Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"I'll Always Be Alice Toklas, If You'll Be Gertrude Stein"

I first saw him when he walked on stage in the first ever production of Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night and turned the song "Exhibit A" into the show's 11 o'clock number. At 8: 45. 

I was envious.

When I finally met him doing a play in which we both had to wear g-strings, I wasn't just envious, I was full-on jealous. Jealous of his boyish good looks, his winning smile and most of all, his killer waistline. 

And I'll admit it, he was nice to look at on stage in his g-string. Seeing him like that, I had no idea he could cut a bitch.

I found out, though, during our first performance together. I had been doing the show for awhile, he was taking over one of the other roles, and his first words to me on stage were...

"Listen, Sister Mary Propecia..."

No, that wasn't a line from the script; he made that one up himself. And it was funny, too (damn it). And even though the cast had been encouraged to come up with new "cut downs" for each other during this section the show, no one had ever made fun of my (then) badly thinning hair.

Allegedly, after the show was over, I cornered him backstage and told him A) "That was a funny line!" and B) "Don't EVER say that again!"

And he didn't. 

The next night, in fact, he didn't say anything at all. He just waited until I was downstage center, giving one of my big, "milked to the tits" comedic monologues, and while I droned on and on, he laid down on the stage behind me and went to sleep. 

Which is funny to an audience. They were laughing their asses off. At HIM! During MY MONOLOGUE! I thought I was really knockin' 'em dead, and then I turn around to see him asleep UPSTAGE OF ME! And the second I discovered what he had been doing, he raised his head, looked at me and asked...

"Oh, are we back?"

I told the skinny bitch to eat a cookie. Right there on stage. I did. And he did. The next night. At the very same place in the play. I turned around and he wasn't sleeping behind me this time. That would have been too easy. No, instead of sleeping behind me, he took my advice. He had stashed a gigantic cookie on the set and he ate it. While I gave my monologue. And when I turned around, he kept eating it. In front of me.

All I could blurt out was, "He's eating a goddamn cookie." Which wasn't funny to anyone except me and him. That's when I surrendered. That's when I became friends with Philip.

And even though my friendship isn't what landed Philip a spot in TimeOut Chicago's "Date Our Friends" this year, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't pass on the news that Philip is single and available. And it's in print!

Check out his glossy spread on the magazine's site. Who wouldn't want to date someone with this profile...

“I like kung fu, opera and coffee. The beard is an experiment but keeps me warm on my bike. My mantra in life is say yes to everything, and I’m hoping you feel the same way. I have just three requirements for any man I’m hoping to put a ring on it with: You must love Chicago, you must love at least one relative, and you must love yourself—preferably in that order.”

Love it, Philip. Love you!


Polt said...

I myself have loved Philip almost from the first time I saw him here. I'm quite jealous of you, Stephen, cause you get to be his friend. And he yours. And reading about you two makes me smile and improves my life.

Love ya both!


Polt said...

Although the beard....I'm still adjusting to it.... :)


Java said...

The beard? Yeah, it's a new look for him, but it's a good one IMHO. Makes him look older in an experienced and mature way, not in an "old guy" way. Makes him look like he's not a young kid.

He's a snarky SOB, ain't he? I love it! You guys are lucky to be friends. (looks like he's got the hair you lost, too. I'd sue. )

Prospero said...

OK - First, I LOVE that you're the first follower of my blog (though don't tell my other regukar reader, Sean). Second, I know exactly the kind of friend Philip is - I met my Philip (Michael, actually) while appearing together in "Love! Valour! Compassion!" Michael may be a bitch, but he's gorgeous, funny and talented. And I hate... uh, I mean, I love him.

Project Christopher said...

I've only had the pleasure of meeting Philip three times. Once was without Stephen there to be the "Oh yeah, this guy is Stephen's friend" reminder for Philip. The fact that he remembered me impressed me. (not that the image of a 6'7" boistrous fool doesn't stick with you)
But I can say, it's not Philips looks that I remember, it's his heart. Even in the three times I've been able to talk live with him, it's so very apparent that he's got a heart of gold. The fact that he's cute as all get out doesn't hurt. Congrats!

and the beard... my oh my! :)

Anatomicsd said...

People like Phillip scare me. All the wit is funny until it turns on you.

Kevin said...

I tend to be known as "Trump" -- as in "I'll trump any joke you make." But I fear I would get "tromped" on by Philip.

May I never have to try to be funnier than him.