Zoni-Who? Zoni-Wha?

August 6, 2009

So there we were, driving down twisty roads Tuesday, back toward civilization after a lovely vacation at our no-cell-service cabin.  Of course, I checked my email on my phone as soon as I got a signal, as any good wired-in blogger/Facebook addict would do.  And there were all these messages saying congratulations, and sometimes even, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!”

My heart danced a little boogie.  I knew that the Zoni Award* nominations were announced Monday night, and I knew that I was submitted for consideration, but every time the thought, “maaaaybe…” began to creep in my head, I stomped it out and focused on choosing a potty seat instead.  But finally, there was the email from Desert Foothills Theatre’s producer, announcing the news that not only had I received a Best Actress in a Musical nomination for “The World Goes Round,” but the entire cast had also been nominated, and the director and sound designer as well!  So now I don’t have to stomp out secret hopes anymore, and can shout out loud (virtually):


I can barely get my mind around it.  How did I go from here to a Zoni nomination in one year?  How is that possible?

I’ve been playing it pretty cool around all my family and friends since I found out, like, “Yeah, did I mention?  It’s pretty cool, I got nominated for this Zoni Award thing… yeah yeah, I’m pretty excited about it…yawwwn.”  Maybe I feel that at 35, I should really be mature about this whole thing, but what I really want to do is be Moo for just a few minutes.  I would run willy-nilly around the house, windmilling my arms, quacking like a duck, kicking, somersaulting off the furniture, and shouting at the top of my lungs.

Ahh, what the hell – nobody’s home but me and Moo.  You won’t tell, will you Moo?



*The Zoni Awards are like Arizona’s version of the Tony Awards, giving out annual best-in-show awards to professional and community theaters in the Valley.


Yesterday we attended Desert Foothills Theater’s end-of-season party, and I have a little bragging to do – I won an award!

DFT gives “Annie awards” to actors and productions voted on (I think) by the audience and the artistic committee.  And I won the (favorite? most pizzazziest?  most blonde?) Actress in a Musical award!

Okay, so DFT only put on one musical this year, but still!  I was very excited.  I mean, I tried to act cool, but I think the last award I won was 3rd place in my 4th-grade relay run, and I didn’t get to wear fringe for that, so let’s just say I enjoyed this one a bit more.

Thanks DFT, and thanks to all my friends and family who probably stuffed the ballot box!

The Reviews Are In

April 14, 2009

So it turns out Guffman – two Guffmans, actually – did show up to our little show, and they published their opinions of our attempt at creating musical theatre magic.

Review #1:  A rave!  We’re so amazing, Godiva should sell us in chocolate.

Review #2:  The critic seemed rather confused by the concept of a musical “revue.”  Complained that there was no plot.  Um, no.  Music revues, by definition, do not have plots, my dear madam.  Also, she did not like our tamborines. 

Comments about Mama:   Ahem.  I have, apparently, “pizzazz, spunk, and sparkle.”  Also, I am “leggy.”

Personally, I have always felt very pizzazzy.  It’s so nice to have this confirmed by an impartial third party.

Six shows = six garters that I fling out to the audience (rubber-band-style) during “All That Jazz.”  Let’s take a look at the statistics:

Garter #1:  landed pitifiully in the first row, where no one was sitting.

Garter #2: Aimed squarely at Herbie in the third row, but landed in the seat right in front of him.  Guy next to Herbie made a play to grab it himself, but Herbie claimed it first.  “Gonna go up to her after the show?” said the guy.  “Nice.”  “Well, actually, she’s my wife,” said Herbie.  “But good idea.”  Garter 2 now hangs on our headboard.

Garter #3:  Perfectly flipped into the lap of a man in the middle of the third row.  I rejoiced until intermission, when one of the ushers handed it back to me.  Rejected!

Garter #4:  The night of the Great Boob (Almost) Escape.  I was so angry about my costume malfunction, I took it out on the garter, fwanging it straight up instead of down toward the audience.  This turned out well, as the garter reached all the way to the 6th row and was not returned to me.

