So I took my wife to see Guys and Dolls for her birthday because she'sa big fan of Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls fame. She plays Miss Adelaide in this Broadway Production alongside the extremely talented Oliver Platt who plays Nathan Detroit. The play centers around the 14 year engagement of Nathan and Adelaide and the never do well attitude that Nathan who organizes floating craps game has.
What a fantastic production! Craig Bierko plays Sky Masterson and also does an outstanding job with Kate Jennings Grant who plays Sarah, the Salvation Army missioner who falls in love with the gambling Sky. Grant was the most poised on the broadway stage, I think in this production and has a lovely voice.
Stealing the show is the actor, Tituss Burgess who plays Nicely-Nicely Johnson who's big number is towards the end of the play with "Sit Down You"re Rockin' the Boat." He added a gospel twinge to the song that had the entire crowd feverishly applauding by the end. Mary Testa also does a hysterical job as the General.
I don't usually get starstruck--all those years in radio got me over the novelty of meeting actors. But since it was my wife's birthday, we stood outside the stage door waiting for Graham's autograph. Surprisingly, Platt showed up first and was really very approachable. He signed our playbill with his own Sharpie and I took the opportunity to ask him how hard was it to play George Steinbrenner in "The Bronx is Burning."
Platt did a double take and looked right at me and smiled and said: "Man that was hard. Really hard. I had to forget that I was a Red Sox fan." If you haven't seen this series that was out not that long ago--it well worth purchasing. It chronicles the 1977 baseball season with the Yankees and Platt is excellent as Steinbrenner. I'm a huge fan and even more of one now that he's such a nice guy.
Kate Jennings Grant also showed up and was extremely gracious. Signing autographs and taking pictures for everyone. She told a great story of how this was the first play she ever did in high school and played Sarah then too! Over 20 years later she stands on the Broadway stage doing it all again. Her high school teacher showed up recently to watch her in the role and the two had a good cry about the memories.
Finally, Lauren Graham showed up wearing a NY Giants ski cap and was signing autographs as well including a t-shirt that said "Team Lauren" for a young girl. Hurried, though she was, I don't think she missed a fan's request, even suggesting that the fans take pictures paparazzi-style because she knew her "people" were going to whisk her away.
All in all a great night. I took some pics with my camera phone so they're not great but the one of Platt is above and here's one of Graham.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.