Thursday, June 7, 2012

Softball and Two Shows

Group shot after their first win!
So I woke up bright an early, debating whether or not I wanted to head out to Central Park to watch Team Newsies play softball in the Broadway Show League games. I guess there was some misinformation flying around, because a lot of fans thought today’s game was cancelled due to the Tony Awards schedule and the fact that Newsies had two shows today. Not the case… or maybe the game was reinstated last minute. Either way, I am really glad I went because it was a beautiful day in the park, the Newsies were out there having a great time, and they won! Great experience all around! I wasn’t super chatty with all of them… just because they were there with friends and family, so who am I to intrude on conversations? I just sat quietly most of the time and enjoyed being supportive. A few of the guys are darn good players, and a few definitely seem to take it more seriously than others. It is not just for fun! There’s a trophy and bragging rights to be had, so they want to win. Sadly, Newsies is the worst team in the league at the moment (they have only won once so far). Regardless of how well they do, they are definitely out there having a ton of fun, and that is great to watch.

A classic Tommy Bracco (Spot) pep talk! Psyching the team up for
the day/week ahead - the Tony Awards and more shows.
After softball wrapped a little after noon, the guys had to get to fight call which started at 1pm, so things broke up pretty quickly and everyone headed back towards the theater. I happened to be catching the same train as John Dossett (Pulitzer), John Brady (Weasel) and Jeremy Jordan (do I really need to tell you who he plays?). All very nice gents, despite my inability to carry on an entertaining conversation.
Matinee started at 2pm, so I raced back to my room for a quick shower and to change out of my “park clothes” to be more theater appropriate. I made it back to the Nederlander with time to spare, and the matinee went off without a hitch. Honestly, at this point the cast is so well rehearsed, very little goes wrong that I can see. Not that I would point out that sort of thing anyway… I don’t think I need to throw mistakes back in their faces. Everyone makes mistakes, after all. At this point I think the show is running pretty flawlessly. Except for the sound effect when Crutchie predicts the weather with his foot. That just always sounds off to me. Always too soon, or too late, or both. It bugs me.

I would consider this an average crowd for the stage door.
So stage door at the matinee was a mad house, as it usually is, but an especially insane moment occurred when some girl flipped her shit the minute she saw Jeremy and started shrieking “I LOVE YOU!” repeatedly. I will never understand why girls think screaming at boys they adore is going to somehow make him fall in love with her. This is the stuff fan fiction is made of, people. And I know… I was into boybands. (Though I can honestly say I have never shrieked at them – even at 17).

After that I had some time to kill so I went back to my hotel room where I desperately fought off the urge to nap. I really only had about an hour between leaving stage door and having to head back to the theatre to meet up with a lovely girl from a local NPR affiliate who wanted to interview me about being a “Broadway Groupie.” Interview went well… I will keep you guys posted as to when it turns up. Won’t be for a little while still, but I’ll tweet out a link when I know it exists.

Just some more stage door flavor.
Evening show… same old same. BUT there were a couple movie throw backs we usually don’t get. Ephraim Sykes, who plays “Mush” let out a very emphatic “Tell ‘em Jack!” during Seize the Day! Why someone doesn’t yell this every night, I do not know, but that line is very iconic for hardcore movie fans. It warmed my heart to hear it tonight, so thank you Ephraim! AND Jeremy let out a “Cheese it!” during the strike/fight scene at The World gates. Awesome, and also not usually a line we hear. I dug it. Whether the boys saying those lines was intentional or not, it was pretty fantastic to hear them.

Unfortunately the audience was filled with talkative school groups and teachers who had zero control over them. I know it’s Disney, but come on people… give your kids some theater pointers before you show up. They were playing with their phones, unwrapping candy, and TALKING the whole show. It sucked. A lot of people thought it sucked too, it wasn’t just me. Also, because of these groups, stage door was NUTS. A least a hundred people all crammed against a barricade, with big yellow school buses in the street right outside the doors taking up space. I already mentioned I lived through the hay-day of boybands, so none of this is new to me. I am just a little old to still have to put up with it. And yet, I shoulder on because I must get every single piece of memorabilia signed. I am sure you all understand. My new goal is the trading cards. Gotta catch ‘em all… I mean, get them all signed. So to recap, the guys played softball, won, and then performed two perfect shows… all in one day. I’m impressed.