Friday, September 02, 2005

From Chicago to Philadelphia

This is the same review and encounter story from EhleNews mentioned a couple of posts below. Thanks to Pinky for allowing it to be posted in full for the benefit of non-EhleNewsers. Not in blockquotes because of the length.

"This my Ehlenews friends is a faithful account of my dealings with the play called The Philadelphia Story (ha ha ha....I just thought I'd use that line for the opening sentence).

Some friends of mine and some of my family think me crazy for moving my holiday to London forward to the last week of August (instead of the planned Oct) in order to see Jennifer Ehle as Tracy Lord. They even thought it more crazy since I live in Chicago.........a thousand miles across the pond.......but hey it was worth it!!!!!!!!

A few months ago when they announced that they were selling tickets I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to get tickets for the show because initially they were only selling tickets until sometime in June when Kevin Spacey was scheduled to shoot Superman and for dates beyond Aug 22 they were only selling tickets to "Friends of the Old Vic members". I followed Evelyn's suggestion (thanks Evelyn) to call the box office. I did and have been calling every week until they released tickets to the public. When I spoke with the person at the box office he explained that Mr. Spacey will be out of the production at certain dates (I've forgotten which dates) so I said "that's ok I really wanted to see Jennifer Ehle in it actually". He replied "oh.....she's just so lovely, just lovely. You'll enjoy the play because she's brilliant!" So there it was my ticket for the play was booked! Soon follows a period of much excited anticipation for the trip.

The day of the play arrives.....August 27, 2005 2:30 matinee show. I arrive at the theatre 30 minutes before the show starts and immediately I get my programme and proceed to my seat. I was surprised that my seat was in row D center! 4 rows away from the stage and right smack in the middle. As I sat down I remarked " I didn't realize I got such good seats!" The lady right beside me heard my comment and said "I know we got a real close view don't we?" She asks me if I just bought my ticket and I told her my story....that I came to see it for Jen. It turns out that she was watching the play with her husband and 2 daughters and they came from Kent and wanted to see the show because they love Jen as Lizzie. Infact we both found out that we saw P and P again the weekend before to psyche ourself out for TPS. More P and P stories and recollections were exchanged. It was so much fun conversing with other Ehle fans!

The play starts.....I was mesmerized and glued to my seat! Watching every gesture and listening to her every word. She is so graceful and luminous on stage that you really understand why these men view her as a goddess. I was pleasantly surprised that she had good comedic tiiming. The audience responded to her witty remarks really well and she got good laughs! Kevin Spacey was really good as CK Dexter Haven. I even thought he was adlibbing some lines and actions that it would make Jen smile before she can give her line (specially when Dex was proposing to her). Julia Mckenzie (the mom) was also good and funny and Nicholas LeProvost was hilarious as uncle Willy. I agree though that some of the plot themes were dated and some of the Jen's outfit made her look "frumpy" (don't kill me I'll explain later). I did like her pants attire however more than the dresses. The production was very enjoyable! As the play ended, I had this feeling that I wanted to see it again but alas had to leave ......I said goodby to the nice family sitting beside me. As I did that the mom says to me "there's a new P and P movie but Jen will always be the Lizzie for me and now she's also Tracy Lord!" I smile and again bid farewell.

As I took the side exit out of the theatre I was surprised to be by the stage door and Kevin Spacey just steps out to sign some autographs. There were only about 10 people at the door. I've read in previous reviews that Jen doesn't come out after matinees because she takes a nap so I didn't have my hopes up. I said "at least I can have my programme signed by Kevin S." He was sweet. I said "Mr. Spacey would you sign my programme?" and he said " sure sweetheart :)". As he was signing and people were crowding him, some of the other cast members slip out of the stage door. I think they were going out to dinner before the next show. If you have seen the stage door at the Old Vic, it's a glass door so you could see the cast coming down the stairs. I was going to turn and walk back to the tube station when I saw Jen coming down the stairs. I couldn't believe it she's coming out! She quietly slipped out of the door and a lot of people didn't notice her but I stepped right in front of her and showed her my programme as I said " Ms. Ehle please?! please?!" She was right in front of me! No make up, so stunning! blonde short hair, very very creamy complexion with rosy cheeks. Though she's American she looked like an English rose. She smiles at me and says "Oh sure!" After that it was all a blur.......I know i said something to her but I can't remember what! I was star struck! I just heard her say "I'm glad you enjoyed the show" I said a lot of thank yous after that and she quietly slipped accross the street and walked away. The other people didn't even notice her (they were still busy with Kevin S.) and I was the only one who got her autograph. As she walked away I just realised that my gosh, she's so slim! Those costumes make her look so frumpy when she's soooo slim! What clothes can do!!!!!!! So that was it......I happily skipped back to the Waterloo tube station to meet up with my friends across the river.....I was giddy........It was the highlight of my trip! :)


There's also a short but enthusiastic new review on WhatsOnStage, and a teeny tiny one from Google Groups.

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