After "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," a significant crowd waited at the stage door, primarily for two of the leads, Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker (from the sound of it anyway :)). The crowd bias was so evident that some of the supporting cast members (who I would have loved to personally thank) just skipped the crowd altogether and walked quickly off without anyone noticing, clearly thinking that no one would be interested in them. In fact the woman next to me, who had been at the play, dismissed Emily Bergl (who played Mae, Maggie's sister-in-law) as "no one," and then misidentified the great Debra Monk (Big Mama) as having played Mae. The confused woman even remarked that Debra Monk should have played Big Mama since she was a bigger woman and the character of Big Mama called for a heftier build. Yeesh. And she dismissed each of them haughtily as not really worthy of her attention because Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker had not yet emerged. We all have our favorites of course, and sometimes it's not always easy to recognize the actors off stage, but it's always frustrating to me when the supporting cast is spoken of as "nobody," despite the hard work they just did for us.
Debra Monk emerged to applause, signed and took photos and graciously spoke with everyone who spoke with her. She went down both sides of the crowd and took her time. Ciarán Hinds, Big Daddy, also received exit applause and likewise took his time, signing and chatting and posing for photos.
I have now been at two stage doors (and have the below matched set of photos) from which Scarlett Johansson shot as if from a cannon, with hat/hood, quickly signing a random few Playbills and posters, and jumping into the waiting car. She was out and gone in a flash, and signed for a few at least; but did not speak or really engage with anyone. I was only a few feet from her face in a flurry of waving Playbills, posters, etc. and I can say with confidence that she is stunning :).
Benjamin Walker tried to skip the (greatly thinned out) stage door waiters by shooting out another door down the block into another waiting SUV. He was spotted by some young women anxious for his attention and did pose for some photos as others rushed down to see if they could catch him. For whatever reason, he didn't stay around to get to the small group waiting for him, and there were some disappointed folks. I couldn't help but think of the contrast with what happened after "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" when he walked out the stage door on his own, no waiting car, and stopped to sign for anyone who asked him. I'm guessing that the issue this time might have been that it was a Sunday performance that would have marked the beginning of his "weekend" and he may have had a plane to catch, or just somewhere to be. That's what keeps the stage door interesting...you never know exactly what will happen :). Unless of course it's Scarlett Johansson...she's pretty predictable apparently :).
I will also say that the "sign by" that SJ does is preferable (whether you're a lucky recipient of her signature or not) to Katie Holmes' decision after "Dead Accounts" to stand a few feet away from the relatively small crowd of fans, and sign a stack of Playbills collected by the stage door manager to distribute back to their owners, without ever looking up, greeting or otherwise acknowledging those waiting. I think folks were happy she signed, but perplexed that she couldn't at least look up and say hello while she was standing there. In contrast, Norbert Leo Butz and Jayne Houdyshell (the true stars of the show) definitely took time for each person waiting.
p.s. Judy Greer, the other well-known actor in "Dead Accounts" didn't stop at all; it was my birthday, so she must have been rushing off to get me that gift she clearly forgot :).
Stage Door Tales
Every stage door has a story.