Letters to Holly

Monday, January 22

Day Twenty-Six: Opening Night

Opening night begins with a mixed bag of traditions. People give gifts of various investments: Mae hands out candy, Mama hands out roses, the doctor has cat magnets bearing the names of each member of the show, the director gives out cards thanking and congratulating us. I plan to give out my items next week. My previous theatre handed out fridge magnets of a show's poster image and bearing a memorable quote on the back. I wanna continue that, and I'm working on new artwork of the magnet. The new managing director offers us all a glass of sparkling cider to toast our work. We're given a copy of the program with our bios and photos. The director officially turns over the show to the cast and crew, saying his work is done. It's a little party, and then we approach curtain time and settle down to work. During warm-ups and prop check, we discover the crew repainted the floor, and it's now a deeper black.

It's a great crowd (they applaud the SET!), and the previous night's string of chaos has got me ready to knock this one out of the park. This is when I remind myself that I have gotten roles in every show I've auditioned for, including walking off the street to get roles with three theatre companies. Deep breath, straighten the tie, check the hair and makeup. Overture, hit the lights, this is it, tonight's the night. And oh what heights we'll hit, on with the show this is it. Can you believe there's at least two generations of kids who never heard the theme music to CBS' Saturday morning Warner Brothers cartoon show? Wait a minute. You're one of them.

I have to admit that I'm starting to count down the days of the week now. We have two performances left after tonight, and we all murmur just how ready we are to have a break. But we must zap up our energy when we're onstage. During the show we trade notes backstage on reactions. Gooper seems to get the biggest laugh of the show when he insults mama in Act III. Big Daddy's profanity shocks them into laughter. Brick gets some laughs. The wealth is spread out, it seems. During an Act I fight scene Brick, unfortunately, lands mouth first on the foot of the bed. It's near the end of the act, and he ices his mouth before Act II. The Act II fight scene between Daddy and Brick spreads ice cubes on the floor and word quickly moves backstage to be careful. This is such a good crowd that we anticipate going back on stage for them. They catch a lot, and we can be more subtle.

Act III goes great. We run right past one of the reverend's lines, and I screw up a word, but otherwise, the energy is solid, and it flies by. The cast moves over to a downtown Indian restaurant for a small party. I walk out to my car right before to discover someone has stolen my license plate. I file a police report over the phone and walk to the party and find seated Your Sis, Kathy, and Travis. I had no idea they were coming tonight. I just unknowingly performed in front of them. I make introductions and sample some alky-hall and curry chicken.

It's a great night, and I can celebrate the start of the end of the production with my girl and my pals. I don't even care about the license plate.

Previous entries:
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage
Day Twelve: Memory
Day Thirteen: The Quickie
Day Fourteen: The Lines
Day Fifteen: Act III Anxiety
Day Sixteen: Let's Just Get It Right
Day Seventeen: Molding the Gooper
Day Eighteen: Goopercalypse
Day Nineteen: There Is Not A Doctor In The House
Day Twenty: Back to Words
Day Twenty-One: Getting Technical
Day Twenty-Two: We're Ready When You Are
Day Twenty-Three: Socks
Day Twenty-Four: Our First Audience
Day Twenty-Five: Calamity

No comments: