Thursday, January 8, 2009

Broadyway Baby

After a few comments back and forth about my aforementioned collection of Playbills and programs, I thought I'd give you a more in-depth glance at just what we're talking about. A little background information on me--theatre is somewhat in my blood. Literally. My parents met doing a show together in college, and they were married on that stage later. Every child is raised on their parents' music, and for me that meant showtunes. Lots and lots of showtunes. In fact, once I started buying my own music as an adult, I rapidly collected quite a smattering of showtunes for myself and they by far dominate my CD collection. Then I moved to New Jersey, a hair's breath from NYC...and I took advantage of it!

If this isn't a Playbill (the thing they give you for free at the show) from every show I've attended, there aren't many missing...

And all the ones I've opened have the ticket stub in them, though I haven't checked every single one.

Yes, I've seen a few of them more than once. Les Mis and Aida I went the second time because (hell-OO, it's Les Mis) I took someone with me the second time. Then for Aida there's a special thing they did the day of the show that the first 20 people at the box office with a student ID could buy first or second row seats for $25, however there was a raised orchestra pit and sometimes it got in the way. Rent I saw even more than that because they don't sell the first two rows of the orchestra (the seats on the floor in front of the stage) until 2 hours before curtain in a random lottery for $20 a pop. Did I mention there's no orchestra pit for that show? That means the actors are literally spitting on you. Pretty cool. You can opt for one or two tickets when you do the lottery, so if you bring a friend (or make one in line, which I might have done the first time I did it) you double your odds of getting in.

Lots of nannies blow their disposable income on clothes and shopping. I got myself out of debt, then I let myself splurge on Broadway. And I was enjoying it enough that I figured out where and how to get good deals on tickets. I rarely paid full price for them and it was sooo worth it.

So I often paid for souvenir programs as well. They're huge, full-color booklets with photos from the show.

When I spread them all out, I was actually surprised because I thought I had more. I can't believe there's not one there from Rent! I saw that dang show at least four times, and I didn't ever buy a dang program? Oh well.

A few fun facts about the shows I've seen:

I've seen the original casts (or most of them) in several of the musicals I've seen (straight shows run for limited engagements but musicals usually run as long as the tickets sell). So for the theatre geeks out there that means I saw Sutton Foster do Millie, Idena Minzel and Kristin Chenowith do Elphaba and Galinda, Terrance Mann do Javert (that was a surprise treat!) and Adam Pascal do Radames (and Emcee, for that matter).

I've seen the likes of Antonio Banderas , Chita Rivera, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ian McKellen, Joey Fatone, Robert Sean Leonard, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, Toni Braxton, John Lithgow, Taye Diggs, Danny Glover, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart (who, according to my mother, is in fact, the sexiest man alive and has been most of my remembered life--so it was fun to take her to see himlive from prime seats for Christmas). But I missed Denzel Washington when he came through doing Shakespeare. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little sad to think about.

So, yeah. I kinda like going to shows, though I see myself as really have gotten the opportunity to enjoy it "when I was young" and I'm pretty satisfied with that. Though my husband has never seen Les Mis or Phantom on stage and that we'll simply have to remedy as soon as the tours comes through these parts. If we lived in or near New York, I might bat my eyelashes at him occasionally and scope out the good deals again, but it's not really something I crave. I still have all these programs and the music to go back and remember them if I do. :)

And given both my and Grant's prior experiences in theatrical pursuits, I suppose there's some chance that at least one of our kids will do some degree of dabbling in it as well. I reckon that'll be fun too.

Who needs original casts, special guests, or even Denzel for that matter when your kid is on stage?


Jacqueline said...

How fascinating! Have you ever done any performing in plays as well? What a neat experience you had. Seems like some shoebox ought to hold the playbills to remember such neat experiences. If not, save the front pages and mount them in a scrap book, along with any pages that proved you saw the famous people. I keep seeing you in the main character of your novel.

Peterson Family said...

WOMAN YOU HAVE LIVED! That is too cool, I would love to just have a taste of all that you've experienced! I've never seen anyone famous in person, I really want to see some of those shows someday. I can't believe that about your parents, that is such a great story!

Laura said...

WOW!! That's soooo awesome. I've only seen Les Mis and Phantom. I'd love to see Wicked, Cats, and Lion King. I can't believe Grant hasn't seen Les Mis. That's just unacceptable. ;o)