Meeting new friends and seeing old friends
One of the nicest parts of my trip was getting to meet some friends who I've only had the pleasure of speaking to online. On Sunday night, Mark & I met careleswhisper and rripley for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was really nice to just sit down and get to talk with them - they were both such sweethearts! :) Thank you both so much for taking the time to meet with us! :) I met another Kevin fan (and my eyes and ears in LA when it comes to theatre) Linda at "Assassins". She was so sweet and it was so nice to put a face with a name after all this time. I was also able to meet Sharon (who I've never really spoken with - but who posts on a theatre board that I frequent) and she was really great to talk with about theatre since she sees SO many shows. And I can't forget all of my Kevin group (who I've missed dearly and haven't seen since last November...) Tina, Sue, and Marina! It was just so nice to see everyone and meet some online friends I've never met before!
"Laramie Project" and Nick
I adore Nick DeGruccio...I know that I've said it before, but I keep having to say it. He has to be THE warmest, sweetest, nicest man that I've ever met. :) And what talent! He directed "The Laramie Project" in Laguna and even though Mark & I saw the same show / cast at the Colony Theatre last June, I wanted to see it again because of Nick. The show was spectacular - the ensemble, just beyond words... And it's such an important show with such an important message. I was hoping Nick would be at the show so I could say "Hi" to him and luckily for me, he was. He came in late and sat in the back of the theatre for the first act. At intermission, I walked up to him as he was talking with someone who worked at the theatre. He gave me a huge hug and thanked me for coming. We had a nice talk about the show and how special it was. :) He is SUCH a dear!
"Assassins" and Kevin
Of course, the ultimate highlight of the weekend was seeing Kevin in "Assassins". I had emailed him earlier to ask if I could take some photos of him before the show and he told us to meet him in the courtyard at 6:45pm. Mark & I came a little early and I was a little nervous waiting for him to come out. As I waited I caught glances of John Mahoney who came out for a smoke break (twice!), Kevin Chamberlain who came out to talk on his cell phone, and the guy who played John Hinckley who sat in the courtyard eating his dinner and running his lines with another cast member. I was starting to feel really out of place...
Luckily Kelly (who is the GM of Reprise!) saw me and came up to greet me. She asked me if I wanted her to pass along a message to Kevin - but I told her it was fine and that he should be out any minute. That made me feel a little better about waiting there. And I have to say that Kelly's been nothing but nice to me ever since I met her two years ago at 1776. :)
At about 6:50pm, Kevin came out of the stage door looking absolutely stunning his black suit. We walked to the sculpture garden to take the photos and Kevin commented on how awestruck he was by the talent of the entire cast. I spent a few minutes taking his photo and we ended up talking about a lot of things - like the straight play he may be auditioning for, Julie Ann who was in Richmond filming her show, and how much he loves gadgets and wants to buy a mini-disc. :)
One of the funniest things was when I told him that Dave updated his site and he looked shocked and said, "He did? Oh, THANK GOD!" :) He was funny, charming, and personable like he always is and so generous with the little free time he had before the show. I can't say enough how lucky I am that he's been so supportive of my site and will take the time to do things like pose for photos for me. He's so wonderful!
The show itself was incredible! To see Kevin, Harry Groener, Anthony Crivello, Patrick Cassidy, Annie Golden, and John Mahoney on the same stage reading one of my favorite Sondheim musicals was so awe-inspiring! They were all so incredible and totally worth my whole trip out there!
Marina, Linda & her family, Tina & Sue all being there afterward at the cast reception made the evening so much more special. Though I felt a little bad - since they all didn't know each other well, I felt pulled in so many directions that night that I wish I could've spent more time with everyone. :( At the end of the evening, I felt like I wanted to sit and talk with all of them, but there was just no time. :(
Kevin came over to us after the show and spent a few minutes talking with us at the reception about his views of the show, of Booth, the preparation he did for the role and his thoughts on how American audiences have viewed the show and its message both in times of peace and in times of crisis. It was really fascinating to hear. He even said that they had first offered him the role of Czolgosz, but then cast him as Booth. I got several group pictures and even coaxed Marina into one of them! :) It was a great evening! :)
Spending time with my hubby!
Lastly, and MOST importantly, I LOVED the quality time that Mark & I got to spend together. :) We really have so much fun together that we could just be sitting in the hotel room watching TV and be having fun. Getting to spend so much time together with him this weekend was wonderful! :) :) I'm already looking forward to our next trip together! :)