Let me entertain you, Let me make you smile…

Oh the Great White Way. How your lights call me, taunt me, with visions of masked men, troubled teens in nineteenth century Germany, eccentric characters residing in Alphabet City, mermaids, witches, lions, and spam. Yes, I did say spam.

Some of you may be scratching your heads, wondering what the “Elle” (ha!ha!ha!) I am talking about. I am, of course, describing the love of my life: Broadway!

Located in NYC, Broadway is actually a street that stretches across the majority of Manhattan’s coast. The most known part is actually located in Times Square, where Broadway crosses Seventh Avenue. This section of Broadway is home to many Broadway houses, which “house an ever-changing array of commercial, large- scale plays, particularly musicals. This area of Manhattan is often called the Theater District or the Great White Way, a nickname originating in the headline “Found on the Great White Way” in the February 3, 1920 edition of the New York Evening Telegram. The journalist sobriquet was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminate the area” (thank you Wikipedia).

But enough about that. Many years ago, when I was in high school and hating every minute I was with the majority of my classmates, I got the chance to go to NYC. Because I am a sane person, I accepted; after all, my trip was completely paid for. By someone else.

Off we went, and part of the trip was seeing all of these wonderful Broadway musicals. I saw Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, The Producers, and last but not least, my favorite from the whole entire trip: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. During that play I fell in love with a man named Norbert Leo Butz. And yes, that is his real name… anywho, I have been following him (not literally people) ever since then, and I am totally in love with him (literally people).

Well, “one short day” not too long ago, my mother and I took a train ride to the “city of cities” {to borrow some lines from Wicked (which also stars Norbert)} and saw the play Is He Dead? This play, which was recently discovered, was written by Mark Twain. It focuses around a group of people in serious debt to a French man named Andre. They decide to pretend a painter, Jean-François Millet, who happens to be their mentor, is dead. This way, they can raise the price of his paintings and pay off their debts. Norbert, who plays Millet, comes back in the last half of the first act, as well as the majority of the second act as his fake, widowed twin sister.

To sum it up, this play was AMAZING. Norbert was BRILLIANT and so funny! But they didn’t run air conditioning, because New York has actual seasons (unlike Florida) and it was still cold outside up there. So the actors were all burning up, and Norbert got so hot from all of the running around and dancing, that he almost passed out on stage! After the play we went to the stage door and met some of the other actors, but everyone there was really waiting for Norbert. But we were still nice to the other actors, and I even got a few autographs and pictures. Sadly, we found out Norbert was not going to be coming out because he was really sick from the performance so he was going to rest in his dressing room until the next show. But I was not going to leave NYC without a picture and autograph from him. My mother and I started talking to this one lady about Broadway, and before we knew it we were the only three outside of the stage door. We were there for an HOUR (you do what you have to do) when Norbert comes out to go get something to eat. OH GOD OF LOVE!!! So he was really nice and we talked for a few minutes and he signed my playbill and took a picture with me!!!!

Look at how adorable we are. Too bad he is married to the sweetest/most beautiful woman [with the most beautiful voice] ever. Usually he is really upbeat and so funny, but as you can tell, or maybe not, he was really sick. But he was so nice and took time to talk to us! All in all, that was the most AMAZING day of my life, and I can not wait to meet him again! That is, if he ever comes back to Broadway. For those of you who do not follow Broadway as obsessively as me, he was also in the film Dan In Real Life (he played one of Dan’s brothers). But I think it is time for him to come back and seduce me with his voice all over again. I guess I will just keep his cds on repeat until then.

And since I haven’t seen a play on stage since… the beginning of May… it is high time I get back to a theater. Sure I could put in classics like Calamity Jane or State Fair or Meet Me in St. Louis. I could also watch Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Newsies, etc. But there is nothing like getting all dressed up, and going to the theater (the real theater, not the cinima, of course). Once upon a time I went to see The Lion King (wonderful) with my highschool class (mentioned above) and some of the people wore… jeans!! *gasp* to the theater!! *double gasp* Once you pick yourself up off the floor, you will be happy to know I wore a very nice outfit, keeping with the tradition that one should take time in their appearance when going to the theater.

Once upon a time in an essay I wrote:

Seeing a Broadway play or musical is something I have enjoyed since I was a child. As the theater dims, the crow grows silent, the orchestra begins to play and the curtain rises, I find myself retreating back and the inner child in me coming forth. As the actors portray the beauty of a story in song and dance I feel as though I am being taken along for the ride, and I absolutely love every minute of it.

