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Well Said, Ben Platt

Well Said, Ben Platt
Ben Platt, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michael Park

Ben Platt, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Michael Park Photo: Matthew Murphy

A lot has been written about Ben Platt’s tweet from earlier this week (click here for a direct link) and I’m not sure what I can add to the discussion surrounding it. But I do want to stand up and stand beside in complete and total support of him and all the artists who have chosen their own personal well being and sanity on certain days and certain moments. I salute you.

There are moments of the day, when I’m listening to the music from the Tony winning Dear Evan Hansen, and I think, ‘wow, they are doing that again tonight, and every night’. I just can’t believe anyone can get up on a stage so many times a week, month after month, and year after year, and tear their own heart and soul apart for our entertainment. We should all just thank our lucky stars for performers like him (and all those others) that they are willing to do that for us. My heart was shattered all three times I have seen Dear Evan Hansen. Once in D.C. three summers ago, one at Second Stage two summers ago, and the last time on Broadway just before opening night. (you can read my reviews for two of them here: Arena Stage,D.C., and Broadway). And to ask for more, demand for more, just seems insane to me. They are giving us so much already.

Ben Platt, Rachel Bay Jones

Ben Platt, Rachel Bay Jones Photo: Matthew Murphy

What these performers do is unbelievable. And I would, if I had the opportunity, to plead with them to take care of themselves first and foremost, so they can continue to do the thing we are asking of them. Stage door hellos, autographs, and photos are wonderful, and fun, but they are way down the priority list. We have no right to demand this of these performers. If Ben Platt, or anyone else for that matter does not have the energy or the patience or the good humor/mood to walk out that door into the masses of fans, I say, ‘please don’t. Take care of that magnificent instrument; your mind, your body, and your soul first and your true fans will understand.’ Sanity and health has to come first. For any and all of us.

For those who want to call him out for that, and say horrible things, you need to check yourself. For one, who are you to criticize anyone who’s shoes you have never stood in. It is easy for so many to act insulted and lash out, and I would ask them to look hard at themselves in the mirror. It is just plain bullying behavior, and horrifically rude. Who taught you that that kind of behavior is acceptable? I know right now we have a leader of this country who is a terrible example for this, but we need to find some compassion and empathy within ourselves, especially for those that give and give and give to us time and time again for our pleasure and our entertainment. And feel blessed for such an experience. Theatre is a true gift, and to be moved by so many willing to tear out their hearts for us, or make us laugh, is an honor.

So I thank you Ben Platt (and all you other talented souls) for doing what you do. Now take great care of you. And let the hateful words slide off you. Let them bounce off, and back at those who throw them. You are amazing and I for one, cherish you and what you do.

So for more, go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway
@#frontmezzjunkies

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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