The one where Michelle and Hillary finally see Meghann Fahy

So... Michelle and I officially have no willpower.

After seeing Next to Normal last weekend, we told each other that we wouldn't go back and see it for at least a month. But then this past Saturday, we were in the city to see A Little Night Music (which was absolutely wonderful, by the way - expect a post on that in the near future), and we of course had to make a detour past the Booth Theatre. And Brian Crum was on for Henry. And Meghann Fahy was going to be on (who we've been trying to see for over a year without success). And the lotto had been kind of sparse at the matinée. So we spent about five minutes rationalizing why it would be okay for us to break our week old pact and see the show again (honestly, it's not like it took much rationalizing or persuasion. We're always down to see this show again.) And so that is how we found ourselves putting our names into the ticket lottery for the second time in a week. Lotto was way more busy that night than it had been at the matinée, and we were kind of nervous about not getting tickets, but then, much to our great surprise and even greater delight, my name was the first name pulled (which never happens, so y'all should recognize this momentous occasion for what it was - epic). Whatever. Michelle and I were in, and we were finally going to see Meghann Fahy go on as Natalie. We were stoked, and I was practically shaking with anticipation (so I'm a total theater geek. Sue me.) It had been such a long time coming, and my expectations, after all I'd read and heard about her performance, were insanely high.

She delivered. Actually, she exceeded my expectations. Jennifer Damiano will probably always rank as my favorite Natalie because of the sheer number of times I have witnessed her performance and the way I watched her grow into that role, but Ms. Fahy is a very, very close second. Her performance was incredible. Her voice was amazing. She belted with ease and never sounded strained. She blew the roof off during "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" and she gave me serious goosebumps when she came in during the finale with her "day after day..." line (which has always been one of my favorite parts of the entire score. There's just something about the lyrics combined with the music that is just awesome.) But beyond her voice, her acting of the role was just phenomenal. Of the three Natalies I've seen - Jennifer Damiano and Mackenzie Mauzy being the others - Ms. Fahy's was probably the best acted. Her Act I was impressive, but her Act II was even better. She delivered her lines with the right amount of sarcasm and humor, but she also tapped into the anger, sadness, and vulnerability that Natalie struggles to hide throughout the show. Her "Song of Forgetting" was particularly awesome, not only because she said "I mean, Portland?" with real incredulity, but because during Dan's line, "we saw the painted desert, the Grand Canyon, and Aunt Rhonda, and Nat learned what her middle finger meant," she subtly gave her father the finger while scratching her nose. Hilarious.

Speaking of her interaction with her on-stage father, Ms. Fahy and Mr. Danieley played so well off each other. There were some light, incredibly realistic father-daughter moments during "It's Gonna Be Good" and "Song of Forgetting" that, in my mind, defined the relationship between Natalie and Dan and really set the stage for their bonding and reliance on one another at the end of the show. I truly felt that they would be okay with it being just the two of them.

The rest of the cast was, as per usual, fantastic. Ms. Mazzie's performance really grew on me the second time around, Mr. Danieley continued to deliver an incredible performance, Louis Hobson continued to be incredibly consistent as the doctors, Brian Crum was adorably stoned and devoted as Henry, and Kyle Dean Massey continued to give me goosebumps with his upper-register notes at the end of "I'm Alive" and "Light." I can't wait to return to the Booth again, although not until October this time. For real.

No seriously, we're waiting a month this time, Michelle. No exceptions.

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