Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust: Cast Party

[Sorry, been nursing a head cold.  Those NYC germs are aggressive.]


Courtesy of MyKdsRllyEatThs

As soon as we crossed the party threshold, we fell down the rabbit hole.

It wasn’t that we couldn’t handle this extraordinary and unique opportunity.  We were both women of a certain age, trained in social etiquette, common sense, adept in making quick judgments calls.  We bound and gagged and our Inner Fangirls and entered as theater-goers/patrons.  It was after all,  basically a cocktail party, so we conformed accordingly, mingling and chatting with guests, and enjoying ourselves.  Zan gives a better account here about who said what.  Some of the younger cast member were quite charming, brimming with youth and euphoria, eager to talk about the stress of the production and or when they could be seen on PBS soon.  All of them lit up at the news that the production was well received, and hoped it might be a springboard to a bigger Broadway run.  I soaked up the energy and purposefulness and contemplated where I could go with my own creative endeavors.

Here’s where the surreal part began:  as we slowly worked our way among the cast dotting the room, we pondered the 6’2″ question holding up the bar.  What were we going to do about Richard Armitage?  Indeed.  What do you do when the only person in the room with whom you’d like to chat know you’re his fans?  Although we’d discarded that role at the door, his certain knowledge still restricted options for both us as fans and him as the star.  Had we not participated in the lobby, we might have felt more at liberty chatting with him, and he with us, but that’s not what happened.  A tiny voice whispered in the back of my mind: watch it, you’re representing to him and everybody in here, – knowing technically I was only responsible for myself.  Calm thoughts, eh?  Still we had to discern the appropriate thing to do.  A few glances showed him chatting animatedly in group.  No problem.  He’d given us his time in the lobby, so we would leave him alone to talk with friends and colleagues.  Problem solved.

But not quite.  Zan murmured that he’d glanced our way a few times, so I glanced over – only to meet a pair of blue eyes.  He’d catch us looking; we’d catch him looking.  There was nothing hostile or negative in his glances.  Suddenly, he’d turn his head and regard us with open curiosity.  This was a bit disconcerting.  I’m a watcher; I watch other people.  I wasn’t used to being observed by others, especially by somebody like him.  Good grief.  He continued looking our way the rest of the evening, even after we established ourselves as polite, sociable and nuisance-free.  What was he thinking?

As the crowd thinned, Zan and I needed an exit strategy.  It would have been quite obvious to him that we’d chatted up everybody but him. Seeing only one person left with RA, Zan suggested we congratulate RA and leave.  Ah, perfect!  His head swung towards us expectantly.  As she said her compliments and thanks, he lit up like a Christmas tree.  His almost “oh gosh” reaction so tickled me that I looked at his lady friend; her eyes twinkled too.  He turned to me, eyes still gleaming, and shook my hand.  I think I murmured agreement as his glow nearly blotted everything out.  My goodness.  He turned to his friend, still beaming and we exited.   Later I wondered if he wasn’t lit up by wine, but from the warmth of his smile and handshake, I think he appreciated us.

Zan and I chatted until the wee hours trying to wrap our minds around the whole thing.  In all my years in fandoms, I’ve never had an experience quite like it.  It will definitely be something I’ll remember for a long time.


Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust; A Watcher’s (and Fangurl’s) Review: Part 1

Picture or it didn't happen.  Richard Armitage and me.  92nd ST Y, NYC.

Picture or it didn’t happen. Richard Armitage and me. 92nd ST Y, NYC.

So, Dear Reader, I went to New York City.

Okay maybe that’s an understatement but I was thisclose to not going.  Attending the Pinter/Proust production was a last minute, crazy harebrained attempt to snap me out of a post holiday, post illness funk.  Also I blame Zan, my partner in crime during the Anderson Cooper trek in 2012 and Perry for her frequent and intriguing updates.  In addition, my nosy side realized there would never be another opportunity quite like it: no autograph hunters, no cold stage door, no usual post production scrambling, but almost impromptu encounters between actor, fans and patrons for a one-off performance.   As 20 plus year fan veteran, I get more of a kick watching other fans now.  What better environment to watch such interactions?  I shook my limp inner fangurl, told her to get it together and dragged her off to NYC.  Curiously I’ve been having a hard time writing this entry, because I’ve been of two minds —

HEYYYYY there posse!  Whassup?  I’m Inner Fangurl here to save the day.  Judi does go on, doesn’t she?  The readers want to hear the Good Stuff, aka Richard Armitage.   Judi, you can talk about more esoteric things like acting later.  Let’s cut to the chase shall we?

Sigh.  Fiiiiine.

OKAY!  Judi was under the weather, so when I heard about the production at the 92nd St Y, I said we should go!

That’s not what –

Even after she booked everything, she almost didn’t go.  Can you imagine?  Anyway, we met up with our partners in crime, Zan and Perry and headed for the pre-show with Di Trevis, the director for the production.  She told some very humorous stories about Harold Pinter, distracting my spidey senses.  *He* had been seen sitting in the back of the audience laughing along.  RA was in the building.


