Opening Night

March 28, 2009

I was prepared for the giant Mothra-sized butterflies in my tummy, rearing up every 20 minutes or so.  But I was not prepared to suddenly start crying on the way to the show.

I was rehearsing one of my songs, “Colored Lights,” during which sometimes I get choked up, because the song hits so close to home.  It’s basically a woman singing about past relationships and how everything always seemed so perfect, and yet she felt so sad, because the colored lights of her childhood were missing.  In the original song, she’s singing about literal colored lights, because she grew up in a roller-skating rink (random), but when I sing it, I’m singing more metaphorically, about how everything is full of hope and light when you’re young (like when I dreamed of being on stage, and like when I still WAS doing theatre as a youngster).

So I often get a little teary singing that song, but I suddenly started really pouring out the waterworks on the way to the show.  It has been such a long journey back to being on stage, and the full meaning of being there suddenly crashed down on me – all the years of feeling kinda empty but trying to ignore it, all the support I’ve received after deciding I’d like to try auditioning again – well I was just a big weepy wuss.

So much so that I had trouble turning it off.  Even waiting in the wings before our entrance at the top of the show, I was fighting back tears, and had to tell myself sternly that I had a job to do.  So I pulled it together until the end of “All That Jazz,” which was just so much FUN – oh God, those drums!!  The number went really well, even though my garter sort of impotently flopped into the first row when I shot it out into the audience, not landing in anyone’s lap.  I was so – jazzed, forgive the pun – with the feeling of dreams realized, the tears started again, and Ricky sort of looked at me, alarmed, and escaped to his dressing room.

Overall, I think the show went well.  My loved ones and friends insisted they didn’t hear any off-key notes, and whether they were being honest or just nice, I’ll take it.  During intermission, the fire alarm went off (crazy wind outside), and the fire curtain came down over the stage, so there were about 15 panicked minutes as the entire production staff tried to figure out how to rid the stage of a giant sheet of metal.  We finally shed the fire curtain, and once the second act got going, the biggest issues were costume changes, fears of costumes falling off (I had three minutes on stage where I was convinced my pants were falling off), microphones going out (just for a second), and evil harmonies.

There were reports of a few people asleep in the front row, but everyone I talked to said they loved the show.  Of course, those people HAD to say they loved it, but I do think, regardless of scary harmonies and the need for a little more rehearsal, that it’s a very entertaining show.

And after “All That Jazz,” I didn’t cry again – well, at least not until my mom came running up to me after the show.  There’s just something about your mom looking really proud of you…

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