Monday, March 11, 2013

And I Liked Cats!

UntitledSome time back in the 80s SNL did a sketch that was a parody of a commercial for a Broadway show. I believe it includes the line, "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats! I'd see it again and again." Well, that sketch was based on, as far as I can deduce, two separate commercials. One had several people talking and they actually said the things in the sketch but weren't all spoken by one person. The other one was a straight shot of a fabulous older lady (think the Where's the Beef? lady but more New York) coming out of a showing of the revival of Grand Hotel (RIP Michael Jeter) and saying that it was so good she'd see it twice more. Twice more! She was very specific.

The phrase, "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!" is now used by a lot of people to describe things they love, especially theatreish things. Since I had recently moved to NYC when the commercial aired and was never a loyal SNL watcher I was hoping that, with the help of crowd sourcing, I could find it on You Tube or something as a funny tag to my post about our first Listen To Your Mother rehearsal. It turns out that almost everyone I know knows what I'm talking about but the internet will not cough up the original commercial so you're not getting a very funny old video today, sorry.

You will get at least that level of excitement, though.

I was really glad that the first rehearsal for LTYM was so close to the casting announcement. It felt like keeping up some kind of momentum after the anxiety of auditioning and the thrill of getting the phone call. Whittled down from around 80 hopefuls we are now a group of just over 20. What a group it is, too.

This one woman does her piece like....wait, I don't want to give that away.

OK, I was sitting next to a woman who wrote about taking her ki.....nope, that's too spoilery, too.

There was a funny one, though, where the one know what?  No. I can't.

Untitled What we did yesterday was sit in a big circle and introduce ourselves without saying anything about the piece we'd been chosen to read. Then we read our stories in the tentative order arranged by Amy. She didn't want us to give anything away because she wanted each story to be fresh for the room as it will be for our public audience. It was such a profound experience to never know what sort of door each voice was going to open that I want that for all of you, too.

On the other hand I want to say something to entice you to come, don't I? The best way I can say it without giving away the milk for free is to talk about style. It's not a huge group of people but there were such a wide variety of styles in that small, nervous room I was amazed. Styles of dress, of speaking, of writing, of interacting, of creating families, of owning space in the world. It feels really lucky to have a seat in that circle and maybe like it's a lot to live up to. I can do it but I'm going to need to bring my A game to honor the bravery of this collection of human beings, for sure.

The other thing that I want to tell you is that we're not in the theatre I thought we were in. Last year the performance was in a lecture hall that seats about 250 people and they sold out before they even had a chance to encourage people to come. I'm pretty sure I only got a ticket because when they had a few cancellations closer to the performance date I was buying a single ticket. After that experience I was somewhat shy about encouraging my people to come because I figured the other readers had family in town or kids who would want to hear about themselves or mothers to honor and I'd be ok giving up that space. However, in hopes of having enough room for everyone who wants to come this year the LTYM-NYC production team decided to move to the big time, the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, which seats over 700 people.

Which is to say, there will be room for you. I hope you'll come because this show? I've seen it and, I tell you, I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!

The New York City Listen To Your Mother Show is happening on May 12, 2013 at 5pm at Symphony Space. Ticket and venue information can be found here. I hope to see you there! If you aren't close to this show please check this site to see if there is a LTYM show near you.


  1. I am so in awe of you and I'm inspired by you. You are an amazing addition to our show!

  2. Get it girl. I'm so excited for your experience!!!

  3. So excited to be doing this with you Kizz! You describe it all perfectly. Without giving too much away, yes, it IS better than Cats.

  4. You summed up yesterday's rehearsal perfectly, and your reading was amazing. I'm so looking forward to 5/12. If I don't pass out.

  5. Thanks, Holly!

    And I for yours, Misti.

    Amy, it really is isn't?

    Thanks so much, Kim. I still have to swallow hard when I think about your story. If you pass out I'm sure one of us will catch you.

  6. We road-hounds used to use that same quote to much amusement. I recall seeing an inscription on somebody's roadbox on the "Les Mis" tour, where it said:

    "I laughed, I cried, it was [strikeout]better[strikeout]longer than 'Cats'"

    And more you don't want to know about and blessedly I can't remember.