Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome Back Broadway!!!

Had to share this wonderful video of a short concert held at the Marriot Marquis today to celebrate the end of the Broadway strike.The tall dude in the red tanktop is one of my favorite guys and one of Broadway's brightest young stars, Cheyenne Jackson!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sharing some holiday clips...

One of my favorite performers, Peter Cincotti, singing "My Favorite Time of Year"...he's such a throwback to a nicer era. Absolutely love this kid!!! What a gorgeous voice and he just has multitudes of style and class.

"In this crazy New York town...where dreams are often found..."

It really makes me want to go dancing in the street in a fancy dress and shiny shoes. In the snow.

(As I also feel about Harry Connick, Jr., watching Peter in action really makes me wish I had learned to play the piano at some point.)

Another all-time favorite...Harry Connick, Jr. (Try not to dig too deep into this video...don't start asking yourself, "Who are all these children? Are they elves? Orphans? Where are their parents? What's up with the girl with the snowglobe? Why do they give Harry a wrapped-chair and all cheer?" Just focus on the very very pretty music and voice and the very very wonderful Mr. Connick.)

A classic...Christmas Eve on Sesame Street...Bert and Ernie sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", after Mr. Hooper saves the day. I really cry just THINKING about this number!

This is a nice little video...and it gets extra points for showing The People Tree, which is a staple in my childhood Christmas memories.

"Don't slip on the icy patch!"

My favorite movie ever ever ever...whether it's December or May.


Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Soulmates on the Subway

Yesterday, I announced that I was going to start paying more attention to my surroundings (which is something my mother claims I don't do much), just in case I'm ever in an elevator with a hysterically crying I won't miss them and I can do something nice to help them in their hour of need.

Today, I am going to announce that from now on, I'm going to not only ride the subway (I have legs. I prefer to use those as much as I can) much more, but also pay as careful attention on those subway trains as I plan to on elevators.

Just as you can never really know if somebody is completely crushed and needs a comforting soul unless they are physically hysterical and you are paying attention to them, you also can never know if the love of your life is on the same subway cart as you are...but you keep missing each other! Because you get off at different stops! Or you are too into US Weekly! Or making faces at a nearby baby in a stroller!

A few weeks ago, I heard about this kid:,21985,22786363-2902,00.html?from=public_rss

I think some people wrote Patrick Moberg off as scary/crazy/stalker...etc.etc.etc.

However, all I can say is...the world NEEDS more romantic, sentimental fools like you, Patrick Moberg!! (And I say that as one romantic, sentimental fool to another.)

Patrick and Camille (I always liked that name) are taking things one day at a time...and wouldn't it be wonderful if they do end up together forever? Maybe it CAN happen...who is to say it can't?

Then, I started wondering how often people meet their soulmates on the subway. It really doesn't seem like the most romantic setting.

I tried googling it. That was hard.

Well, I learned that Stephen Baldwin met his wife on a subway, and they have been married for a while. (And I am sure that you are eternally grateful to me for giving you that little tidbit.)

I couldn't find TOO many other stories, but Becki Newton, who plays Amanda on Ugly Betty met HER husband on the subway as well...(this is really one of the best "How We Met" stories ever. Maybe they made it up. It's just too cute to be true.)

Ugly Betty star Becki Newton met her husband of two years when the couple walked past each other on a New York City subway platform. The 28-year-old spotted fellow actor Chris Diamantopoulos during rush hour.

She says, "We actually met in Times Square on the subway platform. I was walking one way... and he was walking the other way. So we walked by each other and we had that moment where we looked at each other. And I started laughing because he was cute and he busted me checking him out.

"I kept walking and 30 seconds later felt a little tap on my shoulder (and he said), 'Excuse me, I think I might be lost.' I said, 'Mmm, I don't think you are.' He said, 'Maybe you're lost?' I said, 'No.' And he said, 'This area's very confusing, maybe we should just figure this out together.'"

After riding the subway together, Diamantopoulos asked Newton if she wanted to see him onstage in "The Full Monty." She recalls, "He said, 'I don't want to be too forward but maybe you'd like to come see me naked on Broadway sometime.' So I did and now we're married."

