Just thought I'd share my experience about the D23 event in Chicago. I picked up my ticket about 6pm and they were just setting up the 'check in' table for the event. I then received my souvenir program (nice!) and my DVD (more about that later) and my 20% off coupon. Next stop the souvenir counter!
There was a nice selection of things to use my coupon on. From Pins, keychains, snowglobes, Mary Poppins dolls, books, CDs, magnets, Christmas ornaments and yes--umbrellas. Everything seemed to be reasonably priced. I bought pins($5 ea.) and the Christmas ornament($20), which is a small open umbrella.(they have this also available on DisneyStore.com in the Broadway section, for anyone who wants to see it.) I think the large umbrellas were under $40 (please correct me if I'm wrong MiceChatters who purchased these) After the show I kept debating on buying anything more, but I'll save something to get the next time I see the show. Yes, I am definitely going to see the show again!
Now to find my seat. I show my ticket to the usher and as he leads me down, down, down to the 5th row(wow!) second seat from the end he stops a lady from taking cell-phone pictures of the stage area. They are *serious* about no cameras of any kind. After I take my seat I meet fellow D23 member Rachaface and we talk about the Expo(can't wait!) We were curious as to how many of "us" were here.
A couple of quick thoughts about the show itself. For those who are unfamiliar, this show is based on the series of Mary Poppins books, with some of the songs from the Disney movie along with new songs. Its quite different from the movie. They do have some pretty fantastic technical things that happen in the show.
After the amazing show which I HIGHLY recommend (my hands were *sore* from clapping so much), we were told to wait until the audience cleared out and then we would head downstairs to do a Q&A session with some of the cast. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to ask for photos or autographs. The cast had already done one show that day and were tired. (bummer) As mentioned in a previous post, I'm sure we had some hangers-on following along, but we made our way down to the lower level where the coat check room and rest rooms were located. We formed a semi-circle around the bar area that was there and in walked 8 castmembers. It was so strange seeing them in everyday clothes. At this point I wish I would have taken notes, but anyone that can add in information or correct me, please do. Left to right was Jesse Swimm-swing character, Ellen Harvey-Miss Andrew a.k.a. The Holy Terror Nanny. Two of the kids who had not performed that night, but earlier in the day were next, Chris Flaim and (I think) Abigail Droeger. Then were the two leads, Gavin Lee and Ashley Brown follwed by Emily Harvey-Miss Lark and finally Carol Angeli-swing. Did I miss anyone?
After we welcomed them with a round of applause, we were told we'd have about 15 minutes to ask questions. I just couldn't think of a question but burst out with 'Thank you so much it was wonderful!' which got me a "reprimand" from the Holy Terror-"that's not a question", she smiled and everyone laughed. At this point for the sake of accuracy, I'm going to leave it for the Mice Chatters that were there to tell what their questions were and the responses that were given. I realize that not everyone that was there is on Mice Chat, so I will come back to this post in a couple of days and fill in the stories that were left out. Some questions dealt with favorite parts of the show, any problems that had occurred, how did the kids get started and how hard was it to learn the hand motions to Supercali. I will say as I don't think it was part of a question, that Jesse told us that the company watches out for the cast in regards to the makeup very carefully. If anyone starts to react to all the makeup they are wearing, they are given special ointment to treat it. He went on to explain that while they are changing in the wings that they have water jets that help to quickly remove the makeup for their next entrance. Gavin also told us that we are seeing probably the BEST of the productions. They didn't, in his words, dumb it down for the tour. Other than the house, everything is almost what it is in the Broadway production.
Once our time was complete, we thanked them again for taking the time and said goodbye. Before we left, a gentleman representing the AllEars site took a group picture of us-which hopefully we'll see online. We then went our separate ways. I walked out with the 2 gentlemen that were our hosts for the evening and they asked me questions about D23. As we were talking outside of the theatre, I was noticing a cute little English bulldog being walked past us. One of the guys commented how he loved Ashley's English Bulldog. Ashley's?! I looked again and there she was walking her dog. (Eddie I found out later) Also next to her, Gavin and his wife were walking hand in hand, awww how sweet!
My final thoughts on how this could have been better, not to be a whiner or anything, but I've been reading about the other D23 theatrical events and what happened there. With our packets, if they would have printed some kind of sticker, it didn't have to be our name, just an identifying sticker for each person so no extra people tagging along. How about they knew exactly how many of us were coming and that the cast would likely be too tired for autographs, so ahead of time have them sign x number of playbills or the souvenir books. And why couldn't we have just had one group shot of all of them with all of us and then have it sent to us later. Oh well. I guess I should just be grateful that we weren't attending the show this weekend that had to be cancelled due to a computer issue. Oh and the DVD. Everyone that got the 45th anniversary edition, crack it open as there is a marvelous segment about bringing the production from page to stage. They talk to Ashley and Gavin quite a bit. They also talk to Richard Sherman who was going to see the Chicago production and how cool would that have been if he would have been there that night! Also they show the number Step in Time and refer frquently to the upcoming Chicago production and tour.
Once again I ask that anyone wanting to contribute more info to this write-up to feel free to do so.