rose_of_pain: (zukalyn)
[personal profile] rose_of_pain
This is literally just a copy-paste of my tumblr entry but figured I'd put it here too so it's easier to refer back to for my own sake. But this is my report for the OG Takarazuka performance of Chicago that took place at the Lincoln Center in NYC back in July of this year.



Thursday:

Carrie and I got into NYC a little bit after 4pm despite our semi confusing bus situation in the morning (due to me being stupid and forgetting my wallet, we almost missed the time we needed to be there, only for it turn out that they overbooked the bus and just put us on the noon bus anyways). Our hotel was lovely but also quite a distance from the theater. It didn’t seem far until I had to walk it in the heat and our dinner took longer than expected so I had to speed walk the route, learning very quickly how to dodge cars like the New Yorkers do it (I don’t recommend trying it though). Got there in time but was sweating buckets as a result so I was pretty gross for the show, which kinda sucked but at least I didn’t miss any of it. I even had time to chat with the folks next to me. I was in row G for this one and to the right of me was a guy who knew at least a little bit about them and had a few old VHS tapes so I helped explain to him that this was an OG show and not an actual zuka show, etc. Then the Japanese couple on my left got curious about me (probably cause of overhearing me and the fact I was dressed in semi otoko-ish vest) and started asking if I was a fan of zuka, etc. They were both excited to share our mutual interest and when I said I was a Hoshigumi fan, the wife asked if I knew Yuzuki Reon, which of course I couldn’t hold back my little excited squee there and turns out she’s also a big fan of Chie. XD But anywho...

Words cannot describe how excited I was for this show though. I had been super sad about missing the first run of the OG Chicago show in Japan since they did it a few months after I came back from my trip there and the fact that there would be no DVD release so I thought I had missed my chance to ever see it. So boy was I surprised when they announced it was coming to NYC of all places! I know quite a few people think it was an odd choice but I honestly thought it was a good choice? ‘Cause it’s probably easier to bring OGs over right now than taking a chunk of one of the troupes out of their schedules. And its a show that most Americans know very well so I would think that would make it easier to follow. But some people seemed disappointed that it wasn’t the big revue type show they associate with zuka. Ah well, I thought the show was beyond excellent personally.

I originally only had tickets to the Saturday and Sunday shows but decided kinda last minute to get one for Thursday too so I could see all the casts and and mainly so I wouldn’t miss Wao because she was my introduction to zuka and I’ve never seen her live so I really wanted to. So glad I did too! While I’ve noticed from other reviews that a lot of folks felt her Velma wasn’t as strong, I’d disagree. I was absolutely in love with her Velma and thought she actually had a really strong command of the role due to having played the role longer than the other two. I loved all three for different reasons but god, seeing her do that leg slide in the opening made my heart stop. Even though I was further back, I still had an excellent view and could actually read the subtitles some which I took advantage of since I knew I wouldn’t be able to when I was closer up. I mean I know Chicago pretty well but it helped to have a reminder of some of the lines, etc. Especially since I’d never seen a live performance of it before. Komu was adorable as Roxie but in this particular performance, Wao totally stole the show for me. I kept my eyes mostly on her since I knew I’d have plenty of time to watch the others at least. But I did let my eyes wander to Otohana Yuri every so often, being so happy to see one of my Hoshi babies again.

Mine Saori’s Billy was very charming and Isono Chihiro was so adorable as Amos. I so wanted to give her a hug. Mori Keaki though! Holy crap I was blown away by her Mama! (though I kinda expected that cause it’s Mori!) But oh my Tod, like I knew from reports on the 2014 show that they stuck with the risque-ness of the original show and all but reading it and seeing it are two very different things and just seeing these OGs be so....so sexy...it was a bit overwhelming. I thought my heart might just explode. lol Though I did get used to it by the end.

Then the mini revue came on and I gotta say this was probably my favorite part. I mean, yeah, you could definitely tell they were all a bit rusty and they weren’t as well synced as an actual revue but it was just so exciting to have this bit shared for those who haven’t gotten to experience it before. And to have it so up close! *_* I had such a hard time not singing along to all the songs. And oh god I had chills when Hatsukaze Jun sang Sumire no Hana. I didn’t feel worthy of being there for such royalty.

