… their song still seems to find you…

Sigh. The tour cast is gone. No more trips to Hollywood. No more sitting in seats G45, G46, and miscellaneous surrounding seats. No more gearing up in anticipation for the show to start, knowing that at that moment the Belly Mamba warm-ups are going on backstage. No more intermissions wondering what song the cast is currently conducting their half time dance party to. No more stage door antics.

No more Shingledecker. No more Mientus. No more all of them.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

So here’s our Saturday misadventure in Hollywood story.

We were supposed to leave at noon. Things happened. We were supposed to leave at one. More things happened. Three of us left at 1:30. Skip ahead, skip ahead (if anyone can tell me what musical song that’s from, I will give you five dollars). Long story short, car #2 ended up in Hollywood before car #1, but no one got there before 5:30. Car #1 met up with everyone at 6:15, leaving precisely one half hour to hang out in Hollywood before heading back down the 101 to the Ahmanson theater. So much for our day of touristing Hollywood.

The night was not completely lost, however, as we came this close to seeing David Archuletta up close and personal. Here we are waiting for lil’ David to come out and brighten our day with a song.

So close to seeing him! So close!

The first of many posed pics of the night:
Finally we gave up on David and went to find food in our last ten minutes at the Highland Mall. The Highland Mall is very fancy. This is what one of their sleezy bathroom hallways looks like (hallway modeled by Ryan Prades):

The group, part one, with food and waning patience for David.

The group, part two. (Can you spot the difference?)

So finally we officially gave up on David and headed to our true destination: Spring Awakening! With awesome tour cast! We loves them!

But first we had to get to them.

Fact: Trying to get through Hollywood on a Saturday evening is a nightmare. I have never been so stressed before in a car ride, considering the theater was very clear that if you didn’t make it by the time they closed the doors, you didn’t get in until intermission. Very sad business.

In the end, at 7:56pm, when we were stuck in the line of cars just outside the parking structure, right outside the theater, I couldn’t take it anymore. I basically ditched Brittany and Ryan on the street and ran mine and Colleen’s tickets upstairs, justifying to myself that it was better for 4 out of 6 of us to see the show then just 2 of us.

Don’t get between me and my tour cast.

Luckily, we all made it before the doors closed. But then it didn’t matter anyway, because they totally let a whole ton of people in after each of the first three numbers. (Why do they threaten us like that? I was totally thinking we’d be stuck in the lobby, watching the show from the tiny TVs.)

After that the night was magical.

The show was amazing (as per usual). The cast was amazing. I got goosebumps at all the right times. And best of all, Andy, Aaron, Britt, and Colleen all loved the show, too. So Ryan and I sighed in relief that we weren’t just weird freaks who get way too into some things. (Well… no more than we thought anyway.)

Afterwards we went down to the stage door of course. I had two people specifically I wanted to talk to: Lucas Wells, who is in the ensemble, and Matt Shingledecker, who plays Georg. Out of the whole cast, they were really the only two that I hadn’t gotten autographs, or pictures, or a quick chat with.

Ryan and I mug for the camera outside stage door.

This is Blake Bashoff, who really does justice to his character (a character who’s a bit eccentric, as you can tell from the hair) for someone who actually seems very calm and laid back in real life.

And here’s Andy Mientus, whose faithful videographing has allowed us to get a glimpse of tour life, intermission dance parties, and cast confessionals.

Here’s Sarah Hunt, who is so incredibly sweet. She was the first to do the happy birthday!/come see Spring Awakening! video for Brittany, and when we introduced Brittany to her, Sarah gave her a big welcoming hug. Awwww….

And then there was Matt Shingledecker.

Oh, Matt Shingledecker.

He’s my favorite. Which I told him. When he came up the stairs and then headed over to us for a chat.

So here’s the scoop on Shingledecker.

The first time we went to see the show, I had no idea who he was. Didn’t get his autograph, didn’t get his picture, heck, I don’t even remember seeing him there at the stage door in San Diego.

Then we went the second time, and I was more aware of who everyone was. And I started noticing all these little quirks his character has that you wouldn’t ordinarly notice unless you were looking. And by then we’d seen the videos, and discovered that this Shingledecker kid was hilarious. Here, here, and here, are the proof. (But the best is the Hairspray Danger Zone.)

Also, his last name is so much fun to say.

Sadly, round two was such a rushed stage door exit that we didn’t get to catch up with him. So all my hopes and dreams were riding on this, the final L.A. night. And Matt Shingledecker did not disappoint.

He signed our programs, posed for an awesome picture, and then stuck around and chatted for about five minutes. That was cool, considering a lot of the time the cast is sort of shuffled through the crowd, pausing a few seconds here and there for pictures and signing. But he genuinely kept the conversation going, telling us about how much fun it is for them to make the videos that go online, and how the tour might come back through L.A. in a year or so, and how it was actually his friend who came up with the “Listerine” song, and even though he sings it, he’s got to give credit where it’s due.

Overall, he was just mostly awesome.

Thanks for being awesome, Matt Shingledecker.

After that we grabbed a quick picture with Steffi D, who was one of the top 4 in Canadian Idol a few seasons ago. She’s super sweet, and refused to be rushed while she autographed our programs, even when almost the entire cast, who had begun congregating across the street, were yelling at her and Kyle to get a move on or they would be left behind. (Aw, that’s a pun only a few will get….)

And here’s Kyle Riabko, who is the male lead, and also was on Brittany’s birthday video. He’s pretty ridiculously funny. And likes to stage Nerf wars before shows.

And, though I didn’t get a picture with him, I did get my Lucas autograph. He seemed surprised that I knew his name, I guess because he’s an ensemble/understudy character, but he was still so sweet. When I said we’d been watching the blog videos, he mentioned that he’s got a personal blog he’ll be updating soon, and I found that earlier today. He seems like such a sweetheart, one of those kids who managed to make it to Broadway in what can only be described as a whirlwind fairy tale. I’ll definitely be following that blog.

And we got a picture with the gigantic banner this time around.

So much wonderful fun! We’ll really miss knowing the show (and $20 tickets) are only a couple hours away.


One thought on “… their song still seems to find you…

  1. Ryan December 10, 2008 / 4:27 am

    How have I not seen that hairspray video before? That one owns all the others.

    And I'm glad I wasn't the only one stressing on the drive from the mall to the theatre. I was trying not to show it much, and kept telling myself “trust Andy… trust Andy…” But yeah, I was on the edge of my seat.

    I won't really be sad when the show closes on Broadway, but darn it, when this touring cast breaks up or has their final show… that'll be a sad day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s