23 July 2007

NSO @ Wolf Trap, Saturday 21 July

OMG. Best birthday present in the history of ever. I am still flailing helplessly from everything. Just... guh, Aaron. djkasl;dkf♥

Okay, so here's my best attempt at making this coherent and comprehensive. XD

I left my house around 1:45, after Deathly Hallows got here, of course. I didn't make any stops and I didn't really have any traffic, so yay. I did however get slightly lost because Mapquest's directions were slightly stupid. Oh well. Even going the wrong way I still made it to Jessica's house at 4pm. We were supposed to meet Kristin, so we sat and talked a bit. After Kristin arrived we went to have adventures. Namely we went to Whole Foods to find something to eat for dinner. Let me say, I'm glad we don't have these here; holy lord. XD Yuppie-Mart indeed. Their egg salad was infused with celery which really ruint it, however their rolls and cheesecake were quite good. We spent quite a bit of time in there, they even had free samples of some really yummy brownies, and then we took our food to go to Wolf Trap and eat it out on the lawn.

Wolf Trap is actually a giant park. With a lot of huge hills. I have to mention this because I had to hoof my sad out of shape self up and down quite a few large hills. XD I hate hills. Just like Pittsburgh all over again! We wandered around and finally found a nice little picnic table in the shade of some trees (I ended up running about without my shoes on for awhile. Hee) to eat our dinner. We spent most of it giggling over various Les Mis and/or Harry Potter type things. There was an older couple (and by that I mean senior citizen; the average age of the Wolf Trap patron that night) sitting at a table near us and kept staring at us. Oy. XD

Around 7:30 we decided we'd had enough sitting around and went to walk around the back of the Filene Center, where the performance was being held, to get to our seats. The stage door was well-marked, it had a nice big red sign on it. And our timing was impeccable: we walked past just in time to watch Aaron come out of his car and go inside. With his sunglasses on. ♥

The Filene Center is a large open-air stage. In fact if you have ever been to the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ, it's pretty much the same layout. The Filene Center is a lot prettier, it's all wood-paneled stage, very nice. But it's got a whole lot of auditorium seats mostly under cover with some lawn space in the back. Row G was an extremely nice view. The rows of seats were spaced pretty wide, so there was plenty of leg room -- enough so that you didn't have to stand every time someone walked past you to get to their own seat. I said to Jessica who sat behind me and a few seats down, "The Broadhurst would be squeezing two rows where here there's just one!"

The concert started at 8:15. The concert was absolutely fantastic. It also emphasised the NSO far more than our guest singers. This is quite all right, I had a great time as it is. Emil de Cou, the Festival Conductor from Wolf Trap, gave an introductory speech with a few Harry Potter jokes involved, so that will tell you just how much Potter has infused itself into our daily lives. Heh.

Marvin Hamlisch, really great. I mean really great. He's a fantastic musician and conductor, and he made me laugh quite a bit. Definitely made the experience so much better.

The concert was split up into two parts, intermission of fifteen minutes in the middle. The first part -- far and away the best. During the first part, the NSO-only bits were the Overture to Gypsy, a medley from My Fair Lady, and Marvin Hamlisch's own adaptation of Scott Joplin's the Entertainer. Anne Runolfsson sang "Johnny One-Note" from Babes in Arms as the opening number to the show, and then after that she brought her daughter, Tess Adams, onstage to sing a duet -- "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" from Annie Get Your Gun. As the final bit before intermission? Phantom of the Opera. Aaron didn't appear at all before this bit. And... oh. They decided to do both "Phantom of the Opera" and "Music of the Night" so Anne and Aaron could have the duet in the former. Anne sang the first verse, and then Aaron came up the side aisle near where I was sitting as he sang the second verse. The song was beautifully sung and beautifully played by the orchestra and Aaron was being, well, teh_sex. He made the sexy hand gestures that are an essential part of any good Phantom's performance all throughout the bit. And then, oh, and then we were treated to "Music of the Night." Five minutes of pure sex. I mean. Pure sex. Hugh Panaro? Howard McGillin? Anthony Warlow? Matt Cammelle? Psht. Aaron is sexier than all of them. Combined. For seriously. Who needs Hugh when you've got Aaron?! ♥ I cannot coherently and intelligently describe how he did this. Just... yum. Sex. SEX. After "Let your soul take you where you long to be!", there were some fangirls squeeing in the back, but I was too overwhelmed with happy to do anything there. Just... whoa. Some seriously amazing stuff there. Aaron, for god's sake, are you trying to kill your fangirls?! XD I think the most coherent thing I can say in response to it is what I got to say to Aaron afterwards: "After Music of the Night, I think I just forgot where I was." ♥
Jessica and I spent nearly the entire intermission flailing and squeeing at Aaron and his pure vocal sex. "Aaron should take over for Howard," I said, and she replied, "Yes, but that would really kill our bank accounts, because the cheap seats at Phantom really suck." Oh, Aaron. That would be teh awesome if it could be so, but somehow I just don't think it will happen. At least, probably not right now, not at this stage in his career. ;) Perhaps a few years down the line, I can hope for it.

The second part contained Aaron singing, "The Way You Look Tonight," and after that Aaron talked a bit about himself and his upcoming project. Aaron tells us he's going to be in "not a boy band, it's a man-band" in London. And the CD will be coming out in NOVEMBER. NOVEMBER. YES! It also featured Anne singing "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic. Instrumental bits included the unused Overture to A Chorus Line, the Theme from Schindler's List, and a few things of Marvin Hamlisch's.

... Yes, I'm aware my discussion of the second part is much sparser than the first part. But after Aaron's Music of the Night... well, really. What can compare to that?!

So afterwards we tried to make our way to the stage door. This was ... really quite interesting. I have never seen a stage door guarded like that before in my life. Metal barricades to hold back the barrage of fans, yes. "I'm sorry, but you're not allowed back unless you're on the list, that's production company rules, not mine." New one by me. The people on the list included family and close friends of Anne, Aaron, and Mr. Hamlisch. Most people were disappointed but took it well. We stood off to one side by the fence, deciding to wait around and see if we could get a glimpse of Aaron as he left. One group of people decided they were just not going to take no for an answer. They asked the poor woman who was guarding the exit towards the stage door what would happen if they "crossed the line", and she told them very seriously that she would then have to call for security to escort them off the premises. So they hung out right there before the "line" and waited for Marvin Hamlisch, and when he appeared, they shouted really loudly, "HEY MARVIN! IT'S MERVIN, YOUR COUSIN!" just as a way to grab his attention. ...wow. Um. Creepy, much? A few people who were near us joked a bit about joining the Lazar family as they went back -- because there were fifteen or eighteen members of the Lazar family there that night, including Grandma and Grandpa Lazar. Awww. XD But no one actually did what these people did. Holy crap, I'd've been highly embarrassed to have been part of that group. Oy. But eventually the crazies left too, and soon we were the only ones. The lady guarding the line asked us if she could help us, and I responded, "No, I'm sorry, you probably can't, since we're not allowed to cross the line there -- we were really hoping to get the chance to talk to Aaron." She told us that he had a lot of family so it would be a long time. We stood around and chatted a bit more -- there was a nice young lady who was standing there with us, who was basically hoping for the same thing, as she'd done stagedooring before. We said to ourselves, watching the line of cars of Marvin Hamlisch and the orchestra attempting to leave, "Hey, we can just hang out here until everyone's left the parking lot, I mean we'd have to wait in traffic anyway, right? May as well wait outside here since the weather's so nice." This paid off. Because while we were doing this, a bunch of people were walking back and forth between the stage door and the guarded exit, and the usher doing the guarding came up to us and said, "How would you like to go backstage?" HELL YES. We had to wait by the door because of Aaron's massive family, but eventually they let us in. :D

