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Last week, I posted the beginning of the first entry in my FanScene series, where people like you and me discuss the show we are most passionate about. Here is the second part of two of my interview with my buddy Tyler, who is one of FOLLIES' biggest fans. What does he think of the show's understudies? How did he meet one of his best friends? And just what does a college guy do in order to afford seeing a Broadway show over 30 times before it closes?
JEFF: What is your favorite scene of FOLLIES? Do you find that it changes from time to time?
TYLER: Oh my God, I couldn’t pick. I love the poignancy of “Beautiful Girls” – watching these former Follies showgirls come down those stairs just one last time, reliving their youth and glamour; “Who’s That Woman” is a show-stopping number: who doesn’t want to see their favorite divas tap dance while Terri White belts to the rafters? “In Buddy’s Eyes” is such a gorgeous song, heartbreaking and devastating; “I’m Still Here” is this triumphant tour-de-force; the entire "Loveland" sequence, which is brilliant scene after brilliant scene. [But] if I had to pick one scene, it would have to the final scene, as everyone is leaving the party.
JEFF: Which understudies for which actors have you seen? How are they?
TYLER: I have not seen many understudies, compared to other shows. I have seen the understudies for Young Ben and Young Buddy, and their understudies were terrific. My favorite understudy was Florence Lacey, who took over for Elaine Paige in the role of Carlotta for 9 performances while Paige went over seas to perform a concert. I love Elaine Paige as Carlotta, but seeing Flo Lacey as Carlotta was a dream come true. I am a huge fan of Lacey, who I find to be totally underrated - she is a fantastic performer. I saw two of her performances and it was stunning. I am not apt to compare their performances, but Lacey was terrific. The song fit her like a glove.
JEFF: OK, enough about the show for now. As a true fan of a show, talk to other such fans. Have you been seeing other FOLLIES fans regularly? Have you made some fan-friends through this experience?
TYLER: I met one of my best friends because of FOLLIES – the official FOLLIES Twitter account re-tweeted one of my tweets, and she responded, and we hit it off. We have seen FOLLIES together at least 10 times, and since she isn’t from the area, she stays with me when she comes into town. We’ve had lots of fun times together, and I have appointed myself her son’s godfather.
JEFF: You are a college student in NYC. Clearly, budget has to be a consideration. What have you had to give up in order to see your favorite show?
TYLER: I skip meals for FOLLIES.
JEFF: What tips do you have for people who want to see their favorite show several times? Ticket discounts, etc.?
TYLER: Take advantage of EVERY discount, budget as much as you can, enlist help from friends for rushing, be persistent – I find if you are a persistent enough (without being pushy) you can usually figure some way out to see your favorite show.
JEFF: Over the years, my favorite shows have come and gone. When they close - my really favorite shows - I mourn their closing like the death of a friend. As the end of the run draws near, how are you feeling?
TYLER: Bittersweet. It has been quite the experience and I am so thrilled that I had this time with the show, but it’s time to start saying goodbye. It will be hard, but “we must move on” as Elaine Paige ad libs as she leaves the party.
JEFF: Will you be in the audience on January 22nd?
TYLER: Do you even have to ask? I’ve had my ticket since September!
JEFF: So… are you going to L.A.?
TYLER: Oh, L.A.. I’ll let you know…
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