Cabaret!

Cabaret time!

Not the musical, mind you. People keep getting confused when we talk about cabarets. 

Let’s clarify. 

There’s Cabaret, which according to Wikipedia “is a musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit and spawned a 1972 film as well as numerous subsequent productions.”

Then there’s the type of cabaret we went to on Monday night: “a form of entertainment featuring comedysongdance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue—a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance.”

If I understand correctly, there are cabarets in Cabaret. Hence the name.

The cast of Spring Awakening has been doing cabarets for their charity (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids) in the past year and a half they’ve been on tour. Ryan and I have depended on the people who’ve gone to past cabarets to video tape and youtube the experience. Our favorites can be seen here, here, and here

And finally we got to actually go to a Cabaret ourselves.

On Monday night, the cast performed a cabaret called Girls will be Boys will be Girls will be Boys at a popular venue in Hollywood for Upright Cabarets. Ryan got us dinner tickets and we were set to go.

Even leaving at 3:30pm didn’t get us there in time for our 7pm reservation, dang L.A. traffic. But we made it early enough to get center seats at the third from closest table, so not too shabby. We ordered drinks, dinner, and set in to wait for the show.


Since the show was all about boys singing girls’ songs and vice versa, our first taste was Chase Davidson, singing Wendla’s role in Mama Who Bore Me… complete with confused facial expressions and gestures. It was made of awesome.

More of the boys- this time singing My Junk.

The girls followed it up with the traditional boys’ pieces in Touch Me.

Then it was time for the individual pieces. Steffi D did a very… unique medley of patriotic sounding songs. That’s all I’ll say.

Christy Altomare sang a song she wrote for a friend to sing to his girlfriend. Apparently she’s always wanted to be able to sing it herself, so ‘girls sing boy songs’ night worked out perfectly for her to sing “Alessa.” Loved it. Christy Altomare is going to be a household name someday. And we’ll be able to say we knew her as little ol’ Wendla Bergman. 🙂

Krystina Alabado sang a fierce version of “Lost in the Wilderness” from Children of Eden.

Kimiko (she’s so cute!) Glenn sang a song called “You and I,” which I’d never heard before.


There were much more, of course, but the blogger uploader’s being slow, so I’m skipping right ahead to the end of the night. Here’s Shingledecker singing one of the encore songs.


The girls hugging after a little Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise).

And the finale song, led by newbie swing Kayla Foster, “Let the Sunshine in.”



After we left the cabaret, Ryan and I decided to re-enact our TGO friend date of six months ago; so off we went in search of a Little Caesar’s. We found two. Neither were open. Don’t they know we were trying to have a moment! Eventually we had to settle on a Wendy’s for drinks and fries. It was meh. 

"Nobody likes you, Everyone left you…

… they’re all out without you…
     HAVING FUN!”

Such a mocking song… that was in American Idiot the Musical!

Saturday of our musical road trip extravaganza, we woke up, checked Ryan’s computer for directions to our next adventure, and packed up and piled in the cars to head to Berkeley, California. 

Berkeley is really cute. I kind of wish I’d gone to college there. Just for the cute town.

American Idiot was play at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, a really awesome, very modern looking, theater along a whole row of theaters just down the street from the university.

In the spirit of my OSF Chris, who steals nearly all of his demonstrative pictures from online (or from me), here’s a pic of the Berkeley Rep I found online: 


We were sitting on the closest side, but it’s mirrored from the side you can see here. Chris and I were seated in that first “balcony” on stage left, and the others were seated front row underneath us. The theater overall is very small, so we would have had good views from nearly anywhere. 

Outside the theater, we wait for the show to start. Chris flashes our tickets:

We pose at the sign.




All right, here’s some more Chris-style (aka, not mine) pictures of the actual show:






This one’s mine! I am the queen camera smuggler! Well, only at final bows when the ushers aren’t watching anymore.

And the OSF, as he waits for Ryan and I to have our fill of talking with John! Gallagher! Jr.!

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.

But.

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! 

Wicked

No one mourns the wicked! No one cries they won’t return! No one lays a lily on their grave…
So Chris got me a ticket to see Wicked on Thursday night for my birthday, and he and Ryan planned a whole group to go, including Chris’ sister Sarah, their roommate Kristen, and two of their friends. I was super excited to see Wicked, even though I still claim that watching the entire show from a daredevil videographer on youtube was enough to give me the right feel for the show. And I knew that if I could see that the show was amazing from the mezzanine of a youtube video, it was going to be amazing in real life.
Smuggled in my Rebel to get pictures of us at the show, and since the ushers were old guys who never once glanced our way, I snapped a picture of the stage too, before the show began. That’s the map of Oz, in case you’re wondering.