"Hey, look who it is!" ♥ Oh, Aaron. He was still in the suit he wore for the performance only he had the top two buttons undone. The man is utterly beautiful. Seriously, in that suit and the way he had his hair done up, he looked so much younger. Yum. We got hugs! Really glad to see us, I said to him that I told him I'd be there, and he was like, "I didn't believe you until I saw you ... you're not coming to LA, are you?!" and I said, "I was going to! but I can't, I'm sorry," and he was like "Aah! Yeah, that's too far." And too expensive. Sorry, Aaron. You're worth it, but my poor bank account! Jessica asked him about his band, and he definitely insists on calling it a man-band. She tried to get some names but he was all evasive, which I guess makes sense because the CD hasn't been released yet and you never know if things are going to change or whatever. Although he did say he'd try to leak us unofficial fan copies of it. Oh, Aaron, ♥. I told him, "After Music of the Night, I think I just forgot where I was," and he was all, "Awwww! Thanks!" ♥ and went on to say, "Yeah, I had such a great view of the sunset during that piece," and Jessica said, "But we didn't have that view!" Aaron responded, "What are you talking about," holding his arms out to indicate himself, "you had a view!" Oh yes, we had a view, Aaron. ♥ I LOVE THAT MAN. We were all able to introduce ourselves. I said to him, "I'm not sure I ever told you my name..." and he was like, "I should know it, you sent me e-mails, uh...." ♥ I don't think he'll forget now. Hee. :D I really don't want to be, in his mind, just "that crazy fan who comes to all my shows", you know. (So he has read my e-mails. Har. Not going to say anything more about them but at least this means I can send him another one. I have to send him one about how much I enjoyed and appreciated that night.) And then it was time to leave and I got another hug and he wished me a safe drive home and oh my god I love that man.

We stopped at Plato's, a nice little diner in College Park, and chatted awhile about fanfic and Aaron and stuff, and I had a really messy but really yummy chocolate milk shake. XD Score. I am such a kid.

Drive home was really uneventful, I didn't get lost or take any wrong ways home, so that was nice. When I got home, around 3:30, I was too full of "omgAaron" to really sleep, so I stayed up, screwed around awhile online, and finally managed to get to sleep around seven-thirty.

Truly excellent birthday present, on the whole. Really can't think of any way to improve upon it. (Okay, I can; nothing that is likely to happen, anyway.)

Photos from the day:
Meadow at the Wolf Trap Park.
This was the view from our picnic table; that wooden structure at the top left of the photo is the Filene Center.

#27, Friday 20 July

I really hate to say this, but that night's show wasn't really that spectacular, as they go. Granted the last time I was there not only was the show phenomenal but I had front row seats, which rather heightens the experience. There were a few things that stood out Friday night (both good and not so good), but as a whole I felt rather blah about it -- and found myself wishing several previous cast members were there instead of the current ones. Aaron instead of Max, who wasn't having his best night; Ben instead of Rob, because I really miss Ben; Jenny instead of Ann, who I just don't like much at all.

Lea was out as well, and is it awful of me that I inwardly heaved a sigh of relief? I am liking Lea less and less as time goes by. It's not that she's not good, I just find that I don't really like her much. I think this is the same situation as Celia, who I also decidedly disliked. I like Nikki a lot as Fantine, actually. (Also, the stage door is LOTS more manageable without Asian people shoving you out of the way for a glimpse of her.)

Couple other cast changes I should note: Doug Kreeger and Soara-Joye Ross are both gone, with Jeremy Hays and Christy Faber taking their places. I ended up calling Jessica five minutes before showtime just to go, "OMG- Jeremy Hays took over for Doug Kreeger! He's in the playbill!" XD

There was, however, one cast member that I just heart. Oh my god. MICHAEL MINARIK. SO AWESOME. Drew? Who needs Drew when you have MICHAEL. Michael is a rambly drunk in Master of the House -- after other!Chip tossed him out of the way so Dan could sit down, Michael just rambled at Chip and Marya until other!Chip tossed him out of the way again. He didn't molest the girl bending over or Chip like Drew did, which is so much more awesome. And then in Red and Black, he pranced around at "and here he comes like DON JU-AN!" making me giggle helplessly. He was being gay without being, well, Drew!gay. Soawesome. Minor molesting of Adam, and Nehal smacked him after he spilled the bottle. XD Drink With Me, fantastic. He has such a forlorn face while he's singing his lines, and then when Max grabs him, he's really got the kicked puppy look down, and his whole thing with trying to protest to Max that he doesn't really mean any harm, honest! is so damn adorable, I want to squish him. (Also, Max grabbed him by the face after his Drink With Me 'lecture' and literally STROKED HIS CHEEK WITH HIS THUMB. Can we say SLASH EXPLOSION OMG ADORABLE.) And during "Let others rise to take our place..." Michael made me cry. He picked up Gavroche's little flag--AND WAVED IT ABOUT. ENTHUSIASTICALLY. Waaah. ♥ I LOVE MICHAEL MINARIK'S GRANTAIRE SO MUCH OH MY GOD.

Umm... oh yeah, and Alex screwed up the letter. "Can it be only a week ... since... uh... canitbeonlyadaysincewemet and the world was reborn." OOPS. Way to make the flub obvious, there, Alex. Thank god this was the last time I'd be seeing him. Twenty seven times is more than enough anyway. XD

Now I was seriously hoping for Nehal to be on again Friday night, since Max was out earlier in the week. Not so, alas (and obviously if you've read the previous few paragraphs). I didn't really want to hang around the stage door because if I run I can make the 11:20 train rather than waiting for the 11:50 train. (Is it sad or what that I know the PATH train schedules by heart?) But, y'know, I had to talk to Nehal, even if I didn't talk to anyone else. He never takes too long, anyway. Nehal is going to make me blow off work. XD And by that I mean he was FINALLY able to give me a definite date when he'd be on. He said that Max has a wedding or something on Monday 30 July. "B-b-b-ut, MONDAY," I spluttered at him, starting a conversation on work and why weekdays suck for shows. So now Nehal kind of knows where I work. XD I don't remember telling him my name, either, but I must've at some point in the past few weeks, 'cause I got a "See you later, Jenn!" before he left. *g* Hoo dear. Another thing to add to the list of "You know you've gone way too much when..." Dammit, I'm not even sure Aaron knows my name yet.

So, off I went. I stopped at Starbucks, then headed for the train. Train was waiting. And now it's time for an adventure. Never in all my times riding PATH have I ever gone on the wrong train. Before that night. On my 80208346th time on the fucking trains I got headed the wrong direction. This isn't entirely my fault as the train I was on clearly indicated HOB JSQ which is the train I'm supposed to get on. Except it merrily went to Pavonia/Newport without stopping at Hoboken at all, so I had to ride to Journal Square and then switch to the waiting HOB 33 train. >___< Thankfully it was only an extra ten or fifteen minutes, but that's still bloody aggravating. The tip off should have been that the train was in Track 3 and not Track 4 like usual. ...Okay, yeah, I'm definitely too familiar with the PATH lines.

