|Meeting Lee Tergesen: ELEVEN
By Anne (email@example.com)
More photos from this event at LeeTergesen.com
Dec. 4, 2010
This time the gathering was in Boston, and I
met Leslie and Merrily at the hotel on Saturday afternoon. I was in
a pretty giddy/giggling mood all day, which often happens when I go
to see Lee. For some reason, they took it upon themselves to share
this information with Lee when we were hanging out at the restaurant
later on. Uh huh.
It was pretty cold so we took a cab even though the theater wasn’t
that far. When we arrived, Danielle, maverick4oz, catheights and Mr.
Heights were already there chatting. I greeted them all quite
enthusiastically. I hadn’t seen Mav since 2004 and for Danielle, it
was even longer. Later, katej joined us and introductions were made
all around before we went to our seats.
"Vengeance is the Lord’s" by Bob Glaudini is the story of a
small-time crime family. When the play opens up, it’s Thanksgiving
and the mother is planning to visit her daughter’s killer in prison
to try to forgive him. Dad (Larry Pine), who divorced Mom years ago
but still comes to holiday gatherings, is violently opposed to her
plans and does a lot of yelling. Lee plays the eldest son, Woody,
and he is Dad’s right-hand man in the car-stealing business. There
is also a sister, Roanne, and a younger brother, Donny, who is
opposed to his family’s crime dealings, but doesn’t really do
anything about it other than whine.
During one scene, it is revealed that one of the kids who works for
them had to be turned in for stealing a car because it belonged to
the alderman’s daughter (although the kid taking the fall didn't
steal that particular car). The boy gets shot when he’s arrested and
the boy’s father comes to see the family. This causes no end of
problems for the family and Donny keeps trying to make Dad and Woody
(Lee) feel guilty about what they’ve done.
Lee does a great job in his role as family
breadwinner and protector. He has some great scenes where he argues
with Donny, which later turns into a physical fight. The way Lee
plays him, Woody is smart, cunning, loyal to the family, but
practical and cold when it’s necessary. Larry Pine also did a good
job as Dad, and Katie Kreisler, who played Roanne, was also good.
She was believable as the sister.
The set was amazing. It looked like a real house with several rooms
and it rotated around between scenes. Lee told us that it made him
dizzy at first, but he got used to it.
After the show, we all went to the lobby to find a place to wait for
Lee. During the curtain call, he was looking all over the audience
for us. It was sooooo cute. Anyway, we waited in the lobby, near the
stairs to the bathroom. I was watching all possible exits and then
he came in from the outside through the front door with Larry Pine.
I practically flew across the room to greet him with a hug. Leslie
teased me, saying that it was like something out of a romance movie
where the two lovers come together at the end. LOL.
Then he greeted everyone (hagiologic, her partner Amos and her pal
Antonia had joined us) and we followed him outside. I always feel
like he’s the Pied Piper of Hamelin when we see him because he
always has this purposeful stride when he’s bringing us to a
restaurant. We follow behind like the children being led to
slaughter, only we’re being led to fun instead.
When we got outside, he pointed out that there’s a Pizzeria Uno next
to the theater. He said, “Let’s go to Uno to see what they can
do-no,” which he was very proud of and joked that he had been
practicing that one all day. At the restaurant, Lee asked for a
table for 12. As I followed Lee and the hostess, I ran into a couple
who were watching this parade with avid interest. The woman caught
my eye and asked, “Do you go out with him all the time?” Or
something like that. I explained that whenever Lee did a play, we
came to see him and he blessed us with his company. She was pretty
impressed. I suggested that she stop by and say hi because Lee is
way cool. She said she would. Later, she and her partner had a
lovely visit with Lee.
When we got to the room, Lee didn’t like the set up. There was a row
of four tables with a sort of brick beam partially separating the
first two from the second two. He made a few adjustments and we were
good to go.
Lee told me that he e-mailed me earlier that day to see if I was
still coming up. When I didn’t respond (yes, I felt GUILTY, but I
didn't have my laptop and I can't get e-mail on my phone), he went
to my Facebook page to see if I mentioned anything on it. Then he
found a comment from Leslie about seeing Al Pacino on Broadway. She
wrote, “I just saw your man on Broadway tonight. No, not that man.
The other one. No, not that one, either. The OTHER one. Al Pacino in
The Merchant of Venice! It was intense.” Lee quoted her.
