Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Best seat in the house

I went to see Spring Awakening tonight. How can I possibly describe what it's like to watch a Broadway show from a seat on stage? What an experience!

We stage-sitters were instructed beforehand to arrive at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre early, wear neutral-colored clothing, and put all worldly belongings (at least the ones we were carrying) in a locker off-stage. I duly complied. There were three rows of wooden school chairs on graduated risers on either side of the stage. On the stage. Not off-stage behind a curtain. On. The. Stage.

A nice little man showed me to my seat - stage right, second row, middle seat, and I waited for the other "stars" to arrive. A young couple sat to my right, but the seat on my left was vacant until about 5 minutes before the show. There were a few vacant chairs on both sides of the stage, and I felt kinda bad that they were empty. Well, duh. The cast sat amongst us at various times during the show. Very cool. And imagine my surprise when the girl on my left whipped out a mic and started singing during the third song! Yikes! She was part of the ensemble cast, and I was as close as a person could be to the action on stage.

I had no preconceived notions about the play. I mean, I'd seen the Tony Awards, which featured one of the songs, and I knew it was about teenage sex/angst, but other than that, I really didn't know what to expect. The music was great - mostly rock. A fine story, plus a little nudity (and I had a ring-side seat, thank you very much). But it was just incredible to see the thing unfold from my vantage point - to see the sets and lights shift (that folks in the audience couldn't possibly see), to watch spit and sweat fly (OK, that doesn't sound glamorous, but it was live theatre, I tell ya!), to watch the band members change out instruments. Plus, I could watch the real audience - I could see exactly what the cast members were seeing. Plus-plus, I got to feel Broadway spotlights on me - a very warm and glowy feeling, I must say.

It was an amazing night. Well, you'd just have to see it for yourself to believe it. Why everyone doesn't want to sit on the stage, I'll never know. And all for $31.50. Man, oh man.


Elsie said...

Sounds great. How did you get tickets to be on stage?

Anonymous said...

My high school drama director was rather advanced, and we did a group of one-act plays with the audience seated on stage. I was acting in a farce by GB Shaw, and I'll remember the performance for the rest of my life, largely because my entire family was seated on stage. The play had a couple of naughty-ish lines, and as luck or mischief would have it, one of the boys in the play delivered the line, "Scaramouche! Go take a douche!" right into the upturned face of my Grandmother. Dear Nana took it a lot better than I did-- I was holding a 20-lb. bust of Plato, which I promptly dropped on my own foot!!

Anonymous said...

OMG, my sister "appearing" in a Broadway show complete with nudity! Now just ask yourself what would Maudie, Mickey and Fonza think? I can just hear them now "That just what happens to 'young' impressionable girls who go to the Big City."
As for me.... You GO Girl. Maybe if the Church Center lets you go you have a new career to fall back on.

MaryB said...

Elsie - I just requested stage seats. I knew that they were available for Spring Awakening, so I found the first date they had a seat on stage available. Alas, I missed out on the stage seats for Inherit the Wind, with Christoper Plummer and Brian Dennehey.

Carey - oh, my! I do wonder if having folks on stage is distracting for the cast. I'm guessing it's not (at least on Broadway), since they worked around us just fine.

Bro - yeah - I suspect the coupling scene would've shocked Mickey and Fonza to death! (And the good news is that, as far as I know, I still have a job at the Church Center.)

Liz Hinds said...

Good news indeed about your job: there's still a lot of NY for you to visit before they can send you back to Atlanta!

How exciting to be on the stage for the show. But was the lighting on you? Weren't you worried that you'd forget you were on stage and start picking your nose or scratching your bottom or something?

MaryB said...

Liz - Believe me, I was totally aware of every move I made while I was sitting on the stage. No nose-picking , minimum chair-shifting and hair-fiddling. Still, it was worth it!

Em said...

This sounds so awesome! I would love to do that. But I would be so worried that I would have to go pee during the show! LOL