I also remembered the Savage Garden song "I Knew I Loved You." I love their stuff!!! I would listen to the same songs over and over when I was in high school. (Although I must admit...knowing that Darren wrote "Truly Madly Deepy", one of my all-time favorite songs, and other romantic songs, about/for his wife...and they later divorced...and now he is married to a man...kind of crushed me a bit...but I definitely believe that Darren was always honest with the emotions he expresses in his songs.)

In the video, Darren spots a woman (played by Kirsten Dunst...who was about seventeen at the time, and Darren was quite a bit older, so once you forget about the creepy factor, it's really very sweet) on the subway (or "tube"? What do they call it down there?) and imagines an entire future with her.

The lyrics are painfully cheesy and romantic and idealistic.

And I love 'em!

Maybe it's intuition
But some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes
I see my future in an instant
And there it goes
I think I've found my best friend
I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

Here's the video:

All that for somebody you have never even spoken for that you are sitting across from on the subway?!

Things like that only happen in 90's Savage Garden songs...right? real life...


Patrick Moberg has shown us that it really DOES happen in real life.

We should all be so lucky.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Congratulations, Helio and Julianne!!!

Also, it was very nice to see Albert Reed again. I liked that guy!

To remind everybody of one of my greatest goals:

It WILL happen some day!!!

It had to be YOU...wonderful had to be yoooooooou

I have always wanted to be some kind of a celebrity...just so I could have some kind of I could be nice to them and make their day...just by being NICE. I like to consider myself a nice person...but I don't think it means too much to people.

When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of Harry Connick, Jr. (Well, I still am a huge fan of Harry Connick, Jr...but am now able to listen to him and talk about him without shrieking like a banshee.) He is probably the first entertainer I ever became a fan of on my own (as opposed to Frank Sinatra, who I grew up thinking was a member of my family.)

Let's go back to 1996...

I was an awkward, goofy 14-year-old kid and my favorite star in the entire world…the first entertainer I was ever a fan of…the first person I hung on my bedroom wall and up in my locker at school…the first albums I ever bought with my own money…called me on the telephone and I am yet to forget just how much that meant to me.

Why did he call me on the telephone?

I have always been crazy with the yarn. I love making things for people. The majority of people that I know and love have some kind of crocheted article of clothing or Christmas ornament from me.

Harry Connick, Jr. is no exception.

When I went to meet Harry at the Star Turtle CD signing, I gave him a pillow I made for his newborn baby, Georgia. (It was pink and white and had her name on it!) I included a card.

Three weeks later, I came home from the movies (I was actually seeing Independence Day, because Harry was in it, of course, even though he died in the first fifteen minutes) to my sister telling me that, "You are going to freak. No, really, you are going to FREAK. Harry Connick, Jr. called you to thank you for the pillow. He said he'd call back..."

And call back Harry Connick, Jr. DID.

I picked up.

Diana: Hello?
Harry: Hello, is Diana there?
Diana: Yes. This is Diana.
Harry: Hi, Diana, this is Harry Connick, Jr. How are you?
Diana: I am good. How are you?


Honestly, just the nicest, lovliest man.

We talked for a few minutes. He told me that Georgia LOVED her pillow and that she snuggles with it, and he was sure that when she learned to talk, she'd tell them how much she loved it.

A few days later, I got a thank-you note “from” Georgia, which I can only assume was written by Harry's wife, Jill. (I can’t imagine anybody but a mommy writing a note from a baby and signing it “love and kisses”). I became a fan of Jill’s right then as well. Whenever I see pictures of the Connick family, which now includes three little girls, I smile. What a beautiful family.

Now, I don’t know if Harry could ever understand how much that meant to me. To Harry, he was just doing something simple and polite…calling somebody to thank them for giving you a baby gift…something you would do for anybody. However, it was so much more than that to me! After that experience, I wanted to be some kind of a performer just so I could make some random kid as happy as he made me with a two-minute phone call.

I remain a devoted fan of Harry Connick, Jr. I listen to his Christmas album on repeat during the holidays, and I saw him in concert back in April. (Georgia and her little sister Kate got up and danced with him on stage that night!) He is the best live act I have ever seen...just BRIMMING with charisma and personality and it is so clear that he just loves what he does so, so much. He really just lights-up like a little kid when he's up onstage, and it is a pure delight to witness.

He will have a fan in me, as a performer and as a person, for life.

