Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Fangirl's Day Out - Casa Mañana's "A Few Good Men"

Earlier this year, once I realized I had an "obsession" with the CW's Supernatural, I joined a Yahoo group. On the very first day, they posted news that had my fangirl heart racing. The main actors in Superntarual are Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. Both are Texas boys! Booyah! One from San Antonio and the other from Richardson, my own backyard. Well, the news the group had to share was the fact that Casa Mañana, a small theater in the Fort Worth area, was putting on the play "A Few Good Men" and was staring Texan actors who made it big -- mainly Lou Diamond Phillips and Jensen Ackles!!! The play would run from 6/5 to 6/10/07.

Now, like I have stated before, I've never had an obsession before. I've had stuff I liked, stuff I've been excited about, but NEVER like this. The day I found out about Jensen Ackles playing here and that I would have the chance to see his work live, I was pretty much a total freak. I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd had a heart attack. I was basically emailing and telling anyone I could get my hands on about this. Heck, I even did a post to my main blog! lol. (This whole obsession thing really bothers me! I keep thinking I am insane. Yet everyone tells me people do this all the time. I am too old for this! lol!) I survived the day and after a week or so, I was able to put it in the back burner and not worry about it at all! I was even good, and despite reports of people who saw the play before me (booked it on the last day at 2pm to better fit hubby's schedule - since he was nice enough to go with me. :P) and kept myself mostly calm.

I was only a semi-basket case (was working really hard to restrain myself) on Sunday 6/10 as maps flew everywhere, the clothes I planned to wear turned out to be stained, my bladder was doing me no favors (TMI?), and who knows what else. (Last time I'd gone to a show we didn't know how to get to, which was for the Kodo Drummers years ago, we got so lost we only made it to the show in time to see the encore! Never again!)


Ticketmaster did not give me much choice (like NONE! Don't plan to go that route ever again) when I got my tickets, giving me what it called best seats. (Their systems definition on what is "best" seems a little off) I ended up with hubbins at Section 4, Row C, seats 7 and 8. They were both the best and worst seats ever! Let me explain.

Section 4 is by the stage but off to the right side so not great. But I was also only 3 rows from the edge of the stage - awesome. The stage itself was at different heights in different areas. So while I could see everything on the right very well (heck even better than well in a few cases!), anything on the far left, like several of the prisoner meetings and apartment meeting scenes I had a table in my way or a chair or the guy in front of me or the stage itself so I either saw little to nothing or had to contort to see. Not complaining though, the stuff I saw on my side more than made up for it! Jensen and later Lou were like 5 feet from me more times than I can count. And I got super lucky during the trial as even though Jensen was third in on the table, he pushed his chair back enough I had an unobstructed profile view of him and could watch the prosecutor at work and Jensen's reactions to his examinations at the same time. Also got the added treat that the prosecutor's table was on my side, so when Jensen's character upstaged him at the trial on a point, I got to hear the actor's cuss (done too low for anyone else but a nice touch for the character and probably the actor was doing it for flavor) as he shoves the papers into his briefcase in frustration. Plus I got to see Jensen's back, side, front, the back of the neck (which like a geisha's slightly exposed neck did for samurai, it did something to me! Don't ask, I don't understand....), the crease of his white uniform running down his leg, tons of detail - so I can't complain!

The play was AWESOME! Jensen was beyond awesome, but everyone else was also fantastic. This play had a huge amount of dialog, and a lot of it was technical at that, and unlike TV and movies, no second takes. Stage acting is a whole different ballgame from film. Yet they all pulled it off marvelously. And some of the other actors I had seen before! Ayal Miodovnik (Lt Jack Ross) has been on Sex in the City and As the World Turns (I have never watched either but maybe commercials or something because he was very familiar), also Ben Rauch (Lt Sam Weinberg) was in ED, shows on Comedy Central, and Sprint and Burger King commercials. So many seasoned actors from Texas came in for this one, which was a total treat. (Took pics of the theater and program book if you want more details http://s86.photobucket.com/albums/k95/gloriaoliver/A%20Few%20Good%20Men/ )

Weird stuff - On many scenes I could not see Ben Rauch (Sam), and the character of Kaffee (Jensen) teases him a lot, and every time he said "Sam" I kept thinking of the character "Sam" (played by Jared Padalecki in Supernatural) since I could not see the other actor! Now the whole "Sam" and "Jo" thing was weird enough, (Jo being a recurring character in season 2 but also the name of the female lead in the play) but there ended up being MORE! This was Kaffee's 40th case - we were just discussing the # 40 on a review of the episode Phantom Traveler plus I had just seen the episode last week myself - 40 minute flights, 40 days and nights, a number associated with death - and this was a murder case. As if that were not enough, Kaffee hates FLYING!!!!! I thought I was going to fall out of my chair when that came up! Just like Dean!(The chara Jensen plays in Supernatural.) Weird coincidences I am sure. (Or just my over active mind.) lol.

The stage production did some neat stuff too. Major kudos to the stage staff as they had to come on stage in the dark most of the time and move chairs and desks around. A big part of the set was two tall guard towers connected by a huge fence and barb wire. 15 minutes before the show started, two guys in marine uniforms with M-16's climbed into the towers and started a guard tower routine of looking out each direction for a minute or two as if they were on actual guard duty. Did the same thing at intermission. It was such a nice touch!!!! Then they added in a cricket track in the background (at least I hope it was a sound track! lol!) and that added even more to the atmosphere. Loved how Santiago's letters and the Major's final letter were all done on stage by the actual actor with a light on them alone. The theater is small in size so everything was very personal, almost intimate. During the bows, most of the actors only faced the front of the theater, but Jensen made sure to look in all three main directions so everyone got a look and Lou Diamond Phillips bodily moved himself to each side. Sweet!

Had tears in my eyes three different times (Yes, I am a weeper!) and I think a half sniffle from me got the fan girls behind me going. Heh heh heh. But I had come prepared with tissues so all was good. lol. (I played wall flower like I usually do, and got to overhear several conversations while at the theater. Bunches of people there were fans of the show and had come in from out of state just to see it! Some bought tickets for multiple showings! Not cheap tickets either. Dang!!!!)

My husband put up with me through all this mess so kudos to him too! The lunatic even suggested during lunch that I could buy tickets for the 7 o'clock too if I wanted. I told him he was MAD! (This was before I learned others actually did it!) But thanks for the thought. Heck he even volunteered to turn back around after we left the parking lot and we saw the awning in the back of the theater and the people waiting there. I told him no. Figured with only 2 hours between shows no one might bother to go outside. (What I don't know I missed won't hurt me?) Besides, I am big believer in not invading people's privacy or space - having been on both sides of the fence (and heard horror stories from compatriots) and how some people suddenly act like actors are their property instead of a person who has feelings and deserves space and privacy, I figured I would not add to the mess. I think I will definitely keep my hubby for another 25 years. lol. (I think he's actually glad I have an obsession now. He's had several over the years in low key ways, but this is my first so he now knows he has something over me if I say anything on his! lol!)

So, I had a GREAT time! I am hoping Casa Mañana does the same type of thing next year!



Gloria Oliver
www.gloriaoliver.com
Unveiling the Fantastic




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