Saturday, February 2, 2008



Feb. 2nd.

Our director wisely and blessedly gave us the day off today. We were a wee bit tuckered out after tech/preview week.

Had accomplished much prior to this day, so I was actually able to relax - a bit. Only had a few opening night notes left to write. When did I finish husband's hat? Was it yesterday or today? I think yesterday. I bought him a black hat, not quite a top hat, and decorated it with rather garish trim. A "Sir George" hat. Saw a card I was debating on getting way back in the second week of rehearsals at the corner "antique cum hippie store." Wasn't quite what I wanted but I never found anything better in the ensuing time so I went and picked that up. Has a picture of a victorian woman lounging on a settee. Depending on how you hold it, she's either clothed or naked.

Had already taken the majority of the gifts over to the theatre yesterday, and one of the two choices of dresses I'd wear for the opening night party. Didn't know how warm it would be where we were going. So I had two possibilites. Generally speaking I brought many too many cold weather clothes here. I still haven't adapted to the fact that winter here is in the 50's most days. Even a heavy cotton turtleneck can be too hot.

Got there at 5:30 to put little notes and gifties around and still leave me'self enough time to become emotionally incorporated into the show. Very difficult it is on opening nights to gather ones thoughts and focus on the task at hand. Many distractions. There's a totally different energy level back stage on openings. Generally these days the "critics" come during previews so your opening night is really the first night of previews. The nerves on that first audience night cannot compare to the opening night. The former is far more exciting. Though if you're on Broadway - where an opening night reviewer can make or break you - that's a bit different.

There in my dressing room was a lovely card and gift from my husband (who had dropped them off much earlier in the day) - a pair of gorgeous earrings which I love and can be worn with any number of disparate outfits. The man has good taste.

Began the pre-show procedure: put on the tape I made of my cues and go through the show with all my lines while putting on the make up. Several interruptions during the process with various people wanting to come in for various costume reasons...stop the tape, then pick up where I left off. It takes about 40 minutes to go through the two hour show doing just my lines. I usually grab a cup of mud coffee which I heat up in the microwave to give me a caffeine boost prior to curtain. Go down to the stage prior to them opening the "house" (that's where the audience sits) a few minutes before half hour call to check my props. Then back up to the dressingroom.

Last night I was a bit frazzled as we had a heck of a time getting the d*mn corset on and it took longer than normal, so I requested a change of schedule by five minutes. Start the corset at 10 minutes after the "half hour" call and the wig at 15 minutes. But Lila, the poor intern that must truss me up (AND move set pieces) got corset lessons from our costume designer (Kelsey) sometime between yesterday and today and plumped me into that thing lickety split.

Anyway, I wasn't nervous. Got through all my lines and then went through my two major monologues once again. One can never go through their lines too much. Especially with a Mr. Shaw play.

A card was slid with expertise under my dressingroom door. Lovely note from Allan (our Praed).

Nice note from our director on the call board.

Goodies from the Board and Drew in the..oh what's the name of that room? Can't remember. The theatre is undergoing changes. Fruit and candy. Yummy.

The audience was a bit of a let down from our preview houses. More of what I suspect the norm will be. Nice, but didn't "feed" us as the other groups did. And by that I mean didn't give us a whole lot of energy. The show was okay.

Curtain call comes and Rebecca and I are last out. She headed toward the front and took her bow and then I, and suddenly someone is coming down each vom towards us and darling Amanda hands me an incredible bouquet of flowers and dear Lila does the same to Rebecca. Well, naturally I burst into tears and the curtain call from then on went all to hell (because we all are supposed to watch one another so we can bow in unison , but I was hardly concentrating I was so overwhelmed, so I not only didn’t follow the person I was supposed to but messed the timing up completely.)

We all then depart the stage and get into the small back stage elevator which lifts us back up to our dressing room area. I’m still crying and say, “I can’t believe it! These are Soooo beautiful. Where did they come from? Who did this?” I’m trying to parse it out in my brain. Would management do something like this? Very unusual if they did. This kind of thing isn’t even done on Broadway any more to my knowledge. Maybe in the old days. Maybe in operas. But???

I hear a well known voice in the elevator quietly say, “Now who do you think they’re from?” Oh MY. OH MY. Of course! How could I NOT have known. They’re from my eternally loving, chivalrous, and full of class husband. I cried harder then and gave him a big kiss, which everyone in the elevator seemed to enjoy. Golly. He sure knows how to make his wife feel like a star. In private, later, he said that this sort of thing used to be done in the old days - it was a grand tradition - and that this was an old piece of theatre and I was playing the title character and so he felt I deserved such an accolade. And I thought I’d already gotten my opening night present from him with the earrings. (And of course he had the class to not only give me flowers, but our ingenue lead as well. Now that’s class. )

The only other time I have ever been presented with a bouquet of flowers at a curtain call was when I had my final performance as Willy in Passion of Dracula. But that’s another story...

And there was a lovely opening night party at Ganache just a few blocks down from the theatre. Sushi, calamari, crudite', etc. Most gracious hosts the owners were.

So - now we’re on our way....

No comments: