Basically, before we all go to freak out about naked Harry Potter in Equus, this was the mildly exciting event of Alan Rickman on Broadway in Noel Coward's Private Lives. I invite Amanda, who I only knew from LJ then, up to see it with me, and Megan decides to come along too.
Because I'm a freak and bought tickets the second they went on sale, we had front row seats, and it's actually usually a pretty shitty thing to see a play from the front row, but there we were.
Now I need to pause a bit to explain the condition of the three of us. Amanda is seeing her first Broadway show; she is wearing a tiara. Megan is having a personal crises but is dealing with it in a game and sort of hillarious way at that point. And I'm just being a Libra and trying to make sure everyone is okay. I don't even remember what I wore; I always remember things like that.
Anyway, we're seated, of course, next to other people who bought tickets the second they went on sale. These people were having the sort of wacky convos that seem okay on LJ but are cracktastic when they occur in the off-line world. They were fans of the type that make being a fan embarrassing.
Because they were talking, very loudly, as we were waiting for the curtain to rise about how since Alan Rickman is a Pisces his feet are the most sensitive part of his body and they heard he's even barefoot in parts of the play.
Amanda and I are practically drawing blood from each other we're pinching each other's arms so hard not to laugh.
Then these two women start trying to talk to us. Megan says something about Art and then gets up to go to the bathroom, and I keep trying to deflect the conversation into making them get less of their ickiness on us.
Megan comes back. The curtain goes up.
Late in the play there's a food fight. In the course of the food fight, Lindsay Ducan throws a green pepper at Rickman, and it bounces off him, across the stage, and into the aisle. Freakish women next to us DIVE FOR THE PEPPER.
And then spend the rest of the show clutching the pepper to their breasts. It's all very spokesmodel scene from LA Story -- "love the pepper, caress the pepper."
The play ends, and we decide to go do the stage door thing. Amanda, because holy shit, she's in New York for this very thing. I, because in my habit of superstition, feel it will be a good thing (this is right at the point I'm considering going to acting school, and Rickman became an actor after having a different career first and I viewed that piece of trivia as something of a good luck talisman at the time), and Megan, because she's, well, with us.
So we get to the stage door.
Oh my god.
I note the following examples of behavior that scares me:
- creepy fan stroking her Snape action figure as if it is a dildo
- creepy fan who asks Rickman to autograph her HP book as Snape
- creepy fan who used the Internet to research Rickman's geneology and plans to present the document she's worked up to him
Megan, wisely, gets a cup of coffee and a cigarette and stands off to the side, while Amanda and I wait along the barricades for the stars to come out.
Lindsay Duncan is out first, sees Amanda's tiara and swans over to her instantaneously.
"I love your tiara!" she says.
"Why thank you," Amanda says. "I'm from Texas, and I loved the show."
"Isn't it wonderful? I like it because I get to wear hats. Lots of fabulous hats. Here, let me sign that."
I mumble something incoherent, and she signs my Playbill too.
Eventually Rickman comes out to do the autograph thing. There is shrill scary girl screaming from the crowds. I give Amanda a look of horror. Megan presses herself closer to the wall she is hiding against. I let a trio of horrible NYU girls press in front of me.
Rickman (who was, btw, my first proof that all heights on IMDB are exaggerated by at least two inches) starts signing autographs at the exact opposite side of the horseshoe that we're on, meaning he's going to get to us last, if he lasts that long.
The man looks freaked. And really, who wouldn't? I think about escaping the whole thing as I see one horrible fan moment after another, but Amanda will kill me and really, let's face it, celebrities were still the coolest thing in the world to me then.
Finally, he gets to us.
The horrible NYU girls in front of me say in giggly squealing unison, "Oh my god, Mr. Rickman, I just love your movies!"
To which he says, exactly how you would imagine it, except very very tired, "Clearly, you haven't seen all of them then."
This is hilarious. Because he has been in some amazingly shitty stuff.
I start cracking up. And pretty much can't stop.
Amanda gets him to sign her program.
The NYU girls turn around and start yelling at me.
Rickman and I just stand there giving each other looks of speechless horror (while repeatedly glancing nervously at the NYU girls). I hand him my program, he signs it, I say a thank you as imbued with "I apologize for the entire female population of the planet" as I can, he gets in his car, I extricate myself from the evil girls, Megan shakes her head and laughs, Amanda adjusts her tiara and I blush because I know it's embarrassing and awful and I feel guilty as sin for contributing to any of it, but it felt too like a charm. And it was.