ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Disaster! Ends Its Off-Broadway Run and More Memories from the Cruise
15 Apr 2014
Photo by Monica Simoes
At the end, Christine waited for Elaine to appear, and she didn't. She waited as the audience applauded and finally realized she had to start exiting. Christine started walking off the stage and right before she got offstage, Elaine appeared. They faced each other. Elaine then started to back Christine across the stage. The entire, enormous Broadway stage. And Elaine walked incredibly slowly. The audience went crazy! Because Christine's back was turned, Elaine would give her directions. Christine imitated Elaine whispering in her signature voice, "That's it. Stay straight. Watch out for the mic cord. Veer to your left. Almost there. Etc."
Ana Gasteyer spoke of a similar situation during her days on "Saturday Night Live." She used to do a hilarious Celine Dion impersonation that was peppered with her constantly saying "I am the best singer... in the world!" One day, Celine's people invited Ana to perform at Madison Square Garden... at an actual Celine Dion concert. The concept was that "My Heart Will Go On" would start playing and Ana would appear and start singing. After a little while, Celine would appear behind her and Ana would scurry off. In "Saturday Night Live" terms, that's known as a "sneaker upper," AKA imitating a celebrity and having that actual celebrity come out and bust you. Ana told us that she had to be in Celine's concert outfit which consisted of a female tuxedo (?) with a cummerbund that was extended so it came up to her chest. Attractive? You decide. The whole gimmick of the Celine character she played was her unbridled narcissim and non-stop bragging. Every time "Celine" had a guest sing, she'd cut her off, start singing and proclaim that she is "the best singer... in the world!" Apparently, though, the real Celine never quite got the joke. She told Ana, in her French Quebec accent, "Eet is so funny when you play me on TV. Because your voice..." (She then put her hands over her ears) "Your voice... eet is so 'orrible!"
Back to Christine Pedi. She and Juli decided to go snorkeling off of Tahiti and they came across a bed of sea urchins. Sea urchins can sting if you touch them. Christine was floating above them and Juli described the encounter thusly:
"Hey, Juli! My back is almost touching these things. Are these the things you're not supposed to scream!" Christine then started laughing hysterically. She had to continue floating to get past them and she'd periodically scream as she'd brush against them. Christine would start laughing again and then finally asked Juli, "Seriously. Am I going to die?"
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.