The Ballad of Bebe Neuwirth

As a follow up to my Addams Family and American Idiot reviews, I thought I would say a little about Broadway Stage Doors.

When I visited New York a few years ago I saw four shows – Wicked, Legally Blonde, Hairspray and Rent. At the time we only had Wicked in the UK so it was great to see the other shows. Of course, I stage doored every one of the shows, except for Rent which was very busy because of Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal appearing in the show.

One thing that struck me was how unbelievably lovely everyone was. Broadway stage doors are completely different to how they are over here. Nine times out of ten performers have their own marker pen and stage dooring is very much part of the performance. I even found fans to be a lot calmer, especially at Wicked when I was out there for Julia Murney’s last performance as Elphaba. There was barely any of the hysteria that is often found at Wicked in London. All in all it was very civilised.

Now, the reason for this blog is to tell you guys about the decidedly odd experience I had at the stage door of The Addams Family. I waited for the actors, got a few signatures from those who were willing to sign and very much looked forward to meeting Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane. Much to my surprise, after most of the actors had left, a New York Police Officer walked down the barriers. He was advising people that Bebe does not pose for pictures. ‘Fair enough’, I thought. He then advised everyone not to bother waiting for Nathan Lane as he had already left through another exit. Again… fair enough. It’s easy to understand why some actors feel they need more privacy. When Miss Neuwirth came out, she was escorted by the police officer. I thought this was kind of bizarre as I have seen performers be escorted by a company manager, or even security in the case of Sheridan Smith, but I thought a police officer was a little extreme. Even more extreme when you consider that the average age of those at stage door was about fourteen and there was no more than thirty people there. Anyhow, Bebe was perfectly pleasant in signing autographs but the police officer was very implicit in explaining to people not to attempt to have a picture with her, not to put an arm around her, not to attempt to touch her. Then, she got into her car.

This is where I felt it got VERY odd. The police officer ran into the road, stopped the traffic completely in order to let the car pull out. It wasn’t a particularly busy street and it would have been easy to pull out into the traffic without it being stopped at all. Once the car had departed he allowed the traffic to continue.

I thought this was all very odd on the part of the police officer and not so much on behalf of Miss Neuwirth. What do you guys reckon? Ever seen anything similar? Shoot me a comment and let me know!

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One thought on “The Ballad of Bebe Neuwirth

  1. Hm, that is odd. Perhaps there was an incident prior to the night you were there, that prompted that. I went to see Miss Abigail’s Guide a few months ago when Joyce DeWitt was in it, and there was this guy who I’m pretty sure was stalking her. He mentioned seeing the show several times, said that she was “looking at him during the show” (she have been, but not in a good way), and was prepared to wait for a long time for her to come out after the show. Naturally, she was escorted out by security.

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