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September 25th & October 3rd '04 - The Tansley Era Begins

The era begins...
Brooke Tansley is Belle on Broadway!

New cast members usually mean another bus ride into the city to make certain that our show is in good hands.  In the case of the newest member to the B&B turned out to be just the greatest something extra. =)  A very kind, lovely actress named Brooke Tansley.

October 3rd 2004
With our respected favorite men =), Megan with the picture of Grant Norman, myself with Peter Flynn.

Members of the party: yours truly, just me (Sept 25th); alongside me, new friend Megan, whom you will remember from the Sept. 12th experience =)  (Oct 3rd)

Normally if there were any "milestones", they would be listed here, but this tale is better told in story form only. =)
Crucial Background, Pre-Sept. 25th.
The first edition debut of Quick News & Notes brought forth a simple Fan Haven welcome to Brooke and Peter Flynn (Lumiere).  Nothing spectacular, just a few words to say hello to our new cast members.  Nothing, however prepared me for what it would bring later on.
The morning or so after it's published to the web, I receive a guest book notification, and as usual go to check it out.  It is signed...Brooke Tansley...
Now no one who had known about the Haven at the time would EVER joke about something like that.  They'd know that the very next thing I would do is go into NYC, and verify it...which is exactly what I did. 
September 25th
Using the almighty discount, I managed to get a seat in row D the night of September 25th, not only ready to see Brooke's performance, but also, awaiting to verify if this signature was valid or not.  Figured I would either look like the biggest dork on the face of the earth for falling for a cruel trick OR the happiest dork in discovery that someone from the show noticed my little space on the web.
I am today...the happiest dork.  See the guestbook for the very valid entry written by Brooke Tansley =) 
Most memorable moment of Sept 25th:  Brooke herself!
I am proud to say that I have met this woman.  In one of her big roles on Broadway, Brooke has certainly been impressive!  Belle is, IMHO, certainly NOT the easiest role to pull off convincingly; there is a lot riding on the actress' shoulders as many young ones and fans alike have their expectations of the character.  Brooke takes on this burden like a pro!  She's got all the talent and attitude that Belle requires and more.
Stage Door Report:
Even at the stage door, she is most gracious and caring.  Children seem to have a sixth sense about people, feeling good and bad vibes and reacting accordingly.  All of them flock to Brooke in an instant, even after a little shyness here and there.
I've never felt more comfortable and welcome around a performer before.  At that crucial moment of truth (ha! =)), I handed her a printed copy of the guestbook entry, asking her to sign it and await the reaction.  Realizing what it was... "Oh my God, that is you? Wow!"  After a few more minutes of talking about the Haven, the show, and general things, I promised to write the next time I was coming in, jokingly bargaining that I would come say hi if she held the elusive Pam Klinger for me.  She agreed, but my habitual instincts never let me hope for the best.  I'm half optimist and half pessimist by unfortunate nature.  Then came Oct. 3rd...
Photo from that night will be inserted here; waiting for it from friends of mine that I ran into that night.  Thank you, Epa and Sam!

The Week preceding October 3rd
In semi-last minute, hasty fashion, Megan and I planned to meet to see B&B for the first time together as official best pals =)  (BTW, we had such an awesome time that we actually have tickets again for next Saturday night =))  As per my word, I overnighted a letter to Brooke when we would be returning, thanking her again in case we missed her, and reminded her of our deal =).
October 3rd
Megan and I met at the theater this morning at 10:30; mean old Lincoln Tunnel traffic caused me to be a half hour late from the planned 10:00!  After getting some Starbucks (NYC residents and visitors alike know there's one on every corner!) and Megan buying "the blazer!" (LOL) from GAP, we figured we'd at least try to see if we could get better seats than our Row Y tickets allowed.  Thankfully there were closer seats available, thus we ended in Row L instead =)  That being done we bought some flowers (just a thank you to our favorite performers), got a quick lunch (YEA TGIFridays! =)), and headed to the theater around 1 for the 2:00 matinee.
As usual the show was incredible.  It's a lot of fun to have someone to whisper all the best lines, laugh, and enjoy it with!
Most memorable moment of Oct. 3rd:  The public opinion.
We had an adorable little girl behind us seeing the show with her family.  During the EVER SO CLASSIC Lumiere and Babette moment at Belle's door before Be Our Guest, Lumiere, as normal, holds his woman close and kisses down her arm.  Well, did our friend behind us have to voice her opinion with a loud resounding, "Ewwwwwwwww!!"  It was bad enough Megan and I were laughing as hard as we were, our friend just made it even funnier!
Stage Door Report:
Brooke came out after a short time, and being the courteous ones we are, we let the children go first.  Heck, we saw the show 15 times that day; we could wait =)
Suddenly, she called, as Megan recalls, "Faith! FAITH! Where are you!?!? Where is Faith...??"  I answered and she smiled saying, "Don't move...she's going to meet me down here in a few minutes."
Dear God, she remembered!  And on top of that pulled through!
And THIS was the day, my friends, that the elusive Pam Klinger was caught! =)  I was actually getting very nervous (something I haven't done in a long time) as Megan and I waited for both Brooke and Pam to finish with the younger kids.  But finally, Brooke took my hand and dragged me over, and I came face to face with a woman I had wanted to meet for soooooo long.
Pam is the one of the sweetest people I have ever met (and NO that is NOT the Babette Loyalist coming out of me =))  I totally regret not meeting her before, but as she explained, evening shows that I normally attend are the worst time to catch her.  Not all transportation runs late in NY.  Matinees are a better time to say hello =)  She is very fun to talk to as well. 
Humorous conversational moment:
Me: "Don't ask me why Babette is my favorite, I have NO idea!  But got the site to prove it."
Pam: "Yeah she (Brooke) had mentioned it."
Me: "Could give you the address."  (Was this a plug? I am not too proud to admit definitely!)
Pam: (in a very quiet tone that made me feel like I crossed a line I shouldn't have, I felt much better when she said) " be really honest........I'm computer illiterate."
We offered to help with anything she needed to know on that note =)
After such a glorious moment in the history of the Haven and my B&B fandom life, we talked with Peter Flynn (again =)).  The man is still a total sweetheart!, and had a rare meeting with Jeff Brooks, long running and VERY hysterical Cogsworth!  (Hey, Megan, "If it's not baroque, don't fix it!" LOL)  We didn't get to see Steve Blanchard or Grant Norman (Beast and Gaston), but we DID make sure they got their flowers, and are determined to catch them on Saturday at the evening show to make up for today =)

Needless to say, we had an incredible day, and I am most definitely looking forward to our NYC trip/B&B "Sweet 16" next Saturday!  Till then, this is Faith, thanking God for a great start to the "Tansley Era", and signing out!

Photo Moments of October 3rd:

Visual inside Lumiere/Babette joke of my brother and I, based on the "Virginia Is For Lovers" ad above the Lunt-Fontanne.
Peter Flynn....sort of. =)  Testing the digital out on a great picture =)
Myself, Brooke, and Pam......a moment to save for eternity!!
Once again, the real deal, myself with Peter, as usual making me laugh so I come out looking dorky in the picture =)
Hey it's Jeff!  Long time no see, me beside Jeff Brooks

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