I was thrilled to see a brilliant matinee of Broadway's FARINELLI and the KING. My friend, wonderful actor Simon Jones has joined the cast in the hysterical role of John Rich. I sat in a box, 3 stories above the stage and had a fantastic view. Looking up, I had a clear panorama of the Belasco Theatre's stain-glass ceiling windows. Looking straight down, through 6 chandeliers, with 12 lit candles in each, I could see the entire stage. Best of all, I could hear the glorious, unamplified renascence orchestra.
Simon had a lot of friends in the audience and invited us all down to the rather shabby basement green-room, after the matinee. The general public has no idea how unglamorous old Broadway theatres are, backstage. He quietly played the host, opening champagne bottles.
Almost unnoticed, working with his back to us, a short, slim man with greasy hair, wearing an old undershirt and cut-off sweatpants, prepared food and warmed it in a microwave. Watching him for a moment, I realized that he was the show's star, Mark Rylance.
Simon's guests chatted quietly. Rylance turned slightly and made a kind remark that we had been a wonderful audience. I moved to him and apologized that we were disturbing his break. He smiled and said that it was fine. I couldn't help but stutter that I was a huge fan. He smiled and almost whispered a shy, "Thank you." I left him in peace, putting his rice cakes together.
After hugging my darling Simon Jones, I left the theatre.
I am indeed a huge fan of amazing actor Mark Rylance. Briefly meeting the gracious man Mark Rylance, I became an even bigger fan.