(Remember that episode of Growing Pains when Ben discovers that his music idol is a real jerk and cheats on his wife? And he realizes that it is possible to be a fan of somebody's work, even if they're not a great person? Well, I am happy to have found a wonderful entertainer AND human being in Harry Connick, Jr. He absolutely deserves everything that comes his way, professionally or personally.)

What a guy!

(As I was writing this, I popped in the Pajama Game cast recording.)

Two weeks ago, I discovered that you don't need to be a celebrity to be nice to people and have it really mean something.

I had a trauma, and I was hysterical crying in an elevator.

And we are talking HYSTERICAL.

And then an extremely kind woman who I barely said two words to in my life noticed me (it was hard not was a small elevator...and did I mention I was hysterical crying?). She took me into her office, she calmed me down, and then she walked me about fifteen blocks and helped me get to my train. She even called my mother to tell her what happened.

Like my Harry Connick, Jr. experience, I will never forget this woman's kindness. She doesn't have two Grammys and a Tony nomination, but she does have a great deal of class and kindness to share. I will forever be grateful to her for being so kind to me in my hour of need.

So...while it would be nice to be a star...and have fans...I have discovered that it isn't really necessary...being nice to people really DOES pay off sometimes, and can really make a difference, no matter what the celebrity status of either one.

From now on, I'll just be on the look-out for crying people in elevators.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Parade reminder!

Cheyenne Jackson and the cast of Xanadu will be performing early on in the parade!

On a related note, here is a really great interview with Cheyenne:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I love this time of year

I really love this time of year.

I know a lot of people complain that stores start playing holiday music too far in advance, but I cannot get enough of it and feel that the holidays come and go much too quickly. Why shouldn't we all stretch out this magical season as far as we possibly can?

Now, I am a complete sap, and during the holidays, I am about ten times worse. I become incredibly sentimental and weepy. I'm not sure when I started getting this bad, I think it happened with the first Christmas after my dad died. In fact, just before, I found myself getting teary over a Crest White Strips commercial, about going home for the holidays and seeing your family and how important it is that your teeth look really white. (Because your relatives clearly won't love you if your teeth are yellowing.)

Hallmark holiday commercials are especially torturous.

There was once this old Hallmark commercial with the couple from Father of the Bride. The wife is going through her ornaments going, "This is the one that my grandma gave me when I was six...and this is from my first dance recital...and this..." (she gets all choked-up and stops.) Her husband says, "And this is the one that always makes you cry." He hugs her. I lose it.

In another, a little boy is doing a presentation about his life for school. He uses Christmas ornaments to tell the story...a dog, a car, etc. He finishes, and the teacher realizes he hasn't mentioned the last ornament. "Billy (or Tommy or Joey or Johnny or whatever his name is), what's that ornament?" Billy (or Tommy or Joey or Johnny or whatever his name is) shows the ornament, a star, and says, "That's because my mom says I'm the light of her life."

I lose it. LOSE IT.

And do not get me STARTED on that Hannukah card commercial, when Grandpa is telling the children about when he came over to America and was an orphan and celebrated the holidays with a nice family he met and was friends with the son. But then, they got to America and, "I never heard from him again."

Somebody hands Grandpa a card.

Grandpa opens it.

"Grandpa...what does the card say?"

Grandpa: It says I'm going to have to change the end of that story...

My goodness.

Not to mention, that very classic Folgers coffee commercial when Peter comes home for Christmas, and his little sister wakes up and sees him. He shushes her, and then they make coffee and it wakes the rest of the family up. Mom goes, "PETER! You came HOME!"

This commercial comes on every year...probably for my entire LIFE...and I still cry.

The holidays really ARE an emotionally draining time for some (or, at least, for me).

Which is why we (I) need to rely on classic cheesy dorky movies that I can make fun of and laugh. (And occasionally cry.)

Okay, there are some truly great films made for the holidays (It's a Wonderful Life and A Miracle on 34th Street, two of my all-time favorite movie, holidays or not!) but there are also some wonderfully cheesy movies that I love watching every year.

Such as Santa Who?

It is REALLY stupid. Santa Claus has amnesia. But I will watch it again when Lifetime shows it this year.

Also, the hero in this movie, Steven Eckholdt, was also in another Christmas movie about memory loss...Comfort and Joy, ( playing opposite Nancy McKeon of Facts of Life fame.

