Originally, I squeezed all my thoughts about The Book of Mormon into two posts. I had more I wanted to say, but thought, “This blog is mainly focused on running. I shouldn’t talk about one musical for any more than two posts. I mean, really.”
Then I realized this blog is very focused on running this year, but it’s about me, my life, and random adventures I have. My life is chock full of musical theater. It’s one of the biggest (the biggest, maybe?) parts of who I am. Therefore, welcome to “The Book of Mormon (The Musical, of Course) part 3.”
(In case you’re wondering, of course I saw the show again in my two weeks in New York, and that is totally going to be a large part of this story.)
The first time I saw The Book of Mormon with Jared in it, I was really surprised by exactly how upset so many people were that they didn’t get to see Josh Gad. A group of people left the standing room line when they found out an standby was in. Where are you going? Since when are we in the Porgy and Bess line and you’re finding out Audra isn’t here?
I’m mean that all in fun – absolutely no disrespect to Josh Gad. Did you see him in that Modern Family episode? Hilarious. I’m excited to watch his upcoming TV show, 1600 Penn. He’s a lead in the most popular musical on Broadway! You go, boy! But people come to this show because of the brilliant writing. It’s not a star driven show – at least, so I thought.
All I heard that day was grumbling – the people who left the standing room line, the people sitting behind me, the people in the lobby.
At least give the standby a chance, y’all!
I didn’t realize quite how rough being a standby must be. Almost everyone I overheard in the theater sounded a little against Jared that night.
I think he won them over. But, I’m sure it’s hard having to win over an audience that’s supposed to be there on your side.
Being around all that meh energy is a good reminder to keep my heart open – not just to theater and understudies, but to other unexpected things in life. (Easy to say. Hard to do. I would’ve thrown an absolute fit if I’d ever gone to see Spelling Bee and Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s understudy had been in.)
I have seen some amazing standby performers, though. You know, Sutton Foster started as an understudy.
I need to take a page out of Jared’s book, and not let others define how I feel. I’ve never once heard him complain about any negative energy coming his way. Maybe he doesn’t feel it. Maybe it propels him forward. Who knows? What I do know is that he adores his job, and always finds the positive in life.
Now that I’ve lamented all about poor, sometimes under appreciated performers, let me negate everything I just said as I talk about being bummed that Jason Michael Snow was out the second time I saw the show (first time I saw Jared)!
Jason Michael Snow is one of my very favorite actors. He is brilliant. When I first saw The Book of Mormon, I was mesmerized by him in the first number. He says “hello.” That’s his big line. He says one simple word in that first song, and I was watching him for the rest of the night. (Yep. He had me at “hello.” 16-year-old joke! Bam!) And I was not alone.
I went with a great friend of mine. We saw the last dress rehearsal (before previews even started).
Yet, at intermission, our first comment wasn’t about the hilarious script (that hadn’t been reviewed, or had jokes leaked or tweeted, or anything yet). It wasn’t about the brilliant leads, or catchy songs (that no one had gotten to hear yet).
The very first thing my friend asked me was if I also loved that guy in the ensemble! YES! That was the first thing I was about to ask him.
Jason Michael Snow never pulls focus, but he makes every line he gets matter. He has incredible facial expressions, and great fully formed characters. He has a quality. He has that “it” thing. I hope I get to see him in a billion shows.
The first thing I did when I got home from The Book of Mormon’s final dress rehearsal was google Jason Michael Snow. Turns out, not only is he an insanely incredible actor, he’s an amazing musical theater writer as well!
This is where I’ll pick up in Part 4.