MEETING THE CAST 2001
Like a typical obsessed fan when we were planning our trip to the Broadway Revival I knew I wanted to meet the cast. So the best plan I could come up with was making them all a little gift and hoping it would get me a minute or so with them. One of the first pieces of ephemera that came out for the revival was a huge layout in HX magazine. It had all the principal characters displayed one per page in full costume. I used those photos as my source to make a poster sized drawing of each of them. I made them in Sharpie, pen and ink on paper about 2x3 feet. Luckily I was able to meet all of the principal cast except Jarrod (but I did get his autograph). I also met a few of the Phantoms and understudies. Their incredible kindness made me wish they had pictures in HX of them too, they definitely deserved it. Below are my photos and some little bits about meeting the cast.
Alice was a doll. I saw her coming in to the theater before the performance but I never saw her afterwards. So the second day we saw the show I caught her on her way in to give her the poster. She said her parents would love it...in fact they'd probably wallpaper the garage with it. She assured me that she was just kidding and that she really did like it. I asked if I could get a picture with her ans she suggested that I come back on the third night after the show as that would be a day she would be staying late. On that night I got to go backstage to the dressing rooms and was able to visit with her and briefly say hello to Lea again.
Joan doesn't really come out after the show to mingle. It seems that through her performing experience she has realized that fans, though well intentioned, are not always very safe. At any rate. I had David take my poster for Joan back and had her sign my HX. As if by fate I ran into her on the sidewalk while on the way back to my hotel. She and her assistant (and her dog) were leaving at the same time I was. I said hello and told her she had done a great job. She said thanks. I told her I had made the poster that had been brought back, she smiled and said "really? thanks a lot". I could tell she was uncomfortable with talking to a stranger on the sidewalk after dark so I told them to have a nice evening and crossed toward my hotel.
Jarrod was the only member of the principal cast that I was not able to meet while attending the show. I was lucky enough; however, to get his autograph on my HX thanks to David the backstage security guy. I was quite pleased to see the poster I made Jarrod hanging on the wall backstage when I went back to visit with Alice on the third night of our stay. It turns out that Jarrod was ill that night so I met his understudy instead.
I have noticed that Sebastian is one of the most accesible of the stars from the show. He is very down to earth and really pleasant. It seems that the crowd is also drawn to him, maybe because of his whole child-like quality. He was another actor that came out after every single show to visit with fans.
Tom was AWESOME! The first night we went to the show I got to go backstage to meet Tom. Before I had a chance to say anything to him he started telling me how wonderful Rocky fans have been to him. He said that he has noticed such a sence of family and community within the Rocky fan base and they always make him feel appreciated. I was totally floored by how someone who seemed so amazing to me was telling me how much they appreciated me. We talked for several minutes about the poster and Dori Hartly who had seen the show the weekend before. The HX writer who did the Rocky story was backstage too. The best part was before he took a picture with me he went to put on a shirt (simmer down!)when he came back to the hall outside the dressing room he was wearing a Lion King shirt.
Lea was really sweet. She seemed like she really appreciated the poster I had made her and I noticed that she came out after several shows to visit with fans. She signed my friend's rubber chicken and another friend's copy of her book.
Ok so Raul is like the coolest! First off he was super personable. After meeting us he remembered us in the lobby the next day and came over to tell us about Deidre taking Daphne's place for the show that afternoon. He assured us that we would really like it. After every show he came out to visit and to go outside for a smoke. He was always smiling.
Daphne is a power house of talent. I was amazed at how small she was. She was the first of the actors to come in as we were waiting in the lobby. She said hello as she passed and we were immediately star-struck. After the show she came out to get her poster and she looked at it and giggled. For the record she smelled terrific.
Dick was the first member of the cast that I met. His perch during the show was right in front of our seats. Since I had posters for the whole cast I thought it would be a good idea to give him his before the show was over in hopes that the others would see his and come out to meet me. I followed him out of the theater and gave him the poster and he game me a hug. He was very sweet. I talked with him briefly and one of the ushers took the picture back and let the cast know they had gifts waiting. Before dick left I asked if I could get a picture after the show and he said sure.
Deidre Goodwin was a phantom and understudy for Magenta, we saw her perform as both. I am told she went to school in Springfield Missouri, so that practically makes us related.
James Stovall played a Phantom and was an understudy for Eddie/Dr. Scott and Frank. He was very kind and gave us an interview for the website.
John Jeffrey Martin
John Jeffrey Martin was a swing, he played a Phantom sometimes, Rocky or Brad. We saw him as Brad the day Jarrod was out sick. John has gone on to play some other impressive roles and you can read more about him in an interview he did for us here.
Jonathan Sharp was a riot. He went out of his way to make us feel welcome and over the course of the 3 performances that we saw he dragged boy myself and Play It Again Rocky staffer Chuck out to do the Time Warp during the show.
Kristen Lee Kelly
Kristen Lee Kelly was also a swing. She played a phantom, Janet, and Columbia. I believe we saw her as Columbia.