The first thing I did upon arrival was get my butt to the Nederlander Theatre to pick up all my tickets. The box office guys have the patience of saints, because I had 11 separate ticket orders they had to pull up one by one (four tickets were mailed to me for a total of 15 times I planned to see the show from open to close). Since 11 of my tickets were ordered during the presale, I also got 11 ticket vouchers for the Newsies messenger bag that was a special gift. Thankfully there were no other people waiting to be helped so I had some quality time with the adorable box office boys (who also happen to be from Florida - hi guys!). While I was in the lobby waiting for my stack of tickets to be printed, I could hear rehearsal going on. I arrived for the second half of Act 1, so I got to hear most of that, as well as Jeremy wailing Santa Fe through the doors. Emotional response - activate! It took about a half hour to get all my tickets sorted, but it was a wonderful half hour. The Newsies must have gotten a break during rehearsal, because I started seeing them coming in and out of the theatre. Lots of faces I recognized from Paper Mill, so I really felt like I was coming home to family. The cast, of course, had no idea who I was at that point, so I just smiled politely and let them go about their business as normal.
|Those are doors, for those of you who might not realize. I didn't.|
After I had my tickets, I took some silly pictures with the Newsies advertising on the outside of the theatre. So fun, but I didn't realize those were doors, and at one point they swung open and into me as crew guys moved some stuff out and into a truck. My bad! No one got hurt, but it was pretty amusing. That night would be the Newsies' final dress rehearsal, which was going to have an invite-only audience. My plan was to somehow get in!
My first night in the city, I was staying in a hotel right next door to the theatre, so as it got closer to final dress show time, I watched as the line began to grow and wrap around the block; full of excited faces, mostly friends and family of the cast. I will admit, I was a little embarrassed to stand outside and beg for tickets, so I didn't actually attempt it until most of the line had cleared and there were just handfuls of people standing outside the theatre waiting for their parties to arrive. I ran into Chris Gattelli, the choreographer, and we had a nice chat about the guys and how hard they have worked, and how the show is going to be wonderful. He didn't have any spare tickets, but getting to talk to him was prize enough for the evening. He also assured me that seeing the show the next night would be just as magical.
|Walking around Times Square since I couldn't weasel my way into|
final dress rehearsal.
Essentially, after waiting around a little while longer passed the point of the start of the show, my sister convinced me that I wasn't going to get in, so we moved on to walk around Times Square. I wasn't too crushed since I knew I was going to see it the next night, and for the rest of the week. Actually, in the first week of opening previews alone, I purchased a full price ticket for every single performance (a total of seven shows from March 15-19). At times, I was seeing the show twice a day. If the cast was going to do it that often, I was going to see it that often! I should mention that seeing a matinee and evening performance in the same day is exhausting, and I didn't even have to sing or dance. The fact that the cast and crew can do such a high energy show twice a day, multiple times a week is absolutely mind blowing. They deserve all the kudos in the world for the hard work they do.
Walking around Times Square, my sister and I ended up being suckered into a comedy show. We followed some guy into a dark, scary basement where we spent the next hour or so watching mediocre comedians and sipping on overpriced drinks. About the time Newsies final dress was going to let out, I got a tweet from the lovely folks over at @Newsies, asking me to come to the theatre where they were interviewing fans. I guess my super-fangirliness was showing! My sister and I snuck out of the comedy show and raced back to the theatre. I met a bunch of wonderful Disney folks - the friendly, smiling faces behind the Twitter account - who all seemed really impressed at my dedication to Newsies. They interviewed me and my sister about our excitement and what we were looking forward to in the show, though I'm pretty sure I did most of the talking, leaving my poor sister to just stand there while I babbled like a fangirl. That video hasn't seen the light of day, but if it does - trust that I will link it here so you all can laugh at my insanity. After the interview, that pretty much wrapped up the night for me. The travel day was catching up to me and I had to get some sleep. There would be more Newsies fun tomorrow for preview opening!