And I was pleasantly surprised how much applause and reactions the audience gave them, considering I had noticed that this showing didn’t have as many fans as I expected. It was a lot of well...normal folks? Probably the typical theater goers who were curious, etc. Though unfortunately it also meant there was a number of laughs going on whenever any of the girls said a word in English, which was a bit upsetting to me. I mean, come on, it’s not supposed to be funny so don’t make fun of them! I know the audience didn’t think that way but still, it made me uncomfortable. I also felt oddly out of place with how normal everyone around me looked. I guess in part the fact I went alone to this show added to me feeling this way and the fact that I got lost on the way there and felt really alone on my way back out. I saw people I knew but was too shy to really go talk to them.

So I wandered off alone to try to find the club for Wao’s concert I had also gotten tickets to. Felt very out of place when I got there and saw the line of fanclub members but luckily Carrie and Corey didn’t take too long to come join me. Took a while for them to get everyone in and I ended up totally missing the fact that Mizu was standing right there to get in but Carrie noticed and said she even made eye contact with her. :D It wasn’t til we were well into the night that Carrie and I noticed her in the actual club but we were too far away to really be able to interact. Yuri was also there as well as some of the other ensemble members that I don’t know well enough. But oh man, so I got the last cheap seats for this ‘cause I figured that would be the only way I’d get my friends to come too so I wouldn’t be alone. But I had noooooo idea that our cheap little table would be RIGHT NEXT TO THE STAGE. Like literally right next to Frank’s piano and my seat was pushed up against the stage steps. So every time anyone went up or down, they had to brush right by me. And the Broadway stars that were part of the show were all in the booth right next to us. Corey was happy cause she had seen Phantom earlier that day and the guy who played Phantom was right next to her. XD Frank came over and was like “oh man I feel sorry for you guys being stuck in this awkward little corner” and we’re like “oh no, we’re quite happy right now!” and we had like a whole freaking conversation with him, I even had the sudden bravery to tell him “Corey’s really here for you anyways so she’s happy with her spot (she was the closest to his piano). I, on the other hand, am here for your wife.” which made everyone laugh and sputter. I made sure to take a long sip of Corey’s drink (cause mine was non-alcoholic) afterwards.

Then Wao comes in and ahhhh she was all over, going back and forth and I’m like “oh god she keeps coming near me, I can’t deal”. Corey and Carrie kept laughing at me the whole time. It was so weird to hear her speak English so fluently and how easily she interacted with the Broadway folks as she’s clearly gotten to know them all. She very much fits in! Also Frank even introduced us to her mother who was at the table next to us. XD But yes the show itself was lovely! She sang a medley for Never Say Goodbye to start. Then they all took turns singing and we got some great numbers from everyone! Wao translated everything Frank said for the mostly-Japanese audience and at one point he goes “Aishiteru!” and she’s all “huh? Is that the next song?” “No, honey, I just wanted to say I love you? :(” lmao they were so cute! They kept bantering at each other too. At one point he was telling everyone about how much of a trooper she’s been for doing all the shows even despite having a broken rib recently and Wao went wide-eyed and yelled at him “why would you tell them that?!” and us and the Broadway folks, since we’re the only English-speakers there were just like “ohhhhh, he’s in trouble now!” lol The poor Japanese had no idea cause Wao wouldn’t even translate it. XD But yikes, can’t believe she did all those dance moves and cartwheels despite that!

When Wao wasn’t singing, she sat on this stole next to Frank...which also happened to be RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Aiya! o_o So thus to say, it was a very overwhelming experience. She’s so tall and skinny! And the highlight of the night for me was when she sang Piece of Courage from Scarlet Pimpernel. *_*


This was my view for the whole night. *_* Can’t get better than that! Also too dark to see her but if you look at the bar, Mizu is the 2nd dark head from the left lol, near the bartender. XD

After the concert, because I didn’t have enough courage, Corey freaking asks Frank if its ok for me to get a photo with Wao (since she was so busy flitting around to everyone she knew) so...this happened...



Taken on Corey’s phone cause mine had died by this point. But kyaaaaaa! Sucks that I was still all sweaty though. T_T

After that, it proved very hard to get OUT of the club due to the fanclub being told they could get photos with Wao too and there was kinda this rush of ladies trying to get to her. lmao. We somehow escaped though.

