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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
I owe Chris Sieber an apology. 
21st-Mar-2009 02:49 am
Not that he's ever gonna see my apology, or care particularly, or anything like that. But still. It's been weighing perversely on my conscience.

Allow me to explain.

I went to see Shrek: The Musical last month, and as is my custom, I bought a cheap balcony ticket. Fortunately (for me, if not the show), the theater on that evening of Wednesday, Feb. 25th was more than half empty, and I was able to score a truly awesome seat in the middle of the very empty second row mezzanine for the second act.

The musical itself was...meh. Yes, scenery was amazing, and yes, the tunes were catchy. Yet I felt like it was a race against time to punch a card at every one of the first Shrek film's plot points. And although all of the principal actors are awesome in other contexts--Sutton Foster is a great dancer with a breathtaking high belt--at times they seemed to be phoning it in. (The theater was half-empty, after all. Why bother?)

The one element of the show that made it all worth it (and more) was Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad. I've never seen anyone with such a magnificent singing voice also demonstrate such mastery of droll expression and comic timing. And he does it all on his knees. (It's not mere shuffling around on stage, either.) Hard to say what's going to force him into retirement from this show first--either he's not going to have any voice left or he's not going to have an kneecaps left!

During the curtain call, I desperately wanted to give him a standing ovation. But I didn't. Why not? 'Cause no one else was standing, and I was embarrassed. >_< I was sitting by myself in the middle of that empty row, and the moment I jumped to my feet, everyone onstage and a lot of people in the audience sitting behind me would see me and think I was some crazed fangirl or something. (Which I'm not. I'd never even heard of Sieber before seeing him in Shrek.)

Looking back on it, I wish I'd gotten over myself and stood. Lord Farquaad is a killer-difficult role, and Sieber more than deserved it. Hell, I hope he gets a Tony Award. That he definitely would have seen me standing and perhaps felt even momentarily affirmed by approval from someone in an audience that otherwise looked eager to hightail it out of the theater just made my embarrassment more inexcusable. Now I feel horribly guilty about it. So yeah. Like I said. I owe him an apology.
21st-Mar-2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
I commiserate: Exactly the same situation I was in when Sir Peter Ustinov did his one live show at Nuremberg in 1993 (I think he never came back there on his subsequent editions of the one-man-anecdote-show), where the theater was more than half empty. He'd captured us for two hours on the strenght of personality and wit alone and I couldn't handle being the first one to stand up in the front seats (I got the ticket as a birthday gift - it was incredibly expensive for a student).
I think the few people in the balcony seats did stand up...
I still feel angry at myself now, all those years later. He's the only famous person I almost worship.
21st-Mar-2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Send him a letter? I bet he really would appreciate the compliment..
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