Each time I do a blog entry on things I overhear audiences say at the theater, my friend Amanda texts me and accuses me of embellishing the remarks. Well, Amanda met me at the lobby of the Lyceum the other evening, where I was on intermission patrol, and she overheard the first exchange below. She's no longer a skeptic.
* * *
Man: I really enjoyed the burlesque sketches in the first act. It's too bad television wasn't around then, so some of those things could have been recorded for future audiences.
Woman: Just go to YouTube.
Man: YouTube wasn't around then, either. I guess I'm out of luck.
* * *
Thirteen-Year-Old Girl: Mom, who's Lupe Velez?
Girl: In the play, Chauncey mentioned someone named Lupe Velez.
Mother: Probably some old movie star. Some Latin spitfire.
Girl: Like Sofia Vergara today?
Mother: A little.
Girl: Did Lupe do Pepsi commercials, too?
* * *
Man in Blue Suit: I saw Nathan Lane in his Broadway debut. It was Merlin.He played the queen and Chita Rivera played the prince.
Woman in Black Dress: Don't you mean that he played the prince and Chita played the queen?
Man: Oh, yeah. My bad. The Nance has got my lingo all turned around.
[Ed. Note: Nathan Lane made his Broadway debut in Noel Coward's Present Laughter, directed by and starring George C. Scott. Merlin was Lane's second Broadway show.]
* * *
Tall Woman: Which do you think would be more flattering on me? A caftan or a kimono?
Short Woman: Huh?
Tall Woman: Well, last night we saw I'll Eat You Last, in which Bette Midler wears a caftan. Tonight, I'm seeing The Nance, in which Nathan Lane wears a kimono. I always imagine myself in whatever role I'm watching. So that's why I'm asking: caftan or kimono?
Short Woman: Ask Ann Roth.
Tall Woman: Who?
Short Woman: Ann Roth. She designed the costumes for both shows.
Tall Woman: She's very good at flow, isn't she?
* * *
Long-Haired Woman: I didn't know they had gay people back in 1937.
Bearded Man: Don't be silly. The world has had gay people ever since Seth gave Adam and Eve the world's first grandchildren.
Long-Haired Woman: No, I mean I didn't know that homosexuals were called "gay" back then.
Bearded Man: What did you think they were called?
Long-Haired Woman: Shy.
Bearded Man: You stole that from Lily Tomlin, didn't you?
Long-Haired Woman: Yep.
* * *
First Young Woman: I love Cady Huffman's character.
Second Young Woman: Me, too. I've never thought a stripper could be a Communist.
First Young Woman: Flashing her legs at night, flashing signs for Stalin during the day.
Second Young Woman: If she loved Stalin so much, why didn't she move to Moscow sooner?
First Young Woman: No use Russian into things.
Second Young Woman: Ba-dum-pum.
Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of lemonwade.com