McKellen revealed some interesting tidbits about bringing Godot back to the stage: "When we’d suggested doing it, the Theatre Royal management had said, 'Nobody wants to see Waiting for Godot.' As it happened, every single ticket was booked for every single performance, and this confirmation that our judgment was right was sweet."
And about Rees stepping in for Stewart (who can't return to the role of Vladimir aka Didi because of a scheduling conflict): "I did ask Patrick if he was all right about it. He sent an email, saying that if anyone was to replace him, he would have chosen Roger, and there was absolutely no ill feeling at all, and he was going to creep in quietly and see the show."
McKellen's diary got me thinking about the interesting things actors say when you give them a pen. I love reading about a show straight from the horse's mouth. It's why we at Playbill have given actors a similar forum to share their inner thoughts with their audience with our "Day in the Life" feature. In "Life's" relatively short life, we've had people tell us some pretty interesting things. Like in the diary of...
Constantine Maroulis, whose Playbill diary revealed where he got his inspiration from: "I lost my cousin in 9/11 and my best friend's father also died tragically in an accident. This was a huge blow to me. I had learned so much from them over the years and they both believed in me. I wish they could see me now."
Or Howard McGillin, who documented his last "double-duty day" (a day with both a matinee and evening show) as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera for his Playbill diary: "Exhausting day. But always a good feeling knowing that you made it through... I'm aware that I very well may never again play a character that elicits such empathy from an audience. It's a powerful show and a wonderful feeling to know you've touched so many people's hearts. I've been very lucky. I'm ready to move on, but I know there will be aspects of this job that I will miss, aside from the many friendships made and the Phantom family I've spent so many years with. But I do look forward to not having to do it 8 times a week!"
Or Kerry Washington, who talked about working with the great David Mamet in rehearsals for Race: "It's exciting to sit on the other side of the room and watch him listening and listening and listening and you'll see him rewrite a line for you. And you know — this is history!"
Or another Broadway-newbie-via-Mamet, Julia Stiles, who talked about a weird audience reaction during a performance of Oleanna. "Someone in the audience — I think it was a woman — shouted, "Get over it!" during one of my speeches (or perhaps she would say diatribe!). It threw me for a second, but then kind of made me understand Carol's frustration at being misunderstood. I busted my lip during Act Three. Once the initial shock wore off, I was kind of proud."
Makes me excited to read some of the diaries of other stars we've got lined up in coming issues of Playbill!