Our Jaded Teenagers

Back in November 1999, I was in New York when Chris Allen and I were producing a staged reading of a new version of the musical Paint Your Wagon. In spite of the terrible film adaptation, it is a very good traditional Lerner and Lowe musical. The script is flawed, but the original 1951 score is great, complete with many large men’s chorus numbers and a handful of beautiful ballads.

While I was there, Nancy brought our kids out for their first trip to NYC.  They were young teenagers at the time, between 10 and 15 years old, and had been to see nearly all of my shows as they were growing up. So the first night they were in town we took them to Times Square which they thought was kind of OK.

Then we went to the stage door of the Minskoff Theatre, where the musical of Saturday Night Fever had recently opened. We were met there by my dear friend Gerry Griffin, who was on the crew for the show. Gerry also happens to be my daughter Emily’s godfather.

Since it was only 7:00pm, Gerry took us right onto the stage.  It was the light-up disco dance floor from the movie. While we were standing on it, Gerry had it flashing its cool lights and explained to the kids how it cost over a million dollars to build and how it needed several hundred electric cables to run it.

As we were standing on the stage looking out at the empty seats in the theater, Gerry said to the kids “you guys are on the stage of a Broadway theater! How cool is that?” The kids just looked around then nonchalantly said “weren’t we going out for pizza tonight?”

Sigh! It’s just another backstage, Dad! We’ve seen a million of them!

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