May 28th, 2006

Bets Malone

Wonderful Grease!!!

Just a quick, but not-so-short update from LA to mention probably THE NICEST theatre experience that I have ever had! It, of course, was all thanks to Bets who has got to be the sweetest, warmest person ever! Yesterday I was fortunate enough to see two showings of Grease at Fullerton Civic Light Opera. And while the story is one that we're all familiar with, the music and the staging of this particular show was VERY different than I expected it to be.


Starting at the high school reunion of the class of 1959, the stage version contained songs I'd never heard before ("Mooning," "Alone at the Drive In Movie," and "Choked Up") and was missing songs we'd all become familiar with in the movie version ("Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Sandy," and "You're the One That I Want.") I'd never seen the stage production before so it was very interesting to see the differences between it and the movie. :)

The cast was OUTSTANDING!! Of course, I may be biased, but Bets as Rizzo was probably the strongest member of the cast. She was funny and outspoken, very tough, but what I loved was that she gave Rizzo a real vulnerable side, in fact, her "There Are Worst Things I Could Do" was truly one of the best and most heartbreaking numbers in the show. And talk about perfect casting... when she walked out onstage, everything about her from her stature to her demeanor looked like a little Stockard Channing (but better.) :) Lowe Taylor was also wonderful as Jan and had such a lovely voice! :) Brian Brigham was a great Danny Zuko, but OH.MY.GOSH... everything about him (looks, voice, acting style, mannerisms, etc.) reminded me SO MUCH of Chad Brannon... I had to keep reminding myself that it was Brian on that stage and not actually Chad! ;) The entire cast was very strong, but I really think that Bets, Lowe, and Brian really stood out.


After the show, I went to say HI to Bets and the stage door was PACKED!! I'd never been to a show where there were SO many people waiting to see the actors come out (it may have even rivaled a Broadway show!!) I got to meet Lowe, who I'd met briefly online at MySpace this past week. She was VERY sweet and very lovely to speak with! :)

Bets was so busy that evening - there were so many people there to see her that I didn't know if I should wait around or just go back to the hotel (I'd seen her briefly after the matinee that day and I was very self-conscious about over-staying my welcome there - since that's a fear I always have whenever I stand at the stage door...) But I really have to say, Bets is just the warmest, sweetest person that I know!! She invited me to go out with them for drinks - and I SO would've gone had I not been completely dead from the stupid red-eye flight from the night before! :( Then she took me backstage to see her dressing room. It may seem odd, but in all the years that I've been seeing people in shows, this was the very first time that someone actually invited me backstage. I got to meet her dresser who was nice enough to take some photos of us on the set and I got to meet the stage manager and her husband. :) It was SUCH a lovely evening and it was all thanks to Bets, who is - BY FAR - one of the sweetest people that I've been fortunate enough to get to know!! I just adore her!!

Here are a couple of the pictures that we took last night (I sure hope the ones from Bets' camera turned out better - she looks lovely as always, but I look completely exhausted in these!) :P

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Today I'm driving to Hollywood to see Misty in "Little Egypt" and then I'm meeting Linda for dinner and a showing of "Me Too" at the Stella Adler theatre. It should be a lovely day!! :) Hope you're all having a nice weekend!! Big *HUGS*

Edited to add: I just got an email from Kevin - he's been cast as Billy in "Anything Goes!!" Woo Hoo!! Now to see if I can swing a trip out here to see that!! :D WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND it's been!! :D :D
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