Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amazing What You Can Learn on Twitter: A Sort of Tribute to Ryan Steele

Like anything else in life, everything has its good points and bad points.  But in the balance of things, for Broadway fans, Twitter is a mostly good thing.  I mean, it's a lot of fun to read what show folk blog about their shows, to their friends in other shows, and about their every day lives.  At first, I'll admit, I was a gleeful voyeur of Broadway's current who's who.  It was like being a hidden camera - especially when they ad pictures to their Tweets.

But then, it was nicer when you realize they are just like everyone else, just with way cooler jobs.  Over the time I've been on Twitter I've been through shows opening and closing, marriages, happy and sad, and a ton of backstage gossip with a few.  And it has been super nice to even chat with some of them and even get to know a select few.

Of course, you also get to see some super weird stuff...there's a Tweeter who Tweets as Aaron Tveit's hair in the Les Miz film!  And speaking of Mr. Tveit, he has some SERIOUSLY stalkerish fans.  No wonder people in pop culture run screaming from social media.  But mostly, I'd have to say Broadway fans are, by and large, respectful and thoughtful.  And many Broadway celebs respond in kind - Alex Wyse, Eric Sciotto, Audra McDonald, Steve Kazee, Max Von Essen, most of the Newsies, and Telly Leung to name a few!

Today, January 20, 2013, has been especially fertile...

  • Newsies' Ryan Breslin is a Falcons fan (sorry, buddy), and Newsies' Julian DeGuzman is a happy 49ers fan.
  • Jake Boyd made his Broadway debut in Rock of Ages this afternoon.  Congratulations!
  • Steve Kazee fell getting out of the shower today.  I assume he's fine, since he continues to Tweet. 
  • There was much love between fans and cast members at the closing show of Peter and the Starcatcher.
  • Fans and participants alike are unanimous in feeling that Not at This Performance at 54 Below was a huge hit, particularly Jay Armstrong Johnson's take on songs from Catch Me If You Can.
  • And over at Bare, Taylor Trensch apparently fell ill between acts, and Alex Wyse started the show as Alan and finished it as Peter.  (I wish I had been there!)

Ryan Steele: From early rehearsal to final performance...

BUT the BIGGEST news by far is that today was Ryan Steele's final performance in Newsies.

My love for Mr. Steele (and Newsies in general) is well known by those of you who read my blog regularly. So I mean absolutely no disrespect to Mr. Steele when I say this: GET A LIFE NEWSIES FANS!  All day long, there has been a steady stream of fan Tweets regarding his departure.  They range from tearful eulogy-like Tweets to pictorial tributes (he is very good to fans, apparently having taken HUNDREDS of post show pics with said fans) to actually ugly Tweets of betrayal.  Looks like some of the "Fansies" have lost touch with reality.  Ryan Steele did NOT die.  He got another job. And, NEWS FLASH: at tomorrow's performance of the show, a NEW actor will play Specs.  Specs didn't die either.

I only bring this up because I can't believe that out of all of his so-called fans (and we all follow each other), NOT ONE Tweeted to wish him well with his new job at Matilda.  Not a single fan.  One did recognize that he was moving on, but Tweeted that she would no longer be attending Newsies because his departure has "ruined the show." And, get this, wouldn't be seeing him in Matilda, either, because she "can't imagine him in any other role."  Really?  Wow.  You are missing out; Ryan is a brilliant dancer no matter the show - you should have seen him in West Side Story...

Sad Newsies

On the other hand, the Tweets from his cast mates and the creative team were moving and entirely appropriate.  They shared memories, some fun pictures, and a ton of best wishes.  You can tell he is loved by everyone at the Nederlander Theatre.  How lucky he is to get to hear/read such nice things!  And what a nice testament to talent, a superior work ethic, and professionalism.  Clearly, the world is a better place because Ryan Steele is in it.  I'm even more glad that he didn't die.

Man, I feel bad for whoever takes over his track tomorrow.


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