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The Plus One Party Report: The Craptacular Speaks at the Public

Y’all. Someone gave us an amplifier!

No, but seriously. We were extremely honored to be invited to speak as a part of the Public Lab Thursday Night Speaker Series on a panel entitled “What Are The Kids Calling It These Days?” after last night’s performance of Love’s Labor’s Lost.  We joined author Jane Berentson and actors Nick Westrate and Michelle Beck on the stage and talked a bit about how young people communicate today.  Below, some highlights:

  • Nick Westrate. I mean, I’m just leading with the boy here. Not even gonna try to hide it. Because his performance in Love’s Labor’s Lost was mesmerizing—honestly, we couldn’t take our eyes off him, even when we were probably supposed to—and he’s real cute, and after last night I totally want to see every show he’s ever in from here on out. I’m even mad at myself for missing stuff he’s done in the past. Also, I have to say it… enormous lady boner for this boy. Really. If you don’t know him already, you have got to get into it. He’s incredible!
  • Karin Coonrod’s athletic, modern production. LLL runs 2 hours and 10 minutes with no intermission and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t walk into the theater more than a little concerned. But by the time the Princess of France and her crew came on the scene in Act II and performed some throwback New Kids on the Block choreography, I knew my fears were all for naught. The show incorporated modern touches without being overwrought and the frequently hilarious, always high energy performances made the time fly.
  • The Panel. It was really fun, you guys! I hope the audience felt like they got something out of it after all our chatter about blogging and the internet (and Hanson) and how without those things, Lucky and I would never be friends, let alone sitting up on that stage last night. It was great to have a chance to talk about how central blogging has become to our lives, and the ways in which we process the world around us.
  • My favorite moment of the panel had nothing to do with us, though.  It was when Nick and Michelle both confessed to reading everything—reviews, blogs, etc.—written about them.  It was awesome! Seriously. Actors always pull this BS about how they never read reviews and I always want to call shenanigans because… What, do you live in a vacuum? Do you have a contract all your friends and acquaintances must sign promising they’ll never even mention reviews, even in passing or in obtuse ways? Do you hire people to turn off all media when you enter a room? Do you have super-human self-control so that once you’ve gotten a whiff of the buzz out there you can keep from consuming every piece ever written? I don’t believe you! Which is why it was so fun to hear Nick and Michelle say otherwise so frankly.
  • Nella Vera—Director of Marketing at the Public and moderator of our panel—revealed the Public’s official policy for internet chatter/commentary on social media. Basically, they never quell the discussion unless it moves into personal attack/bullying territory. How refreshing! The very nature of the internet and social media make it almost impossible to exert control, anyway. But to hear the Public embracing the medium so openly is exciting and hopefully, a sign of things to come in the theater world at large.
  • After the panel we grabbed a quick drink and chatted with Mr. Westrate, who is as charming and hilarious offstage as he is on. He’s also far too self-deprecating for his own good. Not sure what he’s seeing in the mirror, but I choose him over Matt Cavenaugh any day and three times on Saturday. The fact that when we tweeted about him there was instantaneous response last night tells me the man has more fans than he realizes, so, you guys better mobilize and build him an internet shrine ASAP!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jesse North November 4, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Congrats to you both! I loved the talkback and thought your comments were enlightening and important for people to hear. This topic of discussion is definitely one of my favorites. Here’s to more speaking events!


  • Linda November 4, 2011, 12:30 pm

    I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it last night. It sounds like it went really well. If you do more of these, I’ll be at the next one. I’ve seen Nick Westrate in several shows (including this one), and yes, he is wonderful. And yes, so much better than Matt Cavenaugh.

  • Esther November 5, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Like I said on Twitter, I saw Nick Westrate make his Broadway debut as an understudy in A Moon for the Misbegotten with Kevin Spacey and I’ve always remembered him.

    This was my during my first trip to Broadway. I saw the play on Thursday and then again on Sunday. At the Sunday performance, Colm Meany was out, which caused a domino effect that let Nick make his debut. (I later learned that Colm had a previously scheduled appearance at a Star Trek convention.)

    I sat next to some of Nick’s friends from Juilliard and I met him at the stage door. His family and teachers were there. It was so exciting – my first time watching someone make his Broadway debut. Kevin even gave him a little extra moment in the spotlight at the curtain call – he held out his arm and motioned for him to take an extra bow. It was a very gracious gesture.

    I definitely need to see him onstage again soon!

  • Mel November 7, 2011, 11:47 pm

    Awwwwww. I really loved Nick Westrate in Unnatural Acts. I mean, WOW. I wish I could go back and see him in that again.

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