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.