When the show started, we sat up in the balcony. Judi spent five minutes rummaging in her bag for the hearing device and nearly missed his entrance on stage.  Now we are a bit visually challenged, but he entered with such balletic grace that we knew it was him.  I clamored for her to get Zan’s mini binoculars and we were set.  He was definitely the Man in Black: black shirt, tight black jeans, black long suit coat; longish dark hair combed back still curling at the nape.  He appeared in so many little scenes –

They were memories –

Well, Judi did fine, but I had a hard time following at first. No matter!  When RA wasn’t performing a memory, he sat in the back waiting for his next cue. The little binoculars were very handy, especially when he got to that breast caressing scene with Odette, his obsession –

That was supposed to be Swann brushing something off Odette’s decolletage –

Well, the binoculars showed me differently!  And then the passionate kiss, oh my!  If anybody doubted his ability to be a romantic lead, that scene should put things to rest.  We quite enjoyed watching him gracefully prowl around the stage so tall, lean and lanky.  WOOHOO!


Sigh indeed!  During the intermission, we were alerted to vacant seats in the second row center. We beat a hasty retreat down there.  What a fabulous view!  We don’t really remember much of the story after that because he was RIGHT THERE!

I remember quite a bit!

Well, that’s amazing.  Just imagine Readers, all six feet two inches of him strutting around the stage so close, his features so finely chiseled that you can see his facial muscles working beneath the skin, the cheek bones popping out of nowhere.  He cut such a Byronic figure.  OMG!  SQUEE!!!!!!

Maybe you should mention that his acting was –

His acting???  Oh pish!   Before we knew it, the play ended and they came out to take their bows.  My goodness he seemed so close.  We were practically on eye level with –

Nevermind about that!  Get on with it.

*Sniff*  Fine.  The entire cast came out for a photo shoot then dispersed.  Our compadres had a few words with Trevis and some cast members before moving to the gallery where we heard there would be a meet and greet.

Right, it turned out that the party was private.

Yes!  But the next thing I knew, after exchanging a few words with the lovely gatekeeper, we were on the other side of the rope. I love New Yorkers!  Why do they have such a bad reputation?

Oh yes, me too.  No clue.  *chuckle*

So then RA came out of the After Party to greet the horde of fans and curiosity seekers.  He was absolutely a peach, signing autographs, taking pictures with everybody.  He even declined to be extricated by the guard and went on until he’d seen everybody.  He must have stayed out there a good 30 minutes or more.  He took pictures with our compadres and then it was our turn!  SQUEE!


We’d handed our iPhone to Zan, I caught his attention and there we were, his arm around our shoulders, and our arm around his lean waist.  No love handles there!  And so warm.  That man is a furnace!

Can we just finish this –

Well fine, but it was a surreal moment, his arm there waiting patiently while Zan snapped the photo.  It felt like a second and an eternity.

Very Proustian there, Inner Fangurl.

Okay, maybe I was paying attention to the play – just a tad.  Anyway, it was time to go into the After Party but my time was over.  Judi kicked me out!  I don’t even know what happened next.

Yes Dear Reader, I threw a cloak over her to avoid two worlds colliding.  But that’s another story.  Now that Inner Fangurl has had her say, I can get on with serious impressions about the production, the party, the cast, the fans, the man.



Happy New Year!

I don’t have a lovely photoshopped New Year’s picture of Richard Armitage for you but I send you all my best wishes.  I holidayed like a mad woman for the past week and half to make up for a bad start to the season, and actually made the proverbial silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  While on the way home happily contemplating my excesses, I observed a churlish conductor on the train who gave a disabled couple a hard time.   He seemed determined to spread his unhappiness around, which only compounded his problem because of the disapproving passenger witnesses.  He went so far as to call security on the couple but that backfired.

I wondered about the source of his unhappiness and the situation he’d created on the train to justify his surliness and thought about my own situation.  With a distressing job and depression behind me, the world lays open before me.  But just as the conductor created his own pocket of unhappiness on the train, I must remember that it’s up to me to find and nurture my own happiness in the coming year.

When the train pulled into the station, the snow was still coming down.  I snagged a cab and we fishtailed down a street.  A woman stood on a corner trying to flag the cab, but the driver shouted that it was taken.  The street appeared so desolate with no bus, cab or any other car in sight, that I agreed to share the cab with her and she joyfully hopped in.  We agreed I’d get dropped off first, then the driver would take her to work.  When we arrived at my door, I had “ATM Syndrome,” (no change for a $20 bill) and so did the driver.  To my surprise, the lady said, “I’ll pay for it.  Thank you so much for sharing the ride.”   We all beamed at each other and wished each other Happy New Year.

Nice start to the year, yes?

May your year bring peace, health, and happiness.