Yesterday’s post was about my experiences as an audience member (twice!) of, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Today I wanted to relate my experiences (twice!) as an audience member at the same studio, but of, “The Rosie Show”. After Oprah left Chicago in 2011, there was quite a lot of speculation as to who/what, if anyone/anything, would take the stage at Harpo Studios. Rosie O’Donnell, a friend of Oprah’s, was thought to be a terrific choice to host a new variety show at Harpo Studios. On October 10th, 2011, Rosie appeared in front of studio and tv audiences after a long hiatus from the variety/talk show circuit. “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” ran from 1996 to 2002. It was highly acclaimed, and it was generally thought that Rosie could make a comeback to equal or surpass this successful show.
Perhaps on a whim, or possibly because of my luck with obtaining Oprah tickets, I decided to apply for tickets to the newest show in town! The application process was similar to that for the Oprah show (please see yesterday’s post for a potpourri of information!) but with some major differences. By the way, I was yet again fortunate enough to obtain tickets twice for Rosie’s new show!
Rosie’s show was much more casual in terms of cameras, cell phones, that sort of thing. We were allowed to bring these with us into the studio; we were simply told to ensure our phones were turned off before taping began. It was also quite acceptable to take pictures of Rosie at the end of the show. All of the children in the audience were invited to join Rosie on stage, one at a time, and have their picture taken with her. What a delightful look on each child’s face as they stood beside Rosie while a parent or two snapped pictures from the audience.
How joyful to find that Rosie gave every single audience member a Snuggie! Rosie kept the temperature quite cool in the studio due to her self-admitted menopausal ‘hot-flashes’, as it were. Since she didn’t want her entire audience to become icicles on her account, there was a Snuggie under everyone’s seat to wear during the taping if one should feel so inclined! Are you asking me to tell you what a Snuggie is? This is a Snuggie and they are wonderful!
Some audience members chose to wear them; I didn’t partake, but I certainly use it all the time at home! Oh yes, I must also tell you that prior to entering the studio for one of the shows I attended, it appeared that it was taking a longer amount of time to start the taping. I don’t recall being told what the situation was, but Rosie’s staff gave every single audience member a bottle of water and cupcakes from one of the most popular cupcake boutiques in town. Ah, a red velvet cupcake! Heavenly!
At this point, I think everyone was more than willing to wait all day to get into the studio! Please, just keep these delicious little slices of perfection coming! I also recall getting a Rosie Show lunch bag, gourmet chocolate, a bottle of water, and a book written by Chris Matthews (he hosts the show, “Hardball” on MSNBC) when he appeared on the show. The atmosphere was much more relaxed than that of the Oprah show.
Rosie O’Donnell is an extremely easy-going, kind, and thoughtful soul. Regardless of your personal feelings towards her (or perhaps you have utterly no opinion whatsoever) I can speak from first-hand experience when I say she exudes a caring heart. Another guest that appeared on one of the shows I attended was the former Ukranian Olympic figure skater, Oksana Baiul. Rosie had a tiny, pseudo skating rink set up on the stage. Oksana performed a couple of simple strides on figure skates. Wouldn’t you love to have one of those little ice rugs? I mean, let’s say you feel like getting a soda from the fridge. Awh, I’m so tired, you mean I need to go all the way over THERE? Wait, I know, let’s get the ice rug out and glide on over to the Frigidaire!
Both shows were great fun. I was on the main floor area for both, and could see everything on stage with complete clarity. Oh yes, there was also an appearance by a group called the, “Million Dollar Quartet”. This group was incredible. According to the milliondollarquartetlive.com website, “MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.”
Their performance was spectacular. The audience was completely engaged, and it was loads of fun. The picture above was from the performance given during the taping of The Rosie Show that I attended.
I loved being an audience member of, “The Rosie Show”. I am sorry the show only lasted for less than one season. What a shame, indeed.
The best, the very best memories I have from both shows I attended are specifically because of three amazing women I had the pleasure to meet. The first show I attended found me as one of the first people in line to enter Harpo Studios. There were three women standing together in line. These three women, Sally, Cara, and Nancy, had come to the show from Indiana. What started as what might have had the appearance of a lovely coincidence, turned into one of those moments leaving you with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. It felt as if we had known each other forever. I sat with these lovely ladies, and had an absolutely delightful time.
My little ticket lucky label carried forward when I obtained tickets for another Rosie Show taping. Who do you think I contacted? Yes, my new friends from Indiana! Once again they drove all the way from Indiana (I must say it’s not just a hop, skip, and a jump to get to CHItown from their area of Indiana); the fact that they drove all the way to attend the show with me was overwhelming. I will be forever grateful to Rosie O’Donnell, not just for the uplifting time spent as a member of her audience. I got the best gift from the show; yes, we all like our snuggies, but my special audience gift is the long-lasting friendship I now have with Sally, Cara, and Nancy. Thank you, Rosie; I’d attend a taping of any show of yours anytime!!