Friday:

I actually didn’t go to the show that day. XD We had agreed to spend one day doing stuff in NYC instead. So we hung out with Corey and Colin and met up with our friend Linden who took us around the fabric district. Sadly it was ridiculously hot that day so we got wilted pretty fast and didn’t go to as many stores as I would have liked but just didn’t have the energy for it. Didn’t find anything I was actually looking for T_T but did come home with some $6 4-way stretch black pleather I could not say no to. Then we went to Kinokuniya for lunch and to sit and cool down for a while. I was so glad they had cold soba as that’s exactly what I needed. Looked around some there but they really didn’t have anything I was interested in this time. Honestly had found much more stuff I liked at the smaller store in Mitsuwa earlier this year. Then we went to Book Off, which I was sad to see just how much its changed since I was last there. I used to find zuka treasures every time (even got a TCA Special DVD for only $30 once!) but the only things we could find was a small block of Graphs. Granted they were all recent ones, which surprised us (wonder if they just are ones that didn’t sell at Kino) though we already owned most of those. Carrie of course too the 2 I would have wanted the most cause I was too slow to find them. XD But I did get one with Yurika on the cover.

Ate dinner at Guy Fieri’s restaurant and then Corey and Colin went off to see Hamilton while Carrie and I...watched it on Corey’s computer instead. XD (honestly if I hadn’t been coming just for zuka and had more money, I would have gone too but those tickets were a bit much) We also made a slight detour at the Star Wars exhibit, which lol, I totally missed when it was actually HERE at the Smithsonian. Even the girl at the bag check thought that was a bit silly that I was seeing it here in NYC when I live in DC. XD But glad I got that 2nd chance to see it cause it was really cool.

Saturday:

Ok, and back to the zuka! Carrie and I went to both shows that day and Corey was with us for the 2pm show and she really liked it so yay! This was the first of our front row seats (well still behind the VIP fanclub spots but still pretty damn good!) and omg it was so amazing seeing them so close-up! I’ve never been that close to a stage before. O_O And both Sat shows had a lot more geeks and zuka fans so I felt a lot less awkward. I was so happy to see so many women dressed in “masculine” style clothing too ‘cause I’m so used to being the only female in pants at events such as these so it was nice to feel like the norm for once. And there was none of the awkward laughing during the shows themselves this time. Just laughter at the correct moments.


Just a picture I took to show how full the theater was getting. (And I JUST now realized that I think there’s Kingu coming into the theater in this photo. lmao Accidental shot there XD)

So this was the cast Carrie and I were the most excited for. Mainly because of Mizu and we were not disappointed at all! Mizu was so good! Like I thought no one could top Wao after Thursday but damn. Though like, I wouldn’t say Mizu was better, they were both equally good to me. I just will admit I think I enjoyed Mizu’s more simply because it’s Mizu? lol Ahh but it’s so hard for me to compare them cause I love them both! I also got a kick out of how Carrie whispered to me, after the first song, “I didn’t expect Mizu to be so sexy”, so I guess she was going through the same thing I went through on Thurs. XD I also felt that Tani was more fun as Roxie than Komu had been, which I hated admitting since I’m a bigger Komu fan than Tani. But in general I’ve found I like OG Tani more than I liked zuka Tani. But she was super playful and lovable and I kept trying ot give her more attention but it was hard whenever Mizu came on stage. XD Ahhh so happy I got to see Mizu live! And her duet with Mori was amazing! Their voices worked sooooo well together! Such fantastic harmony!

And Mariko surprised me. I generally am not a Mariko fan but I rather liked her as Billy. Her voice might not be the best but she had so much charm! And her expressions during “All I Care About” were great and made me giggle so much, especially during the bit with the fans, made you think the gils were doing something quite naughty to Billy under there. XD Neither Saori nor Zunko did that. I also paid more attention to Sora during the court room scene. I had been so focused on the scene in general the first time around (and it’s hard not to, that part is kinda the best of the whole show and Kaon Yuki as Fred cracked me up every time) that I didn’t even notice what she was doing. So I made a note to actually watch her at least from the corner of my eye and glad I did so ‘cause her change from “character” to “character” as the jury was hilarious!

