Monday, July 07, 2008

Kiss and Tell

I was relaying this story yesterday to Little Love when it occurred to me that I've never told you all about this. I saw the fourth preview of the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd. I was hesitant to attend because I loved the original so much and could not imagine what this one would be like - the actors played the instruments...huh? However, my friend Mandy hooked me up with a ticket and the rest is history, as you well know.

I couldn't resist going to the stage door just to prolong the glorious evening. Every cast member came out and greeted us, except for Patti LuPone. I had never seen her perform live and I was completely blown away by her Mrs. Lovett. I just couldn't wait to meet her. And wait is just what I had to do. We waited so long that the crowd dwindled to just me and three theatre kids. It became like a game to see who could stick out the wait. The stage door cop and Patti's driver were still there so we knew she was inside. Finally, at a quarter of midnight, the door burst open and out came Patti like a tiny Tasmanian Devil. I was standing closest so she approached me first. She grabbed my face and kissed me right on the lips! She kissed the other three kids and then made the rounds again. She was full of apologies for making up wait, explained that she was getting notes from John Doyle and thanked us as well. She talked to us about playing the tuba, having to keep her lipstick from smearing due to the mouthpiece, the role itself and being back on Broadway. One of the kids was so excited, he said, "I can't wait to call home tomorrow and tell my Mom and Dad that I made out with Patti LuPone!" She went to him and gave him another kiss.

Say what you will about Patti's infamous diva behavior, but I'm here to tell you that being kissed on the lips by Patti LuPone is an unforgettable experience and I'll never forget how wonderful she was to four determined theatre kids that fateful night.


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sing out, Sarah! Sing out!

Esther said...

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful stage door story! Marian Seldes did nuzzle my cheek once, but that's the closest I've gotten.

It reminds me of waiting at the stage door after a matinee of Spring Awakening. After about 45 minutes, everyone had come out except for John Gallagher Jr., and most of the crowd had left. I figured I missed him, but I waited and eventually he came. No kiss, but he did pose for a picture with me. What a sweet young man!

So the moral of the story, for all you young kids out there, is never give up!

I do think some performers get unfairly tagged with diva-like behavior. Unfortunately, when I waited at the stage door after Gypsy last summer, there was a huge crush of people. While I got an autograph from Patti, I didn't get a chance to talk to her. Someday, though! And she did seem a lot smaller than she did on stage.

Anonymous said...

HA You told me that story way back during Sweeney, but it's one of my favorites.

That happened with me that day at Threepenny (you were there, but didn't stick out the wait for Cyndi Lauper). No kiss, but she was super nice and apologetic about the wait.

I always think of you whenever I've stood at a stage door for Patti since.

Hula Hank said...

Was she a good kisser?

My stage door pursuits have never been fruitful. I once waited for two hours in a freezing cold blizzard for Sarah Brightman, who then sent out her assistant to say that it was too cold for Sarah to be outside and will wave at us from the bus. Forget that. I left.

I did once get told off by Nell Carter, brushed Hugh Jackman's arm, and was spit upon by Christine Ebersole.

But your story is better. Was she wearing any lipstick?

Joseph Gomez said...

OMG That's amazing! I've been on blogger hiatus for a long time and it seems that I've missed a lot. This is a great story!!! I'll be in NYC Aug 11-14 and I'm seeing Gypsy again. Hopefully I can make a stage door run and meet Patti this time!! I'll even mention this story!!!