And boy, it made me want to move to Europe and take a barf bag on the plane with me.
Let me explain why I was witnessing this spectacle. I have two wonderful young ladies visiting me for today and tomorrow, ages 11 and 15. They are the daughters of a family I stayed with 5 years ago on a singing gig, and have become like family to me - I don't have any nieces or nephews, so I have basically adopted these two girls, and I adore spending time with them. I thought it would be fun for their big adventure in New York City to take them to a broadway show, and their first choice was Legally Blonde. They have been following this reality tv show that has apparently been on MTV (today was the first I had ever heard of it - I'm getting old I guess) - and it's been a show whose entire purpose was to select the new lead of Legally Blonde. They crowned a winner, and since the finale of the show aired very recently, tonight was only the winner's second performance. The fact that the star in a broadway musical was selected by a reality show is horrifying enough, and it is compounded by the show itself, which is really atrocious. I mean, I can see the appeal if you're between 10 and 16, but after that, it's hard to swallow. But the good news is that Kate and Emma loved it. Seeing them clap and cheer absolutely made it worth the fact that I kept throwing up a little in my mouth.
After the show was over, the girls wanted to wait by the stage door to see this newly crowned "star" in person (again - I can totally see the appeal - if I had the opportunity to meet the winners of project runway, I would probably wait 37 hours in the heat and kill people if I had to) and when she came out and everybody was grabbing at her and taking photos, I had several thoughts. The first thought was that there were probably only a handful of people waiting at the stage door for Patti Lupone - for this girl there were a couple hundred rabid fans. I just can't believe the way stars are made by media and not talent now. I know it's not news, but it still makes me sad. The second thing I noticed was how there seemed to be no interaction between the star and her fans - they just shoved things in her face for her to sign and snapped her photo, but no one was complimenting her on her performance or even talking to her really - she was just a famous shell for the people to say they had met. None of them seemed moved by her performance, they just all seemed to want a piece of her. Where oh where have the days gone when people were groupies because a performer really moved them and made a difference in their lives? Ugh - I should get off my soapbox, but I found the whole thing pretty shocking. I felt sad for her and for us.
But for all this complaining I'm doing, there is nothing more fun than giving an 11 and a 15 year old something that really delights them. Everything else seems inconsequential when you can make somebody you care about - especially somebody young and full of life and excitement - grin from ear to ear. That's worth more than all the body mikes and hair extensions from here to 42nd street.