For my 13th Birthday I did not want any gifts or a party… I was hoping to spend a couple of days in NYC. I feel beyond lucky because I was able to. I bought tickets to my favorite Broadway show, Waitress, for the afternoon we were going to get there! I was so excited.
We were taking a bus at 6:30 in the morning the day before my birthday so we could get to the city as early as possible. The ride felt so long but I knew it was going to be worth it. As the ride went on I got more and more nervous that we wouldn’t make it in time for the show… I WAS FREAKING OUT! And then, when we stopped at the rest stop my mom’s drink spilled all over a really important package… It had something I made for some actresses and then tickets to the show! I FREAKED OUT!!! I opened up the package and luckily nothing was wet or ruined.
When we finally got to the city there was an hour left until the show started, we couldn’t get our room so we put all our luggage with bag check and I went into the bathroom to change. After that we waited 20 minutes so my mom’s phone could charge (for photos at the stage door) and then we got in line… The theater was halfway down the block and the line to get in was all the way at the end of the block. It was insane. After a few minutes we got to go in the theater. Since Waitress is about pie they sell little pies in a jar and they are delicious! My mom and I each got an apple pie. We sat down in our seats and opened the playbill. I was incredibly surprised to see that only one understudy was on, which is rare for a Wednesday matinee. Law Terrell Dunford was on for Cal (the character who is the chef at the pie diner). During intermission mom told me that we had been invited backstage by a friend, Ella, who played the little girl in the show, LuLu. Then Act II began, Ella was only in the last scene but she was AMAZING! She is such an incredible actress.
We went to the stage door and told the stagehand our names, it was under mine. After a few minutes we were let in. We waited in the wings (the side of the stage) for a few minutes before Ella and Laura (her mom) came down and then for a few minutes we talked there. Suddenly my mom’s favorite actor, Christopher Fitzgerald came in the wings so he could leave the theater. My mom stopped him and said…
My Mom: Chris! Hi, I’m sorry. We’re from South Portland.
Chris: What part?
My Mom: South Portland.
Chris: No, what part of South Portland? Willard? (insert some other place)?
My Mom: Right off of ____________?
My Mom: And she (points to me) does theatre at The Portland Players.
Chris: (to me) What have you done there?
Me: Fiddler on the Roof and a couple of cabaret shows.
We got a picture!
Then I gave Ella a hand sewn doll of her as her character that I made! She said thank you and talked about how she liked it. After that Ella’s friend, Heather, and her parents came backstage. Since I had already been backstage I didn’t want to interfere on Heather’s tour so I just watched. During her tour I saw Heather point to my doll and ask, “What is that?”. Ella replied, “It’s a doll, Alexandra made it for me.” She looked at me and grinned. Then Ella had to leave, so we went out and stagedoored.
At the stage door we met Betsy and Drew, the two leads. After that the stagehand announced that no one else was coming out so we headed back to the hotel. We got ready for dinner at 6:30. I HAD NO IDEA WHO WE WERE GOING WITH! My mom said we had a reservation for 6. I assumed it was my mom’s friend Suzan, her daughter Shannon, and Shannon’s two sons. But my mom said I was incorrect. I was confused.
At 6 o’clock (ish) we headed down to the lobby and went to the restaurant Trattoria Trecolori. After a while they brought us to our table (upstairs) and my mom sat me down where I wouldn’t see who was coming in. Suddenly I look to my left and I see Ella (jaw drop) and then Laura (even further) and Cate (jaw reaches dropping limit). Cate is the other little girl who plays LuLu. Laura said,”Caryn will be here in a couple of minutes.” Ella then walked over and gave me a unicorn gift bag. Ella asked if I wanted to open my gift… She was so cute, how could I refuse? I took some tissue paper out of the bag and found a unicorn tape dispenser, it was so cool. I said, “ Thank you so much.’’ Ella looked at me,confused, and said, “There’s a beanie boo.” It is the cutest beanie boo ever! It is a pink koala (with a couple of dabs of yellow and orange here and there). It’s ears are are white on the inside and sparkly purple on the inside. It’s hands and feet are also a sparkly purple and it’s stomach/chest is white. It has a big black nose and two sparkly pink eyes with black pupils. And then Ella showed me a magnet that said: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the live you imagined. I thought that it was absolutely perfect. And then she showed me the card, it was a unicorn card. It was so sweet. Caryn (Cate’s mom) arrived just a little bit after with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses for me! Cate then gave me the most beautiful handmade card ever. When the dessert was being prepared Caryn walked over and (I’m pretty sure) made sure they put a candle on my ice cream. It was the best night of my life!
I woke up and… It was my birthday! I was 13. Of course, I didn’t feel any different. We relaxed in the morning and then after getting our Broadway lottery results (which were negative) we went to the TKTS booth to get Anastasia tickets. When we finally got there they told us there were tickets! We were so excited.
After heading back to the hotel we decided to find the theatre we needed to be at for the show. We found it and stayed in the area for a while. My Mom told me we were eating at a BBQ place with her friend Suzan. Then we went to a theatre shop, One Shubert Alley, and bought thank you cards for the LuLus. I also bought Lights of Broadway Collecting Cards. Then dinner time came around and we went to SARDI’S! I WAS SO EXCITED. It was amazing and so delicious.
Then we went to the theater and when we sat down we were in the front row! It was so close. We had two understudies on, Wes Hart as Gleb (unfortunately I can’t remember the other). The show was absolutely amazing. Afterwards we went to the stage door and met so many of the actors. The first to come out (she was just leaving) was Molly Rushing, who I had made art for. I felt bad to stop her but I did and gave her some art (I think she liked it). Then Nicole came out and I gave her art (I think she may have liked it) and she was really nice. After a couple more people Christy Altomare (one of my idols) came out and she was so sweet. I gave her art as well and she liked it! IT WAS AMAZING!
The next day we had to leave the city and head back home, before I say goodbye I wanted to show you something:
A still from the video of my pre-birthday song!
Have a great day!