Well let us start with the major topic of the day. Today is the 9th anniversary of 9/11; one of the most devastating events of the century in this country and, indeed, felt/seen around the world. My heart broke a little in hearing people talk about it. Not on television but here, in the city where it happened. A member of the cast used to live across the water and didn’t see the first plane hit but he watched the rest of it – right in front of him. My tour guide of Sunday, Danielle, rode her bike down to, well, near the site, just after it happened to see if there was anything she could do to help. She was not allowed to go farther at a certain point. But hearing the Americans in the cast talk about it makes you realize it is a wound that is very much fresh. And the talk of the conspiracy theories are still abundant. But it was interesting hearing it talked about in front of people who could even hear it because it was too horrifying that the government could be so heartless. Seriously, a couple of people had to leave the room – it is THAT FRESH. It made me sad and I really, for the first time, am aware in a very tactile way, of how devastating that day was for the country and, more specifically, for the people of this city.
Now on to rehearsals. By the end of yesterday’s rehearsal, we had basically finished blocking the show. My God. There are still a couple of little bits to do and then lots of cleaning and specifics but the overall sense of the show being done is done. Then today we ran through the whole show this afternoon. Holy Doodle. It is really quite extraordinary. I am already incredibly proud of this show. Yes, it’s funny as hell; yes, it’s colourful and outrageously costumed; yes, it’s full of all of these disco hits that everyone’s going to love hearing and especially in the context which most of them are used; but what is the most thrilling and amazing and makes the show something unique in a world of jukebox musicals (which I wouldn’t even call this) is the fact that the moments and especially the last reconciliation scenes with the “girls” and Tick and his son are so beautifully and economically written. It’s a play with music. And Will Swenson, Nick Adams, and Tony Sheldon as the “girls” are just phenomenal – funny, charming, bitchy, loving, human. It’s already a joy. It’s also a real workout for them. I am a little daunted, trying to get all of Tony’s blocking down, let alone his choreography. But I’m getting there, little by little.
The not so good part of the run-through was that today, for the first time, I lost the will to live and thought I should probably leave the business. Yes, no matter how old you get and how much you do, there are still moments where you think, “I’m so not talented. Why did they hire me? They’re totally replacing me tomorrow.” I screwed up at least one thing in every number. Oh did I mention that Jerry Mitchell is an advisor on the show? For those of you who don’t know, Jerry Mitchell was a dancer and is now a major Broadway choreographer (The Full Monty, 2005 revival of La Cage Aux Folles, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, 2003 revival of Gypsy, Hairspray, Never Gonna Dance, etc.) and director (Legally Blond, the musical). Well he was sitting there and though I’ve only seen a couple of his shows and bits of numbers on the Tony’s and on Youtube, I felt like I was going to choke having him in the room. And to top it all off, most everyone had done at least one of his shows before. So I really felt like I’m on the outside. Now understand this is totally in my own mind but it threw me today. Just for clarity. It’s just one of those days and I’m not actually leaving the business and my will to live is fully in tact. So please understand I’m just sharing this because it’s good for young actors to know you will have these days and you recover from them and go on. Good lesson learned but it was still great to do the whole show and see what we have. And what we have, even in the roughest form is a pretty entertaining AND touching show. You’re gonna like it, y’all. Get your tickets.