Whenever I check my statcounter to see which Google queries have brought readers to my blog I often find that I've answered about 90 percent of their question. Close, but no cigar. I wish I could run after those people and say, "Wait, give me another chance!"
So as one of my blogging resolutions for 2009, I'm going to try to answer questions from readers on a more regular basis to supply that missing 10 percent. Naturally, I get a lot of questions about theatre and Broadway shows, which I can usually answer; a lot about violins, which I can't; and some random ones about movies, books or tv shows. (Apparently, the movie Ice Castles has a pretty big fan base.)
In the meantime, here are a few recent ones:
1.) Does Daniel Radcliffe come out after shows to sign autographs? I get a lot of queries about whether actors come to the stage door to sign Playbills after a Broadway show. Usually, they will, although matinees can be dicey. And this year, I've had some notable disappointments. But yes, I did get Daniel Radcliffe's autograph after an evening performance of Equus. You can read about it here. And to the person who asked, Leah Michele is DEFINITELY NOT mean at the stage door! Why would you think that? She was very nice to everyone when I met her after a matinee of Spring Awakening in the summer of 2007.
2.) Is the aisle seat good at a Broadway theatre? Well, for me, there's nothing like being smack dab in the middle of the orchestra, in the first few rows. But yes, I think aisle seats are generally good, especially if you think you'll need to make a quick exit. Although there's been a disturbing trend of shows charging more to sit on the aisle. Unless you have a medical reason or you want to reach out and touch the elephant during the parade of animals that opens The Lion King, (And who doesn't!) I'm not sure it's worth the extra money.
3.) Can Spring Awakening be saved from closing? January is going to be a very dark month for Broadway. A handful of long-running musicals are closing and other shows are finishing up their limited runs. At this point, I don't think any of them can be saved, including Spring Awakening. The last performance for the 2007 Tony winning Best Musical will take place on Jan. 18. But don't lose hope. You can still catch it, along with many other terrific Broadway shows, on tour. It's probably coming somewhere near you. Go here for more information.
4.) Can you take pictures at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular? Sadly, yes. At least at the performance I attended. While it clearly states on the show's Web site that photography is forbidden, (as it is in all Broadway theatres and probably all theatres everywhere) people were snapping away at will throughout the performance and no one appeared to be stopping them. But I did attend a 10 a.m. show and Radio City Music Hall wasn't very crowded. Maybe the ushers are more diligent later in the day.
5.) What does Johnna symbolize in August: Osage County? Good question. Johnna, originally played on Broadway by Kimberly Guerrero, is the Native American housekeeper hired by family patriarch Beverly Weston to look after his sick, pill-popping wife. The play takes place in Oklahoma and Johnna is a representative of the original occupants of the land. I think she also symbolizes the importance of family. Playwright Tracy Letts describes her role in an interview with The Times of London.
6.) Where did Carrie Bradshaw go to college? Did she have any family? Where did she grow up? Michael Patrick King, the executive producer of Sex and the City always kept the origins of Carrie and her pals a little mysterious, as if their lives didn't really begin until they moved to Manhattan. Carrie apparently mentioned in one episode that her father left her mother when she was 5 years old and she may have grown up close to New York and gone to college in the city. I'm guessing New York University, but that's just a guess. Here are some more hints.
7.) What's the town in Massachusetts in the Seinfeld finale? This is one of those questions where I smack my forehead (figuratively, not literally). I wrote about watching the final episode of the long-running NBC comedy for the first time this summer, 10 years after it aired. But I never mentioned the specific town in Massachusetts where it takes place. Duh! The NBC corporate jet that Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer are taking to Paris makes an emergency landing in the fictional town of Latham, Massachusetts in the final episode. Here's a rundown on the whole sad incident.