And then I got back to the parking garage where they overcharged me and didn't want to (or couldn't) fix it. I was charged $25 but I was only there for less than 6 hours, which according to their sign should only be $11. And the attendant said, "Oh it's probably because you went from Friday night into Saturday morning." Keep in mind the rates are the same, weekday or weekend. FUCKERS. That's $14 I could have used at Wawa! Three days' worth of breakfast! *bitch bitch bitch*

So yes. Next entry: Aaron at Wolf Trap! :D

11 July 2007

#26 (+ Frost/Nixon!)

Well, I left at 9:10 on Saturday morning. Twenty minutes later than I wanted to, but okay. Stopped at Wawa in Wescosville, waited in the line, gas for $2.52/gallon. We shall revisit this gas station before the day is done. I got to NYC at about 12:30 and stopped at the Manhattan Mall for the bathroom. Nothing like holding it in for twenty minutes leaning on a pole in the midst of an overcrowded train, let me tell you. XD

Made it up to 44th Street around one, stood there talking a bit in the sun, and since Jessica said she got a cheapass seat for Frost/Nixon, I decided to go along. What the hell, I'd meant to see it anyway, right? So I got the last row of the mezzanine for $36.50, but since the mezzanine wasn't what you call full, I got to move down to the front row of the rear mezzanine. XD The show was about two hours long, maybe a little less, so no intermission. It was amusing and engaging and I liked it. Given that the subject matter is something I knew nothing about, not having experienced Nixon for myself -- I was born during the Reagan administration -- I was pleasantly surprised. Frank Langella is excellent.

Having some trouble finding shows I want to see. I mean, most of the shows fall into one of the following categories:
-Les Mis
-Seen it, don't care to see it again.
-Don't care to see it at all.
-Closed or soon closing.
The only exceptions I can think of now are Curtains, Spring Awakening, and Jersey Boys. And, uh, Spring Awakening I might be avoiding for a while just 'cause its fans are so utterly insane and scary.

Frost/Nixon only being two hours long, we were able to stand outside the Broadhurst in the hot sun for about forty-five minutes before Les Mis even ended, so we baked and talked about random stuff. We said hello to a few people, I squeed about my front-row seat because yeah, I'm spastic about that stuff. And and and we saw ROB. :D Rob is taller than I remember, haha. It had been exactly three months since I saw him last (last time I saw him was April 7, his last weekend in the first go-round), and he remembers me! (Okay, to be fair, it might be partially because I was there with Jessica) He gave us both hugs. ♥ Saying something like, "Ew, but I'm all sweaty and stuff," and Jessica just said, "that's okay, we are too!" Oh, Rob. I am glad he's back in the cast. Not glad about the reason he's back in the cast, but Rob is just awesome, so it doesn't make everything suck completely.

Lulu called at some point during this and said she'd meet us around 5:30, perhaps a little later. So we stood around and waited. And killed time by listening to Aaron. ♥ We had dinner at Galaxy Diner, and talked about fanfiction, and magically made the window next to our table open and close untouched. Plenty of fun times. XD

And of course now you want to hear about the show. :D

I had Orchestra Row A, Seat 2. This is on house right; for those of you who have been in the Broadhurst, on orchestra level on the sides there are exactly two seats in the front row, directly in front of the stage. I sat right in front of the platform where Nehal and Haviland get their thing on in Lovely Ladies. Oh, man. I LOVE FRONT ROW. Seriously, like I said afterwards, I have not had that much fun at LM since Aaron's last weekend, which, coincidentally, was the last time I had front row. *g* This might have even been more fun due to the amount of different folks doing really awesome/amusing stuff, but Aaron makes everything better just by being there, so yeah. Also, pre-show, it sounded as though there was quite the hack game going on, since there was lots of hooting and noise from behind the curtain. *g*

Notes by performer:

Alex - Less spitty than usual although still pretty impressive at times. *g*

Rob - Oh my god. Where to even begin. He doesn't have sideburns so he's like the youngest Javert ever. XD He has a good voice -- not to match either of the Bens, but very good. It's the way he acts the part that totally wins. If Rob had a voice like either of the Bens I'd be the happiest Javert fangirl ever. He does the thing with the baton. ♥ The way he ties his tricolour sash. ♥ STARS. ♥ AND THE BARRICADE SCENE. OMG. Those little "You idiot, how could you miss!" faces at the sniper! *ded* And that stupid little scene with Valjean after the First Attack, oh yay. I heart Rob's Javert and I wanna see more. Can't wait to see him again.

Lea - She's a good actress, but the fact that her performance is almost exactly the same every time I see her prevents me from calling her great. Sorry Lea. Nice voice, good acting, but you're boring me.

Megan - Oh, I'm finally enjoying Eponine. I never have before. Celia didn't do it for me and I wanted to spork Mandy. And I don't remember the girls I saw in Hershey or Toronto that well. I've never been an Eponine fan.

Adam - I only cringed once at his awful "eeee" tonight, and that was during Drink With Me. Either he's improving or I'm just getting used to that horrible noise he makes. ;) He is so entertaining during DWM, his "wtf" actions during "I am agog..."etc. are awesome. "The man's a court jester!" he said after "It's better than an opera!" Also, I know Adam's trying to be all emotional in the Finale but I just think he looked constipated. I mean. Sorry, Adam, but .... yeah. XD Is it bad of me to say I'd rather see Dan more often?

Ali - Is so cute and pretty and sweet, I just can't complain, but she suffers from same-thing-every-night syndrome too.

Max - Damn. Just... damn. (Did I say that last time, too?) He's... really damn good. And wow does he look good, too. I really like. No one compares to Aaron but Max has gotten so much better in the last two months. I am honestly very, very pleased with his performance, especially last night's. His "Look Down" was never as convincing as Aaron's, but the rest of the show he's been nailing night after night. I approve wholeheartedly. ALSO. He was bent over on the barricade after Gavroche's Death. Not quite as dramatically as Aaron, but there was definite bendage and a view of his rear end. Oh yes. Oh, and no, I will never be capable of discussing Max's Enjolras without bringing up Aaron. Aaron is the standard to which every subsequent Enjolras shall be compared. ♥

Ann - There are nights when I actively cannot stand her. There are nights when I'm just sort of meh about her. Saturday was the latter. I'd like to see an understudy Madame again. Haha.

Other!Chip - It's so nice to have a Thenardier who doesn't suck. I don't think he flubbed any lines, either! Yay. He just looks so Thenardier-ish, I love him. :D

Michael Minarik - YAY. YAY. YAY. I miss Drew -- but only during Master of the House, because he was so amusing, small parts of Red and Black because he was so effective at molesting Adam, and Bring Him Home because of the longing looks he used to shoot at Aaron (and Max too). Michael, however, just... wins. He has a nice voice, he's not over the top gay, he doesn't hump Jeff Kready (Jeff must be really glad), he is SO ADORABLE with Gavroche, I could hear him trying to tell him he wasn't going to fight while he was helping him tie the little red flag. and WAVED THE LITTLE RED FLAG AROUND!. And carrying Gavroche off the stage, not just dragging him. And again with the flag after Gavroche's death scene, awww. He needs to work on his death, because he just sort of sits down on the barricade, but I HEART. The kicker was Drink With Me when Max grabs him and he's all, "but that's not what I meant!" with the kicked-puppy look, and just before Max walks away again, "I'm sorry!" ♥! I am so looking forward to seeing him some more. Also, my front row seat often afforded me a view of his ass. He's got a nice one. *g* Oh, and as the innkeeper, he messed up and said, "We're god-fearing people...thanks be to God." awwww.

