Afterward: Michael Jackson Memorial

As one of the 8,750 people selected out of the million-plus who submitted requests for tickets to the Michael Jackson Public Memorial Tuesday,  I attended the July 7, 2009 event at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

mjcollageThough very much a life-long fan of Michael Jackson, I went somewhat cynically to observe the spectacle. But what I found was a moving tribute to a son, friend, father and one of the greatest entertainers the world has or will ever know. It was a privilege to have been able to experience it in person.

My Flickr photoset is here. My live-tweets from the day, last to first,  are after the jump:

Continue reading Afterward: Michael Jackson Memorial

Guess Who They’re Letting In To The Jackopalooza!?

Gotta admit, I submitted my request to attend the Michael Jackson Memorial at Staples Center tomorrow far more to just bear witness to the public spectacle than to publicly bare any grief at his passing.

And when yesterday came and went without getting confirmation — especially with the news that I was literally among a million-plus vying to be one of the 8,750 bestowed with tickets — I shrugged and moved on.

Then I checked my email this morning — and there were two in my inbox from Staples Center. I opened, the second one first, delivered at 12:10 a.m. this morning, which advised:

Thank you for your registration.

Sorry, we regret to inform you that your registration to attend the Public Memorial Service for Michael Jackson was not selected.

Hundreds of thousands registered, but only a few can be in attendance.

And I shrugged again, thinking it was at least nice of Staples not to leave anyone hanging.

Figuring it was just a repeat I opened the second email, which was datestamped earlier, at 10 p.m. yesterday. Whoa, it was the exact opposite:

Your application to attend the Michael Jackson Public Memorial Service at STAPLES Center this Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, was successful!

Please read this notice carefully. This is your chance to receive two tickets for either the service in the STAPLES Center (subject to availability) or a live big-screen simulcast in the adjacent Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

Instructions To Obtain Your Two Tickets and Security Wristbands Are:

  1. Click on the GET VOUCHER button below before Monday, July 6, 2009 at 11:59 a.m. Pacific Time.
  2. Select 1 in the quantity window.
  3. Enter your unique password into the box as prompted.
  4. Password: [redacted]
  5. Click Find Tickets button
  6. Continue through security screen
  7. Create a new ticketmaster account or use existing account by entering information requested
  8. Choose appropriate ticket fast delivery method for your country
  9. Enter information as requested to Submit Order
  10. You will see a confirmation screen confirming that your order is processed. THIS IS NOT YOUR TICKET.
  11. WAIT: You will receive an email that will link to your voucher
  12. Click on “Pick up your tickets” within the email
  13. Select VIEW AND PRINT tickets
  14. Print the Ticketmaster voucher. THIS IS YOUR VOUCHER. Your voucher will read “This is your ticket” and contain a barcode. You must print out this voucher and bring it with you, along with your valid I.D. to Dodger Stadium on Monday, July 6, 2009, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time to obtain your two tickets and two wristbands.

I went through the process and indeed I was successful in completing it. So despite Staples Center first takething away and then givingeth, it looks like I’ll be heading up to Dodger Stadium today and then Staples Center (or Nokia Theater) tomorrow.

More to come.

Mourning Has Broken

Literally no sooner had my reminiscing post recalling the day I “met” Farrah Fawcett gone live at L.A. Metblogs when news started trickling in about Michael Jackson.

To say goodbye to one adored icon of my youth — in essence my Marilyn Monroe — was tough enough. But on the same day for a cherished voice and monumental talent that has been a part of my e n t i r e life to be silenced so suddenly and so shockingly…

Let’s just say I am very much in mourning right now. Very much.

Richard Sylvan Selzer, RIP

Way back in another life when I was the theater critic at-large and filing a theater review every Monday for the Pasadena Weekly newspaper, I once found myself at Westwood’s Geffen Playhouse seated directly behind one Richard Sylvan Selzer — far more recognizable as Mr. Blackwell, the self-styled arbiter of taste most famously known for his dishy annual “worst dressed” list.

Before the intermission I found myself the focus of several disdaining over-the-shoulder glances from him and at the break I was decidedly on the receiving end of Mr. Blackwell’s disgust — not because of the standard if unfashionable theatergoing sportcoat-and-slacks ensemble I happened to be wearing that night, but instead  because I was annoying him with my laughter.

Mind you, we weren’t watching “Hamlet” or “Antigone.” In fact, it was a production of “By Jeeves” by Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber — a farcical musical comedy for sure and one done well enough to suit my funnybone, but apparently shame on me for deigning to enjoy the ensuing hilarity far too out loud for Mr. Blackwell’s comfort.

Standing when the house lights came up, he spoke to the gentleman accompanying him and wearily said  loud enough that he’d be having a much better time except for “braying” behind him.

So I turned to my date and said “Mr. Blackwell thinks I sound like a jackass, but at least I don’t act like one — at least not before the third act.”

I turned back to him and met his tinted-lensed glare at me until he and his partner adjourned to the lobby. When the curtain went up they had not returned to their seats, opting either to leave the theater entirely or be re-seated among far more humorless patrons.