Garter #5:   Flipped respectfully into third row, right at an older gentleman.  After the show, the gentleman found me and handed me the garter.  “It’s a souvenir!” I protested.  “You can keep it!”  “I would,” the man said, “but I don’t think my wife likes the idea.”  Hee.

Garter #6:  My last garter, my last performance!  My whole family attended the show, and I couldn’t see any of them in the audience until the very beginning of “All That Jazz,” when I spied my dad sitting in the stage right section.  He looked like he was in about the 7th row, but I thought I could make it.  How fun, to fling it to my dad during my last show!  Everything was going so well – I eased the garter down my leg and over my shoe without falling over (always a challenge), spun it around on my finger, aimed and…FWANG!  “Noooo I’m no one’s wife!” I sang, looking for the garter landing out in the audience.  Wait a minute, where did it go?  I looked down – ACK! (which, apparently, I said out loud.)  There it was at my feet!  How did that happen?!  I could NOT end this way! “But ohhhh I love my life!” I sang.  I picked up the garter like a hot potato, twirled around, and flung it like a frisbee out into the audience, where it landed in the 10th row, right in a very startled gentleman’s face.  Ha.  And no, he didn’t return it.

And allll….




*Because everyone who’s passed above it has gone to heaven!

Making Up for Lost Time

April 10, 2009

All my life, I’ve been late.   My family and friends and dear husband can verify this – I have rarely been on time for anything.  School, jobs, interviews, blog updates, auditions, movies, dates, weddings, planes – I’ve been late to ’em all. 

So it’s kinda funny that during both “Kiss Me Kate” and “The World Goes Round,” I was always early.  Not the first one in the theater, of course – that’s almost always the stage manager – but always the first cast member.  (Except that one time I got a flat tire.)

Granted, I’m not an idiot, nor am I really into self-sabotage – I’m just not going to be late for a show that I’ve been slowly striving toward for 14 years.  But our “call time” is always an hour before curtain, and I was always there about an hour and a half before that.

 I felt a little guilty telling Herbie and assorted babysitters that I just HAD to leave by 5, when really I didn’t HAVE to be there until about an hour or so after that, but getting to the theater first is, for me, one of the best things about the whole entire experience.

When I first get there, I flip on all the lights in the dressing room, saving those bright lights around my mirror for last.  I set up my makeup and plug in my curling iron, and then I slip out to the wings of the stage to gather up whatever costume pieces may have been tossed behind the props table during the mad rush the night before.  The stage is almost completely dark and silent, and it’s tempting to go leaping across it willy-nilly, but I know Toby is probably in the sound booth and might tease me about it later.  So I just stand there and let the quiet seep in and calm my racing heart.

Then it’s back to the dressing room, where I prop open the door so I can see and hear the slow trickle of people arriving.  Soon Toby switches on the intercom, so I can hear the backstage crew (a.k.a. very nice rich ladies) laughing and sweeping the stage, and later, the first few bweeps and bum-bum’s of the band warming up.  Julie is the next cast member to arrive, and we chat about our families while we slather on makeup.  Mary the director usually pokes her head in to say hello next, and then the boys arrive, shouting hello before they disappear to hunt for food.

Around this time there is almost always some sort of costume-related emergency – Norm has a mysterious bump in his shoe, ALL of our pantyhose and backup pantyhose have holes in them, all of our costumes are missing, all of our costumes have been attacked by a Bedazzler, I forgot my white bra, Julie’s bra is missing (she found it later in her driveway), you can see my “Britney” through my orange pants… and so on.  Amazingly, almost all of these crises can be solved with a single safety pin.

Next, Blaze arrives, having made herself up at home, and we’re all called on stage to warm up and test our mic’s.  At this point I do actually leap across the stage willy-nilly, as it’s my only chance to warm up my muscles, and also because there is nothing more enjoyable than leaping willy-nilly across a stage.

