I wanted to share what the opening night experience was like.
So we get to the Canon and were told to go to the entrance on Victoria St. because the Yonge St. entrance is blocked and full of cameras because of Sir Elton! So that’s all fine, we get our seats, visit with friends, and wait for the show to start. We were row S in the orchestra and just before the show starts a parade of suits come walking in and people start clapping and standing, and sure enough it’s Elton John walking to his seat! He of course is with David Mirvish and other important people and they sit in the prime seats at about C or D.
The first act goes by and it’s bloody brilliant and the closing number of the act I was so moving I was speechless. There were points that the show stopped and we gave a standing O right then! That seems like it only happens in New York for people like Patti Lupone or Bernadette, and here we are standing for this incredible 14 year old kid who literally carries the entire show! Granted it was opening night and full of friends and family. That may not happen with a regular audience but I damn sure hope it does. Those kids deserve it.
We didn’t leave our seats during intermission because it was so packed and we figured Elton wouldn’t be out in the lobby with the ‘common folk’ anyway. It was funny, two ladies behind us were chatting to the woman beside them telling her that they got their tickets by accident. They were outside just waiting to get a photo and autograph from Elton and some random guy comes up at says he needs to get rid of two tickets and do they want them! Amazing! They feel bad because they’re in jeans and the one lady was worried about her dog at home, but man, to get free tickets unexpectedly must have been pretty awesome!
The end of the show was fabulous, they got all 4 Billys to come up to do a dance together during the curtain call to welcome them all on the stage. Everyone in the cast is in tutus. Then Sir Elton comes on stage in an tutu to bow with the company!!! It was wild.
Afterwards, our inside posse sneak us on one of the buses that’s going down to the Westin hotel for the after party so we didn’t have to cab it. We get on and realize we’re on the bus with most of the cast. I’m sitting amidst Billy’s family and two seats away from the kid himself. I, of course, am in awe and starstruck over this 14 year old who looks like he’s having the time of his life. I wonder if all the kids get how crazy this is? It was a school bus and I felt like we were going on a school trip with all the kids on board then a bunch at the back starting singing 99 Bottles of Beer. It was quite funny. We got off the bus and I finally had the courage to tell the Billy how wonderful he was. He was all “Thank you very much!” with a brilliant smile, something I could tell he knew he was going to be saying a lot that night.
So we get to the party and its wild and lavish and free food and drinks all around, little salad and seafood sandwiches with no crusts, a full dessert bar complete with chocolate fountains and a make your own sundae section where I saw most of the kids that night. Roast beef that melts in your mouth and fish and chips classed up in a little glass to look like a delicacy!
I heard Sir Elton was there but it was so packed I didn’t even see him. So no meeting of the celebrity star. Which is fine, what the hell do I have to say to him that hasn’t already been said a bagillion times! I know right now I can hear my mom “Who the hell cares!! Just say it anyway!” My friend who is one of the child handlers in the show introduced us to another Billy who said he gets to do the ‘hangover show’ tomorrow because they had a matinee the next day! Too cute.
I’m realizing right now while thinking of what pictures to post with this entry that we didn’t take any! I think I posed for one flash that I can remember. People just don’t take cameras anywhere anymore! I guess they’re all on people phones now anyway. Mine is too big to fit in my little clutch. And my phone is still a phone, not a multi-functioned toy.
All in all it was a huge success not just for the cast and crew but for Toronto. I think it’s absolutely perfect for us right now. It’s an amazing story with so much heart and the talent of everyone on stage was brilliant. I was proud to see the few Canadians on stage blend effortlessly with the members that have been doing it for a while. Congrats to all involved and I hope it stays a long time. Besides, you have to go see each Billy anyhow, so that’s at least 4 times right there, and then when they recast…