LOCATION: Helen Hayes Theater. New York City, NY
First things first. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love Captain America (Chris Evans). Not just as Captain America though, any movie he is in, I have enjoyed his acting. In real life, he is also a stand up guy who fights for politic rights, enjoys time with his dog, helps kids in Children’s Hospitals, and loves to throw game nights at home with his avengers cast. What’s not to love about him!
He’s been known not to do many things involving fans because he has social anxiety with crowds. Therefore it’s pretty rare to meet the guy, or see him out of the house in general. When I heard he was doing his debut on Broadway only from March to May, I knew I just had to see him in person! Plus, I couldn’t let my dog Marvel down, who is also a major fan.
Chris Evans made his Broadway debut in the play Lobby Hero. Lobby Hero is a play with only four actors.
It’s about a security guard’s (Jeff) daily life as a lobby guard for an apartment, played by Michael Cera. His boss, William, played by Brian Tyree Henry also has some tough decision to make regarding an alibi he needs to vouch for on his brother. Then there are the two cops, Bill, an arrogant man played by Chris Evans, and his partner Dawn, a new female cop on the force being picked on for her female qualities, played by Bel Powley. The play is about what happens when personal and professional issues find themselves together inside the lobby of a Manhattan apartment.
Before I get into the details of seeing Chris on Broadway and what I thought about the play, let me just give some details of HOW I got there, because this was quite the adventure indeed.
Not wanting to use up vacation time, or a lot of money, I decided I would just go up to see the play and not stay in New York over night. Driving myself with tolls would have been expensive, so I decided to give the infamous (not in a good way) Chinatown bus a try. Tickets for $34 each way can’t be beat! I decided to make it a round trip excursion with no over night stays. That’s right, that meant two of my nights were sleeping on a bus!
I arrived at the Chinatown bus center in Norfolk at 11:30pm on Saturday night for a 12:30am departure. The center was dank, dismal, and sketchy to the max. The majority of the patrons were Asian, which for a Chinatown bus, seemed appropriate.
Lucky for me, I got two seats to myself, put on some ear plugs and a neck pillow and crashed out completely. The bus never made one stop on the way to NY and we arrived in Chinatown at 6am. Once arrived, I decided to walk a little bit to get out of the Chinatown area. Being in NY at 6am on a Sunday morning is extremely peaceful.
No one is around, and the people that are walking are usually in their robes and letting their dogs out to the bathroom. For a big and noisy city, the quiet morning times were meditative. I walked through Chinatown and Little Italy before I decided to try the subway to get to Grand Central. Never being one to understand the NYC subway in my many many many trips there, I decided to attempt it, alone, and without directions. EEK. However, I managed to find my way easily to Grand Central and was quite proud of myself!
Why Grand Central Station as my destination? Well, nothing was open yet, and they have bathrooms! Bathrooms in NY are a rarity at times. Plus, I have been so many times that I really only wanted to see the play and go back home.
So I hung out in Grand Central with all the homeless men of the city, apparently that too was their idea. At one point a homeless man came up to me and explained that due to my physique and demeanor, no one would mess with me. That he had a sister and even he was scared! Hmmm. Ok?
After eating breakfast, I decided to walk the 1 mile to the theater district to see where the play was and scope out the area. Lobby Hero was right across the street from the Majestic where Chris and I saw Phantom of the Opera in December last year. A sign perhaps? I think so! I read online that the second stage door was where the cast and crew enter before the show, so my plan was to arrive early to see the cast (really just Chris Evans) arrive.
With it only being 9am, I decided to walk around some and head back to Grand Central so I had a table and bathroom to wait at until I needed to find some lunch. Finally around 11am I ventured out for some food in the Time Square area. I found a really yummy pizza shop that had the best gluten free pizza I have ever had.
After eating, I made my way back to the Hayes Theater to wait. Upon my arrival, it began pouring, which made my wait even easier since I was under the awnings of the play house.
