Only a couple of things I wanted to mention about Finian's... first, I was saddened that Cheyenne was not in - I was really looking forward to seeing (and hearing) him as Woody. His understudy was okay, but really not the same! Loved Kate Baldwin and Christopher Fitzgerald! And primarily due to their performances, I enjoyed the show.
I knew I wouldn't be seeing Trent go on as Billy when I received the notification that Trent went on during the matinee on Sunday. I knew Alex was still not in the show's rotation yet, so I was unsure who we'd see. We ended up seeing Liam - and I have to say, he was quite a surprise! Not only did he have A LOT of onstage charisma, but for someone so young, he really seemed to master the character of Billy... His acting was FABULOUS!!!
Seeing a much younger Billy was very interesting since the last time I saw the show, I saw Trent and he seemed a little tall for the role... Liam is younger and his friendship with Michael (Trevor) worked a little bit better because of their ages & heights. I remember seeing Trent in September and he was SO tall that Trevor had to grab his hair and pull him down to kiss him. Liam also has a charming smile and really gave Billy a likability. And I have to say that he is one of the most "natural" of the Billys I've seen... His accent never seemed forced, his acting was always spot on... His singing voice may not have been as strong as some of the other boys, and NO ONE could beat Trent's tapping, but I thoroughly enjoyed Liam and was so glad that I got to see his Billy!! My Mom LOVED the show and said it was her second favorite (after MEMPHIS, of course!) :)
MEMPHIS (for the 2nd time this trip - 6th time overall!)
The first thing I noticed walking into the Shubert was the understudy board - which listed Sydney Morton - which I was thrilled about. Sydney's in the ensemble and I'd seen her perform in the early, early days of previews, but hadn't seen her since. (You know you've seen a show too many times when you get REALLY excited about seeing different ensemble members!) :)
The show was wonderful the second time... but the moment Chad walked on the stage and began speaking, I knew something was wrong. His speaking voice really didn't sound like him at all! The poor guy was hoarse and his voice (even his speaking voice) seemed at least an octave lower. He sang everything BEAUTIFULLY, though and really gave one of the strongest acting performances I think I'd ever seen from him that day.
And the house was absolutely PACKED that day and the audience was FANTASTIC! They laughed at everything, and really got into it... I LOVE being a part of an audience like that! The cast really seemed to feed off of the energy of the crowd and all the performances were extra fantastic - it was amazing!! But Chad... he was BEYOND words that day... his comedic timing was PERFECT, his acting, heartbreaking... SOOO WONDERFUL.
After the show...
Knowing that they had an evening Actor's Fund performance later that night, I didn't want to keep any of the actors from grabbing a bite to eat between shows. But Montego was a dear and spoke with us briefly as was Brad Bass (who told me that I should come back when he goes on for Chad) :) Got to speak with Sydney briefly to let her know how thrilled I was to catch her performance, and spent a lovely few minutes with Charlie (who, is the sweetest, sweetest guy ever!!)
It was freezing cold and raining pretty hard and I knew my Mom didn't really want to wait for a long time. And I overheard someone tell a fan that Chad was sick and probably wouldn't be coming out. So we were about to leave, when James Monroe Iglehart came back from picking up food (I must've missed him on his way OUT of the theatre!) First of all,... LOVE him! He couldn't be sweeter or more gracious!! He saw me and gave me a huge hug and I told him that I'd missed him after the show on Wednesday. He apologized and explained to me that he had to rush home because of some problems with his cats. He's SOOOO sweet! Then, he told me that he'd check on Chad for me. I told him he didn't need to, especially if he wasn't feeling well, but he was SUCH a dear and checked for me anyway.
He came out moments later looking SOOOO sad and apologetic. He told me that he told Chad I was there and that Chad really wanted to come out, but wasn't feeling well and didn't want to spread his germs. I completely understood - after all, he had another show to do that night and shouldn't be out in the cold and the rain - and judging by his speaking voice in the matinee, he probably should be trying to save his voice for the evening show. James spent some time with us, though and met and spoke with my Mom and was just the sweetest person ever. I swear, the entire cast of MEMPHIS is just SO nice and SO special! I absolutely adore them all.
Heard from lucenellapiazza that Chad did the evening show that night and I know he was in Tuesday's show, but he called out of both the matinee and the evening show today - Bryan Fenkart went on for him for both performances. I really hope he feels better soon!!
All in all this was an INCREDIBLE theatre trip! The shows we saw were wonderful,... sadly there were a few performances that I would've loved to have seen (Santino Fontana & Cheyenne Jackson) but all in all... it was WONDERFUL!!
Thank you all so much for putting up with my theatre posts. I'll be back after my friend's baby shower tomorrow night to recap the food portion of our trip!! HUGS!!!