The day started off at the Brea Mall - with a short shopping trip - which took much longer than I expected. Because of the extra time spent there, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make the 3pm curtain of Russell's show. The outrageous traffic didn't help matters (it took 2 hours to get from La Mirada to NoHo!) :P Once there, I had a difficult time finding parking - even my super-secret parking spots were, apparently, not all that secret because even they were taken.
I finally found a parking space and things seemed to turn around after that. Russell's show was VERY cute - he was wonderful and charismatic as always. I have to say, when he's on stage, you cannot NOT look at him, even when he's not the center of attention - that's the mark of true charisma, I think. There was a lot of dancing and physicality in the show - the poor actors - it must've been really hard work for them.
There were so many famous deaf performers in the audience that I recognized. Ty and Troy were there (but they directed the show), but in addition Michael Davis, T.L., and many others...
After the show I got the chance to see Russell and got to thank him for the ticket. He is just the warmest, sweetest person!! My signing completely sucked and I signed poorly to him, but the nicest part is that I don't think it mattered too much to him. He mainly spoke while he signed (and he seemed to sign in english word order for me which was nice and easy for me to understand) and read my lips - which he's VERY skilled at! We spoke at length about everything going on in his career, his movie (There Will Be Blood), the website, EVERYTHING. He's the sweetest, sweetest person and I completely adore him.
That night, I headed out to Long Beach to see the evening performance of "All Shook Up" - I know I said I thought there wouldn't be an evening performance, but at the last minute I found out that there was, so I'm now seeing the matinee of Thrill Me tomorrow. I'm SOOOO confused... I have SO many tickets to see so many different shows (for the same conflicting times because I couldn't make up my mind earlier...) I hope I show up at the right theatres for the right performances. :P
"All Shook Up" was a pure delight to see!! It's just a really CUTE, feel good show - which I loved!! I have to say that I possibly might not enjoy just any production of this show, because it wasn't the show itself that I loved, but the performances, the staging, the direction... Which makes it all the more special that Musical Theatre West has put together SUCH a wonderful production.
Derek Keeling was SUCH a joy to see! His comedic timing was flawless, he was hilarious, the delivery of his lines were just... terrific. Bets was wonderful and played against type in this show... Lately, if I haven't seen her as Suzy, I've seen her in rather "glamorous" roles (Comfort O'Connell in "No Strings" and Martha in "1776") - but her tomboyish portrayal of Natalie was such a welcome change. Bets really has such a sincerity to her characters that you can't help but love her onstage. In short, she was WONDERFUL!! Danny Calvert was SOO cute and extremely funny as Dennis and Barry Pearl and Gwen Stewart were just amazing!
Got to see Steve, Bets and their wonderful families at the show. Bets was sweet enough to introduce me to Derek and we had the nicest conversation. He's a VERY sweet guy - and really funny, too! He talked about having been in Hawaii for the tour of Grease - which I told him that had I known about him - and that he was in it - I definitely would've gone to see it. He told me, "So, what you're saying is - if you could go back in time..." :D Then I embarrassingly admitted to him that I saw him on "that TV show" and that I never did it before but I actually voted for him. "I can't believe I'm actually admitting this to you," I told him. He then made a cute comment about being embarrassed to admit that he was actually ON a reality show... :) So cute - LOVE him.
What a lovely end to such an incredible day!! It's almost 2am and I should get some rest. I will try to post my photos from yesterday when I get up - if my ftp client is in agreement with this wireless connection. Hope you're all having a nice weekend!! HUGS!