All posts tagged: broadway

Sex Talk with My 5yo

So my kids saw Head Over Heels and they loved it. Or well, the younger one couldn’t focus on the first act because he was totally focused on the snacks my partner smuggled into the theatre in his ECKnox diaper bag. (This blog posting sponsored entirely by ECKnox.) I should’ve just given my partner the heads-up “He’s going to fixate on snacks and ask multiple times ‘is it break time, yet?’ Just give him the snacks to shut him up. Anyway. They loved the show. And while I thought most of the plot points would fly over their heads, they seemed to get most of it. They knew that the sword fight didn’t actually kill anyone. Nope. Violence was no biggie. They got that the flags fell when the oracle’s prophecies were fulfilled and that the king was a rube and the princesses were marrying the people their parents didn’t want etc etc. But what really intrigued the kids? Potty humor. After the show, their first question was, “Did that guy really pee on that bush?” “No, …

Just Trust Me

So I’m in a new Broadway show, Head Over Heels, and I’ll be referencing it a lot over coming months. So I figured I might as well write a missive on it. (And have something to which in-depth readers can click.) I don’t know how better to describe this show other than to say: punk Shakespeare set to the music of the Go-Go’s. I know: whaaaat? Just trust me. And “just trust me” is NOT how to sell a Broadway show. Even the most naïve of tourists would be smart to avoid a show whose unofficial slogan could be “I don’t know how to describe it. It’s insightful and heart-warming and thought-provoking and very 2018 and touching and surprising and, well…just trust me. You’ll love it.” But that’s how it goes. It’s hard to sell a show that requires so many near-disclaimers. But I’m confident we will make it. Because this show is good. Really good. Just trust me. The show incorporates several themes of love, acceptance, gender, sexuality, politics, climate change, patriarchy, standards of beauty, …

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 with my kids and around 4:45 I count the seconds until the sitter relieves me and I to blaze a trail out of my apartment.”

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, I’d left Ellison eight times a week with a babysitter and said, “Daddy needs to go do the show.”

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 the 5 S’s were for what would become Granny/Witching/Hell hour…and that it would go on for the first three months of infancy.

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 even full-sized candy bars. They handed out the same solo Reese’s and bite-size Snickers as the Williams and the Ericksons.