Warmed-up, we trot back to the dressing rooms, and I curl my hair and reapply all the makeup that has already worn off because I started getting ready so damn early.  Over the intercom, the band blares as they squeeze in a few last minutes of warm-up before Daniel opens the doors for the audience.  In the dressing room, we sometimes tell dirty jokes back and forth.  Sometimes we warm up our voices more.  Parrot calls work well – CA-CAW!  Sometimes someone appears in the doorway with roses from an admirer (thanks, sweetheart).

And then, suddenly, Daniel’s voice comes over the intercom and announces that we only have 10 minutes, and I have not even started getting dressed.  With the help of Spray Mount, I chemically bind myself into a torn pair of pantyhose and pull on my increasingly sparkly purple leotard and skirt.  Then I ask Julie to slide my mic pack down near my butt crack, and I ask Blaze to tape the wire to the nape of my neck (because she always gets it just right).  Now we can hear the low hum of the audience over the intercom as they start to take their seats, and I stick a couple bobby pins in my hair and spray it into submission (once grabbing the Spray Mount by mistake – close call!), slick on some ruby red lipstick, poke my favorite sparkly earrings through my ears, and put on the wrong shoes, which I will realize about four minutes before I have to go on stage.

We all gulp down water, clasp hands with Mary in the hallway, and shout “Kander and Ebb woo!” or “Yay pretty princesses!” or some such ridiculous thing.

“Break a leg!”  “Break a leg!”  “Break a leg!” 

And then Daniel’s voice commands us to take our places for the top of the show.

Sometimes I linger in the hallway for a couple minutes, my eyes going over the song list to try and remember what the heck it is I’m going to be doing in a few minutes.  And then I flap my arms back and forth like a goose, and clap my hands five times.

In the wings, it’s not quiet anymore.  Blaze is already singing.  The backstage ladies are whispering in each other’s ears.  Norm and I bump fists.  The band is swinging, and the lights are blaring, blue and purple and red.

Blaze starts building toward the end of her song, and I bury my face in one of the curtain legs and take deep breaths.  Then I gaze up into the endless heights of the stage – it just goes up and up and up.   I join Norm for our entrance, and I do a little dance to the last few bars of Blaze’s song, hips shaking, to get my energy up.  The audience applauds for Blaze.  Norm gives me a nod, and I pat him on the back.

And then we’re singing.

…If I had the keys to the building, I think I’d get there at the crack of dawn.

All That Boob

April 4, 2009

So there I was, shimmying over to Ricky at the beginning of “All That Jazz” last night, when all of a sudden I felt – kinda naked.

I looked down and saw that the strap of my costume had ripped off, and Left Boob was precariously close to popping out to say hello to the audience.  I don’t know how I kept singing.  I am told I DID keep singing, whew.  As soon as I could, I reached up and pressed the sequined flap of material to my skin, hoping some left over Spray Mount would keep me covered up for the next five minutes.

Thank God for Spray Mount!

But I was so angry.  Here I only had three more chances to perform a song I’ve always dreamed of performing, and suddenly, due to factors completely beyond my control, one of those chances was ruined.  It’s like somebody really wanted to teach me a Life Lesson, and I just really wanted to flip that person the bird.  I couldn’t shimmy, I couldn’t shake.  I couldn’t lean over or bend backwards.  I did a quick experiment in the possiblity of shaking one’s hips without shaking one’s torso, with some success.  And the whole time I felt sure that the audience’s eyes were glued on Left Boob, waiting to see if it would peek out for its own chance in the spotlight.

But after quizzing practically everyone in the audience after the show, absolutely NO ONE had noticed that my strap had fallen off.  No one!  Herbie and Rosalind just thought I wasn’t in a shimmying mood.

Fine, fine, lesson learned.

My mom and my sister spent an hour today reinforcing every strap on that sucker (and found about three other rips and tears while they were at it), and so by God, I shall not be naked tonight.


(Did I just jinx myself?)

Fringe A-Flyin’

April 1, 2009

 Heh heh…