Jeremy Hays - Did I mention last time that I don't miss Blake Ginther and I want Jeremy to stay? He's such an awesome Feuilly. He is really effective in DYHTPS and I don't think he cracked on the A in "We'll be there!" either. He sounds really good and he looks really good. ♥

Nehal Joshi - Oh, my, what to say. Most hilarious member of the cast, hands down. Bored prison guard in the prologue, very pleased sailor in Lovely Ladies (inches from my face that night, oh man. XD), CHICKEN DANCE and "I love bosoms!" and "Did he lose a tooth?!" (at Michael) in Master of the House, and his Lesgles plays well off of Grantaire in Red and Black. And Saturday night, I finally got to watch him in Beggars at the Feast. KILLED ME DEAD. Oh, Nehal. Slashiness with Chip. Win all around. And he waved at me during curtain call! Nehal has way too much fun during that show, and it's just awesome. I hope he never leaves. XD (Okay, at least not before I get to see him as Enjolras. 26 times and still haven't! :P)

Dan Bogart - I want to see him more as Marius. Except then I'd have to see Trafton as Bamatabois and Combeferre and The Traveler, and, well, Dan just pwns them all so masterfully. No one can beat Dan's facial expressions, ever. So emotive. His WTF faces in Master of the House kill me, his Bamatabois is so deliciously evil it makes me cackle, and his Combeferre is SO DAMN ADORABLE. I love that boy. And and and and he had the guitar during Drink With Me, which... YAY! ♥ Also, I kinda feel sorry for him during Dog Eat Dog, being hauled around like that. XD

Chip - I do not think I have ever been at a show and he wasn't there. His Bishop is a little too... intense for my liking, but honestly I'm not complaining, y'know. He waved at curtain call, too. His queer in Beggars at the Feast is utterly win, especially playing off of Nehal's awesomeness. ♥ And his drunken acting, hahaha, such win. :D

Ben Crawford: It seems really weird to see him as Brujon and not as Courfeyrac. Not that I don't like Don's Courfeyrac, I just... liked Ben's more. And while Ben has the body type for Brujon, I just connected him with Courfeyrac for the longest time. It's just that I have to get used to it, haha. His Foreman is totally the best, though. I heart his voice. And I wish he didn't have to have such a fierce mane of beard. He'd look better with just the 'burns, I swear. I will be very, very happy to see him as Javert again, though, if Rob has to take any time off.

Don Brewer - Is a really cute Courfeyrac. *g*. Also: "I wanna kill that bastard," as he's dragging Rob off the stage. Hahahahaaa. Pity he doesn't really get many lines, I wish I could hear more of him.

Kevin - Awww, Kevin, he's cute. *g* I enjoyed how he followed Ann around during Beggars at the Feast trying to keep her from stealing the silverware. And... yeah, he's just cute in general. :D

Christy Faber - Haviland was out so Christy was the Factory Girl. I liked her, but I'm just used to Haviland. *shrugs*

Kaylie Rubinaccio - Like I said last week, it is unfathomable to me that any Young Cosette could be worse than Carly, but Kaylie managed it. Ow, my eardrums. >__<

Zach Rand - This production has great Gavroches. Probably for the best, since the girls aren't terribly great. I still like Brian more than Zach, but Zach's pretty damn good either way.

...that's everyone, isn't it? I never have any comment on the female cast members, sorry. I likes my boys. :D

Curtain call was a blast. Jessica and I screamed for everyone and some of the boys waved at us. *g* Front row is so much fun, I love it. I'm going to have to call Telecharge one day and tell them to find me another front row seat. :D

And stage door. Oh dear GOD after the show just... wow. XD

As with the show -- notes by performer. Just to make it easier to remember it all.
Between shows, after the matinee... Mike Evariste ran into me on the way back with his food and apologised. We spent a few minutes trying to decide whether that was a 'voluntary' a la the Guilty Ones or not. I mean, it was an accident, but I didn't talk to him. *g* Crazy SA fans gave us lots of laughter. It's always vaguely amusing to watch people leave and come back a few minutes later with food.

Lea - Still haven't talked to her, but I distinctly heard her say to a fan, "It's getting late, I should get home..." Poor woman.

Rob - Said hi to Rob again, and talked to him about our upcoming schedule. Next week I'm at work and Jessica's in Sacramento, following week is the Aaron concert, and then after that we're back up in NYC again. XD He told us to say hello to people for him.

Michael Minarik - He was one of the last people we talked to, 'cause he had family there too. I stopped him so I could tell him that I adored him as Grantaire, and he took a few minutes, recognised Jessica, and then I got to introduce myself to Michael. :D We told him how much we love him as Grantaire, and he said something like, "Wow, it's great that I could impress you guys since you've been so many times...how many has it been?" XD Me, I'll hit 30 by the end of the month -- 28 revival and 2 tour. That just sounds wrong, doesn't it?

Max - I tried to tell Max good things. I have avoided this before because I was afraid I'd mention Aaron which would only turn out badly, because as mentioned before no one is as good as Aaron and... yeah, no one wants to be told they're not as good as someone else. I was getting really tired and I don't think I worded it well, but I hope I got across to Max that I am really enjoying his performance these days. He doesn't hang around much -- presumably because he's tired. *g* After the matinee we didn't see him at all and I'm guessing he snuck away very early while we were talking to someone and ran home for his nap, because around 7:25 he came back with his iPod on. XD I heart that boy, he's just adorable.

Dan - was with family, but he noticed us and waved so we chatted a bit about how much fun front row is. I can't say anything else about it. Front row is just a lot of fun, even if you can't take naps during the boring solo numbers anymore. XD I heart that boy.

Nehal - Nehal has taken the place of Aaron at the stage door in the capacity of entertainment. Jessica and I told him just how entertaining he is and how much we love it, and I asked him about the thing he has with Chip, because Chip walked over around that time. And Chip just says, "No, I'm his uncle!" Nehal goes, "Yeah, I'm the best man at the wedding." Oh, much love. Much love. And and and I got a photo! :D I heart that boy, oh yes I do. ♥

And I said hello to Ali, Adam, Ben Crawford, and a couple other folks. Jessica chatted with Jeremy Hays and got other!Chip to sign her insert of Into the Woods and stuff. I haven't been around as long, people don't know me too well. xD

also picked up a cute Asian boy at the show, haha.

After the stage door we walked over to Starbucks, and then Lulu left with Jessica and I walked back to the PATH station.

On the way home... well, it was horrid, I almost fell asleep more times than I can count, but obviously I made it. I've, uh, already bought D15 for 20 July. *sigh* Oh well, this way I can see something other than LM for the matinee on the 28th and still reach 30 performances that day. *g* And that will be a poll question regarding just what to see for matinee in due time, I'm sure.

