I LOVED "Stick Fly," and was thrilled to have been there on an evening when Alicia Keys (producer and composer of scene transition music for the play) was there and did a talkback with the cast right after the show. It was just great to hear them discuss the evolution of the production and why they wanted to be involved. I chose to see this play, in part, because it starred Dule Hill, of whom I've been a fan since "The West Wing." So I knew I wanted to go to the stage door afterwards so that I could meet him, at least.
My first hint that this stage door might be a challenge was when I emerged from the theater into a pack of paparazzi waiting for Alicia Keys. Clearly I was going to have to brave the Alicia Keys fan-contingent before I could get to the actual actors from the show. Sure enough, half of the crowd had not even seen the play, but knew Alicia would be there and had come to do one or more of several things I heard mentioned; e.g., get a photo, touch her, get an autograph, convince her to kiss them, propose to her, change her life by telling her the vaguely stalker-ish level of adoration they have for her and her music, or just bask in her presence on the sidewalk. I had the great misfortune of being wedged next to a not-so-petite fan who carried on a very loud and uncomfortably revealing, mostly one-sided conversation with her friend in my ear for 45 minutes about her obsession with Ms. Keys, sprinkled with apparently rhetorical questions like "what's this show about anyway??"...a particular form of torture for me! But this was an incredible play, and I wanted to tell those actors how much I appreciated their hard work, so I was going to have to tough it out.
And emerge Alicia Keys finally did. She is quite beautiful in person and incredibly sweet, composed and gracious. She signed Playbills, took photos with fans and smiled serenely throughout. I was really impressed (and yes, somehow she did sign my Playbill). Once she left, the majority of the crowd dispersed; leaving us lowly play-goers to our sad, little quest to talk to the folks that had actually been in the play! Each one of the actors was appreciative and patient; taking photos and chatting with fans, and it was worth every minute of uncomfortableness...:)
Stage Door Tales
Every stage door has a story.