HOLY HIT, BATMAN!!!  We had our invited dress rehearsal (last dress rehearsal before our first preview tomorrow night) tonight and it was nice group of people. about 300-500 people.  Hard to tell in that theatre.  They were nuts right from the overture.  They were riding the jokes, loving the songs.  Some highlights, hmmmm let’s see.  Well, it was fun hearing them realize what song they were listening to and then realize how well it fits in the moment.  And then hearing them react as some of the more elaborate costumes were revealed – like the funeral, the Les Girls number, the cupcakes.  Fun, fun, fun. I had some friends there too.  It was nice to see them afterwards and hear their reaction. All raves, which was great.  The creative team was pleased, the producers seemed pleased.  We still have bits to clean and some timings to finesse and some costume bits that need adjusting and will probably need adjusting through previews but that’s what previews are for.

It’s been some long rocky days leading to tonight and ultimately, tomorrow night (1st preview).  Tonight was the first night everyone made their costume changes – more or less – the first time, no one tripped, slipped or teetered over in Les Girls (the showgirl number), the first time no one fell or got caught on something in the cupcakes.  It’s funny to tell but in the moment it’s so ridiculous.  In our run-through on Saturday night, we were coming down the staircase in our showgirl outfits and in this one particular moment, myself and Jeff, who mirrors me on the other staircase, have to walk down a staircase sideways while looking at the audience and then in two quick steps, be walking down the stairs towards the audience while looking at each other.  Let me re-iterate at this point that our feathered headpieces are about 3-4 feet high and about 2 1/2-3 feet wide and moving quickly is not ideal.  But I digress . . . . so on Saturday night, in that two step change, my headdress listed to the left while I was going right and I almost fell off the steps; Jeff reached over to grab me and his heel slipped down a step; then the guy behind him slipped on Jeff’s bustle and almost slipped down the stairs behind Jeff.  Then a few bars of music later, Steve almost took me out with his cape and a moment later, Nathan almost fell into the orchestra pit.  hahahahaahahahahaha  I mean, it’s not funny but at the same time, it’s insane that we do this for a living.

Tonigh,t all was well.  I won’t lie to you, Les Girls will always make us all poop our bodysuits a little but everyone says it looks SPECTACULAR!!   So okay, what’s a little falling down a staircase to your death terror as long as you look good. 😉

But people are getting much happier and it was great to hear the audience hear the show for the first time.  They really seemed to not only have a great time but they got the story and really cared about these men.  It’s nights like this when I really love what we do.  It’s chaos backstage but onstage there is magic and story and song and joy and pathos and communion.  It’s what my dear friend says “every show, we, the artists and we, the audience have the opportunity to touch the true hand of God”.  A group of artists and group of willful watchers are in room and you live for that moment when the truth of what is happening on stage is so pure and real – even if it’s big and covered in sequins and feathers – that everyone in the room gets it. It’s true in a universal sense.  It’s touching the divine.   I love that and I think of that often.

This show is going to bring so many people so much joy. This show will bring the shy out of their shell.  It  may plant a seed of understanding in even the most judgmental of hearts.  And most importantly, it will inspire that young person (or maybe not so young person) to be who they need to be without fear or self-doubt, perhaps to be an actor and reach for that divine connection night after night, paying it forward.  People who try to annihilate the arts don’t get it.  The arts are life.  It’s the arts that move civilization forward – clothing design, movies, TV, literature.  It’s what denotes eras, epochs even.  We look back at the paintings of a time, the magazines, the writers, actors, singers to know the collective consciousness.  When someone mentions the 80’s, you think of the songs you were listening to or that favourite shirt with the shoulderpads or the skinny ties; you think of Back To the Future and Ghostbusters.  Art makes the world go round, it opens people, it tells our stories – without it, we have no past, no present and certainly no future.   I can already feel in this show, I am part of something that will be a part of people’s history, their life story.

It’s going to be a really interesting run and I’m going to try to take you guys on the journey if you’re willing to stay with me.

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 4:39 am  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi thom, it’s great (my eyes are shining by reading this post which sends to me full of colourfull pictures, “limelights” are fabulously described…Thanks for all, and “work, work, work”

  2. Tonight’s the night I get to see all the joy you have worked so hard for. Let you know my groups reaction to the show later. Enjoy the run Thom and keep your head (dress) high.

  3. Thom … thanks for your blogs, it has been great reading all the behind the scenes reports.

    Agree, the arts are essential to everyone though many may not realize it. It is very important for those here in Toronto to realize that one candidate running for Mayor does not support the arts and will cut funding if he has his way. Sorry, but felt I had to throw that in.

    Enjoy the days leading up to opening night. Who is going to get the most flowers…???

  4. Dearest Thom,

    Sweet Mother of God in Heaven!!!!! A journey to the heart of fabulous – Priscilla is nothing short of that!!!!What more is there to say but people need to see the show. Last night was wonderful. How in the name of the high Heavens are you going to do all that you do and still u/s for others, you my dear Thom are nothing short of fabulous. Loved the funeral outfit, let me say that again, Loved the funeral outfit. Nice buns;) and you have lost weight and are looking trim and in good shape, except for those scenes when the beer belly showed up, that alone gave me inspiration to get to the YMCA. Truthfully, the show is for everyone, the music, costumes, technology, all cutting edge but the message was not lost in all the lights and greatness and the true journey was heard loud and clear, embrace who you are and be kind and love others along the way but have fun, we only are going this way once. Enjoy this bus stop Thom – you are deserving of Broadway lights and much joy and happiness.


    • Glenn, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the show. It really is something, isn’t it? I think Toronto is going to lap it up. At least I hope it does. The show deserves all of the love it is giving out.

  5. Thom, I first saw you on stage in “Outrageous” and knew then that you have “it”. You are a charismatic presence on stage. Through “Take Me Out” and “A New Brain” and all the rest you have burnished your reputation. Now . . . Priscilla . . . I saw the opening preview on Tuesday night. We cheered and laughed and applauded continuously throughout the show. It’s an explosion of colour, infectious music and fun. We loved your costumes and you!

    The Bernadette role is so essential to the show. You will be a knockout in it. But Thom, how will we your dear readers ever know when you are stepping into that role as understudy? Will you be able to notify us so we can rush down and buy a ticket?
    Cheering you on,

    • Gary, I will do my best to let my incredible blog-readers know I’m going on. I hope I will have as much notice as possible. I’m so glad you enjoyed the show.

  6. Thom, the show was fantastic on Monday at the Dress. Break legs, tho, not on that staircase. The show is amazing, and I will be coming to see it again before you get whisked off to Broadway.
    There are no words to describe how happy Priscilla made me.I have never seen the movie. So yes sadly I am still a virgin in that regard… Have a great run, and tell the cast and crew how impressed I was with the show.
    Congrats on a wonderful production. I’m always amazed by how quickly shows go together.
    I didn’t want to hang around Monday to say hello since I wasn’t sure if you’d all have notes… Thank you for making my day.

    • Gordon, thrilled you enjoyed it. It’s a hoot to do. Please spread the word.

      • I am spreading the word as best I can. Don’t fall off those stairs please. 🙂
        You’re very welcome. Priscilla is an amazing show.

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