All posts tagged: broadway

Broadway Shames My Parenthood

Yes, Broadway can affect a parent in profound ways, and not just making your insides churn into knots at the prices of the friggin’ drinks at The Lion King. Finding Neverland –What irks me is the most popular song: “Believe”. In the song, the JM Barrie character “inspires” imagination in the kids. While Barrie is jumping around being a pirate or a dog or some shit, I feel guilty that I’ll choose washing dishes over playing monster/princess/whatever with my kids. I loathe make-believe. What kind of beast have I become? Of course comparing one’s self to Peter Pan’s author won’t help anyone feel good about imagination…except that I don’t live in fantasyland and I need to get the damn laundry done. Screw you and your vivid imagination, Finding Neverland. I don’t have time for child’s play. (I have totally let go of the fact that I auditioned for this show 77 times and should have been Matthew Morrison’s understudy. Totally.) Hamilton Will I ever, ever perform in (let alone write) something so epic? Lin Manuel …

One More Hollywood Bowl Anecdote

The morning of our performance weekend at the Hollywood Bowl in July, we had a “brunch” final dress rehearsal at 10 am (in blazing sunlight). Our babysitters brought Ellison and Colton. I was able to see them in the audience, which thrilled me. I could see Ellison was transfixed by the show, his glasses glued to the stage. Colton? Not so much. That kid has no interest in live theatre. (Or screen time, for that matter. Ellison could watch the “Yule Log”. Colton couldn’t care less; which is really inconvenient when you just want HIM TO PLAY ON THE IPAD FOR 20 MINUTES SO I CAN COOK DINNER.) The show really stuck with Ellison. He told me, “My favorite part was when you were the daddy of the dirty guys.” After a few questions, I discerned that he mistook me for one of the principals during a song featuring half-dead plague victims dressed in muddy rags. I’m happy he assumed I was front and center. His other favorite part was “the Princess and her mermaids.” …

Back from the Bowl (Hollywood, that is)

So…that was fun. As predicted, since 99% of our time was spent rehearsing for Spamalot, my sons were less enthused about Los Angeles than my partner or I. “Yay! Beaches, palm trees, a pool in our apartment complex…wait, wait, wait…where did our daddies go?” Our two sitters were marvelous. I spared their sanity and insisted they split days in half. But that mean they both took the boys on daily adventures in babysitting. That meant our boys had two-days-in-one…every day. No toddler needs to see both the La Brea Tar Pits and the Pasadena Children’s museum in one day. But it was enriching. I think. So there were tears most mornings. My partner felt guilty. I did not. They are loved and doted upon and attended to all the time. Enrichment in SoCal outweighed morning tears. As for the show, I had a great time. It was “summer stock for celebrities.” (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Christian Slater, Warwick Davies, Craig Robinson, Merle Dandridge.) All the leads were total team members and approached the intensive with whimsical …

I was a (Sleep-Deprived) Mother

When Colton was 7 months old, his #tearlesscrying teamed up with three wake-ups at night, making me unrecognizable to myself. At the time, my partner was busy preparing symphonic concerts and was in desperate need of rest. Because I didn’t need to think beyond mere “survival” and hitting my sounds as a tap-dancing Santa Claus in Annie, I felt responsible to get up those three times/night. Mercifully, Colton never stayed awake, he just squawked. I re-plugged him with a pacifier and he went back to sleep. By that seven-month mark in December, I had not slept more than three hours at a time for 9 months. I. DO. NOT. KNOW. HOW. BREAST-FEEDING. MOTHERS. DO. IT. It was the time in my parenting life when I most related to sleep-deprived mothers. Disclaimer: No, I did not carry that child for 9 months. No, I did not push something the size of a melon through a hole the size of a carrot. No, I did not have hormones raging through my body. I did not suffer more …

Being a “Broadway Daddy”

I was leading a tour of friends backstage at ANNIE (in 2013) when I described my schedule: “We’ve got eight shows a week, including Wednesday and Saturday matinees.” “Whoa. How do you do it? When do you see your kids?” “Oh, it’s great,” I said. “I get to spend all day with them five times a week. Before leaving in the evening, I feed them and they basically go to bed an hour after I leave.” “When do you get home?” “Eleven thirty.” “You must be exhausted.” “Well, it’s a good exhaustion.” But this description was filtered. Usually I say, “I’m stuck ALL DAMN DAY

It’s All a Show

While on a walk, Ellison climbed the stairs to the entrance of a church. We are still in the period where he explores every set of stairs, store front, or tree stump. Why can’t I plan accordingly and let him explore? Instead, I’m too often I bark, “Come on, Ellison! We need to get home to…(fill in the blank)…eat, let Daddy potty, crochet an Afghan.” But this once, I wasn’t in a hurry. He peered inside the candlelit glass doors and whirled around to shout excitedly, “A show! A show!” The previous year,

5 Things I Just Wasn’t Expecting About Parenthood

1. “Granny Hour” Back when Ellison was born, I read (meaning watched the 20-minute bootleg video) of HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. I understood the “5 S’s”. But at about six weeks, when he became inconsolably irritated and annoying, my sleep-deprived mind didn’t realize Ellison needed the 5 S’s. I was suffering more than he. A friend told me it was “Granny Hour”. In olden days when we lived in tribal villages, or just villages without cars and YouTube, Granny realized that Daddy needed a drink around 5pm and she’d come over and bounce Junior so that Daddy could get fresh air (into his glass of wine). Nobody told me that

My Halloween Dilemma

Since you read my last blog, I don’t need to remind you that Ellison chose to be “Zoe Zebra” for Halloween, right? I will remind you, however, that “Zoe” is a 7th-friend-from-the-left (essentially background) on the uber-popular British cartoon, Peppa Pig. Per Ellison’s request, Colton dressed as Peppa’s little brother, “George Pig”. The two of them were an adorable, zoological sight stumbling down SoHo cobblestones knocking “store-to-store” at the likes of Tiffany’s, BoConcept, Jack Spade and Louis Vuitton. I’m not kidding. It was absurd. And hilarious. No, the stores didn’t hand out $10 bills or

Everyone is Having More Fun than Me

And by “everyone” I mean parents. Not Ukrainians. Calm down. Most of the last year has seen me as a single father. My partner conducted and directed concerts across the country, and that meant many weekends away. I’ve been stuck, un-showered, with a double-stroller and the stinking feeling that everyone else is having more fun than I am. So I occasionally set myself up for bitter annoyance by trying to create a solo (with kids) “ideal Saturday morning.” Let’s go to Tribeca and


When Big E was seven weeks old, a friend invited my partner and me to an antique auction in Nowheresville, Connecticut. My first auction. I’m always game for “firsts”. There were hilarious (shocking) items for sale. Of note was a box of lawn boy/mammy figurines, including a 7-inch Aunt Jemima iron doorstop. Not all of Connecticut is Martha Stewartville. We ended up buying a 5-foot tall gramophone. It collected dust for two years, then we donated it to a flea market. But I digress. Big E got fussy, predictably, when serious bidding began. So I took him into an adjacent room where a woman sold hot dogs, coffee and cookies. She had a mullet half way down her back. On her sweatshirt was an airbrushed wolf howling at the moon. It was awesome. Not that I’m furthering rural stereotypes, but across the street was a drag racing track. Anyway. She ooh’d and ahh’d over Big E and marveled at me keeping him quiet. We made small talk about regular baby things: birth weight, sleeping, etc. …