...also, I just realised something disturbing: Rob Hunt reminds me of John the analyst at work. (Or should that be the other way around?) O_o

Photos from the day:
Me and Nehal Joshi.
Gas price in Wescosville

01 July 2007

#24 and #25

I am really going to need to learn to leave for NYC sooner than 9:30am on two-show Saturdays. I got to the theatre at 1:45, dammit, and I ought to be there an hour earlier than that. It didn't affect my seating really, but I hate having to run so I'm not late. Of course part of the problem is my wacked-out sleep schedule which ended in me not getting to sleep before 4:30am. Argh. No staying up until ridiculous hours before NYC and no whacking at the snooze button. I'm going to have to train myself. XD

Drive to Hoboken was interesting. The good news is they have finished all the construction on I-78! Yay! The bad news is now they're doing construction on US-222 north and southbound around the interchange onto I-78 which caused some delays and weird traffic patterns. This being part of the reason I got to the theatre so damned late. I had to stop at the Subway a block away from the parking garage to pee, because there was no way in hell I was going to make it to the theatre without wetting myself. PATH from Hoboken to 33rd Street was uneventful other than the Matt Clemens look-a-like I saw on the train. This is getting weird. First I saw the Alex look-a-like one night on the way back to Hoboken, June 9th I saw someone who looked almost exactly like Aaron buying a new MetroCard in the Hoboken station, and June 30 I saw a Matt look-a-like.

Right then, the show. Matinee seat was D114 -- orchestra, four rows from the stage, directly behind the front row seat I had in April, on the aisle. Evening seat was Box C, the last box on House Right. Matinee was the better seat but I love sitting up in the boxes. Also, the cast has been pretty well shuffled around.

Cast members staying the same:
Alex Gemignani (Valjean); Lea Salonga (Fantine); Adam Jacobs (Marius); Ali Ewoldt (Cosette); Max von Essen (Enjolras); Ann Harada (Mme Thenardier); Drew Sarich (Grantaire); Dan Bogart (Bamatabois/Combeferre); Chip Leonard (Bishop/Claquesous); Nehal Joshi (Lesgles), Doug Kreeger (Prouvaire); Jeff Kready (Fauchelevent/Babet); Haviland Stillwell (Factory Girl); Nikki Renée Daniels (Madeleine); Becca Ayers, Marya Grandy, Soara-Joye Ross, Idara Victor (ensemble ladies); Kylie Liya Goldstein, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Kaylie Rubinaccio as Young Cosette and Eponine; Zach Rand and Brian D'Addario as Gavroche.
Understudies and new tracks:
Ben Crawford (u/s Javert); Megan McGinnis (Eponine); Stephen Trafton (u/s Foreman/Brujon); Jeremy Hays (u/s Feuilly)
Brand new cast members
Chip Zien (Thenardier); Don Brewer (Courfeyrac); Mike Evariste (Montparnasse); Kevin David Thomas (Major Domo); Lucia Spina (ensemble lady); Christy Faber (Swing).

Whew, think I got everyone. Let's have some details!

· Alex - Meh. I think it says a lot that "meh" is the only comment I can muster.
· Ben Crawford - :D! ♥ He was a little jerky in the matinee, less so in the evening. He looked odd because he's got the full facial hair, presumably because he's the Valjean understudy. Last I saw him he had pretty impressive sideburns of his own, heh. His voice is brilliant. Deep and, dare I say it, classical and heavy. Or, in other words: perfect. The role of Javert ought to be played by a man with a deep, classical voice (so fuck you Cameron Mackintosh). Ben does the little baton-twirl which made me squee. And his Suicide? Oh my god. In the matinee version, he was shouty and kept heaving loud deep breaths during the beginning of the Suicide, but the rest of it was utterly phenomenal: I have not cried at the Suicide since the first time I heard Quast's on the CSR ten years ago. Ben Crawford was appropriately emotional and it really worked. I loved Ben Davis' Suicide a lot but compared to Ben Crawford he seemed a bit unemotional. In short I really really wanna see Ben Crawford many more times as Javert (preferably without beard, haha, though I know that won't happen as long as he's understudying Valjean).
· Lea - I liked her better when she called Dan a "fucking bastard". She's good but I don't like her singing voice as much as her understudies'.
· Megan McGinnis - While I don't like her as much as I like Marissa, I do like her better than I like Celia's, and I definitely like her a lot better than Mandy's.
· Ali - Adorable, as always.
· Adam - Adorable, as always; and still needs to fix those long "ee"s, as usual. He managed quite a bit of laughs during AHFOL in the evening show.
· Max - Was having quite a good day. Vocally rather good. And I do not know what the hell happened in the last few weeks but damn he looked good in that costume. He left the black vest buttoned up during Red and Black which I don't think he used to do (and Aaron didn't); and good god those pants show off a rather nice butt; and ... yeah, Max is really looking good as Enjolras. Never going to be as good as Aaron (but then, who can), however I genuinely enjoy his performance the majority of the time. If he left I'd probably be rather sad (though not as sad as when Aaron left XD). Also! Max stole Aaron's thing during the matinee: bending over the table in Red and Black to 'lecture' Adam. He didn't do it in the evening but... MAX. THAT WAS AARON'S THING. EVEN IF YOU DO HAVE A NICE ASS. If Max'd bent over the barricade too I might've had to say something. XD
· Ann Harada - Why couldn't she have stayed fired?!
· Chip Zien - HO YAY I CAN FINALLY ENJOY MASTER OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT HAVING TO WATCH DREW AND NEHAL FOR ENTERTAINMENT. In other words, I heart Chip Zien and I think he is a great Thenardier: he really does look the part and he is seriously a refreshing change (much for the better) from Gary Beach. Looking forward to seeing him some more. Chip Leonard said it was his second day which explained why he screwed up a few lines during the day -- the best one being, "His watch is no longer ticking but his heart's going strong..and his watch is ticking yet!" in the evening Dog Eat Dog.
· Kaylie Rubinaccio - Finally got to see her and oh my god is it possible that a little Cosette can be worse than Carly?! Aie, mine ears. Her enunciation doesn't suck but her voice is awful and apparently they want the eight year olds to belt. X__X
· Kylie Liya Goldstein - She's pretty inoffensive, which is about all you can ask for it seems from a Young Cosette these days. I miss Tess, she was actually good.
· Brian D'Addario - I heart this kid. "Stop it! I'm here to fight! Let me go!"
· Zach Rand - Not as good as Brian but his deaths are more believable.
· Drew - Saturday was his last day as Grantaire/the drunk. And you could tell he was really having fun. He seemed to be having an on-stage thing with Jeff Kready: a snog during Master of the House, sitting on his lap at the beginning of Red and Black, humping him at the barricades... XD Drew also kissed Nehal in Red and Black, Adam in Red and Black as usual, and Chip during Master of the House in the evening show, oh and he acted like he was throwing up in Kevin's lap during the evening Master of the House. I didn't pay any attention to Drew during the matinee in Master of the House, too busy enjoying Chip Zien and Dan. Nuzzles with Max in the matinee during Drink With Me, but nothing other than a look in the evening. Drew is just so much fun to watch as Grantaire, I'm kind of going to miss him. Even if I do like Matt!R a whole lot more.
· Dan - I ♥ him. His facial expressions are just the best, completely cracking me up during Master of the House -- Chip Zien was being very grabby, and Dan's WTF faces are absolutely priceless -- and he is just so evil as Bamatabois and then just so adorable as Combeferre. ♥
· Stephen Trafton - Such a cute Foreman! I kinda wanted to ruffle his hair. XD
· Nehal - So. Entertaining. Hahaha. He still does the chicken dance on the table in Master of the House, but he added a little something-something: at Thenardier's line "Everybody's boon companion, everybody's bosom friend..." Nehal remarks, "I like bosoms!" I heard this during the matinee 'cause I was so close and just cracked the hell up. ♥ Oh, Nehal. I love that boy. And his Bossuet is almost as much as a drunk as Grantaire is: during the evening show he drank from his bottle more than Drew did in Red and Black, and I think it was Doug Kreeger who leaned over and told him to slow down a little. And I heart his loudhailer. Also, he is terribly amusing as the prison guard in the Prologue, he makes a great cop, hilarious as the sailor in Lovely Ladies, and... yeah, that boy just livens up the stage almost every single time he shows up. ♥
· Mike Evariste - The new JD. He is not JD. I want JD back. Mike doesn't suck, he's just sort of... there. Barely noticeable. Not bad, but not exactly good either.
· Don Brewer - :D I think he's cute and I like him. Still need to get used to him being there, same with Kevin David Thomas.
· Jeremy Hays - Cracked both shows on the high A in "Let them come if they dare -- we'll be there!" (nothing huge or awful, but I could tell) however he reinforced that I don't miss Blake Ginther when he's out. Heh. I really liked the way he took Feuilly's lines in Do You Hear the People Sing; i.e., not just standing there and singing to the audience, but interacting with the barricade boys during the four lines. Very nice.