“There were like FOUR guys!” he said
dramatically to Leslie. Then he added, “It made me feel cheap.
(pause) Not that I mind feeling cheap.” When Leslie started to
explain about all these other men she was referring to by saying, “I
hate to tell you this, Lee, but Anne has other loves in her life,”
Lee held his hand up dramatically. “I don’t want to know,” he said.
What a character.
I told him Danielle had come to the show but
had to run out to catch the bus home. He commented that it has been
a long time since he’s seen her. I then said I could probably tell
him the date. He looked at Mav and dryly remarked, “She’s probably
got it on a list.” Oh my God. He knows me far too well. (Turns I had
the date wrong and Mav remembered it better than me.)
Someone asked him if he’d ever been to Boston before and he said
yes, twice. Once when he was 20 but he couldn’t remember why he’d
come the second time. Mav said it must have been some trip if he
couldn’t remember it. Then she suggested that it probably had been
for a romantic rendezvous with me. And Lee joined right in, agreeing
that we’d chosen Boston because it wasn’t the obvious choice. Well,
of course, I blushed, which Mav felt she needed to point out. Then
she said, “My work here is done.” Cheeky monkey.
Then Mav said, “Anne and I were talking about your headshot and we
think you need a new one.” Well that started a thing that just ran
through the whole evening. It was unbelievably funny. He remarked
that the current headshot is good and he looks hot in it. I insisted
he looked hotter now, but he didn’t seem to believe me. A couple of
folks said it didn’t really look like he does now. He remarked that
it was only 11 or 12 years old and that he was basically too lazy to
get new ones. Then he offered to pose for a new headshot for Mav.
She captured the image on the right, while I got the profile view:
He noted that they had cropped the headshot for
the program and most of his forehead was gone and all the hair on
top of his head. Then he remarked that his hair was getting too long
and he needed to get it cut. This led to someone (Mav?) commenting
that the reason Danielle left early was because she didn’t like his
hair. He pretended to be Danielle -- "If his hair isn’t better by
the second half, I’m out of here" -- or something to that effect.
I told him I wanted to call Nic, who hasn’t been to a gathering in
awhile but wanted to come. I asked if he would talk to her. He
sighed exaggeratedly and remarked that he was just a puppet on a
string for all us and he was just there for our entertainment. Um
yeah, what’s your point? When I called Nic, he said, “There's a
puppet here who wants to dance for you!” and flailed around like a
puppet. While he was talking to Nic, a call came in from Danielle
and he said, “Oh, it's Danielle. Too bad!”
At some point, someone asked him about the food
in the play -- was it real and did he eat it. They had to “eat”
Thanksgiving dinner and Easter dinner and he had to drink several
“beers.” He said yes, it was real but it was cold. He said the ham
tasted like sponge. And he laughed at the “did you really eat it?”
question. “How do you fake that?” he asked.
He said that he tried to eat a lot of food at
the beginning of the scene then stop eating after his character's
father started throwing a fit about something and imitated shoveling
it in. Someone commented that it was an acting choice. “Yes, a
choice! I didn't know the name for it before, but it's a choice!”
When he was eating the turkey during the play,
one of the characters commented that he “eats like he’s still in
prison,” which prompted huge grins from our group. I looked at Mav
and Cat and it was all we could do not to laugh out loud. He really
DID eat like he did on Oz. He said the beer was colored water and it
was not pleasant. Some nights, the color was inconsistent and looked
lighter than beer usually did. He said he tried drinking
non-alcoholic beer for awhile but it made him gassy. Then he
pretended what it would be like if he was saying his lines in
He said doing plays was exhausting and he didn’t know how anyone
could do long stretches of theater like they do on Broadway. He said
musicals had to be even worse because you have to be “up & happy”
every day, even if you're doing it for a year. Then he imitated a
fake happy face. Leslie asked him if actors had a trick that helped
do that. He said, “I don’t know.”
Someone asked him about the audience for the play and he said they
had been pretty good. He talked about this one guy who came in to
see the show recently who had a very dry, monotone laugh, which he
imitated. He said the guy would laugh at almost everything, even
stuff that wasn’t meant to be funny. He said it got to be annoying
after awhile. I can’t really describe how funny it was when Lee was
imitating this guy’s laugh, but he had all of us going. Lee joked
that the guy was thinking, “I'm at a comedy. I'll laugh at
everything and blend in!”