Stephen also starred in this one... Which, ODDLY ENOUGH, I HAVE NEVER SEEN! I will be on the look-out for it this year.

He is truly the King of Lifetime Christmas movies, and I greatly admire him.

Some other of my favorites...

The Night They Saved Christmas-

The North Pole is being blown-up! Can Jacklyn Smith and her kids save it in time for Christmas? (Bet they will.)

It Nearly Wasn't Christmas-
a little girl writes to Santa and asks him to bring her Daddy home for Christmas...she THINKS he is a singing sensation out in LA...he is really playing the piano in shopping malls. (You're probably upset that I just gave you the entire plot and ending of the movie, but I can assure you taht there is so much more to it!) One of the Osmond brothers plays Dad.

Susan Lucci at her heartbreaking best as Elizabeth Scrooge...Honestly, I remember watching this the first year it aired and going, "Oh, I think Susan is finally getting an Emmy!"

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street-
Big Bird camps out on the roof to find out how Santa Claus gets down the chimeny, while Bert and Ernie find themselves in a Gift of the Magi scenario when Ernie sells his Rubber Ducky to buy Bert a cigar case for his paperclip collection...and Bert sells his paperclip collection to buy Ernie a soapdish for his Rubber Ducky. (Don't worry...Mr. Hooper saves the day. Doesn't Mr. Hooper ALWAYS saves the day, though?!) I dare you not to cry during Bert and Ernie's lovely rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."

Harry Connick, Jr.'s first Christmas special-includes the cutest (and weirdest) skit in the world in which Harry plays a janitor backstage at a Broadway show on Christmas Eve. Carol Burnett plays the star of the show, and the two bond over being lonely during the holidays. They sing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" , dance a little, then Carol Burnett disappears. It is heartbreaking. (Plus, Harry Connick, Jr. is most likely one of the most talented and charming and wonderful and gorgeous human beings currently in existance.)

Little House on the Prairie-I grew up on this show. I continue to love this show. There are three Little House Christmas specials which stand out. There's the one when Laura sells her horse to buy Ma a new stove for Christmas. Another when everybody gets snowed in on Christmas Eve and they all remember their favorite holidays...and, of course, the one where Laura's baby is kidnapped by a deranged woman and they find her on Christmas Eve. (Of course they would. Why wouldn't they?)

A Very Brady Christmas-
never fails to make me laugh...Mr. Brady gets trapped under a fallen building and the gang sings "O Come All Ye Faithful" while waiting for him to be rescued.

A Muppet Family Christmas-
Kermit, Miss Piggy and their friends spend the holidays with Fozzie's Grandma. The party is crashed by the Sesame Street gang! There won't be a dry eye in the house when Jim Hensen makes a cameo at the end. Not a dry eye! "Don't slip on the icy patch!!!"

A Bing Crosby Family Christmas-my dad and I used to watch this, but I don't think it's been on TV in a while. I liked all the random little skits with his family.

Nester the Long-Eared Donkey-
this movie should be illegal.

The Muppet Christmas Carol-
Featuring Kermit's nephew Robin as Tiny Tim. Some great music, too. "The love is gone...the looooooooooooove is goooooooooooooooone."

Eloise at Christmastime-yes, I own this DVD... One of Broadway's most talented young actors, Gavin Creel, plays Bill the Singing Waiter in this movie, and dances around on the piano with his old love singing "Together" from Gypsy. Plus, little Eloise is the best. I want to have a kid like her some day.

I love this time of year.


Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Self-Esteem Box

For as long as I have known her (eight years), my friend Lori has had something that she calls a "Self-Esteem Box."

This box is filled with positive letters and greeting cards and awards and things she wrote that have been published. When she is feeling down, she opens her Self-Esteem Box and it reminds her that she is talented and smart and should feel good about herself.

While I never had my own Self-Esteem box, I do have a portfolio that I keep for when I go on job interviews (and in my time, I have been on roughly seventy-four thousand job interviews)...articles I have written (including the full-page story about John F. Kennedy, Jr. that I wrote after he died that was published in the Teen Section of The Asbury Park was called the "Whatever" Section. Yup.), the Chicago playbill with my name next to "Press Intern" that I had been so excited to first see, the interview with Party of Five star Jeremy London (he was so nice to me!) that I did when I was 18 for Teen People magazine, and the program from the Frank Sinatra conference that I presented at when I was 16.

