Sunday, August 03, 2008

Summer Stock Spectating

Patty Smyth (photo: me)

Patty Smyth performed at a local Long Island park with her band Scandal to a great turn out (as far as Long Island summer turnouts go). From the roadie-side of the gentle plastic fence, she was giving out autographs to about 5 kids -so I went over and just barely got to snap off a digital shot, as she excused herself, waved a quick "I'll be back in 5 minutes..." (aka: lemme-outahere) ... and got ready for the show.
At 51, she was fantastic...constantly jumping all over the stage, wading -make that lounging, with the audience -perfectly confident and at ease with herself. That self having been in the business for 30 years, marrying John McEnroe of tennis-bad-boy fame...and raising as she puts it, "...six friggin kids..". But man, does she ROCK!!!

Suzanne Vega (photo: me)

My wife had a chance to grab a couple of tickets for the Suzanne Vega - Marc Cohn billing at the Wesbury Music Theater (aka: Bank-something-or-other theater) and I managed to get a photo of the demure Mz. Vega while she was signing her CDs.

Maroon 5's Adam Levine (photo: me)

Bryant Park in NYC has been showcasing a fantastic batch of talent. And each Friday, I take an early train to work, just so I can catch the various acts -hence becoming part of the background decoration for ABC's morning show. In the summer I like to grab an ice coffe and an almond crossant a block away from the park so I can be nourished enough to quell properly. I try to take my camera along but occasionally forget -those are the times I kick myself the hardest. Nonetheless, I manage to take a couple of shots -and when I can't... I troll the internet for someone who could! Maroon5's Adam Levine was on the Good Morning America temporary stage. This guy has some kind of built-in charisma and he can't help but continues to satisfy. Watching him perform and interact with the band and the audience, creates a mezmerizing sensation. I could sense the audience of work-force groupies agreeing with me.

Jaclyn Smith in Times Square (photo: me)

Jaclyn Smith is starting a new REALITY TV SHOW (oh boy...yet another way to get people over their inhibitions). It will have something to do with hair cutting and restyling people's hair. The best hair-designer wins?

Well... it could work! Anyway, the former Charlie's Angel was stunning as she sat there posing with models of various sexes -at Times Square's Military Island. I especially liked the way her partially open (let's face it, mostly open) blouse was constantly playing with my libido. The guy next to me was holding a small furry dog. As Jaclyn came closer to our tribe of gawkers, I motioned to her to look at the dog and pose with it. I caught her attention and she took one look at the fuzzy-wuzzy in my chit-chat buddy's clutches and immediately reached out to the man, who gratefully sacrificed his "best friend" for the impromptu photo-op. Jaclyn posed, pursed her lips, cuddled the creature and promplty returned it to my fellow oogler. I hope the show works...otherwise it's back to the dogs.
Cyndi Lauper was wearing a biker-type leather jacket and she appeared to be very young with her Camron Diaz haircut (or maybe the facelift). Either way -she still sizzles...and when she comes down into the audience...WOW! She's a treat...and then some!!!
Countng Crows' frontman, Adam 'Duritz, is an energetic talented dude...but the hairstyle is getting tiresome. This guy needs a new image -BIG TIME. Maybe I should send him towards Jacqueline's way?
Miley Cyrus (photo: me)

I've never seen Bryant Park soooooo filled up with teenie boppers and their parents. It was mayhem by the time I got there, so I put my camera on digital zoom and got a shot of Miley's backside. That was about as close as I could get from the sidelines I used to call trees and shrubbery. The poor park was trampled by the pre-pubescent hordes... albeit they were all well behaved. The cops, after all, had their crowd-control gear on! I have to be honest about her performance...I liked the dancers and her moves but I never got into the tunes... perhaps it was strictly on the level of the kiddies around me. Oh well, I was spared -at least Barney the Dinosaur didn't show up. In the words of Simon Cowel, "I expected more."

Other showcased groups that I saw were: Boyz II Men, One Republic, the Broadway company of RENT

Boyz II Men (photo: me)

One Republic (photo: me)

Company of RENT with Diane Sawyer and Sam Champion (photo: me)

There were times when my lack of "hipness" was becoming evident... I hadn't heard of One Republic until I recognized their signature hit -then all of a sudden---BAM!---I was hip again. The company of RENT blew me away though. I'd only been able to catch the movie but the songs, being performed live were connectingly meaningfull. I stayed an extra 10 minutes and got to work late just so I could hear another song. I'll be catching the rest of the Bryant Park fare as the summer's Friday's roll around... Now let's see what's on the agenda...Gloria Gaynor... Jonas Brothers...Donnie and Marie... Kidd Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd finished the Good Morning America summer series. So I had to do my papparazo stuff in the theater district.

Gloria Gaynor - Jonas Brothers - Marie and Donnie (photo: me)

Kid Rock (photo: me)

Broadway was just letting out on Sunday afternoon when we got lucky and spotted a few celebs at the stage doors -signing autographs. The Boeing Boeing cast was great.

Christine Baranski (photo: me)

Mary McCormack (photo: me)

Mark Rylance (photo: me)

Bradley Whitford (photo: wife)

Kathryn Hahn (photo: wife)

I got a few pix of some of the Xanadu cast. They were very accomodating except for Tony Roberts. He wanted nothing of the crowd and totally ignored everyone, refusing to sign autographs. Nonetheless, I got a shot of him scooting away in the background. Whoopi Goldberg had a real sour puss on -for a comedienne, she had no sense of humor about her real self (bad day ath the hairdresser?), but she went through the scribling motions and gave everyone an autograph. She was very generous with her time and stayed until they were all signed. Cheyenne Jackson was the best -he poses with everyone (just ask him)!

Tony, Whoopi, Cheyenne and the gang (photos: me)

Well, I may not have worked much this summer as an extra, but I sure saw a lot of celebs and was lucky enough to get up close and impresonal. I keep checking my email for offers, and even dredge the internet for weekend extras work... but that's just not the way showbiz operates. As best as I can tell, there is very little work this summer for extras in NYC -forces are at work that have migrated the movie industry to Chicago -where the tax breaks are huge. So I consider myself lucky to be where I am: working the foreground in RL (real life) and spectating as an extra in the background.