I still cannot believe that this whole set of events happened. This all started out as a simple email, a small suggestion, mainly as a fan. I suggested that since Spamalot would be in LA before coming to San Diego, I should go up to LA and preview it (having never actually seen the “tour”), and go to the opening night party (where I suspected Eric Idle would be so I could possibly meet him). This was a pipe dream. Really? They’re gonna let theOperations Manager, the one that deals with their computers and ticket system, be their liaison? They’re gonna let this guy, who is probably just suggesting it so he could see the show yet again, take a day off a week before we open Fiddler on the Roof to drive up the I-5 to see a show for a 4th time? Doesn’t he have anything better to do than think of ways to meet people that have influenced his life? These are all thoughts that entered my head on reasons why this would never happen. Guess what? It did. It did happen. So, the moral of this story is: no matter how farfetched an idea, no matter how unlikely, remember, that if you never take a chance on something, odds are it won’t happen, it isn’t just going to fall in your lap.
Okay, enough philosophy from the philosophy department at the University of Walamaloo. Now, on to the good stuff. So, before any of this ever happened, it almost got messed up by scheduling. On the day before I thought I was supposed to head up to LA, I decided to verify everything. Turns out opening night is Wednesday, July 8th not Tuesday, July 7th. Glad we checked, as I would have gotten to the theatre and found out my ticket was for the next night. I hate when that happens when I work at the box office, so I would really hate it if it happened to me. That possible issue being fixed, I was off to LA!
I left around noon, making it to my first destination, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. I try to make it there every trip to LA. After a great late lunch/early dinner, I was set to drive the remaining 7 or so miles to the Ahmanson. Almost an hour later, I make it there. I arrived to the theatre very early. Went to the box office, and they couldn’t find my tickets. Luckily, I had all the information on who set them up and everything and they were able to find my ticket and party pass very easily. While I was waiting, they were setting up a big, inflatable Monty Python foot on top of the roof. Very shortly afterwards, some people in costume came out to entertain the quickly growing Standby line.
One was dressed as the Lady of the Lake, one as someone who might be from Finland, and then there were two very sexy cans of Spam. There was also a little bit later a wench and a knight, whom were both carrying signs. One said “Warning: This show contains the use of shrubbery” and the other said to silence cell phones, pagers, machines that go “ping”. I particularly like that one, with the little reference to Meaning of Life. Sadly, I had to take my camera to my car, as it would not be allowed in the theatre, and then shortly after that, the celebrities started to show up. There were many that I could see as they were being bombarded by the news people, people such as Scott Hamilton, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard, Loni Anderson, Billy Crystal, Richard Chamberlain, Bob Sagat, and Joe Montegna. There were more there, but those were the only ones that I saw before the show.
Shortly before the show started, I was introduced to Eric Idle by a mutual acquaintance, Steve. I was on cloud nine at this point. The show was about to start, so I had to rush into the theatre. Of course, there was a major hold since there were so many people outside and such a large standby line. The show was amazing, just as good as any of the other 3 times I’ve seen it. It is always fun as there are a few parts of the show that is a little different every night. At the end of the show, they brought both Eric and John up on stage and handed Eric a microphone. He talked for a few minutes about Spamalot finally coming back to LA. He and John had spent quite a few years in LA when they were writing. It was very nice to see how happy and excited they all were.
Once the show was done, it was off to the opening night party. Turned in my party pass and got my wristband, and made my way up to the 12th floor roof. This place was amazing. The view from the roof was breathtaking. It was like you were in the valley of all these tall buildings and they just lit up the night. The entire roof was used for the party. Here is a brief virtual tour of part of the roof and some of the view (http://www.standardhotels.com/los-angeles/virtual-tours/rooftop-pool/fullscreen/). Met up with Steve, and while we were sitting and talking, a woman came up to talk to him. She looked very familiar, and then he introduced me to her, and it was Joann Wurley!
Holy crap, I am such a huge Laugh In fan, this was amazing. I asked if she would take a photo with me, and then I commented that one of my good friends was a big fan of hers, and that I was a big fan as well, to which she said “Of course you are” and shook my belly and did that laugh of hers. One of the top 5 moments of the night. Then we saw Eric arrive. He came over and started to talk to us, and then was stolen away by another acquaintance. While we were waiting, we were noticing the cast arrive and hit the dance floor. There was one guy out there, but we didn’t recognize him from the show, however, he looked just like Josh Grobin. The Grobin doppelganger came over and said that we had to go out on the dance floor, and he dragged us all out there. Once Eric hit the dance floor, all of the woman on the floor flocked to him, and then the cameras as well. After a while, I started to talk to the doppelganger (whose name is actually Nigel and is part of the cast, but leaving the show when it leaves LA), and he was a very nice guy.
Then it was on to roaming the rest of the party. Sadly, I was unable to get any more pictures with anyone, as they were all engaged in conversation and I didn’t want to interrupt. The one I was sad I missed was Anthony LaPaglia. See, he was in Empire Records and his character’s name was Joe Reese, and mine is Joe Ries (pronounced the same). I thought that would be a funny picture, but alas, it did not happen. I then realized that it was close to 1 am, and I still had to drive home to San Diego.
Overall, this was an absolutely amazing experience. I can’t wait for it to come to San Diego so everyone here can enjoy it as much as I do. Also, the Center Theatre Group posted their pictures from opening night.
Broadway/San Diego – A Nederlander Presentation
Filed under: From Broadway/San Diego Staff · Tags: broadway san diego, broadway san diego tickets, Broadway Tickets, Eric Idle, LA, Monty Python, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Spamalot, san diego, san diego tickets, Spamalot, SPAMALOT the musical, Spamalot Tickets, tickets