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A few days ago, I decided to change the heading photo on this blog. I figured a picture of me with Zachary Levi wearing a “Nerd” shirt was a good indication of the kind of things I write here.

And then I couldn’t remember if I wrote about meeting Zachary Levi. So I clicked on the tag “musical” and looked back.

I’m really sorry about all the Glee posts. There are a LOT of them. And no post about She Loves Me! So here’s the story behind the photo.

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Some time this winter I was coming home from work on the bus, and I was listening to Fresh Air. Sheldon Harnick was on talking about the new production of She Loves Me. Being a theater nerd, I’m always interested in how theater people work, and this was a particularly interesting conversation about making different productions of the same musical over time. And then Sheldon Harnick casually dropped my cousin’s name.

I have a cousin who does orchestrations on Broadway, and I’m used to seeing his name on big shows (though I’m always dazzled by it). But this was Sheldon Harnick saying that the new orchestration was better than the original, and he knew it would be because my cousin is so good at his job. It was exciting. And then they started talking about how good the star was, and I thought, “Who’s Zachary Levi? I know him. I like him.” And then I realized that Zachary Levi is Chuck, and Flynn Rider, and the Kid LOVES him.

And I realize that not only do I have to support my cousin’s production (we try to see as many as we can afford) but this is also my chance to get the Kid over her newfound hatred of musicals. I have no need for the Kid to love musical theater like I do. I get that I’m a geek and she doesn’t have to be. She’ll geek out about her own things. But she’s always enjoyed musicals, and I’d hate for that to die just because she was rebelling against my love of Hamilton.

When I got home, I went and found the Kid. She was playing in the park. I told her it was time for dinner, and as we walked home, I said, “I just heard that Zachary Levi is in a Broadway show. Too bad you don’t like musicals, or I’d take you to try and get his autograph at the stage door.”

That got her. The Kid loves to meet celebrities. Suddenly, she HAD to go to She Loves Me. We got tickets, and then I got nervous. What if Levi didn’t come out after the show? We were going to a matinee. Maybe he would stay inside and take a break between shows. The Kid would be so disappointed.

It turns out, I had no need for concern. Not only does Levi make it a practice to come out after every single show, he bough speakers so he could play music for the fans while they wait for autographs. He goes down the whole line, signing autographs, and then he comes back and takes photos with anyone who wants them. He is the most generous actor I’ve ever seen at a stage door.

Some day I’ll go to San Diego Comic Con, and then I’ll check out Nerd HQ. Then I can nerd out with Zachary Levi about things that are not Broadway related. But for now, I got to Broadway Nerd with him, and with my family, and I got to enjoy my cousin’s play and make my Kid happy, all at the same time. It was a great day.

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