Meeting My Doppelganger.
A couple of weeks ago during Facebook’s doppelganger week, my friend and fellow Broadway aficionado, Cara, told me about a meet-up group for people who love Broadway. She told me that the show they were going to was a revival of The Miracle Worker and that I should check it out. I found out that the show only cost $50 to go to, and it included the theater’s free Talk-back Tuesday, where audience members could ask the actors questions. Of course, I signed up.
The show was last night and I was really excited to see it. I didn’t know that much about the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, other than it was a blind and deaf girl who learned to communicate through the help of her teacher. The show was at the Circle Theater, on 50th and Broadway, right next door to another famous Broadway hit, Wicked. The Circle Theater is exactly how it sounds: it’s a theater in the shape of a circle, much like how stadiums are set up, only here there was only about 10 rows. However, just because there weren’t many rows doesn’t mean you always had a great view. Depending on which way an actor was facing, sometimes you were staring at the back of their head. The actors moved around quite a bit, so it wasn’t like you always couldn’t see what was going on, but it was a little annoying. Most of the furniture was also raised and lowered from the ceiling to help with quick set changes on such a small stage, but that was a little distracting and I didn’t enjoy seeing all the cords attached the furniture.
Stage set-up aside, the acting itself was incredible. I thought Abigail Breslin was amazing as Helen, considering she had no lines. Alison Pill starred as Annie Sullivan and she was a tough gal, and stayed consistent with her accent and had good comedic timing, though sometimes I felt everyone’s lines were a little rushed. Alison is clearly comfortable on stage, having several on and off-Broadway plays on her resume. Jennifer Morrison (Katie Keller) and Matthew Modine (Captain Keller) were great, but not amazing. Matthew was probably a little better at carrying a stage role, but he has more experience. Jennifer, while good, seemed too try almost too hard to be a stage actress, though I felt like she got better throughout the performance. Maybe some scenes were just easier for her than others. The other actors were non-Hollywood actors, and the guy who played Captain Keller’s son from his first marriage stole all of his scenes, I thought. But the incorporation of his character seemed a little forced at time and I could never quite tell why there was so much focus on his character at all (his relationship with Capt. Keller, the death of his mother), when the play was clearly supposed to be about Helen and Annie. Very odd, I thought.
After the show, the entire cast came out for the Talkback. Most of the questions were for Abigail about what it was like playing a blind and deaf girl who spent most of the play in a temper tantrum. Apparently Abigail has been injured more than once during rehearsals and shows, as well as actually kicking and hurting other cast members.
Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera because I originally thought I would only be taking pictures of the stage. You aren’t allowed to do this, so I wanted to be as unobvious as I could and a cameraphone is the easiest way to do that. My iPhone camera isn’t terrible, but there is no zoom or autofocus, so some of the pictures are either too far away or a bit blurry.
After the Talkback, one of the girls I met through the meet-up convinced me to wait to see if any of the actors came to sign autographs and take pictures. Since I am a huge House fan (for those of you unfamiliar with pop culture, Jennifer stars as Dr. Allison Cameron on House) and obviously wanted to meet my doppelganger, I thought that would be a great idea. We spotted Jennifer Morrison coming up the stairs, so we managed to be one the first people to get a photograph and autograph with her.
While we were getting autographs from Jennifer, we spotted Abigail coming out and of course, there was a rush to meet her. It took quite a bit longer to get an autograph and photo with her. Abigail was also behind a cord, away from the crowd, with her bodyguard, so she was much more protected than Jennifer was. She was very nice though, even though there really wasn’t enough time to talk to her. She didn’t seem to have any kind of Hollywood diva personality and genuinely seemed to want to meet with fans. I think part of her being separated from the crowd is due to her age. She is only fourteen.
So now I have met my so-called doppelganger and have side-by-side comparison. What do you think? Do you think Abigail and I are still doppelgangers? Could pass for sisters? Someone I should hire to play me in the movie about my life?