31 May 2007

19 Feet..


I'm becoming a theater freak. I admit to it.. Even as I sit here, I'm wearing my 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee shirt. Next to me is my Wicked mug filled with pens, my season ticket book for next season, a pin from Cats, and my poster from Light in the Piazza (signed by the touring cast). And in the corner of the computer screen a bootleg copy of Wicked plays in halfway watchable form.. {Side note:: Yes, you can watch the entire show on the web, sad as that is, but since I've seen it and bought the merchandise, I figure I can watch it without feeling guilty.. And besides, I really wish I'd been able to see it with the original cast.. Honestly, I can't imagine the theater gets any better than Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. (That's not a link to the bootleg version, but a video of them performing the song Defying Gravity.. Also, there's a second bootleg version with Shoshana Bean as Elphaba, which is who we saw in Portland, and it's a slightly better quality video, though it still does no justice to seeing it in person.)}

Going to see Wicked with LVH and G'ma was amazing,!. Taking my friend's foster kid to see Annie was very special. I've been fortunate to have seen so many shows (Rent, Urinetown, Sweet Charity, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Light in the Piazza), and in the next 15 months I will see many more (Mamma Mia, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Avenue Q, Spamalot, Camelot, 12 Angry Men, Sweeny Todd, and I have a special "date" going with me to see Phantom of the Opera). Seeing a show that is out on tour is wonderful, and they do cast very talented people, but it's long been a dream of mine to see a Broadway show with the original cast, seeing the actors who have brought the characters to life (and sing on the soundtracks) being directed by the person who made the show into what it is.. However, I can't exactly drive over to New York, and even if I could get tickets to a big musical that still had the original cast, with tickets there being in such high demand, it would be months into it's run and I'd surely have a seat up on the side of a second balcony or something... Yeah, it was one of those "someday I'll" things...

The other day I received a notice in the mail saying that I, as a season ticket holder, could buy tickets to see some new musical that is premiering in Seattle in August. (I guess this is common practice. Big shows run for a few weeks somewhere outside NYC to iron out all the kinks and get things perfected. Kind of like a long dress rehearsal.) I was familiar with the show's writer and knew how huge his last show was (getting a ticket to see his last show with the original cast was down right impossible and it still holds ticket sales records). However, due to all the shows I already have tickets to, I set it aside and didn't think much of it.. Later, it nagged at me that I should pick it back up and give it a second thought.. Curiosity made me do a little research, something that wasn't easy because the show is too new to have a website.. I could have looked up the names of the actors rumored to be starring, but they didn't jump out as people I recognized.. Still, I thought, "what the heck, I'll just see what kind of seats I could get." Trying to make it hard for me to justify the expense of seeing yet another show, I looked at the tickets available for the Friday performance (the show starts on Saturday and so the Friday show is only the 5th performance), not opening night but still opening week.. When I saw what seats it said I could have, I ran to get my wallet before I lost my "place in line".

It was only later that night that I realized exactly what I had. Before the tickets go on sale to the general public, before this opens on Broadway in the fall and becomes THE show that you can't get tickets to, before millions of people know the songs by heart, and before it wins any Tonys (the writer's last show won 12, the most of any show ever) I'll be there and not in a seat far back or in the side of the balcony, but on the 4th row just left of center, 19 feet from the center front of the stage! Oh, you want to know what the show is? Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

Upon further research, I was impressed at the talent associated with this production. Besides Mel Brooks' many awards for stage and screen, the person directing/choreographing it has already won 3 Tonys and I could only find one cast member who hadn't won or been nominated for one.. And, I found that I do know many of the cast. You may know Roger Bart from his roll on Desperate Housewives or, as I do, from his roll in The Stepford Wives. And the female lead, Megan Mullally, is best known for playing Karen, the obnoxious assistant to Grace in Will and Grace.. Also starring is Andrea Martin who you probably know from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

This is going to be BIG!! Almost big enough to make me wish I could get more tickets and see it more than once. I would and could, and every time I leave a show I wish I could go right back in and see it again, but there's the "can I really afford to do this?" not to mention the "who to take with me?" factor.. (Why must everyone live so dang far away??)
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***Added pictures.. Top one is the inside of the Paramount Theater in Seattle. The bottom one is the sample view from the 4th row..***


10 Comments:

Blogger hairball said...

I love Young Frankenstein!!! It in my favorite cult movie stash. "eye"gore is my favorite character. I am very jealous!!

5/31/2007 8:00 PM

 
Blogger leaner said...

Wow, I have not been to any shows, well since I was a kid and I can not even remember what show it was... hmmm.

5/31/2007 8:30 PM

 
Blogger tif-do said...

