwartenager (am I close on the spelling?) decided to make an impromptu apprearance at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. He was to show himself between 11am and 1pm. Since we were walking by at 11:15 we had no intention of wasting our time waiting, though, given the already large crowd of people, I guess others were willing to do so.

I made it to the Met this time and over the course of two days managed to see everything I wanted to. One interesting epiphany I had, as I was standing in front of a suit if armor, I realized it was *my* size. Apparently, during the Middle Ages I would have been considered quite tall and quite butch. :p

Whether considered good or bad, I didn't buy much accept for magnets and posters from the shows I saw, a tiny vase from an art/craft show at Lincoln center, and a spiffy Swatch watch (blue). I had no clue that Swatch made them with leather bands now. I can see me buying many new watched in the future. :)

OK, now for the shows. The first and best was The Boy From Oz. As many of you know, I had already seen it back in September while it was in previews. While I loved Hugh (of course ;), I was ho-hum in regards to the show. I had heard it improved with time and I must agree that is true. The entire cast has grown into their roles and there is a chemistry amongst the actors that wasn't there before. Then there is Hugh breaking from the show (but, not character) to interact with the audiance.

His first victims were Barbara and her friend who came in after the show started during Hugh's second number. Their excuse was they drove all the way from Toronto to see them (apparently they didn't allow enough time). Hugh proceeded to get them up to speed on what happened thus far and that they had unfortunately missed his nude scene. ;p

Following intermission, Hank came back to his seat late. He got lost on his way back from the bathroom. O....K.....

Hank had a rather long chat with Hugh in which Hank admited his fondness for musicals and the Village People with his favorite member being the Cowboy. At this point, Hugh turned to Hank's wife and informed her that she needed to have a long talk with her (thoroughly embarrased) husband that evening since he was sure this discussion had been a revelation for her. Following all this, Hugh cues the band to play a Village People song which he and Hank proceed to dance to (Hugh was a bit better ;).

At some point during all this, Vinnie up in the mezzanine (where we were seated) calls down to Hugh asking if he remembers him. Vinnie had been at a show back in July on his birthday and Hugh had had him come up on stage. Hugh didn't seem to recall him at first and needed the help of his dresser (who he brought out from the wings) to help jog his memory. I can't recall exactly why, but Vinnie was asked to remove his shirt. Proving that Hugh did recall him, he asked Vinnie if he had waxed since he previous appearance. He had. :)

Following the show, I went to the stage door to attempt to get an autograph again. In hindsight, it may have been saner to hang back. The crowd was much larger this time and I was farther back. My mother believed there was no way I'd be successful this time, but, as some of you know, I'm pushy. ;) I managed to get the equivelant of two rows back and was actually closer than last time. I got a very good look at Hugh. :) And amongst the pushing and shoving a scribble. It's his, I swear. I also got a picture....of the lower half of his face. Damn my 5' 2" height!

The next show up was Dracula: The Musical. The critics ravaged the show when it opened last month. It's not nearly as bad as they said it was. Granted, the book is a mess - if you didn't know the story, you'd be completely lost. Many of the lyrics are cringeworthy and/or fail to convey the story. But, the performers do all they can with the material and their are some wonderful performances which give rise to memorable moments. Since I always love the technical stuff, I have to make mention of how jaw-dropping the staging is - the lightening, sets, effects (dracula and his brides fly and float above the stage on numerous occassions) are amazing. This is an even greater feat considering how small the Belascoe Theatre is.

After the show, I had the opportunity to chat with the two leads - Tom Hewitt and Melissa Errico. It was really dumb luck. We had exited through the back of the theatre and I wanted to go around front to get a picture of the marquee. As we turned the corner, my mother swore one of the actors from the show just passed us. I wasn't paying attention so I had no clue if she was seeing things or not. But, then, the guy who played Jonathon Harker passed me. My mom said I was just saying that because she claimed she had seen one of the stars. :p Turns out we weren't seeing things - the stage door was at the front of the theatre and it's then that we notice Tom and Melissa there.

There was only a small group of people still there at this point, mostly kids, so we waited patiently. Tom Hewitt seemed rather shy. He was very polite and appreciative of the compliments we gave him, but he didn't seem like the type who wanted to chat (given how physically exhausting the show must be for him, I can't blame him). Melissa was an absolute doll. She was incredibly falttered that I recalled her film and TV work (I mentioned 'Life or Something Like It' and her guest turn on 'Law & Order') since she had done so little of it. My mom said something about her husband, Patrick McEnroe, commentating at the U.S. Open and she quickly told us he would be at the theatre tomorrow night if we wanted to come back and meet him. As we walked away from the theatre, we noticed that Melissa stayed until the last fan had left. :)

Last, but not least, was The Frogs. This was based on the play by Aristophanes, made into a musical by Stephen Sondheim, and, as he put it, "even more freely adapted" by Nathan Lane. Nathan also stars and is the main reason I wanted to see the show. Apparently, I was lucky to have seen him since he had injured his knee during a matinee earlier in the week and had skipped several shows.

