Who needs TKTS when you've got Daddy's Amex?
By Sam Perwin
By the time you reach your 30's, you hope to be at a point in your life when you don't have to rely on your parents for a nice dinner and good seats to a hot Broadway show. Unfortunately, when you're in the arts, that's not often the case. I dedicate this edition of Tales from Impromptu Theatre to my father, whose magical American Express managed to snag us some last minute awesome orchestra seats to Pippin when the rents came to town last week on their way to spend the 4th of July in Saratoga.
I won't spend too much time raving about how great this production is, as many before me on this blog and elsewhere have already done so much more eloquently than I ever could. That said, it's pretty fucking great. I continue to love pretty much everything Diane Paulus touches. She, Patina, and Andrea Martin, and the show more than deserved their respective Tonys (special shout-out also to Terrance Mann, whom I love and made me giggle basically the whole show).
There were two other notable items about this particular Impromptu Theatre trip. We had two great celebrity sightings: Angela Basset looking summer-fresh and fabulous (that SKIN!) and Bebe Neuwirth in STANDING ROOM! I think she found a seat for Act Two, but I give that Tony winner major props for standing in the back with the rest of humanity. Theatre is the great equalizer after all.
Secondly, after posting on Facebook that I was at the show, many of my high school friends began to chime in about our production of Pippin my freshman year in (gasp) 1997. I was reminded then about the power of Facebook and its ultimate ability to connect and reconnect people. Most of the comments were from the Seniors that year who were the leads, but my high school did double casting with that show, so that some of the underclassmen (myself included) could have a go at leading roles during matinees. High school musicals can be hotbeds of drama and school politics, but I remember that show so fondly, mostly because of the plethora of talent on that stage. I learned so much from those guys and from my teachers there, and I was happy to relive it via a simple post on Facebook.
 Notable exception being Porgy & Bess, but not even the combined genius of Ms. Paulus, Susan Lori-Parks and her royal goddessness Audra could save that mess of a show.