No one knows who I am.
No, I’m not quoting a song from Jekyll and Hyde; literally no one knows who I am. It’s been exactly one year (and over 34,000 hits ago) that I started writing as the Broadway Mouth with a column entitled “Hello and Faux,” an introduction to myself and a few thoughts concerning the very talented Michael John LaChiusa’s coining of the phrase faux musical.
I owe a big thank you to everyone who has been checking in this past year, be it daily or occasionally to see what the Broadway Mouth has to say. When you start something like this, you never know what to expect, and I have been very blessed to have received so many repeat visits.
But writing in anonymity has been an important part of all of this. I have fought to remain intentionally anonymous to protect me when my loud mouth gets the best of me. I’ve been critical of a few shows (hopefully for the sake of education, not to be nasty or out of a mean spirit), and let’s face it, it’d stink big-time to someday have it thrown in my face that I wasn’t a big fan of someone’s show and to lose out on some great opportunity because of it.
That said, I’m going to withdraw the veil of secrecy for a select few, a few who just might remember me (or just have been annoyed). You have to remember this when I finally do get a show on Broadway because I’ll probably remind you of it if I get the chance to meet you, and I’d appreciate it if you acted like you didn’t remember (or were grateful, whichever the case may be).
Russell Warfield, I owe you an apology and an explanation. In August of 2000, I saw Jekyll and Hyde (which was my first show on Broadway). While waiting in a deluge to meet the cast as they exited the stage door, my Playbill managed to soak up buckets of water. Since I’m a saver, I returned to the theatre the next day to get another. The woman at the ticket office said to go to the stage door. When I did, you were eating McDonald’s and chatting with the man who guarded the door.
As I’ve written before, I get horribly star struck around Broadway people. Long story short, you didn’t believe I had actually seen the show because I didn’t recognize you, but let’s face it, you were wearing much more clothing than you did in the show. I was both embarrassed because your part in the show was very sexual and because I wasn’t used to seeing that sort of thing on stage. Then, in my state of star-struckness-embarassedness-feelinglikeanidiotness, I asked to have my picture taken with you even though you were eating McDonald’s. No wonder you look like you want to ax me in the picture. I apologize.
Marin Mazzie, I apologize for snapping a picture of you outside of Kiss Me, Kate when you weren’t expecting it. You probably thought it was rude. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I was in such awe, and you are so beautiful, I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance for a picture with you. It took me several years to realize how that could have been a violation of your personal space, but at least you look great in the picture. I’m sorry.
Jason Robert Brown, after one performance of Parade on tour, a young man came up to you and said that he taught your song “Stars and the Moon.” That was I. I actually taught it many times since, and it was always a big, big hit with kids. In fact, it was a favorite of the kids when I taught summer school at the juvenile detention center, and they even wanted me to play it again several weeks after I had originally taught it to them. I’ll add, too, that I always showed the scene of Parade from the Tony Awards whenever I did my drama unit.
Merle Dandridge, not even a month into the first stop of the Aida tour, you went on for Simone a second time. As you exited the theatre, a tall young man with a female friend greeted you and told you how wonderful you were, but I don’t think you quite believed them. It was I who saw was there, and your performance is still a favorite of mine. I’m a fan forever.
Faith Prince, I saw you in Bells are Ringing on the Saturday night before its closing Sunday. I was still waiting at the stage door in those days, and I was so sad when you didn’t come out that, the next day, I left a card for you at the stage door. You were so fantastic in that show (mid-way though, I remember thinking, “I want to marry Ella Peterson. Where’s my Ella Peterson!”) that I wanted you to know how much I loved your performance. Your recording of the show is one of my most-listened-to CDs, by the way, and I have many vivid memories of that wonderful production and your performance.
Jayne Patterson, I’ve been a big fan of yours since Jane Eyre, and I was elated to discover that you were playing Fantine on tour a few years afterward, which I didn’t know until I got my program in the theatre. I even bought a third (or was that fourth?) Les Miserables souvenir program just to have a keepsake of your performance. I’ve seen many very fine Fantines on tour, but you’re my favorite. I was the one who wrote you a fan letter about it.
Sherie Rene Scott, it doesn’t really matter because no one will ever see it, but I was writing a pilot for a sitcom for kids (think Hannah Montana but funny) and always envisioned you as a regular character, the rock star mother who was a Madonna on the outside but a Britney Spears on the inside. I guess it’s kind of pointless to even bring it up, but I just wanted you to know someone thought of you, even if he was never even minutely close to having anyone of any importance seeing. It would have been fun, though.
The guy who came on to me in the Broadway shop under the Marriot Marquis in August 2006, I was in there several times in one day simply because I love shopping there (and had to return to find a card to send to someone). When you came on to me, I tried to act disinterested in a way that was respectful and polite. Please don’t take it personally . . . I’m straight. Really, all I wanted to know was if you knew where I could find a 42nd Street souvenir program. I didn’t mean anything by it.
the Broadway Mouth
June 2, 2008