I must be the slowest person on the planet to catch onto a craze.
OK, so maybe this technically isn’t a craze… jumping on the bandwagon seems more apt.
Anyway, I’ve been reading for the past year or more that Jersey girl Chelsea Handler is something else (in a good way) and that her show, “Chelsea Lately” (11 p.m. weeknights on E!), is great. I finally happened upon it one rainy June night (weren’t they all?) watching her interview Peter “Twilight” Facinelli (see below) and got hooked.
I immediately loved her laid-back, snarky interview style and started watching her show regularly. Within a week I’d borrowed her first book, “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands,” from my library and quickly laughed my way through it.
Then I found out she was actually coming to the Garden State July 3! I was ecstatic and bought a standing-room only ticket, which was all they had left. I finally got my hands on her latest book, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” the day before the show and am currently reading it. (My favorite so far? Her DUI arrest. Hilarious!)
So on Friday I trucked it up to Montclair – to the sweltering hot Wellmont Theatre (seriously, people, have you never heard of air-conditioning?) – to see Chelsea perform stand-up. I was most excited at the thought of meeting Chelsea, which seemed like a distinct possibility because she’s always signing autographs at the end of her E! show. (Just in case, I bought a copy of “My Horizontal Life” and brought it with me… along with my camera.)
My suspicions were confirmed when Chelsea announced she would try to come out after the show. But being that she was also feeling the effects of the 120-degree theater (after bottles of water, towels and a borrowed hair clip failed to provide any relief), I wondered if she would.
Just to be safe, though, once the show ended I headed for the lobby. Where else would the venue set up a meet-and-greet? I’d seen Chris Isaak and Lisa Loeb do exactly the same thing and it went very well.
Well, it turns out I was both right and wrong: Chelsea did indeed come out after the show, but for some reason she came back out on stage, so everyone (many staggering with an alcoholic beverage in hand) scrambled to the front of the theater to get photos/autographs. Needless to say, it was mayhem. I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops (hey, remember, I stood through the entire show – and an hour beforehand), and my feet fell victim to at least one stomping.
I made my way to the stage as quickly as I could and pulled out my book, waving it in the air like everyone else was doing. Hey, it seemed to work, because Chelsea kept grabbing them and signing them. Unfortunately, within moments of me getting close enough to wave the book in her face, Chelsea’s handlers (ha ha, get it?) pulled her off stage.
Sigh. Such is life.