Has it really been a whole week since I last blogged? I have a couple of half-written entries in the hopper, but by now they’re stale.
I’ve had a couple of performer sightings lately. Last night we saw a preview of American Idiot, which (and here I will give my opinion even though it was a preview) is a loud, enjoyable spectacle that takes us back to the dark days of George W. Bush’s America circa 2004. The plot is a bit underdeveloped — it kind of reminded me of one of Twyla Tharp’s jukebox musicals in that the characters are archetypes, although it also had elements of Hair and Spring Awakening (with which it shares a director and a star). Great choreography — very frantic jerky moves which reminded me of Spring Awakening as well. The New York Times has a long article about the show today. I wound up recognizing some of the songs — the score is Green Day’s American Idiot album, and I guess I must have heard the songs on the radio or on TV in the last few years. That made me feel cool.
I continue to fail to understand why louder is always better, though. I guess I just have sensitive ears. Rock of Ages was one big headache for me — that show was so fricking loud that it actively pissed me off and I couldn’t enjoy it.
But anyway, on the way into the theater last night I saw Lin Manuel Miranda. He was with a woman and he was speaking Spanish to her and they just seemed like regular folks. I wonder what he thought of the show.
My other sighting happened on Wednesday afternoon. I was standing on the platform at the Summit, NJ, train station, waiting for my train home from work. I was playing a game on my iPhone, and when I looked up, I realized that Daniel Eric Gold, of Ugly Betty and Off-Broadway, was standing right next to me. I’m 99.5 percent sure it was him, at least. He was wearing this big puffy knit Rasta hat. I don’t know what he was doing at the Summit train station, but we both got onto the New York train and I wound sitting in the same car as him. I thought about saying hi, because I remember seeing him several years ago in Craig Lucas’s play Small Tragedy at Playwrights Horizons and thinking, who is this unknown actor? he’s really good! (Lee Pace was also in that play, and I thought the same thing about him). I thought he’d be much more impressed by someone complimenting him on a six-year-old award-winning Off-Broadway performance than by someone complimenting him on Ugly Betty. But I decided I would come off sounding stupid and I didn’t want to disturb him.
I kind of wish I had done it anyway.