(Sometimes I worry that I did all the exciting things I will ever do before I turned 20...)

I think many people will go through this portfolio and think, "Wow. This chick has done quite a bit!" I even say that myself when I look through it after I haven't in a while.

Yesterday was a very rough day.

I cried a lot. (However, I also have a new puppy, who sat on my lap and kept licking the tears on my face. A new puppy really really helps matters.)

I felt physically ill, and could hardly see straight.

I talked to several close friends or relatives, just to be reassured and told that I was loved and that I was going to be okay.

I didn't fall asleep until about 6 AM, and then only slept for about three hours.

My self-esteem, at the moment, is down.

Terribly down.

So, I decided to put together my own Self-Esteem box.

I dragged out my portfolio and took the papers out of the plastics, scanned and copied things, and spent an hour going through pictures and letters.

Among the things in my Self-Esteem box are photos of myself giving a speech at my sister's wedding back in September, and ones of people reacting to it. (Even people I had never even met, who didn't even know my sister that well, let alone ME, so the fact that they were so into my speech, says a lot about my speech, if I may say so myself.)

Some background on The Speech:

And here is The Speech:

People laughed, they cried. There are several shots of my sister and brother-in-law, looking up at me and cracking of my cousin, leaning forward and holding her stomach in laughter, some of completely random people looking touched and amused.

Those pictures make me feel pretty good!

I am funny.

I am a good writer.

I am an excellent public speaker. Excellent!

(Okay, give me a break, this is about boosting my self-esteem right now, remember?)

I found some photographs from my Frank Sinatra experience. (If you are not familiar with the story...

In these photos, I am being interviewed by Access Hollywood and in another, Frank Sinatra's daughter, Tina Sinatra, is hugging me and we are both crying.

(How many people can say they have that? Seriously!)

I watched the recording of the staged reading of Margot the Musical: Diary of the Other Young Girl , the show Lori and I wrote together which was performed by the wonderful students of William Paterson University two weeks ago.

(Didn't hear about that show? Here you go...

My mom couldn't make the reading, so we watched it together, and I was reminded how much people LAUGHED at our show, and that it was really quite funny and touching. We created something that made an impact on a bunch of people, and it just might be the beginning for it. That is something to feel very good about.

I reread the column I had posted over the summer on the website Dare to be Fabulous.

I am still not feeling quite well today, and I'm a bundle of nerves over what is going to happen next.

However, going through all of these things at once...things that reminded me how I ended up a lead story on Access Hollywood when I was a junior in high writing which landed me a spot reporting for Teen People magazine when I was a freshman in college...the way I was able to add something special to my older sister's very special day...the show my friend and I created that was received so well.

There is absolutely no reason why things have to end here.

If all this happened in just the FIRST 25 years of my life, I have no reason to be nothing but absolutely excited and anticipating what is in store for me in the future.

Little Women, ala Winona Ryder and Claire Danes, is one of my favorite movies. When I first saw it, when I wasn't bawling over Beth getting her piano, I truly connected with Jo...the writer...crazy sensitive...hates change. (And she considered her hair her one great beauty, as do I.)

There's a scene when Marmee (played by Susan Sarandon) tells Jo, "You have so many extraordinary can you expect to live an ordinary life?" Maybe I can keep telling myself that. Maybe things aren't SUPPOSED to run so smoothly for me...with a job/relationship/life that just falls into (average) place.

I know it's really going to be okay...I'm just not feeling so great right now.

Things will turn around eventually...

How could they not for the "Teen Who Touched Frank Sinatra's Heart", after all?

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Random acts of something

It makes me really sad that so many people are scared of New York City.

I lived in New York City until I was in the fourth grade, and even though I know the move was for the sake of my sister and myself, I honestly couldn't keep away. I work up there now, since I have accepted the fact that I will never have money (ever) to live there, and I must say, my heart remains in Manhattan.

I don't think I ever had a scary moment growing-up, and the first time I ever remember being truly freaked-out was when we went to see Cabaret for my sister's 21st birthday. (I know what you are thinking..."Diana, I thought YOU were the theatre junkie in the family and your sister couldn't really care less about it!" True. At the time, my sister had a fascination with Studio 54, and Cabaret was currently being performed she had her first legal drink at Studio 54. Which was pretty cool.)