Okay you got me I'm jealous. I so so wish I could go with you. How far is the drive??? Have a blast.

6/01/2007 9:23 AM

 
Blogger Alex's Human said...

Tif-do...

Total Est. Time: 10 hours, 32 minutes


Total Est. Distance: 737.90 miles

6/01/2007 9:32 AM

 
Blogger Alex's Human said...

And leaner,

Do you not enjoy the theater or do you just not think to go? There are so many great shows coming to your area! Mamma Mia (everyone has to love ABBA songs!), Sweet Charity (I wonder if Molly Ringwald is still playing the lead. She was great!) The Color Purple (well, that's a ways off, but I hear it's wonderful!!), oh and ASU is doing Urinetown next year (truly one of my favorite shows!!). Wow, way too many great shows coming to list..

For a complete list go to http://www.showup.com/?app=events&cat=theatre

Arizona Broadway Theatre may be a dinner theater, but their season looks to be amazing! A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is playing now (love that soundtrack) and Little Shop of Horrors is coming soon (hairball says it's fabulous!!). Wonder what they'll serve for dinner to compliment that :) oh, and Fiddler on the Roof will play next year (Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match... Right, tif-do??)

Or, for smaller productions, I'd absolutely go and see Steel Magnolias at the Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre.. Just their promotional pictures make me want to see it!! And SDST has a children's theater.. Judging by the season that is just ending there, I bet they have a great season coming up!!
http://www.desertstages.com

6/01/2007 11:45 PM

 
Blogger abeNanna said...

We weren't grand theater goers, if there weren't any crowds there I would have loved it. But alas.... I am jealous of your tickets to Young Frankenstein, my be a cult movie to hairball, but we watched it when it first opened. It should be great fun.

A friend was given tickets to "Chicago" when it was touring here a few years ago and I got to go with her. I love the experience, but as stated earlier, can't stand the lines in, lines out, lines of people everywhere. Think I have a phobia???

6/02/2007 9:27 AM

 
Blogger Alex's Human said...

abenanna,

Chicago is playing here right now. I wish I would have gotten tickets, as I loved the movie. How cool that you got to see it!!

And dont' forget WORST of all, that line to the bathroom!! I can understand the line thing. But smaller theaters can be just as fun. Looking at the upcoming shows at Scottsdale Desert Stages, they are doing something called Dracula;The musical and early next year they also are doing Little Shop of Horrors (that must be a hit down there in the desert!).. and the children's theater is doing Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! and their theater only has 136 seats!!! No longer a line there than going to the movies... OOOOH, and season tickets for only $18 a show!! I need to find a great theater like this up here!!!! I saw Urinetown the second time in a small theater that used to be a fire station. I love these little theaters!

6/02/2007 12:16 PM

 
Blogger dacheese said...

For my birthday I wanted to go and see guys and dolls but I needed clothes also and it was one or the other. The next day i was talking to my brother inlaw and he said he could have gotten me free tickets because his best friend was in the play. He can get me tickets to a lot of plays I have found out. He has been in small plays lately working his way up to being in major plays. He is soooo talented.

I love plays!!! and I think Rent is one of my favorites. i have only seen the movie but I LOVED it.

6/06/2007 4:59 PM

 
Blogger Alex's Human said...

Dacheese,

Wow. I never would have picked you as a Rent fan.. But I definitely agree, Rent is AWESOME! I saw it twice, once in Boston and once here in Portland, and long before I saw the play, I knew every word to the soundtrack.. If you get the chance, you should really go see it. The movie had quite a few changes.. But since you saw the movie, you know who Idina Menzel is (she played Maureen, and did you know that she's married to Taye Diggs who plays Benny? They met while original cast members of the play..).. And I LOVED how they got most of the original cast from Broadway to be in the movie! Have you watched the "extra" documentary from the movie? It's such a sad story about how the writer died suddenly the night of their final dress rehearsal!! His only big play and he never got to see how much it affected everyone. Never got to become famous or rich from it, for that matter...

Also finding it a funny coincidence that I'm wearing my Rent t-shirt today.. 525,600 minutes... :)

6/07/2007 3:00 PM

 
Blogger Pen-nut said...

I am so jealous!! I love the theatre and someday I'll go more often. It's hard with the stage of life I am in, but some day I'll see them all. For now I enjoy my little performances, and the plays here at the college. And we are doing Broadway for Kids next year -I'm looking at Bugsy Malon and Suessical (I'm not sure of the spelling). Should be fun!! Enjoy your "best seat in the house", which is the comment my kids made when I said what seat you got.

6/14/2007 10:52 PM

 

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