We had terrefic seats - forth row on the side. In this particular theatre (the Vivian Beaumont) the stage juts out into the audiance and therefore they stage the show accordingly. Nathan and the rest of the cast were hilarious. One very pleasent surprise was actor/comediene John Byner. Other than guest spots here and there, I haven't really seen much of him as of late - I remembered him best from his role on Soap, what, thirty years ago?. He was terrific in the dual role of Charon/Aeakos and I'd love to see him get a Tony nomination.

Oh, and I have to make mention of one bit that stuck in my mind. It's important to remember that Nathan Lane did voice work in The Lion King (giving the laughter from the audiance, this is widely known). When Lane's Dionysos must disguise himself in a lion's pelt (long story), he turns to his slave Xanthias (Roger Bart) to get his opinion....Dionysos, arms spread, "How do I look?". Zanthias pauses then replies "Like the circle of life just ended." :D

In summation, (because it's nearly Midnight and I promised to post this by then!) I had a great time. My only regret was not being able to meet up with my LJ buddies in Atlanta. Next year I swear to plan better. :)
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Swatches with leather bands!? ::Thinks about my first post new job purchase:: I am a watch-a-holic.

So glad you had such a good time, and that you were able to get to the Met this time.

I didn't realize Hugh was so into the audience participation in his show, I wonder if it's a highlight of the night for him :) I hope he takes it on the road sometime, I would love to see him here in Chicago.

It's always nice to be able to talk to some of the headliners, and in this case it was such a nice surprise, both that you caught them and that they were so nice, good for you, and for getting Hugh's autograph! Persistence pays off.

The Frogs is another one I hope goes on the road, with Nathan. I missed him in The Producers when it premiered here.

Sounds like a great trip, and you managed to dodge the crowds! :)

I am a watch-a-holic.

Me too! Though, I haven't found a watch that has struck my fancy in quite some time. There was another one that I liked, but $120 is out of my price range. :/

Hugh's audiance participation began back in November I believe. He wanted to do it from the start of the show, but, in rehearsels, it feel flat. When someone dared walk in late to the show one night back in November, he decided to see if he could make the banter work. It's now one of the highlights of the show.

Oh, and in a recent NY Times interview, Hugh mentioned that he'd like to do a one man show in the future. I'm thinking he may tour with that. :)
$120 is out of my price range too, though I like to look at them. One good thing about Swatches, they do have a nice selection at halfway reasonable prices.

As for Hugh, the audience banter probably had to happen spontaneously - there is nothing like doing it live to make it work :)

A one-man show? Looking solely at Hugh for two hours? I can deal with that ;)
Sounds like a great time! I only had the chance to see one Broadway show while we were in New York last month, but I wish I could've crammed in more. It's a shame you're not in this neck of the woods right now, because I think you'd really enjoy the Vancouver Fringe Festival, which is nonstop theatre and music and dance; some of the performances are Broadway-calibre.
The Festival sounds very cool. And I've always wanted to see Vancouver! I'll have to keep it in mind for the future. :)
Not prearranged per se. Generally the rule in theatre is not to let people be seated after the show starts. But, they allowed it at the Imperial because they know what Hugh is going to do to the late comers. ;) Actually, Hugh has heard some people arrive late on purpose in the hopes that he will single them out.
I didn't realize that Hugh interacted with the audience so much during his show. It sounds like so much fun! And I'm not at all suprised that you managed to fight your way through the crowd to get his scribble.
And I'm not at all suprised that you managed to fight your way through the crowd to get his scribble.

Yes, I'm small but scrappy....and a biter. ;)
Wow - sounds like you had a great time! That's super. I love all musicals, but confess to a real preference for the "classics" like Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, etc. But the ones you saw sound really good, especially "The Frog." Thanks for the details :)

You were missed. Glad you're back!
You're welcome. :) I'm pretty open to most types of musicals. Though, don't hit me, I don't particularly care for 'The Sound of Music'. Of course, if they did a remake with Hugh, I'd soooo be there. ;)
I would *never* hit you :) Think you're crazy, maybe, but hit, never. ;) Just kidding, of course. I think part of my love for the Sound of Music is Christopher Plummer's beautiful blue eyes... actually, I've never seen the show on stage, just the movie... but I also love the music. And, hey, I think Hugh would be great as Capt. Von Trapp! Let's start a campaign - LOL!
Sounds like you had a great trip. I've mostly seen Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and I have such a hard time picturing him in a musical! Which is, I suppose, a pretty good testament to his acting.