As I waited, I saw every person that worked for that production possible, but no Evans. Finally, two bouncers came out and started putting up traffic guards that would be needed for when the show finished. A family next to me asked how they would get in to the show since their daughter was in a wheelchair and he showed them which way they could go. They asked if they could meet Chris Evans, which he said he would see what he could do, and I slyly asked if I could join the family. They thought it was funny. But I was serious! Around 2pm, they started letting people go into the theater to sit. Chris still had not shown up and I was getting antsy. A little after 2, I see the bouncer wink at me. I thought “this is it!” and got my camera ready for video. A black SUV arrived, and Chris stepped out from the other side of it so no one could see him and made his way quickly to the stage door. Out of all the people outside, I was the only one that saw this since it happened so fast. I was only about 5 feet away from him, and was super excited to have seen him! Needless to say, the person who plans and waits gets the worm for sure!
I arrived in the theater and had the far right side in row 5. The Hayes theater is really small and allowed anyone great views. But being 5th row was amazing!
The play was about 2.5 hours with a 15 minute intermission. During the intermission, I heard some women gasping and a line form to take pictures. I started to search around and saw Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson, Falcon, from the Avengers movies). He was meeting with fans, talking, taking pictures and signing autographs.
The line was so long that I couldn’t make it over there during the intermission, but he seemed like he was great to his fans! The play was really good, and funny and really played into the whole MeToo dilemma we are in. It was made a lot of very important points, and I can see why Chris Evans picked it based on his politic stances. My only issue with the play was Michael Cera’s acting. It was dull, he seemed on the verge of laughing the entire time, and he kept his hands in his pockets the WHOLE play which was quite distracting and annoying. Everyone else did an amazing job and was so animated with their characters. For his debut in Broadway, Chris did a really good job and I can see more in his future for sure.
Upon leaving the play, there were about 100 people in line behind the barricade to see him leave the theater. Clearly these people left during intermission to be able to get there in time. Seeing that there was no room, I decided to head across the street and wait. Chris does not typically meet his fans, but decided to on opening night of the play. The rest of the time, he would just walk straight to the waiting car. Considering this was closing night of the play, I predicted he would meet some of his fans, and I was right! He came out and signed a handful of autographs and went on his merry way.
My goal was accomplished though. Not only did I get to see him on Broadway, and pretty darn close. But I also got to see him walk in and out and see him in person which definitely made my trip worth it! Seeing your favorite celebrity that close is definitely special.
Now…for the trip back! It was 6pm when I left Times Square to head back to Chinatown. I decided to walk to Grand Central for food, but when I got there everything was closing down. Apparently, Sundays in the city means things close super early. Did not know that! I walked around some but couldn’t find anything. Luckily I had snacks packed, so I was ok. I took a taxi back to Chinatown to wait for my 9pm bus ride home. So far I had walked 8 miles and the taxi was well worth it.
The bus station was even more sketchy than the Norfolk one, but clearly this was the IN thing to do because the station was PACKED.
My entire bus was full, and was not the best ride home this time. People smoked pot on the bus, a lady next to me decided to eat fish on a bus (gross!!), two guys in the back had a heated argument, and I have determined that this bus’ temperature either runs on deep bottom of Hell hot, or Antarctica freezing. After an hour of intense heat being blasted and not being able to sleep, I asked the driver to turn the AC on. It knocked me out when it did, until I was too cold to function at least. This went on back and forth until we arrived back in Norfolk at 4am, where I promptly rushed home, threw my clothes in a hot washer, and took a shower to wash the scumminess off. And then right to bed I went! Final conclusion, I am WAY too old for that lifestyle, but man seeing my favorite celebrity was great!
The moral of this story and epitomizes the entire reason I have a bucket list. Had I not treated myself on tickets, planned to arrive early, or waited after the show I would not have seen my favorite celebrity. Sometimes you get lucky in life and chances are given to you, but there are a lot of times that life is precisely what you make it, what you manifest, and what you plan for. Don’t wait for life to happen.
VIDEO OF ME SEEING CHRIS EVANS
WOULD I DO THIS AGAIN? Seeing Chris Evans on Broadway: YES. Chinatown bus: Probably not, unless in a pinch.
Chinatown bus: $34 (typically $34 (now $40 apparently) each way, but I had a coupon)
Subway ticket: $3
Lobby Hero ticket: $170
Waiting around and seeing Chris Evans: PRICELESS
*Thanks to MY Chris for supporting my Chris Evans stalking efforts and letting me go without a worry. And for dropping me off and picking me up at crazy hours in sketchy areas. Not a lot of future husbands would entertain this and you did. Thank you!