Er, I can't really think of anything else right now. Will add if anything later. Between shows Jessica and I wandered around a few blocks restaurant hunting. There was a Turkish place that caught my eye a few weeks ago when I was meeting up with Katherine but I decided it was too expensive for food I'd never had before and couldn't be certain I'd eat. We ended up at Galaxy Diner. XD Note for future reference: Their Philly cheesesteaks are not Philly cheesesteaks. You do not put Philly cheesesteaks on a hero. Cheesesteaks are chopped up steak, melted cheese (not cheese-whiz!), and sauce/onions optional, on a sub. It wasn't particularly good, either. Hey, well, can't say I didn't try. During our wanderings we found the National Debt Clock on 6th and 44th so I stopped to take a photo (which I will import and upload later). I'm easily amused, what more can I say?

Stage door:
Max - After the matinee: "I'm exhausted, see you later, I'm going home to sleep" and practically runs home. Such a sweetie. I could hug him. After the evening: he chatted with me for a few seconds but then excused himself to talk to his girlfriend. So possibly the boy is not gay. XD I heart that boy.
Drew - He at least seemed to be very glad that I stuck around for both shows today and indicated that he is very excited to be Valjean -- to wit, I told him I would be there at the end of July when he starts as Valjean, and he went, "WOO!" Haha, oh Drew. He was wearing a lime-green shirt half-unbuttoned under an unbuttoned vest. Boy needs to shave some of that chest hair and grow some facial hair. XD I heart that boy.
Nehal - I did it, I had to: "So Nehal, I hear you like bosoms." He literally made an XD face and told me that he likes to change up his jokes every once in awhile since after Cameron's shake up he wasn't allowed to call Drew an ass anymore. ...and then he went and did the "You ass!" thing for the evening show 'cause it was Drew's last as R and I pointed that out, too. I heart that boy, seriously. He's adorable and so friendly.
Dan - Got to tell him again how much I adore his facial expressions and talk with him about how weird it was to be on vacation and hear about the cast changes. Also, Dan is the source of yet another "You know you've been to LM too many times when" ... when Dan automatically assumes after the Saturday matinee that you'll be there in the evening too. I heart that boy.
Ben Crawford - Stopped him after the matinee and told him that he was wonderful and that the matinee show was the first time I'd cried at Suicide in ten years. Look, the boy is that awesome, I am going to let him know just how much.
Chip Leonard - Missing after the matinee but he told me after the evening that he was just so tired he just fell asleep upstairs afterwards. Aww. But after the evening I got to talk to him for a few minutes about the show and stuff, especially about how great other!Chip was as Thenardier and the weird cast changes. He's so chatty, and as usual wished me a safe drive home. I heart him.

...it feels like I talked to other people but I can't think who. Matt talked to Jessica and not me. Possibly that is the entire list. Once my arms don't look like utter crap from the burn I'ma going to get myself a photo with Ben Crawford. And Nehal. Why have I not gotten a Nehal!pic yet?!

Also! I succeeded in my quest in getting a pedicab to drive me back from 44th to the PATH station on 6th and 33rd! :D $15, the driver was a friendly (and rather cute) Belarussian student. It's an experience, let me tell you. Don't do it with a skirt on, I spent the whole ride holding my skirt down so I wouldn't flash all and sundry on the streets of Manhattan. But it's really fun and I highly recommend giving it a try. I'm not going to do it every time, because hello $15 better spent on food.

Drive home? Made an awesome discovery. The Wawa in Wescosville I always stop at for gas and/or munchies and drinks had GAS AT $2.42/GALLON. WIN WIN WIN. Especially considering fifteen minutes beforehand was the place in Jersey for $2.85 and then twenty minutes later got to the Sheetz in Fleetwood for $2.79. I asked the clerk and he said it's the lowest in the Lehigh Valley (I am thinking $2.42 has to be the lowest in the country considering the national average last I looked a few days ago was $2.80-some.) and that it might go up quite a bit again soon since crude prices are going back up. I don't get how that place's $0.30 lower than any other place but I am so not complaining. Only $20 to fill my tank again! :D

New York again next Saturday. I know Jessica is going too, and possibly Kristin. I'm going to attempt leaving before 9am this time to get to NYC before noon. XD Anyone else who is going to be in the city or wants to come should drop me a line.

14 June 2007

Carousel @ the Boston Pops, 13 June 2007

I'd intended to leave by 10, but as per usual I didn't get up right away and I blew fifteen minutes on lj. So I left around 10:30, 10:45. The way to Boston from my house is really rather straightforward. Only problem really was the $4 toll to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. I'm pretty sure that if I went up 95 there'd be a toll on some NYC tunnel or whatever, so meh. I don't think you can avoid paying tolls to go to Boston. Could be worse. With only one stop and a lot of going 80mph, I made it to the exit into Boston off 93 by 5pm. And then proceeded to sit in Boston traffic on Massachusetts Avenue for about half an hour. I parked at a garage on... not St. Stephen's Street, the one right next to it. Westland? Doesn't matter; it's the one that cost $19 for an under-10 hour stay. XD It was about a block, block and a half from Symphony Hall either way. So I spent awhile walking around Boston -- it was chilly and breezy and quite overcast, but it was good to walk in. The neighbourhood is excellent. It's mostly residential/student residential, looks like the area of Boston University. I surmised this by all the kids walking around with Boston University sweatshirts.

If you have never been to the Boston Pops, or any concert at Symphony Hall, I highly recommend it. It was a wonderful experience. The hall itself is absolutely beautiful, I have a few pictures which I may upload when I don't feel so lazy. If you buy orchestra-level seats, they will seat you in folding chairs at a table and feed you overpriced appetizers and wine from the bottle during the performance. So I sat and drank Coke and ate cheesecake and got to listen to Aaron sing. :D Whole new definition of having my cake and eating it too. xD

The performance was wonderful. I didn't know anything before about Carousel, but I really enjoyed the performance. Eve-Lyn de la Haye and Rebecca Eichenberger both have really beautiful voices (they were Julie and Carrie, respectively) which was lovely. Everyone was simply phenomenal -- a lot of times you go to a performance and there's one or two performers who just aren't as good as the others; well that was not the case here at all. Everyone was so talented and beautiful, I wished I could have stayed in Boston until tonight to see it again. But... alas.

