January 22nd, 2010
Last night I saw the Broadway revival of “Bye Bye Birdie”, the lighthearted musical about an Elvis type(Birdie) joining the army — and the chaos it causes amongst oversexed teenage girls. I’m sure your high school attempted to put on some low budget production of this Tony Award-winning musical. At my school, a guy named Bunny played Birdie. True story.
The production starred a legendary Broadway staple. Zero Mostel? No. Sidney Poitier? Guess again. The answer: John Stamos. This didn’t surprise me because when I watched him as Blackie on “General Hospital” and mullet sporting Uncle Jesse on "Full House".. I thought one thing. Broadway. In all fairness, he held his own as manager-songwriter Albert Peterson and according to unreliable sources, I hear he’s a nice guy and, dare I say, pretty smokin’ hot. Rebecca Romijn thought so. Then she married the fat Guy from “Stand by Me”. Besides, casting Stamos as a Broadway lead is no dumber than having a phone ring tone that is the sound of rapid gunfire. I learned that the hard way.
As a little girl, I would come to New York with my family when Times Square was a death zone, people were shooting people on the subway and checkered cabs still existed. Every trip, we would see at least one Broadway show and I was always captivated by the over the top grandiosity of these productions. I am certain that these experiences were a pivotal precursor to my interest in the performing arts. As I got a little older and started to make fun of musical theater, I was given the catalyst that honed my interest in the comedic arts.
In 2004, I was at the opening night of “Fiddler on the Roof” staring Alfred Molina. About five minutes before the show was about to start, some woman in the audience died. Someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?!” Opening night of a Broadway show? Yes, physicians were not in shortage. It turned out the newly deceased was the sister of the original choreographer of the play. Either she didn’t like her seat or had seen everything she had needed to see. Rue McClanahan was there. No segue. Just thought you should know that.
Sometimes life takes such random twists and turns that I can’t help but to feel that I might be living inside a Broadway musical. Here’s my proof:
-Musical theater and gay men are synonymous. You know who has a lot of gay men in her life? That would be me.
-I often break into song at any moment…on the street, in the shower and at silent meditation retreats. Sometimes when I see a guy that I am automatically smitten with, I just start singing, “I’ve never felt this way before..this way I’ve never felt..sha la la!”
-In the musicals of Broadway, sets change all the time. Well, I’ve moved a lot in the last few years resulting in excessive stage changing.
-I once dated a guy whose last name was Of The Opera. First name, Phantom.
-If I behave badly, I have to give myself a time out. In the theater world, I believe they refer to this as an intermission.
-I went on strike in 2007.
-When I was a little girl, I was a feisty orphan with a red afro who just knew that the sun would come out. Tomorrow.
-I have an orchestra living in the pit of my apartment and an usher who escorts me to my furniture.
-I once had a cat that could sing, dance and did a gripping rendition of the song “Memories”. She went on to have a promising film career.. then got involved with the Taco Bell dog and died from a chimichanga overdose.