I keep forgetting to write about this and I really wanted to. This is just a shout out to the wonderful people who work at the Grand Theatre here in London, Ontario where I’m doing Dreamgirls. The show looks so great. Our designer Bill Layton has done an incredible job and the cutters, sewers, painters, builders, props department, crew and wardrobe department have created an incredible looking show. In the craziness of putting it all together, my costumes – which are certainly the most understated in the show – were understandibly left till later as they were going to be pulled from stock. What they ended up being were very nice, though a little casual; a little showier than I imagined him looking. Now I want to be clear that I know why Bill went there. The rest of the costumes are so showy (as they should be) and he didn’t want me to disappear. I didn’t mind them and if I really didn’t like them or see Curtis (my character) in them, I would have said so. But I wore them for the tech dress and the final dress rehearsal. Then I get a call on the day off asking if I would come in early on the day of our first preview (we had a rehearsal that day anyway) because they wanted to change some of my costumes. As it turns out, all of our wonderful wardrobe ladies and our director and even the technical director went to bat for me and said they thought I could look better as Curtis. But what made it even more touching is they didn’t have to “convince” our wonderful designer Bill at all. He had already had the thought, once he had the chance to really see the show all together and he was thinking the same thing.
So I went into the fitting and they literally changed my entire wardrobe for the show. And it’s fantastic and perfect and exactly how I saw Curtis dressing. It went a long way towards helping me figure out who this man is. So a big thank you and shout out to the extraordinary people at the Grand, and our director, Tim French, for looking out for me and especially our designer, Bill Layton, for being open and ready to say “nope, not quite right yet”.
It’s people like this that make doing theatre a joy. When it matters as much to the folks backstage as it does the folks onstage, it means that much more to the people watching.
Good times, y’all, good times.