8:56am- There are a ton of people lined up at the registration desks. No matter, the line seems like it will move quickly. Met Anthony, a NJ high schooler with a love for a million different musicals, and saw a couple dressed as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Okay, I’ve got my swag bag; there’s a special Playbill, a lanyard, and other little goodies. It’s also a perfect tote to stash my hat, gloves, and scarf in while I’m here.
10:00am- Stephen Sondheim fan meetup. Why does it not shock me that I’m one of the youngest people here? But it’s amazing to be surrounded by like-minded people who know what Pacific Overtures means. We have a lively discussion, culminating in ME (yes, yours truly) crossing something off her bucket list. I perform my original song “Mr. Sondheim” in front of the congregation, to rapturous reaction and tons of compliments as we leave. What a feeling!
11:05am- SMASH fan meetup. They pass me the microphone and I talk about the review of Bombshell that I did for this blog. I noted how some of the songs are great and others not so much…the crowd reacts, well…enthusiastically? Everyone seems to have really strong feelings about the music and characters of this TV show one way or another. The highlight comes when someone goes to the piano and the whole group sings “Let Me Be Your Star!” On my way out, I get interviewed by NPR.
12:00pm- On my way out of the SMASH thing, I run into a girl named Leora who loved my Sondheim song. She took an interest in my work and wanted to know more, which makes me feel like a million bucks. We take a photo together. Now it’s time to head over to the Marketplace area to get my Show Boat CD signed by Rebecca Luker. Meanwhile, people have already been claiming spots outside the Main Stage room to attend the opening number. (I won’t be able to stick around for that.) When it’s finally my turn, Ms. Luker is very nice and I tell her how much I want to play the role of Magnolia. I then shop around for about 20 minutes, but decide not to purchase anything just yet.
1:10pm- I’ve planned on attending a panel hosted by Kerrigan-Lowdermilk, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, and Alice Ripley. It’s about “making your own work,” which is of course crucial to me as a writer. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite anticipate the popularity of certain events, so I wind up standing in the back. No big deal…the panelists are full of information and I even get to ask a question about finding a Rodgers to my Hammerstein. As an aside, one of the best costumes I saw was done by two girls who walked around as the conjoined twins from Side Show.
2:00pm- Heading for the bus stop. I don’t really want to go, but I have work later in the evening. And I should already know by this point that I won’t be back on Saturday. (Thanks, Blizzard Jonas.) However, I will return the following day and milk its remaining events for all they’ve got!