So there we were racing to get to AT&T Park. Late. San Francisco traffic was not cooperating. Barry was already onstage when we took our seats. Dammit! Once in the venue I looked around and realized the entire ball park was empty. Then I looked down onto the field and saw that it was because most of seats were huddled around the ice skating rink. Righteous.
We also realized that we were the youngest people there by like 30 years. And we're not that young. We took our seats next to a group of ladies that I can only describe as die-hard Dorothy Hamill fans/seasoned alcoholics who spent the entire evening talking about how they all used to have her haircut. Yes, Dorothy still has it, but damn. Girl looks fabulous. I mean, she looks pretty much how she looked in 1976 except her skirts are at a more "age-appropriate" length now.
Then the crowd starts chanting, "Barry, Barry, Barry!" a chant that we're used to hearing in that ball park except they weren't cheering for a steroid-injected homerun hitter, they were cheering for the man who writes the songs that make the whole world sing.
What can I say about Barry? His make-up was perfection. Tan but a "healthy, Vegas" tan, not an orange tan. His "croc-embossed" (Bad Kitty's term) leather car coat hit at just the right length, right above the knee. He sang and played piano to the best backing track ever. Seriously, you'd swear there was a band behind him. But there wasn't! He was mic'd to within an inch of his life so that you could hear every syllable—nay every phoneme—of every word.
Then there was the skating.
And really, besides Dorothy Hamill, there's no one worth mentioning besides the man we were all there to see: Mr. Brian Boitano.
Was he rocking a cup, a Caesar cut, and a soul patch? Oh, yes.
Nailing those triple-triple combos? Yes. Still.
Acknowledging his adoring gays? Not so much. But he did muster an "I love you San Francisco!" Which doesn't really count.
The highlight of the evening was the treacly video montage of Brian and his late-father/skate set to Barry Manilow singing (live) "I Write the Songs," the only song his dad suggested that Brian skate to. Of course.
And then, after a pretzel and some garlic fries, it was all over before we knew it.
Or was it?
Now, I've never been to a live skating event before, and apparently the ones that are filmed for TV (as this one was, check your local NBC listings), need to be perfect. Say the skaters. The BEST part of the show was the 45 minutes after the whole thing was over when the skaters went back over the parts they biffed during the performance. Not that I noticed anything, I mean, no one fell or anything.
So out comes Yuka Sato in a costume she had on an hour earlier to re-do a section of her routine. Then it's Brian (about 5 times, he's a perfectionist, you know), and then Viktor Petrenko had a couple do-overs.
But the bestest part was when they had to bring Barry back out to redo that video montage thing and they played the "I Write the Songs" track and Barry had to lip-sync to it!!! Oh you could tell he was pissed. Granted the camera wasn't on him, it was on Brian, but since he was part of the performance, he needed to be out there for continuity. The whole time Barry was syncing he was rolling his eyes. He was also purposely NOT singing in sync so that none of his footage from that performance could be cut in. He gave his all the first time around. You could just see him thinking, "You don't see ME doing a redo? Why? Because I am professional and when the lights are on me, I deliver."
After the blooper bit was done the whole thing was really over. And it was the best birthday present I've ever had in my whole life. Even better than the Tara Reid hideous-nipple-slip mouse pad.