We were on the left side of the row for this show and I was 2nd to the aisle so got a better view of the girls when they came out into the audience during Takarazuka Mambo. The girl next to me (who introduced herself as Toru and I am very curious if you are on tumblr, please message me cause I hate that I didn’t get your contact info T_T especially if it turns out I know you alraedy) got to high five one of them and we were both giggling over this. Part of me forever regrets not putting my hand up as well, just in the slight chance she would have given a 2nd one out but I think they were mostly timed to do just one to each row they stopped at. But it was still cool getting to be right next to it. :D I also forgot to mention in the Thurs report but I loved loved the mini otoko dance they did (they even had the musume girls in tuxs doing it!) and Mori’s solo was wonderful every time! *_* Though I felt the Roxanne number was a little awkward. Not the fault of the actresses, I just felt the staging of it was a little weird. And I loved hearing the gasps each night when the feathers came out at the end! XD Also Carrie and i were dorks and stood up during Mizu and Tani’s bow during the first part of the Chicago curtain call. lmao Even though it was early before the standing ovation part (we were just overly excited to stand for them lol) and we were like the only ones doing it. haha! But I could have sworn everyone stood up at that point on the Thurs day show. It was interesting how each night people stood up at different points. XD

After the show, Carrie asked me if it was indeed Marimo playing Kitty as she recognized her face but was so shocked to see her acting so sexy. I admit I didn’t know it was her the first show either til I looked at the playbill. Cause dayum girl! She was really hot! And so good! I loved watching her slide down the orchestra railing every night.

This was also the show where I finally got to meet Duskky in person! :D And she was in the same row as us but on the other side. When we sat down before the how, we all noticed the very sienne looking girl sitting in front of Duskky and we kept trying to mouth to each other (ended up texting cause we failed at reading lips lol) as to who it was since Carrie and I couldn’t get a clear view. We even texted Duskky a photo of Kingu to compare because we thought maybe it was her since she recently moved to NYC. Sure enough, turns out it was! So I’ll admit we were slightly distracted by her. XD After the show, I kinda forgot she was there though and I was rushing to see Duskky and gush about the show with her annnnd almost ran smack into Kingu! Oops! I did the typical apology and head bow, making sure to give her space and she just smiled at me and bowed back. Guuuuh! Then we ended up awkwardly behind her the whole time we were leaving the theater, lol.

We had intended to stick around the theater area between shows so we wouldn’t have to walk back and forth from the hotel again but turns out I forgot to grab the evening tickets as well so we had to go back anyways. But that was fine cause I kinda wanted to change my shirt cause it was so hot. Sadly the weather messed up my planned outfits. So ended up only wearing my vests on Thurs and Sun. And just wore my shorter white dress shirt by itself because it was a lot cooler even though it was less fancy than the other ones I brought. This also gave us a chance to eat some of our leftovers in the fridge but then we had to quickly get back to the theater. Got back there and met up with Duskky again, this time accompanied by nwt (I can never get your full tumblr name right lol) and Becca, who was dressed super dandy for the show. I tried to find Luna and turns out I did see her but wasn’t sure if it was her or not. Turns out it was. Oops. XD She never saw me though. My phone was once again dead (had issues with it all weekend >_>) so I was waiting on the lobby for a bit to try to catch people but everyone wanted to go in. Luckily it turned out that Ling and Mimi were only a row behind us so was easy to find them (though they did come in like RIGHT before curtain call lol). And this time we were on the right side of the row. Also got to actually meet Carly this time! I said “hi” to her briefly on Thurs but she had injured her ankle and had to be carried out. :( But still so eternally grateful to her for helping us get those tickets!

