Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cheyenne "Chooses" Applebee's?!

Cheyenne "Chooses" Applebee's?!

One of my rituals in seeing a Broadway show is reading the Playbill I'm provided from cover to cover.

Aside from devouring the essential "Who's Who in the Cast" and "At This Theatre" highlights, I also enjoy the monthly theatre quiz, along with stories on current shows.

Yet one dubious monthly feature that I just don't get is the monthly "Celebrity Choice" section. It always includes the headshots of a couple Broadway babies and then showcases the restaurants they "choose." Mind you, the actors and actresses are never quoted in the veiled advertorials. However, you would think that the restaurant detailed below their photos would be one of their favorite places to eat, wouldn't you?

With that in mind, I was more than a little surprised by the entry showing up over the past month with Cheyenne Jackson of Xanadu. The heading actually said, "Cheyenne Jackson (Sonny in Xanadu at the Helen Hayes Theatre) chooses Applebee's."

I read that and thought, you've got to be kidding. A man of such style and grace that he would deliberately choose, yes choose -- if given a choice -- would prefer to eat at a restaurant like Applebee's?! Was his only other choice Chevy's?? I mean, I could see him choosing a restaurant like Xing (my personal favorite) or something else with a little zing, but Applebee's?!?! I just wonder what Cheyenne thought when he saw that edition of Playbill.

UPDATE (12:21 EDT, October 30): Thanks to Gil for spotting a great rant from Cheyenne himself on his blog where he discusses how he literally stopped the show because of some rude audience member whose cell phone wouldn't stop ringing. Jackson says: "So if by any chance that woman is reading this........I'm sorry, and would like to treat you to a nice dinner at Applebees, which apparently is my favorite restaurant, though I've never been there."

CORRECTION (12:52 EDT, October 30): Thanks to Esther for spotting my error above. Seems Jackson thought he was dealing with an errant cell phone abuser, when in fact he was told backstage: ".......Just wanted you to know that that wasn't a cell phone, it was feedback from a ladys' hearing aide." My apologies to Mr. Jackson for reporting his story incorrectly! I'd be willing to buy both the lady and Mr. Jackson dinner! Cheyenne, are you listening?

What's your favorite place to eat around Broadway's theatre district? That is, if you even have time to eat?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Gil said...

There's an article the other month in Time Out New York that exposes that they don't choose anything, it's basically they get a free dinner or something for getting their name used.

Can't find it on their website though...

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Esther said...

Well, since I've usually been by myself, I haven't had a great deal of experience at the finer-dining establishments in the theatre district. But I did try Xing, at your recommendation, and I really liked it. The cod is a great, light pre-theatre dish. And I loved walking through the neighborhood because it's a little off the beaten tourist track. I was thrilled to read in my Playbill Broadway Yearbook that Xing was a favorite hangout of the cast of "110 in the Shade."

I'm a big salmon fan, and I had possibly the best salmon ever at The Blue Fin, the restaurant in The W Times Square.

And of course, I had a truly unforgettable seared tuna salad sitting outdoors at the cafe in Bryant Park. It's such a nice setting, a little oasis in the city. And best of all was the company. That's really what make a great dining experience.

Funny, I never thought of New York as a seafood city, like Boston or San Francisco. But there you go!

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Gil, Call me a snob or an SOB, but I can't imagine anyone trading in their good name for a free meal at Applebee's (except perhaps Wanda Sykes) when there are so many other good eateries to be found within a stone's throw of Broadway.

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, So glad you enjoyed Xing. I'm quite fond of Asian cuisine, so I've eaten there often. I love the restaurant selections on 9th Avenue, which is far enough away from the claptrap of Times Square.

Glad you enjoyed Bryant Park, too.

As for seafood, just remember that New York City is right on the coast!

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Gil said...


I will call you a SOB, thanks for the offer. And it made sense to me when they were getting a free family meal at the Blue Fin or something pricier like that... but for Applebees, it makes me think that maybe they don't get a meal but just get paid outright.

And if I ever someday see Cheyenne at an Applebees I will cry. Because WHAT WILL I BE DOING IN AN APPLEBEES?

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Gil, If I ever see you in Applebee's, trust me...I'll be SOBbing, too.

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Gil said...

Oh here's some more:


"I'm sorry, and would like to treat you to a nice dinner at Applebees, which apparently is my favorite restaurant, though I've never been there."

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Gil, Thanks for providing the link. Enjoyed his blog posting, particularly how he stopped the show because of one rude cell phone offender.

At 30 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few of my favorite theatre district restaurants:

Marseilles- a good French-Med with a nice atmosphere.

Esca- a pricey but very good Italian.

Virgil's BBQ- Rowdy and packed but has good and decently priced BBQ.

Osteria Al Doge- Authentic venetian cuisine with great service.

Db Bistro Moderne- Phenomenal French Bistro cooking from Daniel Boulud.

Blue Fin- Decent seafood.

And if you're going to Encores at City Center, one of my favorite restaurats in NYC- Osteria del Circo- wonderful Tuscan cuisine with 1st class service.


At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks for sharing, Michael! Some great selections in there.

At 30 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How funny, we saw a Xanadu matinee two weeks ago and the show had just started, Cheyenne was saying his few lines but stopped dead because he heard something near the front row. We were in the back and couldn't tell if it was a cell phone, but we vaguely heard it and he just stood there for about 20-30 seconds and finally said something like "We're waiting..." And the sound finally stopped and the show went on. I wonder if that's the same incident?

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Anonymous, it certainly sounds like the same incident!

How did the audience react? And did you enjoy the performance?

At 30 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Cheyenne's blog after I posted my first comment and now I'm certain that was the same show, wow! The audience murmured a little and I think a few people laughed but that was about it.

Overall it was a cute show, but for some reason it seemed very unfinished to me, like I was seeing half of a final product. At the end when the cast yells for you to get up and dance, they made it through the whole final song and only a few rows of people were standing up and clapping. Actually, I think that might be the first time I've ever been at a show where the cast didn't get an automatic standing ovation. I guess they're pretty much standard now, but besides for those few rows who were standing, we just stood up and left after clapping through the final song.

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks for sharing, Anonymous.

I have to tell you, I'm not a huge fan of forced standing O's -- and even though I found Xanadu to be a guilty pleasure, I found myself in a front-row seat where I felt I had no choice but to stand up and clap along.

At 30 October, 2007, Blogger E said...

A friend of mine regularly works on Broadway, and he says that the whole "Broadway Star Chooses Restaurant" thing is a sham. He was said to enjoy a restaurant that he had never seen!

At 31 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

E, Thanks for the dish!

At 31 October, 2007, Blogger Mondschein said...

Being on a gluten-free diet, sometimes restaurant choices can be difficult for me. One place I really like is Dervish Turkish on W46th - not terribly pricey and excellent food. The best burger in the area is Island Burger on 9th Ave at 51st.


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