And you had an almost-almost brush with the Governator. On behalf of my entire state, I cringe with embarrassment.
For quite some time I only knew Hugh as Wolverine so any other part he did seemed strange to me. It was odd how I came to learn of his history in musical theatre. I was watching an Aussie film he did, Paperback Hero, on cable and there is a scene where he sings Roy Orbison's 'Crying'. I was very impressed with his voice and ended up doing a little online research which lead me to the cast recordings of Oklahoma and Beauty and the Beast.
Thanks for the tour of your adventures in New York, and the play with what’s his name sounds like fun! Kidding! ;) I’ll have to ask my sister if she’s seen these, but I have a feeling she’d only see “Dracula” if it garnered good reviews. I think I told you I never could entice her with “Buffy.” At some point, I’d like to hear more about the Met, and it is amazing how small the suits of armor are. Glad to see I’m not the only short one around. I have possibly a little more than an inch on you, but maybe not ‘cause I seem to be shrinking according to my yearly physical! :p

I completely forgot that the average height during the Middle Ages was around 5 feet until I saw the suits of armor. With the exception of Charles II, they all seemed on, what today would be, the short side.

I'd be more than happy to discuss my time at the Met with you. :) I didn't go into too many details here for fear of boring people to death. :p
Sounds like a great time, my dear! Next time you are in NY and are not so booked, we must meet up :)
I hope we can meet up next time too. I feel like I've seen everything I really want to there, so next time it will be nice to just be able to hang out with some folks. :)
Oh wow - sounds like you had a great time! I'm too broke right now to see Dracula, but I might, eventually; the first thing I have to see as soon as I get my next paycheck is the newest adaptation of Hedda Gabler. It sounds absolutely fantastic, in a scary way. Gotta love those crazy deconstructionists! *insert sound of crickets* Well, I'm not really a Broadway gal - more of an Off- to Off-Off B'way. ;o) But I enjoy a good expensive show as much as anyone!

Good to know that Nathan Lane is back at Lincoln Center. Another thing I'd really love to see, but I seriously doubt I'll be able to. Ah well.

I remember how absolutely geeked I was after seeing The Boy from Oz. In case anyone wants to read about me losing my cool (which is a shocking rarity - no, really!), here's the entry describing my experience of the Show and the Man.

I've printed out your review to read later. It's nice to be able to compare notes with someone. ;-)

Haven't heard about Hedda Gabler, I'll have to do a bit of research. My mother is the big Broadway fan and it's through her that I got interested in various shows. Though, I freely admit my desire to see The Boy From Oz was because of Hugh. I fell for the guy from just seeing the commercials for the first X-Men and couldn't pass up the opportunity to see him live....and singing!
I'm horribly jealous of these Hugh encounters you keep having and at the same time delighted that you've been lucky enough to have the experience. Actually, I'm jealous of all the shows you got to see. I'm very glad you enjoyed them though.

You did remember to mention me to Hugh though, didn't you?
You did remember to mention me to Hugh though, didn't you?

He hasn't called you yet?! I gave him your phone number and those pictures of you I downloaded from the internet - the ones you don't like to talk about. I suppose he's been busy wrapping up his year long run with the show. Still, I suggest you give him a good tongue lashing once he contacts you. ;p
LOL - ah, the joy that is fanship. (Did I just make up a word?)

My favorite Hugh story is about something I haven't witnessed, sadly, but if I had I probably would have spent a few boxes of Cleenex. This past summer, a net pal of mine went to see TBfO for I believe the twelfth time (yeah, she's nuts - lucky bitca!). Anyway, during the song "Once Before I Go" - the one for which he always gets the standing ovation, an unheard-of phenomenon on Broadway - she noticed he was kind of slipping out of character (you see the show that many times, you start to pick up on stuff) and that he was looking pointedly at the audience. My friend turned around and recognized Hugh's wife in the orchestra, sitting a few rows behind, her eyes filled with tears; it was obvious that he was singing to her. (He always cries during that song, but this time it felt kinda special.) I mean, it doesn't get any more romantic than that, right?

I'm off to eat some chocolate now. Suddenly I have this mad craving for it...
Well, your friend seeing the show twelve times would be surprising if not for the fact I've heard of people going over a hundred times to it. That's like, what, $10,000 at least? That's insane! I love Hugh, but when I hear stories like that it begins veering into the obsession category.

That's such a sweet story about Deb (who I actually looked to see if she was there the nights I was). His love and devotion to her is rare by most standards, but for a Hollywood star it's unheard of.

When I originally saw the show back in September I did not notice him tear up during 'Once Before I Go', but it was very apparent two weeks ago. Regardless of Deb's presence, that number provides his big moment in the show - the big, powerful solo followed by a very lengthy standing ovation, one he knows is coming. That sort of adoration has to be overwhelming.

And, you are correct, standing ovations are rare and rightfully so in my opinion. When I saw Dracula I did stand at the end of the show out of respect for everyone's efforts, but I did not feel compelled once during the show to do so.

Mmmmm, chocolate.....
Hugh Jackman and tongue lashing. Two great tastes that go great together. I think I'll go meditate on that a while. ;)