Sunday, November 27, 2005

Broadway Celebrity Sightings

My post about stalking Angelina Jolie coming out of her Tomb Raider II premiere is one of my most popular ever. But I stalk other celebrities even if they aren’t incredibly hot. Ever since we figured out that New York was only a four hour drive from Baltimore (which took us nearly five years to do; we’re a little slow on the uptake) we have been going to New York a couple of times a year to see Broadway show, visit museums, eat gourmet meals, and so on.

The key to stalking celebrities is to know where they are. When they’re in a Broadway show you know exactly where they are, inside a theater. Eventually, they have to go someplace else to eat or sleep or something. That's when you have a chance to see them. That is also why all the stage doors in New York have portable barriers and rent-a-cops to protect the actors as they leave.

We had tickets this weekend to the completely sold out run of The Odd Couple starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Not good tickets mind you, but tickets nonetheless. After the show, we had to rest a few places for oxygen as it took us a long while to readjust to the thicker air down in the lobby. We arrived just in time to see Nathan Lane and Olivia D’Abo sneaking off with a bucket of money they had gotten “donated” to some charity or another. I called Nathan over and slipped him a Lincoln, but he disappeared backstage before my wife could get the camera ready.

We then joined an unruly mob at the backstage door, but after about 15 minutes the security guard told the crowd that the actors were staying backstage between the matinee and the evening show. The fans dispersed and we went on our way.

John LithgowThat evening we saw the new Andrew Lloyd Weber show The Woman In White and were wandering back to our hotel when we stepped around another throng of people. My wife asked, “Isn’t that the guy from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that won the Tony?” I went back and sure enough it was Norbert Leo Butz, but by the time I had gotten the camera out, he had disappeared.

Since the crowd stuck around, I waited and soon thereafter walked out John Lithgow, who graciously signed programs and waved to the crowd as he tried to navigate the fifteen feet between the stage door and his limo. As the picture shows he was gracious and pleasant with his stalkers fans. In appreciation and out of curiousity, I tried the next day to get discount tickets to his show at TKTS to no avail, so this snapshot will have to make due for now.

So am I the only one that revels in these brief brushes with fame? What celebrities have you run across and how? Enquiring minds want to know.

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Anonymous said...

Brushes with fame: When I worked in New York City I had Matthew Modine's son as a summer school student. Mr. Modine came in on the first day to meet his kid's teachers; anytime after that we dealt with his wife, who wasn't nearly as pleasant.

Around that same time I passed Kurt Vonnegut on the street, but since I didn't know that he lived in the immediate neighborhood of the school I wasn't as sure at the time that it was him. Only minutes later I was informed of just how stupid I'd been not to say hi. Oh well.

One more: I knew the guys from Run-DMC and Public Enemy, and LL Cool J, back when they were nobodies and trying to get airplay on my college radio station. They probably couldn't pick me out of a lineup these days. Well, Flavor Flav might; I got to roll turntables for him a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

My two brushes with fame harken back to my days as a hotel security officer in downtown Pittsburgh. No less than "Weird Al" Yankovic and Dick Smothers [not the same night---that would have been way too exciting].

If politicians count, the Honorable Guv'ner Edward G. Rendell of the Commonwealth of Pennsyltucky was a frequent visitor.

It was a nice hotel, but let's just say that it wasn't the Ritz-Carlton.

Mooselet said...

Hmmmm... I passed by Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish of the Boston Celtics at Logan Airport waaay back when the Celtics were king. They were HUGE, but I was too tongue tied to say anything.

I've met Ted Kennedey, does that count? Nah, didn't think so...

I spent some time in my late teens stalking WWF wrestlers back when it was the WWF - all were very gracious, I must say.

That's my sad, pathetic list...

trusty getto said...

Not one to pass up an opportunity to name-drop, way back when, from my days in the music biz, I met, worked with, or hung out with:

Tori Amos, Michelle Shocked, Susanna Hoffs (Bangles), David Crosby, Roger McGuinn (Byrds), Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, the Happy Mondays, Paul Oakenfold, Barry Manilow, Paul McCartney, Martha Quinn (MTV Veejay), Bob Seger, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakum, Leonard Nimoy, Patti Scialfa (Springsteen's wife and band member), Ray Manzarek (Doors), Rick Rubin (producer), Laurie Anderson, Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart's band), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Jack Puig (producer), Benmont Tench (Heartbreaker).

I went to college with Liz Phair, but she wasn't famous then.

Since becoming an elected nutcase myself: Geoffrey Fieger, MI Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, U.S. Rep. Joe Schwartz, U.S. Rep. David Bonior, Democratic VP Candidate John Edwards.

Bonvallet said...

Politicians don't count. (just kidding). I like John Lithgow's acting, he can act.

Lets see, I don't get out much so, I had Will Sampsons autograph. He was in the same restaurant as we were once. (the Indian man from "One Flew Over the CooCoo's Nest").

Anonymous said...

I stood right in front of PJ Harvey at a concert a few months ago. I sat one table away from Richard Belzer at a sushi restaurant once. And my parents rode up in an elevator with Tom Selleck at a hotel in Toronto. Celebrities -- they walk among us!

Unknown said...

Janet Jackson touched my stroller with her foot in Disneyland when I was a baby. We were standing in line for the Michael Jackson ride that had just opened. I don't remember it.

Anonymous said...

As a teenager I was in love with John Denver. Truly in love, but I thought he was too old for me. As it turned out, I married someone who was born three months after he was, and my husband, unlike Denver, is still alive today. I wonder, if John and I had gotten married, maybe he would have been more sensible about his hobbies and habits, maybe I could have saved him. I think my husband would have had a lower survival likelihood without me.

Anyway, when I was in college, John D. (real name, Henry John Deutschendorf) gave a talk at Harvard (I was a student at a nearby university). I went to hear him, I wrote an article about the lecture for my college newspaper, and I shook his hand. That was it. I didn't propose, and the rest is history.


I've met Joel Achenbach, in the standing-in-line-to-get-the-book-signed sense. Authors count even less than politicians, I know, and in fact I've met a lot of authors, but Joel is special.


The Complimenting Commenter said...

No brushes with fame for me, but that was a really cool post. Very entertaining and fun. I hope you get to see his show sometime.

shari said...

LOL at your comment to CC abot maiden name and ss#.

Olyal said...

Was that 4 celebs in one day??!! You lucky bugger!!!