This show completely gave me the creeps. That Emcee was just horrifying to me. The ending just...aughhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! As we were walking in the street after that show, I felt really scared. Not of being mugged or shot or anything...but of creepy little men with white faces dancing around going, "Wilkommen...velcome!" Yes, I was scared of that. And of Nazis.

But never of New York City.

Recently, my friend and I were browsing a street fair on 9th Avenue. She stopped at a table to check out some bracelets, and suddenly, a guy came up behind her, went, "Christina, I think you dropped this..." handed her a couple of $1 bills, and kept walking.

When she checked her bag, she found her wallet was missing.


I can't even begin to imagine how violated she felt, because I felt violated enough and it wasn't even my wallet.

(We ended up going to the Times Square police station to talk to them about it, and I'd like to say that the policewoman who helped us was extremely kind and patient...unlike the cops from THIS disaster...

Of COURSE people are scared of the city, because they hear about stuff like this happening.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a very lost-looking lady trying to figure out how to get a NJ transit ticket home. She was completely clueless, and was trying to stop people for help. Nobody stopped for her.

So I went over to her and asked her if she needed help.

I went over to the ticket machine with her and punched in all the right things to get her her ticket (I can do it blindfolded by now!) and at one point she ran off to check the board for the train and left me alone with the machine, and her credit card inside of it.

She trusted me.

I could have very easily stolen her credit card...of course I didn't...but I could have. I'm glad she trusted me.

When she finally had her ticket and knew which track she was boarding on, she honestly acted like I had given her a kidney.

It makes me sad that the simplest acts of human courtesy are such a big deal. Is the world in THAT much of a mess???

On a similar train-related note, a few weeks ago, there was a letter tacked onto the bulletin board of the Little Silver train station (where I board my train every day for my fifteen-hour commute to work).

The letter was from some lady who had left her purse behind before she got onto the train. (At first I read that and thought, "How do you just FORGET your purse???" then I said to myself, "Diana, you are the girl who has been known to put her cellphone in the dishwasher and are in absolutely no place to judge...") Somebody found the purse, took the woman's cellphone out, called "Mom" or "Home" or somebody listed in her address book to tell them they had the bag in their possession and arranged to meet them to give to to them. The lady was looking for that good samaritan to say thank-you.

Yes, it WAS very nice for the person to do all of that, but it was the right thing to do!!!!!!!! Do so few people do the right thing that the right thing is such a big deal????

The other morning before work, I heard a few British (I think) tourists trying to find the TKTs line (the TKTs "Island", as I have always called it, is being renovated and the TKTs line is now on the side of the Marriot.) I stopped to tell these people where they could find the line (anything to spread the love of Broadway...go see Xanadu, people!) and some other tourists overheard and came over to me to ask me questions as well.

A woman I worked with was walking by, and laughed at me and went, "Helping tourists?"

Yes, I am.

We all should.

It's really not a scary city if you run into the right people.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Read this in the NY Post this morning...

This newstory fits in very well with my most recent entry:

I think some people might think this guy is a little creepy.

I say, the world needs more sentimental romantic fools like you, Patrick Moberg!!!!!

You go find that girl!

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tonight, tonight...

And some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies-Sex and the City

On Saturday night, I went to see a production of West Side Story and was instantly reminded of two things:

-Why West Side Story always was and always WILL be my number-one show.


-Why I am a completely hopeless romantic with absolutely no signs of growing out of it any time soon.

And it scares me.

It really makes me wonder...are diehard romantics the ones who end up dying alone? Are they waiting for something that just doesn't exist and doesn't ever happen and in the process, let several chances at happiness with a perfectly nice guy pass right by them?

I've always been a hopeless romantic...maybe it's because I was brought-up on old movies and music of a simpler and lovlier and more innocent era. (The scene in It's a Wonderful Life when George tells Mary that he "never wants to get anyone!" and breaks down and kisses her absolutely remains one of the most intense and passionate love scene in any movie. Ever. And they don't even DO anything!) I should have been around in the 1940's, or even before then.