The audience's reaction was probably the most intense for this show and I'm not surprised since this was the show with the most people I knew in the audience so it's probably just the fact that by then all the zuka fans had finally made it in if they hadn't to the previous shows already. Wataru was a really fun Velma though not as seductive as Wao and Mizu, but she still definitely held her own and uggggh she has some nice legs! Komu notched her game up like woah though! She definitely was hamming it up and adding more than she had on Thursday. I almost wonder if she watched Tani and decided she had to outdo that. But I was glad to see her giving it more than time around, which made me instantly take back my earlier decision of liking Tani's Roxie more. Jun played Mama this time around and it ws pretty incredible to see her still rock it despite her age. I mean, yeah, she wasn't as good as Mori, but come on, she's a lot older than Mori! I was definitely impressed! And truly honored to see her play a role on stage. Granted I felt honored to see every single one of these girls on stage as they were all legends in their own way at one point or another. I had made sure to tell Carrie to watch Sora this time around during the court room scene as she had missed it in the earlier show and sure enough I heard her laughing pretty hard during that part and I likewise made sure to watch her again. And when Mary Sunshine's "big reveal" (Billy takes off her wig and reveals that Mary is actually a "he" and is in fact the only actual male performer in this show, though I had already known about that from the 2014 runn) happened, the audience roared so loudly that Yuzumi Shun, who played the Judge, slammed her mallet so hard during her "Order! Order!" line that she managed to break the hammer part right off! It went flying! And her little shocked yet proud smile was wonderful and perfect and went right in with the moment. It couldn't have been timed better. The audience even cheered at her for it. :D I had to explain to Ling and Mimi after the show that that wasn't actually supposed to happen. lol 'Cause to them, it seemed as if it was just part of the script. Also, everyone cheered for Amos when the character asked for his exit music (and got none) which was super cute! Considering you're supposed to just laugh at that bit. The fact that everyone cheered for the poor character was great! So I hope Chihiro appreciated that little moment there.

After the show, we made it over to the backstage doors because Carrie and I were determined to do it this time around as it was our only real chance since we'd have to leave early on Sunday and we didn't have time to do it during the previous shows. Ling and Mimi decided to join us and Mimi even commented that she thought it was adorable at the way everyone lined up. Though, aiya, some of the folks who showed up after us did kinda make it difficult for the actreses to find a way to move past us. It made me a little nervous as I didn't want to make them think we were trying to barricade the in so we just made sure to move to the side if any of them tried to make a run for it. And most of them did so we let them be. Wao came out early but only signed one autograph before hurrying off so she must have had somewhere to go. Tani didn't stop at all. But Jun came out and oh my Tod, it was like the parting of the red sea. We all made sure to give her room and congrulate her on the performance. She was so adorable! And everyone afterwards commented on how we all felt suddenly warm and happy, like we had just been visited by a special grandmother. lol Everyone also cheered loudly when Mary Sunshine's actor came out. XD Then Komu came out and we were all shocked that she actually stopped to talk to us all. After seeing one friend of mine have a very emotional and special convesation with her in Japanese, we all were touched and figured we might as well try our luck. And sure enough, she was totally cool with both autographs and photos and did her best to talk in English to us! She must have practiced a lot! But while we were waiting our turn and Duskky had given me her phone to get a photo for her, suddenly Mizu and Wataru come out and I was not going to miss this chance! They both went the opposite way, so I grabbed Carrie (with Duskky's phone still in my hand, I am such a horrible friend lol) and rushed over in their direction, hoping to whatever forces out there that they woudn't dash off. And luckily several Japanese fans had stopped them and a few fans took the chance to get autographs, so I went over and nervously asked Mizu for one and yay I got it! And made sure Carrie got one too because I'll be honest, of all the OGs there, Mizu was both our favorite of the group. Wao may have been my intro to zuka, but Mizu stole my breathe away the very first second I saw her in a show. I still can't believe I was that close to her! I was waaaaay too nervous to even attempt to ask for a photo though and I didn't see anyone else get one so wasn't sure if she'd be ok with it but I'm happy just getting to be that close. Sadly Wataru was leaving, though Ling and Mimi somehow managed to be ninjas and get her autograph XD (semi jealous lol). Then went back to Komu just in time to get Duskky her photo on her phone and then got my turn as well! Ahhh Komu is so tiny and adorable! A lot of the fans wanted to stick around to see if Zunko would come out but I already knew from previous reports that she would either stay in the theater til everyone is gone or dart out. lol Besides Carrie and I got the encounters we wanted so we called it a night and giggled happily most of the way back to our hotel.


