Awakening: San Jose

So I’m finally getting around to posting about our San Jose Spring Awakening experience.

We started out early: Ryan, Brittany, and Ryan’s friends Michelle and Jess in one car, Chris and I in the other. We traveled for hours and hours, stopping only for lunch at Quiznos, Subway, Jack in the Box. (The Quiznos, we discovered when we pulled in, had not yet opened: “Maybe tomorrow!” the guy yelled to us. Um, what? You don’t have a set opening day, and yet you look like you’re open… Then the Subway across the street was closed too. And finally when we started wondering if anything in God forsaken Bakersfield was open, we found the others at the Jack in the Box, again across the street. Also, this Jack in the Box offered showers. I’m a little worried about Bakersfield as a whole.)

After driving way out in the country for more hours and hours (including a pass through Gilroy, California, the garlic capital of the world), we made it to our San Jose home. We actually made very good time, so we had a couple of hours to relax and get ready for the night’s festivities.

In the boys’ room, we discussed the options for dinner. Ry, the Yelp fiend that he is, discovered the Firehouse Grill, just blocks from the theater, so we headed there for a quick meal. The Grill turned out to be a bar and grill fashioned after a firehouse, with fire/burning related names for all their entrees. Good food, good service.

Please forgive these pictures. I didn’t bother to photo correct them, and the lighting in the Firehouse was very dim and very yellow. 😦

We opted to walk to the theater, rather than deal with parking closer by, and we set out through the beautiful streets of San Jose.

Let me tell you: I would not mind living in San Jose someday. It’s super clean and super safe looking.

The show was, of course, amazing. This was mine and Ryan’s first time this season (fourth overall!), so there were a few new cast members and swings to watch for. Of course, we were way up in the back, so we couldn’t see the swings well anyway.


During intermission, I was feeling a little mischievous. So I grabbed Chris and our stuff and headed down to the orchestra level, where I’d been watching two empty seats in the fifth row.

I’d heard of people moving to better seats at intermission, but I’d never attempted it myself. It’s unnerving trying to pull one past the the ushers.

Sadly, someone else had snaked my two empty seats by the time we got down there. 😦

There were tons of available seats in the back half of the orchestra, which all would have been perfectly fine seats, but for some reason I had my heart set on up close and personal.

Ryan and Brittany joined us soon after, and we had our sights on this one row which appeared to be completely empty in the middle. No purses, programs, or husbands left behind to watch the seats. I finally got up the nerve to ask the family sitting right behind those seats if they had seen anyone sitting there. And the super nice dad tells us, “Nope, there’s six empty seats, starting right here. Feel free?”

Thank you, super nice dad. Thank you. Because of you I was able to score this picture with my 50 mm lens:

I figure it’s okay to sneak pictures if it’s not technically of the performance, right? Right? Oh, well, I didn’t get caught.

Then it was out to stage door for us, to get signatures for our Spring Awakening books. I’ve been waiting since last Christmas, when Ryan got the book for me, for the cast to come back.

First up, Taylor Trensch, the new Moritz, and a total sweetie! You can just tell how excited he is to be touring right now with such an amazing show. 

In this picture we’ve got Kayla Foster, one of the new chairs, and Gabby Garza who plays Anna.

Steffi D.!

Shingledecker and Krystina!

And then, just when we thought the night couldn’t get better, guess who ended up being at the show? Skylar Astin, the original Broadway cast Georg. We’re talking from the days of Lea Michele and John Gallagher, Jr. here, people. And he was soooo nice, chatting with us about Glee and flipping through our books, asking how we’d managed to score Lea’s signature. He ended up being our third original cast member to sign, a total fluke right before our planned visit to get two more

So once again, it was a great Spring Awakening experience. And special thanks to the OSF for following us around as our own personal photographer! 

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