16 April, 2011

I stole Rebecca Luker's toothpaste...

Rebecca Luker: actress, soprano and flouride benefactor extraordinaire...
I did.
I did.
And then I confessed.
And she let me keep it.

[*travel back in time music*]

[At rise: Hello Again post show bustle. The entire show Rebecca and her über incredible husband Danny Burstein have been sitting just beside the central mirror-- starring straight into my freakin' face. I must hasten to add however, that in contrast to the ridiculous line-up from the McNally tribute concert the previous night, this moment seems over-come-able compared to bowing between Edie Falco and Roger Reese, and being in the mere presence of THE Angela Lansbury...but still, this is Rebecca Luker and I have loved her for years and she made me publicly weep when we shared a stage at Lincoln Center in January, and yes, OKAY, I broke The Secret Garden cassette. Fact. Plus this moment might be okay if I didn't have a guilty conscience {see title!}...]

Rebecca: Alexandra? Hi! Do you remember me?

Inner monologue: Do I remember you? Do I remember her?! Um. Well gosh how do I say this? Why yes, yes I do. I can’t believe I was in the same room as, let alone the same concert as, let alone bowed next to-- you— I broke The Secret Garden cassette lady. I broke it. You were the standard of soprano that formulated my entire youth. I listened to you with my friends on my bunk-bed at summer camp. [incredulous scoffing noises] Do I freakin' remember you? Puh-lease. I can’t believe you remember me. And furthermore, just so we're clear, just so everything is out on the table: I stole your toothpaste. That’s right. I viciously stole the toothpaste I asked to borrow just so I could nonchalantly speak to you for a millisecond in the Lincoln Center dressing rooms. I am a thief. A dirty, pathetic, childish, star-struck thief with incredibly clean teeth.

Real dialogue:

Rebecca: [continued, she is sort of staring at me now, willing me to respond] ...from Lincoln Center?
Al: [fake nonchalance. Don't give away your crazy Al!] Yes, Rebecca, of course. So nice to see you…
R: Well done--You were wonderful tonight.

[I think for a moment that I might need respiratory assistance.]

A: Thank you so much.
R: And the piece. The performances. The music! My goodness the music I want to sing every single song in this sh--

[there is a terrible moment here where she stares harder at me and I stare hard back. As if, in doing so, we can both hope, we may will, we can possibly pretend that last little outburst just did not happen. But lest we forget that I am in this story, we know that it cannot end there. We know, all too well, that it is simply in my nature to just make things far, far worse...]

R: ...what?
A: I AM SORRY. I stole it and it wasn't even totally an accident.
R: What are you talking about?
R: Really? [she smiles]
A: And I know I came in and asked for toothpaste and you let me take it but! but! but you said you would come back for it and although you didn’t, [huge sigh] I didn’t exactly remind you. [There. Said it.]
R: [she pauses, eyebrows cocked, considering me] ...Are you being serious?
A: [unfortunately, I am] Yes.
R: Truly?
A: It is in my dressing room right now, let me go get it for you.
R: Darlin’… [she is amused and starts to laugh in the most charming way, the manner of a true lady] you know what? You can just go ahead and keep it. [A lady: see what I am saying?]
A: Really?
R: Yes, seriously.
A: Um… thank you.
R: Gosh. You are so funny [she laughs, it is sweet] and a bit odd.
A: Thank you. And odd, yes, [hands up] guilty!
R: And you were wonderful in the show. I mean your voice...
A: [inner crazy 11-year-old-squeal] Coming from you… that means the world...

It does.
Words cannot describe how much it does.
We hug.
And say goodbye.
And I just brushed my teeth and frankly my teeth now feel as pure as Rebecca Luker's very own crystalline voice, and as clean as my conscience.


  1. This is amazing! In so many ways! Put a smile on my face!

  2. you are ridiculous...... you know this yes?

  3. Lauren - thank you!

    Anon - i do. yes yes i do.

  4. Fantastic! This made me smile!



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