Oh the things I have done for my favorite composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim…
Back in 2001, I waited all day to see Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar Warehouse. And that was after having waited all day long and been denied once before.
In 2005, I woke up at 5am and hiked up to the Upper West Side, where I sat on the concrete outside of Symphony Space and played 6 hours of ‘celebrity’ with my friend Daniel, just so I could get in to see Wall to Wall Sondheim, a 12-hour, free concert for Sondheim’s 75th birthday.
And just last week, I became the mayor of crazytown yet again. I called the Lincoln Center box office incessantly to see if there had been any cancellations for the sold-out, EPIC, performance of Company, starring people like Stephen Colbert, Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, and my girl crush Christina Hendricks.
When that failed and Laura at the box office (yes, we were on a first name basis) was sick of hearing from me, I actually went to one of the matinees without any tickets, to badger unsuspecting patrons walking into the theater for an extra ticket.
When all was said and done, there was an option to pay $250 to see it (there had been some last-minute cancellations after all, but only for the expensive seats.) So I stood outside of the theater, debating whether or not this was reasonable, and whether I should dip into my savings or my hard-earned bonus to watch 3 hours of my favorite musical of all time. And just when I had rationalized it, because what is $250 but an expensive flight to Florida or 2.5 unlimited monthly metro cards? I eventually concluded, no, Melissa, this is absolutely NOT reasonable and you must go home.
I did go home but there may or may not have been some tears…
It’s true, I’m a Sondeheim fanatic. I don’t know what it is about his music that makes me so insane, but I love it. The idea that Merrily We Roll Along, which originally flopped in 1985 after only 25 performances, had such a small chance of being revived and I had a chance to see it. That those wall to wall 12 hours were only going to happen once in a lifetime. That there were only 5 performances of Company with a cast that can only be described as the uber cast. It’s all been too much for me to handle.
The good news is that a taping of the uber cast doing Company will be playing at select movie theaters across the country in June. And you better believe that, if necessary, I will be doing something extreme to get tickets.
Is there anyone you will go to extremes for?