When I would take creative writing classes in high school, mine were always filled with tales of handsome Irish Orphan Boys growing-up and going out into the world and finding love. (And, yes, they HAD to be Irish and they had to be orphans. I have absolutely no idea why. It became a joke among my schoolfriends. I can even remember one of them signing in my yearbook, "There is an Irish Orphan Boy out there for all of us...I promise.")

When my sister and I first watched the movie Never Been Kissed together, I burst into tears at the end when Josie FINALLY gets a real kiss and everybody cheers for her. My sister, however, just laughed when the kid asked her if she was in Special Ed. (Can you tell she and I had very different high school experiences?)

When I was younger (or, you know, NOW), I would always say that I didn't want to get married or anything unless I had a really really good "how we met" story that PROVED that faith brought us together. Stories like that were all around cousin reconnected with a high school crush on the eve of her brother's wedding and were married two years later. My sister and her husband were platonic roommates first. Even when I worked at the bookstore, there was a guy and a girl who were locked out in the bargain vestibule one morning and got to talking and were married several years later.

I didn't (well, don't) just want some, "We met on!" "A mutual friend introduced us!" "We went to college together!" story.

I wanted (well, want) a, "WOW! IT WAS REALLY MEANT TO BE, WASN'T IT?!" story.

I find myself always looking for those "signs". A few years ago, I was wrapping customers' purchases at Barnes and Noble on Christmas Eve. A woman snapped at me because I wasn't wrapping her exercise equipment to her liking (yes, she bought exercise equipment at Barnes and Noble) and snatched it from me and told me that she'd just do it herself at home.

A young guy on line behind her asked me if I wanted him to run after her and go, "MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TOO LADY!" and then he stayed for a while and joked around with me and cheered on my giftwrapping skills for a while.

He eventually gave me his phone number on a scrap of wrapping paper. I never called him, and he would cross my mind a few times after seemed quite Family Channel Holiday Movie sceneish to me. In the movie, though, I would lose the number and then find it on New Year's Eve or the following Christmas or something.

Also in the movie, I'd be played by Julianna Margulies.

What if that wrapping paper guy WAS my soulmate? What if that rude woman was sent to me for a reason on that Christmas Day in order to help us meet?

What if what if what if...

If it was really meant to be, wouldn't our paths have crossed again?

(Honestly, I can't even remember what this guy looked like and I wouldn't know him if I fell over him in the street.)

I can't believe that after watching the movie seven thousand times and listening to the album over and over and seeing a bunch of community and regional productions, West Side Story still absolutely makes me melt...every single time. When I was reading the bios in my program Saturday night, the man who played Doc wrote that the gymnasium scene was very similar to how he met his wife...and I read that, and thought, "Now THIS is what it's all about! Seeing somebody from across a crowded room and knowing that very moment!" I wonder how often that really happens.

After "One Hand, One Heart", I turned to my friend and whispered, "HE IS GOING TO DIE SOON!"

And, of course, Tony DID die. Tony dies every time.

I think the ending of West Side Story is MUCH more tragic than the ending of Romeo and Juliet. I honestly don't find Romeo and Juliet sad at all. Romeo and Juliet both end up dead! Maria ends up alone! Then I would start to wonder, "IS she going to ever love again?" And, my mind goes in the other direction also..."What if Tony HAD lived? Would things have worked out for them? Were they really in love?"

But I just love that story! (And it is near-impossible for me to ever listen to the scene when they first meet and not hold out my arms and snap my fingers like they do...) It always makes my heart soar and believe that things like that really can happen. I can tell myself a million times that love at first sight just doesn't happen like that...that Maria and Tony knew each other for a serious could it have possibly BEEN? And that now that he's dead and she's only, what, 17...she'll probably be married to somebody else with children within the next five years and will never even GIVE that random boy she loved and lost all within twenty-four hours once upon a time a second thought!!! I can tell myself this a million times...and it honestly doesn't make a difference at all.

And, like my friend wrote in my yearbook so many years ago...there really IS an Irish Orphan Boy out there for everybody. (Although I'm sure when he turns up, he'll probably be in a really good disguise and not even BE an Irish Orphan Boy at all!...)

Old habits are very hard to break. Perhaps the term "hopeFUL" romantic is more precise...

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I would just like to take a moment... give a quick shout-out to my dear Godfather/Uncle Vinny, whom I have just learned reads this blog.

Hi Uncle Vinny.

Diana Rissetto