My First FringeNYC Adventure Part 5: Surprise Reviews are Surprising

September 3rd, 2010

My First FringeNYC Adventure Part 5: Surprise Reviews are Surprising: Wednesday. We had nothing to do and nowhere to be until 9:30 that night, so I felt no guilt sleeping in. Ironically, I got up pretty early (by my standards – it was still double-digits on the clock), got dressed and rolled over to the Dunkin’ Donuts by the Greenpoint stop for two donuts and an XL French Vanilla, extra cream, extra sugar. Mmm… bliss. A great start for My First FringeNYC Adventure Part 5.

Coffee in hand, I jumped on the subway and headed for the Village around noon. I was meeting two friends from Paul VI (my old high school) for lunch – Kristin, a friend from the theatre department and Dob, my old theatre teacher (who I hadn’t seen in over a decade). I was the first to get there. Kristin was a little late due to work constraints and unfortunately Dob had to bail on us at the last second (something came up & he couldn’t get out from Astoria in time). So, Kristin and I hung out for an hour or so, enjoying burritos and talking about school, our friends, the arts, etc. I love hanging out with her. A long time ago, I’d sent Kristin a draft of the show because I was looking for feedback. During this meal, she made a comment about the show that didn’t quite make sense to me at the time, but after a second I’d realized that she hadn’t seen any of the revisions since. Considering that I’d re-done the entire second half of the play (including a VERY different ending than what she’d seen), I suddenly got even more excited at the prospect of her seeing the show on Saturday. She was in for quite a shock.

So, like I said, we hung out, enjoyed lunch and shot the bull for a while. Soon enough, though, it was time for us to part ways; she had to get back to work and I was going to meet another PVI alum at 3 in the Financial District for coffee. Becky is another girl I knew back in the day, but we’d lost touch since high school. I’ll admit I was excited (and a little surprised) when she e-mailed me out of the blue, looking to get tickets for the show. She’s currently at NYU finishing up her Master’s in Non Profit Management and working down in the Wall Street area, so I jumped on the subway down there and met her at this quaint little coffee shop. It was really cool catching up with her. We talked about what we’d both been up to for the past ten years since graduation, about the show, about her recent trip to China… all kinds of stuff. It was a lot of fun and I wish we’d had more time to hang out. Alas, after an hour, she had to get back to work. We said our goodbyes and I whipped out my Fringe guide to check and see what was playing that afternoon.

While I was considering my options, I got a text from Erin saying that she’d just put Sean on the train to get to JFK in time for his flight that evening and she had nothing to do, so I told her I’d meet her at Union Square. While waiting for her, I got some great pictures of an art exhibit on display in the park. Erin arrived and we walked from Union Square back down to Greenwich Village for dinner at the restaurant I’d gone to with Kristin the night I’d arrived in NY. We enjoyed some great pizza and hung out for a while. During the meal, though, I received a horrifying message from Sean that he’d missed his flight home because the train was running late. He said he was on standby for the next one and would let us know what was up. Oh, well. No point in panicking. I mean, what can you do? We continued eating, half expecting to get a call from Sean that he was headed back to Greenpoint because he couldn’t get on another flight until the morning.

After eating, we still had another hour and a half to kill before call time, so instead of trying to cram in seeing a show, we walked around the Village, got some coffee and just hung out. It had been a pretty laid-back day full of good friends, good conversation and good food… honestly, the kind of day I really, really enjoy. During our wanderings, we did get a message from Sean that he’d gotten on the last flight out that night and that he was on his way home to LA. Thank Heaven for small miracles. =)

Erin and I rolled over to the Cherry Pit, getting there at 9:30. We started our load-in at 9:45. At 9:50, we both realized that we’d forgotten to get consumable props (theatre talk for food and drinks to use on stage) for the show that night, so I quickly ran out to the Duane Reed a few blocks away, grabbing some Vitamin Waters and bags of potato chips (not exactly the meals I’d envisioned for the “pizza parlor” scene, but beggars can’t be choosers). I got back just in time to open the house and let the audience in.

We had another small house that night (but bigger than opening – about 15 people, and much more in line with our “target demographic”), but they were very responsive and were really in to it. I’m sure this was thanks in part to the presence of my friend Kira, who had driven up from Virginia to see the show! Kira and I had LARPed together waaaay back in the day at Avalon, one half of the inspiration for the land of Haven in the show, so it was pretty awesome having her get to see this. She got a lot of the inside jokes I’d thrown in there (such as references to Baghdan the Troll – a villain of the campaign when we played, among other things). Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hang out much because of the craziness of the show, but it was great seeing her and meeting her friend Sacha. The run that night was outstanding and everyone left the space after midnight rejuvenated and excited for the rest of the run.

Erin and I headed back to Greenpoint, getting there at about 2am. I set my alarm for 4, wanting to get up soon so I could go pick Jenn up at JFK when her flight landed at 5:30am. Sleep didn’t come easily.

I woke up at 5 (dammit), splashed some water on my face and headed for the subway. Now I found out why Sean was late getting to JFK – it took me two hours to negotiate getting from Green Point on the G Line to the JFK stop on the A line, through the Air Tram and to the baggage claim at Terminal 5. By the time I got to her it was almost 8am, but boy, was she a sight for sore eyes. We kissed each other hello.

“That’s awesome about the review,” she said.

… aroo?

“What review?” I ask.

“What do you mean, ‘what review?’ You haven’t seen it?”

“Noo…”

“Holy crap! Backstage saw the show and LOVED it!”

“WHAT?!?”

She then proceeded to pull the review up on her Droid. I was stunned. It was fantastic.

We headed back to the apartment. I was floating on Cloud 9 the entire hour plus ride back (we had the benefit of extra trains during rush hour to help get us home, but damn, did that take a while) for two reasons – 1) the nine months of work we’d all sunk in to getting this show to Fringe had paid off in a BIG way… and 2) I now got to share the rest of this trip with my soul mate. It was perfect.

I sacked back out (taking the bed this time) when Jenn and I got back to the apartment. Jenn was planning on staying awake through the day so she’d get a jump on adjusting to the time difference. The girls headed out to Central Park while I drifted off to sleep. “Give me a call at two so I can get up and get ready for the show.” was the last thing I said. Famous last words.