The show I usher for was originally set to close mid-August but it has already been extended twice. Which works out well for me and the hazard of unemployment. It also means that the lead (now that I no longer work there I can tell you I’m talking about Jonathan Groff**) had to leave the show to go film an Ang Lee movie and his replacement isn’t quite as charming.
He had the day off from filming yesterday. How do I know this, you ask? Because he came to see the show and of course he sat in my section, because awesome/famous people always sit in my section (I really lucked out with that assignment at the beginning of the summer). I didn’t notice him until intermission when I saw him sitting all by himself and realized he had been the annoying guy sitting next to the show’s costume designer whispering and laughing uproariously at everything the whole first act. Wow, good thing I hadn’t shot him a nasty “shut up!” look!
Well there he was, in all his adorable splendor, sitting alone as the costume designer had left to attend to things. Eee I want to go up there and tell him I think he’s awesome, but that’s not really appropriate. I’m supposed to stay here and man my spot. Damn. Ok, I will will him to leave the theater so he’ll pass by me and hopefully I’ll have the balls to say something. Willllllllllll.
It works. He gets up and I’m searching my brain for something I can say that isn’t obnoxious or groupie-esque.
But he’s not heading for the exit. No, no. Johnathan Groff is walking straight towards me.
“Hi! How are you? It’s so good to see you,” he says and then gives me a hug. Like we bonded during the show. Like we’re old friends. Like he’s at least talked to me once before in our lives.
Planning my line? Fuck that! Not even my imagination considered this!
From where I stood there were two choices: play along or let the truth- that I’ve never talked to him before ever and think he’s very talented, not to mention the fact he’s already achieved most of my life goals- take over. No contest. For the entirety of intermission me and this Tony-nominated, the next hot thing, golden boy of Broadway are bffs. We talk about the show, how it’s been since he left, how filming’s been, laugh when some guy comes over to talk to him and ends his “I saw you in this show, you were so great” spiel with: “My friend sitting up over there. It’s her birthday. She wants your dong.” The guy quickly leaves and my new bff laughs and confides in me, “That’s one I’ve never heard before- ‘She wants your dong.’ And did you see how fast he went back to his seat? I bet that was a dare.” Oh commiseration, that makes me feel even more like we’re bffs.
Before I know it, intermission is over. The lights are dimming and so is our friendship.
“It was so great to see you! Good luck with the film! Enjoy the second act!”
“Thanks, you too. I’ll see you later.” He says and gives me another hug before returning to his seat.
I can’t stop smiling.
It’s a good thing I’m 97% sure he’s gay. (It’s a vibe, a chemistry maybe. Sometimes obviously gay leading men in classic musicals can limit the credibility of character portrayal. Like when I saw Wicked, Fiaro was so obviously gay it was distracting. But in this show it made his character much stronger. His connection to Will Swenson’s Berger is awesome. Which I didn’t appreciate fully until he left. Sigh. If he is not gay, he is a truly brilliant actor for creating that. His replacement doesn’t have the same vibe and it makes the whole show a little weaker, in my opinion.) [He actually came out a year after I wrote this.**] Otherwise I would be head over heals in love. Such a sweet, modest, respectful, awesome person. It’s moments like these when I feel like the minimum wage I get paid is totally enough. Who am I kidding, I would do it for free.
**edits from 2/13/2014