August 26, 2013

NYC: Part II - The Show

I have re-written and re-worked this post so many times.  I still don't know exactly how to put this experience into words.  You know those times in life when things feel totally surreal and out of body?  This was one of those for me.  

The reason for this trip to NYC was to see First Date.  It is a brand new musical on Broadway staring Zachary Levi.  I may have mention before that I kinda think Zachary Levi is just adorable.  

When I heard he was staring in First Date, I immediately knew I had to go see it.  My lucky stars (and Jesus' kindness) were aligned and Living Social had a deal for tickets, which I scooped up immediately.  The tickets were for front row seats, which my roommate and I found out when the usher directed us to the middle section, front row, basically sitting with our knees under the stage.  Almost too close for comfort.  Like sitting on the front row at the movie theater.  I could have tied Zac's shoes, if they had been untied.  It was all kinds of fantastic.  

The show is fun.  It's light hearted.  It's fun-ny.  Laugh out loud funny.  The small cast of 7 people is fantastic.  It's 90 minutes with no intermission, and it flies by.  It's the story of a guy and girl who are on a first date.  The other people are their friends, the waiter and their ex's that pop up often to give their opinions and "wisdom" on how things are going.  The songs are catchy.  It's rather crass at times (think: Rent), but not overly so.  And Zac is absolutely, perfectly cast.  He shines in this role.  Not only his voice, but his comic timing makes the show.  He had to stop several times and wait for the audience to stop laughing so loudly that they were drowning out his lines and applauding his small quirky movements and perfectly timed quips.  He definitely makes the show.  

After the show, we zipped outside because I had heard that he would give autographs and maybe photos to the people who waited at the stage door.  The rest of cast slowly trickled out and signed a few autographs before disappearing into the beautiful New York City evening.  

Then some mysterious speakers began to play music and out the door with a happy "Hi, guys!" appeared Zac.  He immediately began signing autographs as all 100+ of us, crammed into the gated off, stage door area were excitedly waving playbills and happy faces at him.  "Did you guys like the show?"  he asked, to which we all enthusiastically answered "yes!"  "Aw, thanks.  Be sure to tell your friends.  Tweet it.  Instagram it.  Let everyone know, would you, please?" 

He was so kind.  So generous with his time.  He said after a few minutes, "just pass your stuff up for me to sign.  I'll sign it and send it back (ps...his fans are all so nice.  Everyone was offering to pass things forward and make sure it got back to the right person.).  Everyone gets a picture if you're patient.  I'll stand here and you can come up."  To which we said a collective, heartfelt thank you and he responded with a genuine "you're welcome" like it was no big deal for him to take 2 hours to sign things and take photos with perfect strangers.  

I watched him make small talk with handfuls of people as he walked along the ropes signing thing after thing.  He looked at them in the eyes.  He acknowledged them. He laughed and smiled and listened.  Over and over I heard him say "thank you.  thank you for coming."  Genuine.  

He finished signing and then began taking photos.  

Zac has said multiple times in various places (like his own Twitter feed) that he loves Jesus.  After meeting him in person, I must say that his compassion and kindness toward people shines Jesus so brightly.  It was inspiring.  Sounds silly, but when you see someone love others (especially strangers!) well, it makes you want to do the same. 

So, thank you Zac for giving your time.  Thank you for being so kind.  Those of us who were on the receiving end of your kindness saw how Jesus' influence in your life has impacted the way you treat others.     

***Zac's shirt is from his company The Nerd Machine.  They just raised over $200,000 for Operation Smile through Nerd HQ at Comic Con in July.  You can watch all the Conversations for a Cause (which are crazy fun) for free here.  

1 comment:

leslie.kidd said...

OH MY GOODNESS! So jealous! Sounds like so much fun and he sounds amazing! How cool that you got to meet him ... I was hoping for a love at first sight at the end there! ;)