Anyway, we get to Studio 54, and I'm checking out the new posters in the lobby of Mary McCormack and Boyd Gaines, and I realize, there's a new poster of Alan up too. In this one, he has his arm behind his head and he's gazing seductively out at us *sigh*. I also take note of the fact that there's no white sign on the doors saying "The role of the Emcee...." and I take this as a VERY good sign.
As I passed the merchandise table, I noticed they had some new stuff. They even have a Program now!! So, I got my friend Wayne to buy a program for me for Alan to sign after the show. I met an acquaintance of Michele Pawk's (Fritzie, Fr. Kost). I got very excited at first becuase she mentioned she had a friend in the cast (and I thought to myself PLEASE LET IT BE ALAN!!!) So, I asked,"Who's your friend?" (After a brief pause to appear calm and collected) and she replies, "Michele.......Pawk" I didn't need her to say the last name because I knew exactly who she was talking about. SO I started rambling about how great Michele is blah blah blah (kinda hoping to get an invite backstage too) but she (never got her name) just went on to say how she and Michele were roommates in college and she's know her for like 10-15 years. I was pretty impressed.
The show began and I relaxed as soon as Alan came slinking out onto stage ( I always have this fear he's not going to be there). I must say, this was the best performance that I've seen Alan give. The audience was excellent, and I think that has a lot to do with the setting of the tone for the entire show. Willkommen is so much of Alan trying to get a laugh out of the audience, and the audience didn't miss a beat. They laughed at all the jokes, they even clapped when the Kit Kat Girls were introduced!! The energy was really high and it jus seemed to make the show that much more amazing.
During one of the first numbers (could be "Mama") Alan tells this joke (that people don't usually get): Emcee: "I said to Sally, 'I would like you for my wife' and Sally says back to me, 'What would your wife want with me?'" Usually, there's a dead silence before people get it and Alan will recognize the first person who gets it. Well, I decided I wanted to be recognized for being the loudest to react to that joke. Linda and I were watching the show from the rear center aisle in the orchestra. I got ready to laugh really loud when he told that joke, and I did, but so did everyobdy else! But, Alan still wanted some more so I started clapping (I was the only fool doing this so I was sure I had to be noticed) and sure enough.. he said "Thank you" and pointed off to the right and then pointed right back at me!!!!! I was very excited.
Then, when Alan walks out onto stage for Audience Participation Time... he saunters out and he's wearing a robe... he looks really good. Anyway, he comes out and makes the announcement, and Linda and I started whistling and hooting at him (just to get some more attention) and again, he acknowledged us. He looked up, kind of surprised I think, and looked right back at us ( I have no idea if he could really see us, but he looked in our direction) and said something, but we missed it cause we were still hooting at him.
The two lucky people chosen for audience participation were good sports about the whole thing. Usually, people are too scared or nervous to talk back to Alan, or even look out at the audience. The first woman he choose was a middle-aged African American woman. She happily went up onstage with Alan and they started dancing. Alan asked her her name and who she was there with (her husband) and Alan makes him wave at him. Then, Alan turns to the woman and asks the infamous question, "Do you like sandwiches?" Now, most people take a while to get this joke, but she got it right away! She slyly replies in the affirmative, and Alan says "Oh, what kind?" and she turns to him, smiles and says, "Vanilla." Alan was very pleased with this response and the audience got a big kick out of it. Next, he pulled a gentleman named Ken up on stage with him. Ken was also a good sport, but not nearly as funny as Alan's first partner.
Oh, just to mention the rest of the cast.........Mary McCormack is amazing as Sally. She is hands down the best Sally I've seen ( I never saw Natasha). Her voice is strong, her acting is really good and I like how she portrays Sally. JJL made Sally out to be some kind of a nitwit and that never seemed right to me. Boyd Gaines is good, his voice isn't superb, but its not a singing role anyway (he reminded me of John Benjamin Hickey in several scenes). And last night was the first time I've seen Ron Rifkin as Herr Schultz. The last two times I've been, I've seen his understudy. Excellent actor.
Ok, so at the end, I stayed as long as I could to see the final scene and then I went to position myself to hand out playbills. Only, they didn't have any left for me so I was told just to stand by the stairs. Alright.............so lucky me got to see Alan give his curtain call and I cheered very loudly for him. Then, Matt came over with some playbills for me and moved me to a different spot. SO, I'm waiting for the crowd to leave and I notice noone is moving and I hear this very soft voice talking and i realize ITS ALAN!!! What's he saying? They've never done this before. So, I move out of position to see Alan and strain to hear what he's saying. They were collecting money (this week?) for the Broadway Cares and he was giving the little speech about it. I was in heaven. He was talking with his wonderful Scottish accent, but he was really quiet so it was hard to hear him. Anyway, he finishes his speech and the Kit Kat boys and girls head out into the audience with their buckets and guess who came and stood right next to me!!! Bobby!! (ok, Michael O'Donnell) I very smartly moved a little closer to him and at one point we were so close we were rubbing elbows. All I have to say is WOW. He is really cute up close in person. I stood there for a while not knowing whether I should talk to him or not. I handed out my last playbill and had to wait there for a while cause the crowd was too thick to move. Finally, the crowd thined out and I took my chance to tell him how wonderful he was tonight blah blah blah. He says thank you, then looks at me ( I mean really looks at me) and says "Have you seen the show before?" I smile and reply yes, this is my third time and he says "Oh, wow, that's really great. Thanks so much for coming back." So I walked away with a big old grin on my face and caught up with Linda and the rest of my group. We got our coats and headed over to 53rd street to wait in the FREEZING COLD for Alan.
We only had to wait 10-15 minutes for Alan, but it seemed longer cause it was sooooo cold. They brought out the barricade (which they'd never done before when I was there) and my friends kept teasing me that is was beacuse I was there and they knew I would jump him or something (which I would never do.....my male friends just don't understand about Alan.) First, Mary McCormack came out and she was soooo nice. She signed everybody's stuff and even wrote personal messages! My friend Bill loves the movie "Private Parts" so he told her how good she was in it and she was just so gracious and kind. She seems like a really great person. We were all impressed with her.
Then, Alan comes out. We were at the end of the line so luckily we were past the barricade. Alan didn't seem to be in much of a hurry and he didn't have a big entourage with him. He was wearing a gray fuzzy sweatshirt and a black ski cap. I was the first in my group to hand him my program and I say to him "You were so wonderful tonight....." and he says thank you in his cute Scottish way and then he looks at my program and says "Wow, these are new. I've never seen this before" and he starts looking through my program!!! I thought he would just flip through it but, no, he took a long look at each and every page. He stopped at the page that has a big picture of him and says "Oh, look, its me." and then keeps on going. The whole time he is talking to me about the program and about how its so different from the mock-up that they were shown. He says how he'll have to get one, but he'll have to pay for it (are they so cheap they can't afford to give the star a free program??) I spent like 4 minutes having a conversation with him.
So, he finishes leafing through my program and he signs it and then my other friends get theirs done too. Then Linda asks for a picture and I ask if its ok if I get in it too and he says "Of course" and so my wonderful friend Jeff takes the picture (plus a couple other shots of Alan talking to me and signing my program) and Alan walks to his car and leaves.
This trip by far has been my most exciting.