Here's my photo with Komu! Taken on Duskky's phone cause mine was of course still dead x_x;

Sunday:

I'll admit, it was hard getting up. Felt like I'd been hit by a truck at this point but still forced myself up and got the sparkly make-up on. This was the day I was determined to wear my rhinestone vest despite the heat 'cause it was my last chance to be dressed up and I wanted to be extra blingy for the fan meet. Was a little confused on where to go but eventually got there for the fan brunch. Thank you so much to everyone who helped set it up! It was fanatastic! There was about 40 of us total! There was some very delicious quiche but it was semi difficult to focus on the food when there was so many people I wanted to talk to! And there were a few games, which we all ended up having to quickly fill out cause we were so not focused on them, lol. One was arranging otome photos in order for Komu, Wataru, and Zunko. My little group of 3 won 2nd place for Komu, which we were all shocked by. XD So we got early picking of the prizes and so Carrie and I both took a Revue book, which omg that is a really nice prize to just give out! I was expecting just postcards and such. Everyone failed at Wataru's though my group once again did better than we thought though we had already won a prize but it was amusing to see how high we got considering we had a hard time with that one (she looks the same in every photo!). After that we had a raffle for the Ai-chan autographs. Duskky won the big one! And I won one of the medium sized Song for Kingdom bromides, which was exactly the one I was hoping for! :D I love Ai-chan so I really wanted to win one of those! Carrie won one of the little postcards. There was also a trivia test on all the top stars in the show and I first looked at it and felt a little dismayed, thinking "oh man, I've been a fan for 12 years and yet I know like none of these questions" but as it turns out, neither did anybody else! XD So I still scored pretty high up and got an Ai-chan non-signed postcard. Afterwards, all the stuff folks wanted to get rid of was piled up on a table, including my pile of chirashi doubles and I was quite happy to see how quickly those got picked up! But I was shocked by some of the things other people gave away. Like I found a VHS copy of Phantom just sitting there. I mean, yeah I know its VHS, but still! Even the VHS is hard to find. Also got a few Graphs and Kagekis, the El Dorado program, and some photos. Was tempted to take more but I wouldn't have had a way to carry it all. XD My bag was pretty full as it was from all of that.


Our group photo! We decided to hold up all our Ai-chan gifts during it so we could send it to her as a thank you. We also took a video for her and giving her encouragement with her new role in Elisabeth.


Me trying to show off my outfit next to Saori-san. XD

So, onto the last and final show, which we had center of our row (same row) this time! So got the best view of the show finally! Which was great cause my neck hurt a little from Sat's show of having to lean a bit. I did have to move my head much at all for this show. This was the Wataru/Komu/Zunko combo again but this time with Mori. I forgot to totally mention that Zunko was actually my favorite of the Billy Flynns. By the time Sat evening's intermission rolled around, I was spinning in my chair going "Zunko~". XD I just have always adored her and she had the right coldness for the character and by far the best voice. Though Mariko and Saori both had very nice charm for the role but I think Zunko was more what I think of for the character. I also giggled when I noticed on Sunday's performance that she totally flirted with the ensemble girls during "We Both Reached For the Gun" when doing puppet-Komu. That was another whole part, in general, that was one of my favorite parts of the show. Works especially great with zuka since the girls have an advantage of an actual girl voice to imitate Roxie with. Zunko's mouth moved more than Mariko's but her Roixe voice was hysterical. And once again Komu hammed it up as Roxie. Wataru also hammed it up for the last show and her "I Can't Do it Alone" bit was so great that Komu actually spit all over her face for real this time at the end. XD But it definitely made me laugh at least.

Other than that, there wasn't much added to the final show though I didn't expect it since I assume they were given little room for adlibs considering the timing of the subtitles and all. But they worked with what they could and it was a vey enjoyable final performance! Komu did manage to accidentally back into the chair during "Roxie" though but it was hardly noticeable and she recovered quickly. Then during the little intro for the encore, both Wataru and then Komu stumbled on their words a little, lol. They were still saying the lines correctly but in the wrong order but it was cute and I think mostly from exhiliration of it being the final show. Komu also managed to get her roses across the stage this time (they threw roses out during their last little bit in Chicago at each show but they never got past the first row of fanclub lol) when in previous shows, always at least one of hers landed on the stage instead. Then for the zuka encore, we made sure to give our loudest cheers (though it was hard with how tired I felt at this point) and after the curtains closed, we were surprised to see the Japanese fans attempting the traditional final curtain call. Which is basically where everyone stands and continues to clap in unison until they raise the curtain again to give their final statements and they do it again and again until the audience finally decides to quit. It's kind of like an extra standing ovation type thing to express how much you loved the show and only ever done at the final show. And one little old lady in front of me even turned around and tried her best to explain, going "Final show!" and I nodded enthusiastically to show I understood. But us American fans were all unsure if they would let them do that here, being an American venue and all and I know on previous shows, they had made sure to get us to clear out quickly after the show. And sure enough, despite our best efforts (and most of the theater did in fact stay to do it even though I'm sure most of them were confused by the looks I saw when I turned around to see how many were left), eventually someone came on the PA and annouced that the show was over and that we needed to leave, lol. It was a good effort though and I hope they at least could hear us backstage to know our love for them. The little lady thanked us for helping out with it, which I found adorable. It was a little sad leaving the theater, realizing there wasn't any more shows to watch.

