A friend of ours, Carrie Seo, contacted us a while ago and asked if we were available to go see a taping of The Daily Show on Thursday the 9th. Of course, Pete and I cleared our schedule. We met Carrie as early as we thought was safe to get in a reasonable place on line – we turned out to be the first ones there…was it because of Passover that there wasn’t a huge, rambunctious turnout like last time? In any event, we were first in line and certainly happy it wasn’t a cold day.
Pete and I In Line for The Daily Show
The full episode of the show we were at can be seen via The Daily Show website here. Two words: Blue Penis!!!!
The taping went by swimmingly, and we all stepped out into the outside air around 7pm or so. That evening was a “date” night with Pete, so Carrie left (assumably to go home and fawn after a cheek-to-cheek picture she had taken with Stephen Colbert a week earlier!). I hadn’t planned anything with Pete on what to do, so I was content with allowing him to take my hand and lead me in a meandering way through the Theater District. We turned a corner and saw the “Rock of Ages” marquis. Three friends worked on the show: Kristin Hanggi, the Director, Kelly Devine, the Choreographer, and Brian Allan Hobbs, who was in charge of organizing the entire score.
“Awww look! Rock of Ages!” I exclaimed. Pete smiled and said, “here, let’s walk this way.” He crossed the street towards the marquis, myself following, and promptly led me into the box office. I stood for a second in the box office line with a bewildered look on my face (thinking “uh, honey what are you thinking, we can’t afford tickets, and they just opened last night!”). Pete smiled and said “I know a guy.” He then proceeded to tell me that my friend Brian had conspired to surprise me with a belated birthday present of two tickets to the show that night. Tears instantly sprang into my eyes at the thought of this wonderful gift. I had wanted to see the show when it was Off-Broadway – to be able to see it right after its opening was absolutely thrilling.
The show was ridiculous, over-the-top, crude, rude, and totally fun. Took me back to the music of the 80’s (when I was just a kid) and back to Los Angeles (which I had left almost a year previously). I could see Kristin’s mark as a Director – crude humor with a mischevous touch of tongue-in-cheek fun. People drank and sang along in their seats throughout the show. And we utilized the brilliant addition of little plastic cigarette lighters with built-in LED bulbs, waving them back and forth above our heads during power ballads. Jokes about Arby’s and Los Angeles stereotypes abounded. The singing was really good, the band tight, and the use of a huge projected video on the back wall aided in the storytelling. I loved the set design too, incorporating Los Angeles signs and building marquis like the Chateau Marmont and the billboards of Angeline.
What also struck me was that, although the entire show was cheesy in tone, the acting was pretty solid and real (albeit over-the-top) at a number of points. The actress playing Sherrie (Amy Spanger) had real tears coming down her face during strong emotional numbers, and the power ballad duet “High Enough?” gave me chills. It all was just an excuse to hear a rock concert with story, along with some amazing choreography. And one comment about the women in this show and what they were wearing: I have never wanted to go to the gym, dance class, and get my bikini area waxed all at the same time!!!
Other notes: I was able to say hello to Kelly, and I was able to hug and praise her for her work. And I also understand that the lead bassist and writer of Mötley Crüe, Nikki Sixx, was in the audience – one lucky young woman dressed in lovely 80’s garb and bright eyeshadow was shaking with excitement after taking a picture with him.
I just thought that the day was one for the record and memory books: The Daily Show plus a surprise Broadway show! Both made possible by the generous gift of two very nice, thoughtful friends.