Oh, Aaron. What to say that I haven't said before? The man is just fantastic. :D ♥ His voice was in fine form, and as for his clothes... well, er, his shirt was about two sizes too small, or in other words, might as well not have worn it at all. It was a veeeeeery nice sight, let me tell you, even as far back in the hall as I was.

Aaron gave me some really exciting news after the show: He was talking to some other fans who were standing next to me, who asked him what his next project was. So I sort of continued that conversation-
Me: Aaron, did I hear you say you're getting a record deal?
Aaron: Yeah.
Me: So does that mean you're finally doing a solo album?!
Aaron: Yes!
Me: Awesome! :D
Aaron: ...well, maybe.
So it sounds as though he's started on the project but the details have yet to be hammered out and finalised. :D HOYAY. I want a solo album of Aaron. I'm probably going to have to burn another copy of Masada soon anyway, the one in my car's already a bit skippy.

And I got two Aaronhugs. :D I ♥ him so much.

So then I drove home. Traffic out of Boston was horrendous, but otherwise it was a very uneventful drive home. I need to put more money on my EZ-Pass now, heh, I'm pretty sure I'm down to the last few dollars. If that. XD

11 June 2007

#23, 09 June 2007

I ended up leaving at 12:45 to get to NYC, and I parked in Hoboken around 3:30. Had to make a few stops along the way, the bank and the gas station in town for cash and something to drink/eat on the way up, and the Wawa in Wescosville to fill up. Their gas is the cheapest around if you pay cash, they give you a discount if you do that.

Got into the city just after 4, but I had to stop in the Mall of Manhattan and use the restroom. And then I got distracted at 39th Street. For those of you who know that area of NYC-- Golda Meir Square, between 39th and 40th. There's this big area of sidewalk. On this area there were six guys and a boombox playing Michael Jackson's music. One of the guys was dressed in black pants, a fedora, and a silver-sequined coat, and there were five other guys all wearing the same outfit (doo-rags, long baggy shirts and shorts, black undershirts) and breakdancing. A crowd was gathering so I decided to stay and watch. They were breakdancing to Thriller and Beat It. The guy dressed like Michael Jackson could dance like Michael Jackson, and the breakdancing was something else. It was pretty impressive. I don't often pay attention to street performers, but this was fun to kill fifteen or so minutes on and I gave 'em a dollar.

It was 4:50 by the time I got to 44th, so I went over to hang out at the Broadhurst instead. Nehal stopped to chat for a few minutes. I asked him about Ben Crawford's absence a few weeks ago, and he said that Ben had hurt his ankle during rehearsal for Javert. Apparently Ben has also gone on for Javert, because Nehal asked me whether I'd seen him as Javert yet. Nehal said that Ben has an impressive voice. Oh man. I so want to see him as Javert. Really badly. Nehal also said, "There seems to be a gunk at the Broadhurst, because everyone has been getting sick from it. I've never seen that before, not even when I was at Studio 54!" and called Max a workhorse who never seems to take time off, when I asked Nehal again whether he had any idea when I could see him on for Enjolras. Ah well, I hope I'll get a chance in the future. Nehal also said that Cameron was at the show that day. As in, Cameron Mackintosh. So there was definitely a bit of a buzz around the theatre. (And explained the little girls running up to the stage door before the evening show going, "I want to see Cameron!" Those kids are so adorable.)

After saying hi to Max, it was time to meet up with Katherine. It took a little bit of time to meet up, but that's okay, I found a few new interesting things, to wit: a Turkish restaurant on 47th between 6th and 7th which looks like it might be a nice spot to eat some time. I've never had Turkish, so I'm quite curious. We walked around the city for a while. I stopped at TKTS to see if there were any seats for LM. Apparently there were but the line was fucking ginormous and there was no way I was going to wait an hour or two in it. Maybe another time. This is how I ended up back at the Broadhurst paying $111.25 for my Row P seat. I should have just taken F22 or the mezz seat that she offered me. So pissed off at Telecharge for that.

Either way, we had a lot of fun walking around and talking about Broadway and other random stuff, and then stopping at Starbucks and having some frappuccinos. Mmmm, frappuccino. Katherine left at 7 for dinner with her family, and I went to hang out at the Broadhurst before the show.

Best story of the night: I was standing by the stage door. Some Filipino ladies were standing by the street, and Lea snuck in with a shopping bag and her glasses on. They shouted her name as she walked in, and she seemed to ignore them. Then Max comes up to the stage door, and as he walks to the door, Lea comes out and says, Hey, was someone looking for me? She goes over to the fans, and I suddenly remember, "Hey, Max? Did they let you get rid of the wig yet?" He said yes and made a 'woot' gesture, and then Lea says, out of the blue, "Yes! I am the happiest person in the world now that the wig is gone!" Bahaha. That, incidentally, was the most conversation I have ever had with Lea. After that Max went in and Lea signed autographs, took pictures, and chatted in Pinoy with the fans. They were so happy to get to talk to her. She's a nice person, but I still feel bad for her being chased by all those fans. Half of the Philippines must have come to see her by now.

The show was great. Everyone was doing well. I've seen the show twenty-three times now, so there was that really stood out in my eyes, but I should make a few notes anyway.
Alex - Tangibly less cranky, although he still needs to lighten up a bit in the Valjean/Javert scene after the barricades.
Ben Davis - Just fantastic. ♥ His "Stars" always makes me a little wibbly inside, and his Suicide makes me a lot wibbly inside.
Lea - I don't really like her take on "I Dreamed a Dream", but she's a fantastic actress. Also, no swearing at Dan, I presume because of Cameron's presence.
Ann - I really hated her on Saturday, for some reason. I haven't hated her before, but that show I just kept wishing she would go away and put Jenny back in her place.
Gary - Eh. No real comment, his performance is exactly the same every time. He can go away now.
Mandy - Honestly, she was not annoying at all until ALFOR. I could stand her performance; didn't particularly like it, but it was tolerable. ALFOR, however, made me twitchy. Poor Adam.
Adam - Adorable, although he still needs to fix his long 'e' vowels. Aie.
Ali - She's so cute. She doesn't change much from performance to performance, though, so I never have anything to say about her. She's got a beautiful voice even if her high C's aren't very strong.
Max - See I never really know what to say. His voice is a lot lighter than Aaron's, and he's definitely a tenor and not a baritone. He looks ten times better without the godawful wig, too, and from my vantage point he looked a lot like Aaron dangling from the barricade. Still doesn't have enough charisma, but I can honestly say I like his Enjolras. I have to say I have a lot of respect for an Enjolras who topples like that over the barricade: headfirst, no hesitation. Haha. This is probably because Aaron wimped out on the toppling due to his back injury, so it's a nice thing to see.
Drew - Entertaining, as always-- he's always doing something different, like in Master of the House today when Gary threw him over to Chip and Marya's table, he acted like he was passed out for a few moments before snapping up and grabbing Chip for an almost!snog. He tries so hard to be entertaining and do something different every time in a cast where fully half the company do the same thing every damn performance, it's refreshing and really rather fun to watch. I don't think he's very Grantaire-ish, but his gay antics are entertaining.
Ben Crawford - IS AMAZING. He slightly changed up his lines as Foreman, and as Courfeyrac he had his hair slicked back, kind of like Doug Kreeger's hair. Also, that man has some pretty impressive sideburns of his own. WANT TO SEE HIS JAVERT SO BADLY.
Matt Clemens - Matt was JD on Saturday, and I really wish he had a regular role as someone, anyone, because Matt wins. He looks a lot better as Montparnasse than JD does, even though I do love JD.
The gay factor: Max and Drew do this differently every time. This is actually dependent on Max, not on Drew; Drew will go along with whatever Max does, haha, and even attempt some slashiness on his own. During Red and Black, "We strive towards a larger goal" he grabs Drew by the collar and forces him back into his chair, with Drew looking appropriately chastised. And in Drink With me, Max grabs him and nuzzles him, and Drew gives him the kicked puppy look. Also during Drink With Me, when Drew says, "Could it be your death means nothing at all," Victor Hawks makes towards him going, "You son of a bitch!" Max restrains him, and at the end of the song, Victor gives Max a pat on the ass as he climbs back up the barricade. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I was highly amused.

