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September 1st, 2004

baby
We are back on the bus to New Jersey again. We just got out of Boy From Oz. I really do wish the bus to the suburbs ran later around here, I would love to get a drink or two.

The musical is about the life of Peter Allen, the Australian singer... friend of Judy and first husband to Liza (with a Z). The show opens with Hugh Jackman, as Peter Allen, sitting at a piano center stage. He begins the story of Allen's life as a boy in the Outback. The kid who plays young Peter really is a dynamo... Clearly stealing his scenes (so much for never acting with kids and animals). As Peter gets older he is eventually "discovered" by Judy Garland during his faux-Allen Brothers act in Hong Kong. He soon moves to New York where he becomes her opening act. Of course he meets Liza, and they are soon married. This is all working our perfectly, except for one thing... Peter Allen was gay, and that typically isn't a desired quality when married to a woman. Turns out Peter and Liza are great friends, best buddies, but not husband and wife material.

By this point in the show, and in Allen's real life, Judy was dead, so he
had now show to be opening act for. His wife has now left him, his onstage partner (the other half of the Allen Brothers) has departed, and Allen is ready to give up and move back home to his mother in Australia. But thanks to a good stiff talking from here, and a fun little song and dance number, Allen returns to New York and starts his career over.

Now he has a new manager, and soon has a handsome new boyfriend, who thankfully encourages Allen to come out. When his manager is told that a venue doesn't want to book Allen because he seems a little too faggy, the manager screams into the phone "that's because he is a fag! He's good and everyone loves him... that's what my wife tells me! So book him or I'll break your legs! Yeah, both of them!" He then proceeds to bang the phone on the desk for a minute. Geez... We could all use managers like that.

Peter and Greg are together for a while as Peter's star begins to soar. The Greg gets sick. AIDS. And the Greg is gone, and Peter tries to continue. He tries to do a Broadway show about the gangster Legs Diamonds, but it flops. Then he goes back on tour after some song and dance encouragement from ex-wife Liza. He was a fantastic late show number in Sydney The entire audience gave Hugh a standing ovation for that one... Though I think they all just thought it was the show's last number, though in truth it was just Peter Allen's last. The show goes on for one big post-death glitzy extravaganza, bringing back all the people, both living and dead to sing together one more time.

And that is my understanding of Peter Allen’s life. Ok, maybe it glossed over a lot of facts, but the dancing was nice!

In truth, while everyone in the cast is fun, the show really wouldn’t last without Jackman. That’s why the show is closing in September when Jackman leaves.

Jackman really was the draw for us. I think he’s a pretty hot looking guy, so this chance to see him in person, especially playing a gay man on stage, was not to be passed up. He looks good in tight pants, and a couple of times with his shirt open or entirely off. Technically, he is nude on stage at one point, but sadly chorus boys shield his privates from everyone except for the lady in the front row who has been to the show 53 times and has found the perfect seat to see his penis.

All through out the show, Jackman, as Allen, interacts with the audience. He jokes and teases all the ladies (and men!). At the beginning of the seconded act, he starts talking with Dave and is wife Judy, a couple sitting in the front row. Turns out that Dave and Judy have been together 43 years. Jackman, as Allen, asks Dave what his secret is for their long marriage. Dave’s reply was “Never fall asleep afterwards!” This causes Jackman to curl up laughing on the stage. Very funny.

We're of to see the Witches...


Big surprise, I slept in again this morning. Now we are back on the bus
heading into New York City. Today is the day that we'll see Wicked, at the
2pm matinee. I'm very much looking forward to this.

This is our last bus journey into the city for this trip. The last time
we'll pass Alfred S Faust Intermediate School (what kind of faustian deals
are they making there???), the last time we'll pass New Town Liquers (less
than a block from Faust, I suspect a connection), the last time was pass
Candlewyck Diner with its constant flow of elderly patrons passing through
the doors. This is the last time we'll see the Manhatten skyline from the
New Jersey side, at least while we are aproaching the city. Sure, we may do
this all again some time in the future, but for now I say a silent goodbye
to these places.

Ok... So, tomorrow we are on the 9am train to Boston. I'm really looking
forward to seeing many of our WorldCon friends. I'm also looking forward to
actually staying in the city and not being limited by busses out to the
subburbs.