Lee also told us a really cool story about how John Travolta
recently became of fan of Oz and invited Chris Meloni and Lee to his
house in Florida. He said he got a couple of calls from John’s
assistant and at first he thought it was a joke that Dean Winters
set up because they had made a joke about John Travolta in "Godfather
IV." But turned out to be the real thing. So Leslie remarked,
“That’s weird. Did he proposition you?” Please, Leslie, don’t hold
back. So Lee replies, “Only as much as you have.” Leslie came right
back with, “So, yes.” This conversation went on for awhile and
Leslie once again commented that it was weird and then Lee made a
comment (really loud) that “I sucked his cock” literally just as the
waitress walked behind him. She gave him a look and said, “I'll just
go over here now,” and the whole table howled.
Turns out the waitress, Marnie, was an "Oz" fan and she said when we
arrived, her supervisor asked her if she wanted a table for 12, and
she thought she was being punished. But then she saw Lee and she
said she would be happy to take that table. She didn’t let on all
night that she was a fan until we were getting ready to leave. When
she first took our order, she said, "Did you guys come from the play
next door?" Lee said yes and started to go on about how good the
play was that that there was a very good actor in it she should see. Marnie was a very cool lady, that one. Then she posed for a pic with
Lee. At one point when she asked Lee's section of the table if they
needed anything, Lee said, “Do you need anything?” She responded, “a
nap,” and Lee said, “Curl up right over there. If anyone needs
anything, I'll get it.”
Leslie and Lee had a little snarkfest going all
night long. Leslie took over in Danielle’s role in that regard.
Later, while Lee was telling a story about "Army
Wives," Leslie accidentally knocked over the pepper shaker. He
stopped his story and said, “Hey, if you’re bored, you don’t need to
knock things over.” Then a couple of minutes later, Leslie knocked
her glass over. Lee admonished her, “Leslie, use your words.” Leslie
came right back with, “You’re boring me.” Oh snap. (Lee will be back
in "Army Wives" this next season and said he films the first episode
soon after the play ends.)
Also, during the snarkfest with Leslie over the Travolta, Lee
insisted that Beecher and Keller were the heart of the show, so it
makes sense that Travolta would want to hang out just with him and
Chris. Then he said, “If you were an 'Oz' fan, who would you rather
hang with? Adebisi? Mums??” Leslie said, “I’m not hanging out with
Adebisi right now, am I?” Lee said, “The Defense rests.” Hee hee!
Then he started quoting Poet’s first poem on the first episode and I
was amazed he remembered it. He quoted the part where Poet said, “I
said kill and he said chill,” complete with hand gestures and the
same inflection Poet used. It was so funny. I remarked that it
wouldn’t be surprising if one of us could quote it because we watch
Oz episodes a lot, but I was surprised that he could. Then he told
us that he had watched some episodes with his girlfriend, Yuko,
because she hadn’t seen them all yet. (WHAT?!) But he said that was
one of the ones he watched recently so it was fresh in his mind. He
said the first time Yuko started watching "Oz," her reaction was WTF?
He said he thinks she understands most of it now. At the May
gathering, Leslie said that Yuko mentioned she could have used a
At some point, he was talking about doing "Castle"
and he was talking about his character’s devotion to the foster
brother, who had the glandular problem that caused him to sweat a
lot. He said that they wanted him to play the sweaty guy but he
refused. “I have boundaries. I’ll do anal sex but I won’t sweat.”
Merrily looked at him and cheekily said, “Can you stop for a second?
I need to turn my tape over.” Everyone got a kick out of that. Then
he joked about this “tape” of him talking about anal sex would be
all over the internet tomorrow. If only.
The ladies teased me about my detailed write-ups. “And then he moved
his left eyebrow,” Leslie mocked. Hmph. I just want to help the
reader feel as if they were there. Is there something wrong with
As always, the night ended too soon and Lee surprised us by paying
the full check. That’s the second time he’d done that. What a
sweetie. I just adore the man. How great is it that after being a
fan for 10 years and meeting him 11 times, I still get giddy over
him? He’s still my No. 1 and there’s no one else who makes me feel
this way consistently. He’s still my happy place and I think he
always will be.
March 19, 2002
May 19, 2002
October 7, 2002
December 7, 2002
January 28, 2003
August 31, 2003
November 13, 2004
January 7, 2005
May 31, 2008
May 2, 2010
Dec. 4, 2010
Nov. 23, 2011
June 9, 2012