My weekend with Crutchie, Elder McKinley and Black Stache

Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Rory O'Malley

Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Rory O’Malley

When I finished packing my bags and left home on Thursday afternoon, I already had tickets to various shows. I had carefully chosen the dates I was on vacation based on PATSC’s closing night and various other milestones happened to fall around the same time that I’m going to be fortunate enough to be a part of.

But still, even with tickets to some of my favorite shows (and admittedly, I’m seeing a couple shows more than once), I never expected that three days into my trip would render me completely inadequate of proper speech.

I was seated beside three strangers at the Book of Mormon on Saturday night who had never seen the show. Admittedly I have only been in the audience once (vacations are expensive, BOM tickets are even more expensive) but I live for the music, the story and the cast. (Especially Rory.)

Anyway, we were chatting about the show and I was giving them a few teases about what they were about to witness and the woman at my right seemed impressed by how much I knew about the show and other theatre productions.

I can’t sing or act (I wish!) but I’m a writer at heart and nothing brings me more joy than interviewing one of my favorite talented people or writing an essay on one of my favorite shows. Ultimately I said that theatre is my passion, it’s my life. Because that’s exactly what it is.

Since Newsies on Friday evening I have been writing letters to my favorite Broadway performers. Little notes of appreciation so they know what they mean to me, even if I am just another face in the crowd. I have given my card to some of the other people who I think are absolutely amazing but couldn’t find the words to write.

If you told me at any moment before I left on my trip that I would have been publicly acknowledged by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Rory O’Malley I would have rolled my eyes and never believed it. (How many thousands of people do they meet at stage door?) And yet, Andrew knew who I was when we met after Newsies and Rory’s most recent tweet is a thank you to me (I checked again this morning to make sure it was real) which is backwards since I should keep thanking him instead but it means so much to me.

When I saw that Christian Borle was seated diagonally behind me at Peter and the Starcatcher I wasted no time in giving him the letter I had written for him. (I wrote it with hopes that I would see him at the show because I knew if he could be there, he would be. After all, PATSC was very much his baby.) Being able to hug him and knowing he’ll be aware of what a huge influence he has been on my reason to continue writing is something I can’t put into words.

(In fact, after writing about AKB, Rory and Borle I had to “turn it off” because I became overwhelmed with emotion – again.)

Then there’s Adam Chanler-Berat, one of the major reasons I’m a theatre writer at all. Next to Normal was the first show I wrote about for pay, Alice Ripley was my first interview and, from that, I just kept going and never looked back.

Today I’m spending some time with Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Rachel Sullivan to discuss “The Birds and The Bees: Unabridged.” Again, totally surreal. It’s no secret by now that my favorite family on Broadway is the Keenan-Bolger bunch. (And as I told AKB, he and his family will continue to be a huge part of SDD so get used to reading their names…) But I’m thankful to Maggie for giving me some time because I’m genuinely excited to hopefully help drum up more support for her Kickstarter project. (Go donate!)

On the off chance that the amazing guys and girls who received letters and cards this week are reading this and wondering where the promised stories about them are – don’t worry, they’re still coming. Maybe not today or tomorrow but they will be here soon.

I have seven more days in this incredible city and as they say, “the best has yet to come.” Bring it on.


(Author’s note: All photos from this weekend can be found on SDD’s tumblr page.)

About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald

Comments are closed.