Nothing else really to mention, other than the people behind me whispering a lot and humming along to the Prologue music, some people on the other side of the audience laughing loudly at all the even-marginally-funny moments. I did get to chat with Max -- who told me he was just going home because he was feeling rather hoarse; he's so damn cute and I am really getting the gay vibes from him, especially on Saturday night -- and Dan and Ben at the stage door, but eh. Nothing outside of random chatter. I'm not the best conversationalist ever, really. Ben, though... he always asks me if I thought the show was "all right," and I always tell him how fantastic he was. XD He also skipped right through the crowd again because apparently no one recognises him. And there was quite a crowd, not just of Asians either. Didn't even see Lea at the stage door. Drew was there with his wife, Dan's wife was there too. And apparently there was a party after since Victor and Dan and Ben and Jeff Kready and a few of the girls were talking about it and asked Drew if he wanted to go along. Drew said no because they had a babysitter, and he was carrying a shopping bag with toys for his kid. XD So cute. But no real interesting stories from the actors, I guess I got enough of that from Nehal in the afternoon.

And then I headed home. Got to the train station pretty quickly, didn't have to wait for the train, so I managed to leave Hoboken by midnight and was home by 2:30, even stopping for a sandwich and tea to eat at home. Pretty excellent, on the whole, although I was pretty tired when I got home.

07 June 2007

#22, 26 May 2007 (and Coram Boy, too!)

[originally written 27 May 2007, with some small edits]

Coram Boy was fantastic. The staging was beautiful and I am just in love with the way they incorporated Messiah into it, ESPECIALLY the way "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" was used. Holy crap it gave me such chills, the ending of Act One, with "For Unto Us..." all around it. ♥ It was a really good play. I don't like straight plays, I get bored with an hour and a half of straight dialogue regardless of how good it is, and I like my stage shows with music in them, so Coram Boy was a great compromise. The actors were excellent and the choir was great and the abridged "Hallelujah Chorus" at the end made me really happy. Also they were selling another version of Messiah at the souvenir table so I had to add that one to my collection too. *g*

After Coram Boy I ran across the street to the Majestic's stage door, where about five other fans were waiting. Man, such a difference from Les Mis! Maybe it's because none of the Phantom theatregoers can find the stage door? XD I saw Michael Shawn Lewis, but since I am an idiot and don't know what he looks like, I let him walk away without getting a picture -- although he did wave at me, because I kept staring at him trying to figure out who he was. So I will definitely be in New York on June 9, for his last day, so I can hopefully get a picture of him. Tentative plan for that day is Rent/LM, and after Rent it'll be up a few blocks to stagedoor Phantom and get MSL, and after that rushing over to the Broadhurst to talk to the boys. Rent will probably be the matinee, just because the evening show will be MSL's last and I really don't want to deal with a mob, haha. (I am kind of entertaining the idea of going up next Sunday just to stagedoor Phantom, but I shouldn't. That would not be wise. Also it would be a huge waste of $3/gallon gas.)

It's Jess' fault that I'm planning on seeing Rent. It's been more than eight years since I've seen the show, and I'm not even sure I still like it. I really liked the Rent movie, have the DVD in fact, but I'm just not as sure that I'll love the Broadway version. Hopefully this time I'll get a good seat where I can see what's going on. (When I saw Rent in 1999, I sat behind this really tall guy who obstructed about 85-90% of my view of the stage, and I was ridiculously disappointed at not really getting to see the show.) And yeah, I have a soft spot for Tim Howar: he was a cute Marius when I saw him in Toronto (and I had a tiny little crush on him. Hey, I was 13, and he was cute, don't laugh at me).

And of course, Les Mis in the evening. I had E21, which for you non-veterans of the Les Mis Broadway revival means fifth row orchestra, partial view all the way on the left. It was a lot more limited than I thought, but no real complaints. This is because I was sleepy and not really in the mood to pay attention to a lot of detals (and I nodded off during Who Am I/Come to Me). Ben was ♥; and I'm really warming up to Max a lot more now that he's warming up to the role a lot more; and Dan's facial expressions are simply the best; and Drew, oh Drew, slapping Adam's ass at the end of DYHTPS and giving Max this really overblown WTF face in Drink With Me. And speaking of Drew, he crossed himself after Eponine snuffed it. WTF? Nehal is still endlessly amusing and I really really really want to see his Enjolras. And Kevin (Ali's boyfriend Kevin, too lazy to dig up the playbill to find the rest of his name) took over for Justin Bohon and I'm getting used to him now, and there's a new female swing although I have absolutely no idea whether Q or Marissa left. Oh, and Ben Crawford was out again. I'm vaguely worried about him, this is the second straight weekend he's not been in, and I'm not completely sure that he's been out the entire preceding week, but it's a reasonable assumption. Stephen Trafton took over for Ben Crawford, and while he wasn't bad, I liked Matt as the Foreman/Courfeyrac a whole lot more. This may be because Matt is four kinds of win, but hey.

Stage door was interesting. Interesting as in we didn't see Drew or Chip at all, not after missing MSL, not before the evening show, and not after the evening show. Sneaky bastards. Didn't get to talk to Dan, as after the matinee he ran off while we were talking to Max and after the evening he was playing at being Rob Hunt or Ben Crawford and running away with his cellphone glued to his ear. Max and Ben are really fun to talk to, haha. Talked about Coram Boy to both Max and Ben, also after the evening show Max and Ben were gleefully comparing stories about running away before anyone caught them for autographs. XD That amused me way more than it should've. Also Max says the costume person is coming to the show next weekend and might let him get rid of the wig then. :D He made some comment about making sure to get "the good side of the 'fro" while I was trying to take a picture of him and Jess, and I told him his real hair is totally better than that wig. XD Max is fun; he's chatty and friendly, and he's terribly cute. I also rather like Kevin and I think it'll be fun to talk to him some more.

I still miss Aaron, though.

Oh yes. Speaking of Aaron. I brought my iPod shuffle along to NYC, and it's quite a nifty little thing. I did not, in fact, lose it. It clips quite well onto a belt loop or purse strap, so I am not as worried about dropping it somewhere. And there is nothing quite like walking down the streets of NYC at 11:45 at night listening to Aaron sing "Hail" from Masada. ♥