I do have one complaint about the Lincoln center though and I've been debating on whether it's worth submitting a formal complaint or not since it didn't even really have to deal with me and I hate thinking about it cause I didn't really want anything to spoil the experience. But I found the usher to be incredibly rude and I did see someone else write in their report a similar experience so I don't think it was just me. The ushers at the doors and the further back sections seemed fine but the ones manning the front section seemed particularly nasty. On Thursday I came in and was directed by the first usher to go to the next one since my seat wasn't in their section so I did but the lady was helping a few other patrons so I stood and waited my turn. After all, she had the programs and as miniscul as they were, I wanted to make sure I got one since it was the only souveneir we had for this as there was no merchandise or anything. So she turns to me and seriously just says "Yes, you want something?" which surprised me since I had gotten the impression I had to see her first and I meekly ask for my program and she was pretty much like "here's your seat". But I figured she just had a bad day or something. But then I continued to watch her yell at the Japanese fans who walked right past her, being all "Hey! Hey! I need to see your ticket" which um, they couldn't understand her since most of them didn't speak any English. But didn't think much of it. But then every performance I went to, the same thing happened. While the ushers were at least a little more pleasant to me than that first encounter, they still continued to practically scream at the Japanese and get really REALLY nasty at them and each time the fans were just confused as to what happened. After all, in Japan you just walk to your seat, there are ushers but they only just check to see if you have a ticket when you first enter and only direct you if you ask for help. Otherwise they generally trust you won't steal someone else's seat. And I understand that the theater has rules to make sure everyone takes the right seat but you would have thought someone would have told the ushers, hey there are folks coming who don't speak English and don't know this custom. Because I would kinda expect a theater to treat its patrons, especially those who bought the most expensive seats, a little bit better than that. The worst was on Saturday where we got in and I noticed that there was a back-up with the usher on our side, which I thought was odd. Well when we got closer, I dicover that this lady was having a tantrum, yelling at the whole line, saying "Look, I get paid to stand here and do this so I am going to do this! And you just have to deal with it!" and like kept ranting instead of uh, doing her job of getting everyone in quickly? And when I got up, I calmly and kindly (with my best customer service smile) told her "Most of them don't speak English, so they just don't understand, that's all." and she rudely responds "Oh they understand alright!!! Don't give me that!" and I'm like "excuse me?" but didn't want to argue because um, I just want to enjoy my show. But it really rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like seeing my little old ladies being treated this way.

But other than that, the experience was incredible! Couldn't stick around for the last stage door 'cause we had our bus to catch and ugh, despite having plenty of time to eat, get back to the hotel (which btw our hotel was wonderful! And the staff was excellent, I should write them a nice review to make up for my disgruntle-ness with the theater ushers, lol), change, and get to Port Authority...I somehow managed to take us the wrong direction...twice. And we ended up caught up in Times Square which is REALLY hard to get through with suitcases and we're both sweating and dying of thirst since the vending machine at the hotel decided then it wouldn't take credit card anymore and neither of us had enough bills on us for the water (so Carrie just got a coke can and re-filled it at the bus station with the water fountain). We got there in good time and got put on the earlier bus (since I guess with greyhound, your actual time on your ticket doesn't matter despite what they say) which was great cause we'd get home earlier...except the bus' air didn't work well and their outlets didn't work at all! So couldn't even charge my phone. Ugh. We get to the bus station in DC and apparently they had all this construction going on so my Dad couldn't even park the car and we had issues trying to figure out where to find him and it took us forever to get out of DC but we did and oi. lol Gotta love public transportation. But the day after, I got hit hard with the...well, I want to say "pos-con depression" but I wasn't even at a con! But it was a very similar feeling, except a shitton worse! I miss everyone and I just hope maybe this went over well and they'll consider doing something like it again in the future (just please not in July! God! I was dying the whole time lol).

~Lyn
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