OPENING NIGHT. My God, what a night. It was crazy and funny and insane and buoyant. It was a bit of a bizarre night. Where do I start? The crowd was great. We had a technical difficulty at one point in Act 2. There is a section of floor that raises to become a stage for the three leads at one point but after their “performance” is over, it lowers to become plain floor so in a couple of minutes, the bus can float over it. Well, the floor didn’t lower all the way, so we come to the end of a reprise of “A Fine Romance” and there is supposed to be a big bang and then the bus is revealed and Bernadette steps out. But because the floor didn’t lower, they couldn’t do the bang and carry on. The ensemble was backstage changing costume and we are listening and waiting for the bang and we just hear the band vamping at the end of the song. Poor C. David Johnson was onstage by himself waiting for the bang. Finally, the crew had to go out and fix it and our Stage Manager had to make an announcement about continuing in a few minutes. The best part was while we were waiting, C. David said to the audience “They spent a lot of money on the bus”. The audience roared. Audiences love being present when things go wrong. After a minute or two, it was fixed and we carried on.
The second thing is hard to explain without giving something away. Hmmm okay I’ll try cause I love my readers. There is a part of the show where three of us are onstage in particularly odd and funny costumes (I know, take your pick) and we were doing some “weaving” choreography. We last night, James picked up a large chunk of flitter (which is like these curtains of long strands of tinsel) with his costume. He is on the left of me and then crossed in front of me to the right. Well I watched it happen and knew I had to travel through it as it was still attached to the curtain on my left. But I couldn’t stop the choreography. So I had to add a quick bob-and-spin to try to avoid it. But then Nathan got it wrapped around him and it broke off of the curtain. By then it was wrapped around Nathan like a homocidal tinsel boa and had also attached to me across the stage. We managed to finish the choreography and get off stage but the three of us burst into laughter. In 30 seconds, that flitter almost mummified James, decapitated me and strangled Nathan. Good times. We laughed about it for the rest of the show but we also knew our choreographer, Andy, was probably having a heart attack. And when I talked to Andy afterwards, he confirmed it. He was totally horrified!!!!! Which just made me laugh even more.
So far the reviews are pretty great. Well, Kelly Nestruck has posted his first impression review and he didn’t love it but seemed to enjoy himself. Hi Kelly, s’all good. The only thing I question is your “audience reaction”. You said “enthusiastic but not euphoric”. It was pretty euphoric, I have to say. I challenge you on that one. I’d love for you to qualify that. Only because I like you and you’re reviews, because they are always thoughtful and objective as possible.
The party was fun and kooky. Everyone and their dog was there. And they were out of their minds excited and happy. And people stayed most of the night and kept wanting to talk about the show. Which is always a good sign. It will be good to get started on the understudy rehearsals. Just cause it will be good to get that under my belt. I think it’s going to be a really fun run.
Other than than, I sang at the cancer benefit on Monday. It was so beautiful. The singers were amazing. The dancers were amazing. The choreography was amazing. I ended up getting bronchitis on Sunday so that was not the greatest but I willed it away so hard that by Monday afternoon, I had most of my voice back. A highlight of the night was Broadway actor/singer/2-time Tony award winner, Gavin Creel came and sang three songs. Now I’ve always been a fan of his voice but to hear him live – wow. Such ease and beauty of tone and range and heart and warmth. It’s officially one of my favourite living voices. It was beautiful.
I may have what I hope will be a treat for you guys. I am going to have some guest bloggers from the show. Just interspersed when it seems fun and appropriate. This will not be instead of me but in addition to me. There are some fun people in the show who I would love to share some stories or a point of view.
That’s it for now. Things to do today before the show. Nice to have some time for myself today.