As I re-read that paragraph I realize how true it still is. I seriously get as giddy as a 13 year old girl when I purchase tickets to a play/musical. So now I am making a list of all the plays I want to see. I am not including the plays I have seen on broadway already, even if I want to see them again. I am also not including the shows I have seen during touring season.

New Shows:

The Little Mermaid: I have listened to the music over and over and over and I want to see this show soo badly. The only problem? It’s been pretty much sold out since it’s first performance. It stars my favorite Broadway actress (Sherie Renne Scott… who not only shares my middle name, but stared with Norbert in THREE different b’way shows) as Ursula. The songs are clever… only one gets on my nerves. But I never liked that Scuttle character.

Xanadu: Oh my goodness. I want to see this show so badly I might hurt someone to get tickets. Based off the 80’s movie of the same name, starring Olivia Newton John, the music is fantastically hilarious. The main actor, Cheyenne Jackson, will melt your insides with his voice. And there are people on roller blades. Whats not to love? Warning: the main actor does wear rather short shorts. But with a face like that, who cares?

Young Frankenstien: Its Mel Brooks. Need I say more?

Long Running Shows:

Spring Awakening: not one to take the kiddies to; this one is actually parental advisory. But the music is genius and the story? Amazing. And quite sad. I’ve actually read the play because my mom refuses to take me. It did not dissapoint, especially considering 100 years ago it was banned from the stage, as a play. So it came back as a musical. Now just to find someone who will go with me… which means no family (except possibly my sister…) and no one from college. Ha.

Mamma Mia!: I am almost certian this works better on a stage than as a movie… though having the same director, who knows. I think the movie would have been ten million times better if Adam Shankman (director of Hairspray) directed. And if Pierce Brosnan wasn’t in it, but that just goes without saying. 

Hairspray: I have heard this is fantastic, so I think I need to check it out for sure. I know I like some of the music better than the movie version, because I was listening to the b’way version a few years before the movie was ever made. It Takes Two is such a lovely song, and Mama I’m A Big Girl Now is awesome; I’m so sad they cut it from the movie, even if it is on the soundtrack.

Jersey Boys: I just love Franki Valli & The Four Seasons. I would go to this musical in a heartbeat. It seems so fun and I would defiantly have a hard time not just wanting to get up and dance.

Mary Poppins: Having seen Beauty and the Beast, as well as The Lion King, I am sure this Disney play does not disappoint. The other two were amazing, so I have only high hopes for the magical nanny.

Spamalot: How could anyone NOT want to see this???

Legally Blonde: Ehh, if I don’t see this play soon it wont be the end of the world. The (first) movie was amazing, so I hope the musical does it justice. I have seen a documentary type thing about the show, and honestly I wasn’t blown away by the music, though I probably need to see the play in its entirety before I judge.

So there you go. My list! If you are still reading this ridiculously long post I congratulate you. Now go reward yourself by seeing a play. Just, PLEASE!!! DO. NOT. WEAR. JEANS.

The theater community thanks you.



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5 responses to “Let me entertain you, Let me make you smile…

  1. great picture! did you think that he suppose not to be married yet? cute… 😉
    great posting!

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  3. thekeenanator

    The shows listed in your Next Shows section, are worth seeing!
    As for the Sold Out Issue with Little Mermaid, there are student tickets, if you are still a student, that are $30 and REALLY good seats! I just saw the show and I ordered my tickets about two weeks ahead of time. I would try to get evening tickets because the shows during the day attract a lot of little kids who really don’t stay quiet. And if you wait outside after the show, most of the cast is really good. Sheri Rene Scott didn’t come out though, I wish she did because I think she is fabulous!

    Xanadu!!! Get TKTS tickets! I think they are something around $60-$62 and are worth it! I had third row seats! The music is great! Kerry Butler and Cheyenne Jackson are amazing and so good together. Besides Legally Blonde, I have never had so much fun being in the audience of a musical.

    As a broadway buff I enjoyed reading your post and think that your meeting Mr. Butz is great! I love stagedooring!
    Best Wishes

  4. improbablefiction

    Thanks for the kind words Tim! I am glad you enjoy my randomness! (:

    And thanks for the tips Lauren!

    I have heard about the student tickets before, but there is something about waiting in line about an hour before the show… is that the same deal for Mermaid?

    And I have used TKTS before, and I love love it. That is how I was able to afford to see The Producers (:

    Stagedooring is the best; I have heard some really great stories from the cast and met the most unusual (but fun) fans.

  5. Pingback: BEDA 3: “Wit Beyond Measure is Man’s Greatest Treasure.” « (im·prob·a·ble_fic·tion)

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