In the past, we had been to a couple stage doors when there was the chance of meeting someone like Idina Menzel but didn’t make a habit of it. When the original cast of Hamilton became famous we started going to the stage door to try to meet them. We now make it a regular part of our night.
The Hamilton Stage Door: the crowd stretched across most of the city block, poured into and across the street
Twice in one week we managed to meet Lin Manual Miranda. This was when the barricades were up and the crowds filled the sidewalks and the streets before he had to stop coming out for safety concerns. How did we do it? We went to the Hamilton stage door on nights we saw another, shorter show so we could be up front (tip 1). One night, no one had come out for quite some time so I convinced this great group of teens to start singing the show. Low and behold on the line, “If you stand for nothing Burr, what will you fall for” Lin flings open the stage door saying the line and tells us he was waiting for his part. At that moment, I basically turned back into a teen girl swooning over her heartthrob! He later tweeted about it which made it even more amazing. When we came home with our poster full of signatures our kids thought we were nuts!
Our next NYC trip was with the kids, who waited at the Hamilton stage door every single night this time holding the piano music book to get signed (I guess they decided we weren't that crazy after all). They also were elated to meet the kids of School or Rock and Alex Brightman who talked to them about theatre after they say that show.
Tony-nominee Alex Brightman from School of Rock
A year passes and our oldest is now following all the Broadway stars on Twitter, has followed in her mom’s swooning footsteps and is determined to meet Ben Platt at the stage door! She has done her research and knows he only comes out on Sundays (tip two: look on line for this type of info). She plans her Sunday matinee show time so it ends well before Dear Evan Hansen and is front in line. Her dreams come true and he is out there, signing her playbill and getting photos. Despite being on voice restriction he spends a bit of time talking to everyone as well. This is a moment she will never forget!
Tony-winner Ben Platt was generous with his time and interacted with the crowd, even with his voice restrictions
The rest of the DEH cast is awesome as well. Our little girls hadn’t seen the show but caught the eye of Michael Park who informed them they took all the cute pills available and recognized them the next day. Our littlest gave a fairy book to Rachael Bay Jones because she thought she looked like her. Rachael told her she used to read them to her daughter and loved that she was thinking of her.
This was a special moment for our little one when Rachel took the time to thank her for her gift.
The Come From Away cast is another great group to meet. We have met the writer, some of the cast and our favorite, Jenn Colella, who also took the time to chat with my girls about the show. We laughed when she got on her razor scooter and left down the street. These are simple gestures that mean a lot to a kid (and their mom).
Tony-nominee Jenn Colella, just before leaving the theatre on her Razor scooter
As the stars get more famous, and as big names continue to star in shows, stage dooring is becoming extremely popular. You can often hear the roar of a crowd a couple blocks away when someone comes out. This was especially true when Brendon Urie was in Kinky Boots and the teen girls were out in droves! David Hyde Pierce also made a habit of appearing at Hello Dolly, and although the crowd was much older, they were still enthusiastic as well.
We now make it a habit of buying a poster and going out to most stage doors to see who we can meet. It's also a great time to spot stars who have been to the show and are heading in for a meet and greet with the cast. It makes an awesome night at the theatre even more personal! When we meet anyone we count it as a bonus because these actors have gone above and beyond to make their fans’ night.