Of course, it was amazing. Even Chris loved it. We actually had the understudy Elphaba, Meredith Kaye Clark, who had a great, strong voice for the role, but we really loved the girl playing Glinda, Katie Rose Clarke. They’ve really added a lot of blonde ditz to that role since Kristen Chenoweth originated, and it really makes the whole musical come together, I feel.
And what’s a trip downtown without me making my friends pose against brick backdrops?

The Tony’s! Woot!

Finally, finally, after two years of wanting to and missing it, Ryan and I found out when the Tony’s were airing, set it on our calendars, set it on the DVR, and made a night of watching the Broadway theater awards.

We got pizza and everything, to make the night special. Because we’re cool like that.

You know what else is cool? Neil Patrick Harris. Cooler? Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tony Awards. Even people who aren’t into theater should watch, just for a little unscripted NPH.

Everyone needs a little unscripted NPH in their lives. I feel.

Now, sshhhhh. The revival of West Side Story is doing their piece. And when you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way. (Dramatic snaps here.)

No Day But Today

So, I deliberated quite a bit before deciding to go see Rent, but I’m glad I did. Something like that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. I feel. But really, I mostly went to see Anthony Rapp. And the whole time, I just couldn’t disassociate him from Charlie Brown! (Because he was an amazing Charlie Brown.)
Anyway, I was a little more impressed with the actual stage production than the movie (which I did not care for at all). But I’m still a bit hesitant about the whole phenomenon of Rent. What made it so amazing that it revolutionized theater? Why are there so many Rent heads out there? Why does it speak to some people and not others?
(PS: These are all questions I know people ask about Spring Awakening, which is why I’m willing to accept those people who absolutely adore Rent, though I myself am not as appreciative.)
However, my opinions may be changing; I Netflixed the live stage version that was filmed before it closed on Broadway last year, and Ryan and I watched it on Wednesday night. It was much better seeing it up close like that and being able to properly hear the songs. In fact, I’m watching it again right now to hear the songs.
And I’ll admit it, Ryan’s right: the soundtrack is pretty good. I’ve had a myriad of those choruses stuck in my head all week.
(But the soundtrack’s still not as good as Spring Awakening’s.)


Break Time

Time to take a little break from this busy weekend. 

My sister’s over here right now. She took her SAT’s this morning, and wanted to come here after “so I could finally see High School Musical 3.” Ah, she’s a cute kid. I like that she wants to come hang out here after a stressful morning. Makes me feel like I’m doing a good job in the big sis department.
Sidenote: Can’t believe my baby sister is 18. 
(She’s still 10 in my book.)
So we’re chilling here, watching the movie, doing some laundry, and generally enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon. 
Last night we went to the free Rascal Flatt’s concert…. Meaning, we went to a park on a hill and listened in. It was fun, but freezing! Can’t wait to try that again in the summertime. The sound wasn’t all that great, but Chris and Ryan swear it’s usually pretty fantastic.
Tonight we’re seeing the national tour of Rent. I’m not sold on Rent so far. I watched the movie this week and was not impressed, but of course the movie can’t be as good as the stage version. So I have hopes that it can still wow me. If not, I still have Spring Awakening to amaze me again and again.
And tomorrow’s another photo shoot at Disneyland. We need to come up with a theme for this one soon. Last time it was Gap Day. Anyone have any fun ideas for this time around?
Another sidenote: Someone told me last night that I was a difficult person to please. Which is shocking, because I’ve always felt I have a very accommodating personality….. Guess I’ll have to work on that.  ; )

Confessions.

I really like musicals.


I really like soundtracks from musicals.

And when I’m the only one in the office, as has been the case for the past two days, I rock the musical soundtracks all day long. I also sing along. 

I try not to sing too loudly, though, because these walls are pretty thin, and I don’t want the people at the family ministry next door to hear my private concerts. It’s like singing in your car; you don’t want everyone to hear you, and that’s why you do it there. 

In the rotation today:
Wicked
Spring Awakening
Hairspray
Lea Michele’s rendition of On My Own

P.S. One of my new goals is to meet Lea Michele. That girl seriously rocks On My Own like no other. (Also, does anyone else think in that video she looks more like a girl disguised as a Jedi, rather than a girl disguised as a Revolutionary from Les Mis?)

NPH on SNL! NPH on SNL!

So it’s a peaceful night over here at the ol’ apartment. Andy texted us awhile ago to remind us that Neil Patrick Harris is the host on SNL tonight. Which means we invited him and Ryan to come over at 11:30pm to watch, because things like that are best shared with people, don’t you think?

So far there have been numerous “Hey, Neil, wanna know how I met your mother?”‘ lines, and NPH has come out as an awesome aroebics instructor and Mark from Rent, in a spoof on all the Broadway shows that are closing this month. (I was just lamenting to Ryan about the tragedy of that.)

I do love me that NPH.