Nov 10, 2011

5 Years Ago: The Verdant Dude Archives

Got to thinking about this today from a post Alex Belth put up over at Bronx Banter. It's about the night I met Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. And, um, told Sarah Jessica Parker that I loved her. Ugh.  Read on, good fellows...

"Aww...that's so sweet!"
Sep 19, 2006 by B.E. Earl

Slyde's tale of his trip to NYC to see Martin Short's Broadway show made me think of my favoritist Broadway experience. Hang onto your socks...this is gonna be a long one. And I've told this story before (on Slyde's blog, I think) in short form so it may be repetitive. Oh well. Deal with it, beee-yatchs!

Now, I'm not a Broadway guy. I'd much prefer to hand over 10 bucks at the local movie theater to see a good film than sit through a Broadway play. Sometime, just sometimes, it's really worth it. This one time was more than worth it.

Before "The Producers" came out and became such a huge mega-hit, I had heard that it was being adapted for Broadway. I was/am a huge Mel Brooks fan so I was instantly interested. I also needed something to buy for my girlfriend at the time for Christmas.

So I went online to pre-buy tickets for the earliest show possible. There really wasn't a buzz for it yet as most folks didn't know it was coming. It wasn't Opening was actually the first "rehearsal" night in Manhattan, happening a few weeks prior to the official Opening Night. Cool.

When my friend Cristina found out about it, she asked me to try to score tix to the same show...which I did. Somehow I managed, three days later, to get the two seats right next to me and my girlfriend for her and her husband. Like I said...this was all pre-buzz, but I still found it odd that I could get those.

Anyway, we get to Manhattan some months later for the show and we do the dinner thing at Carmine's, drinks somewhere else before rolling to the show. The lobby was packed and we ordered drinks and settled in towards the rear of the lobby...back by the emergency exits. That's when we hear someone knocking on one of the exit doors to get in.

We didn't know what to do. Should we let someone into a sold-out first night performance of the show? After weighing our options we decided to open the doors. It was Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft! 


They thanked us and we shook hands (I think I actually hugged her and she gave me a little kiss on the's a blur) before they joined the party. I was dumbstruck! My friends Cristina and her husband then asked "Who was that woman with Mel Brooks?" AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! I can't stand non-movie people!

So, if that wasn't good enough (and believe me I was high for two weeks after meeting them) the show was fantastic! Mel stood in the first row and conducted comically throughout. Hysterical! But it gets better...much better.

At intermission, we went out to the lobby to get another cocktail. As everyone filed in for the second half, me and my girlfriend stayed at the bar to finish our drink. I had to go tinkle so I told her to wait there and I would be right back. I turned around and there was Sarah Jessica Parker just standing there by herself. So I turned around and smacked my girlfriend to look over there at the Big Star. She was deep in conversation with the bartender so she didn't understand what I was saying. I didn't get that she didn't understand, so I just proceeded on towards Mrs. Broderick.

There were so many things I wanted to say. Her husband was awesome in the play...tell him I said Happy Birthday (don't ask why I knew it was his birthday on that day)...I love your show...I loved "Square Pegs". So many things!

All that came out was "I love you". I wanted to die.

But Sarah Jessica Parker, to her credit, was very kind. Instead of calling Security, she put her hand on my arm and said "Awww...that's so sweet!" with a great big smile on her face. I'm a fan for life because of that moment.

Epilogue: When I left her and went to proceed to the bathroom, I realized that my girlfriend didn't follow me over to the Big Star. I know had a decision to make. Do I A) go back past Big Star and tell girlfriend about her before I pee or B) not tell her and risk her almost certain wrath? I chose option A. So I snuck around Ms. Parker and whispered to girlfriend "Now act cool, but right now the only other person in the lobby is Sarah Jessica Parker". She responded by pushing me out of the way and running over to her screaming to put her in a bear hug in what was certainly the most un-cool act of hero worship ever witnessed. My work for the evening was done. Thank you.


sybil law said...

That's a pretty fucking epic Broadway night! Mel Brooks! (And I totally know who Anne Bancroft is, but not sure I'd recognize her all these years later. SJP always looks the same!)

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - Ms. Bancroft, sadly, passed away a few years ago. But she looked great when I saw her. And SJP was MUCH more attractive in real life wearing jeans and sneakers than she ever was all dolled up on her show.

Heff said...

I'm certainly not a "broadway guy", lol, but that IS a cool story.

RW said...

Anne Bancroft still makes me drool. She kissed you? Okay that tops my Janis Joplin story!

Verdant Earl said...

Heff - You? Not a Broadway guy? Nah...

RW - Little peck on the check or one of those cheek-to-cheek air kisses, but the hug was what did me in.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - And I'm trying to remember, but I don't recall your Janis Joplin story. Hmmm...

RW said...

Yeah she gave me a bag of pretzels when I stumbled into a backstage area. I don't tell it because it may have been just a drug-induced mirage. So for the sake of journalistic integrity I keep it to myself. :-)

Verdant Earl said...

RW - She sucked you into her drug-induced mirage? Oh...I see. Nevermind. ;)

LegalMist said...

Most. Awesome. Star. Story. EVER!

Love it. :D