“Is Al Pachino, like, supposed to be a good actor?” asked Sam today when I told him we were going to see Mr. Pachino in “Glengarry Glen Ross” on Broadway. I told him he could decide once he saw him.
Seeing an acting legend like Al Pachino on stage was an entirely different experience than seeing him in any move I have ever seen him in. He and the entire cast, all of whom I have seen on TV or in movies, delivered performances that literally took our breaths away. And even though every other line was filled with profanity, and it was totally inappropriate for Sam to see, I didn’t mind when Sam looked at me at the end of Act 1 and said, “Wow, his character is totally f**ked.” Because seeing these people in person is something we will never forget.
Every night we are able to face time with Craig, Lauren and Aidan. Being able to see them is so much better than any other means of communication. I feel like if I can see their faces, I can tell if they are really, actually, truly ok. It makes it all the more real to me that they are doing well if I can see them “in person.”
I have also been able to face time with my 2 year old twin niece and nephew, Max and Lara. They are potty training and insisted on “showing” me how it’s going for them by sitting there and waving at me from their potty in Arizona. Keep it up, guys!
Live theater acting is so different than anything I’ve seen on film. With film they can edit and take a number of takes, but doing a show live, in front of an audience, 8 times a week, is incredible to me. These actors need to get enough energy and emotion to take the audience on the same journey over and over again, each time making us feel like it’s the first time for them.
After Sam and I left the show today, and the very attractive Bobby Cannavale met Sam and told him he was a little too young to have seen the show (and our new BFF Al posed for a picture with Sam), we started walking down the street. Because it’s New York, we ran into yet another Broadway star: Sam’s voice teacher Kelli James who is here visiting friends.
When Sam was 7, he got his first solo singing role in Annie as Bert Healy. Someone suggested I take Sam to see Kelli to prepare him for his Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile song. She was the original Eponine in Les Mis on Broadway and was in many other Broadway shows. When I went to her, I apologized in advance, assuming that Sam would have my genetic makeup and be a horrible singer. I told her to just get him singing to the point that he did not horrify the audience (as I once did in an audition for a camp play. The director put me in the ensemble and told me to just mouth the words while everyone else was singing.)
When she came out of the lesson, she pulled me aside and told me that he could really really sing. I told her I was going to pay her no matter what, so she really didn’t need to tell me that. But Sam & Kelli clicked right away, and he has been with her ever since. She was the one who prepped him for The Addams Family audition and set up the videotaping. She even read the part of Grandma in the audition tape.
She has talked us through this process and we have talked to her on the phone and email with her several times since we have been here. However, today, seeing her in person as we are here on this journey made it all the more real for us. Sometimes, you just have to see someone’s face, up close, to remind you that it’s all real.