BWW Blog: Eric Ulloa of Goodspeed's THE MOST HAPPY FELLA - Old Friends
Let's start off this week's installment with a simple math lesson, shall we? Goodspeed Musicals, celebrating their 50th Anniversary, had a reunion celebration in New York City at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center. Knowing how many shows are put up between the main stage and Norma Terris season and how many actors/creative teams/technicians are used for each production, can anyone guess how many people took over LCT that exciting Monday night? Who said that?! Yes, you are right...over 500 people, representing 120 shows, spanning all 50 years, were in attendance to catch up and celebrate the greatness that Goodspeed Musicals has meant to the musical theatre world. If you grew up loving musicals, knew cast members from every Broadway show from 1990 on up and playing your cast recording CD's until they skipped, you would have been a pig in...well, you know what.
As I arrived, I looked down at the sunken lobby and like a fish out at sea, I caught the first tide I could to maneuver my way through the sea of hundreds. Little good it did, as with every step you would encounter someone you hadn't seen in awhile and have the "Hiiiiiiiii!!!!!" or "Oh my god!" moment with them and end up in a new part of the madness of bodies and cups of wine and beer. It was so great to sit around and catch up with so many talented friends and realize even more than I had already known, that everyone in the NYC theatre world has made their way through the Goodspeed at one point. In fact, a good friend said aloud, "If someone were to bomb this theatre right now, you'd take out half the working actors in New York!"
Soon the wine and beer dried up and it was time for us all to say goodbye, make future plans and walk out into the Lincoln Center plaza (my favorite spot in NYC) and smile recollecting the wonderful memories that were made just that night. And then there were those of us who got home at three in the morning on a Tuesday like a crackhead, but why go down that path (my mother will be calling me soon after reading this)...onward and upward.
In the spirit of celebrating Goodspeed's 50th Anniversary, I finally got my butt down to their Scherer Library of Musical Theatre next to the rehearsal hall to see what all the fuss was about. Immediately upon entering, the only question I had was, "What the hell took me so long to come in here?!?!"
This is literally a cave of wonders to musical theatre lovers, and like Aladdin in his version, my jaw was down to the floor with nerdy excitement at all the treasures this wood paneled room had inside. Librettos, hundreds of cast recordings (I'm listening to my borrowed "Queen of the Mist" CD as I write this...judge away), DVD's of almost every Goodspeed production, 30,000 pieces of sheet music, old programs and notes from productions and so very much more.
I cannot recommend enough how essential it is for you to give yourself some time when making the trip up here, to peruse all of this incredible history right there at your fingertips. It's an impressive collection run by the wonderfully kind and helpful Josh and you better believe I'll be back as much as I can in these last two weeks.
Finally, this week marks a new chapter for some of my new friends, as they join our beloved union. Danny Lindgren, Sarah Tranchina, Christine Cornell and Sabrina Marlene are now members of the Actor's Equity Association and believe me when I say that great things will come of these four very talented actors.
It was a nice trip down memory lane to watch them sign their contracts like I did ________ years ago.
Check back in at the end of the week, as we continue getting to know our ensemble and say a little prayer for us as we enter our TEN show holiday week...yes, you heard that right.