If the extended standing ovation, two curtain calls and loud whoops and hollers don't say it all, I don't know what could. But Jimmy, as Zero, still getting used to the stage and still struggling a bit with the dense humidity of September in DC (not to mention the leftover clouds and rain from the hurricane that just passed by), managed to grab the audience by the neck and totally mesmerize them.
(We know this because we checked with the lady who watches the door of the DC Jewish Community Center. "They loved it. They loved it," she said. "I overheard one man saying it was one of the best plays he's ever seen. Another just kept going on and on, saying how great it was to be treated to such a satisfying entertainment.")
Today, he has two shows, so we'll see how well he holds up. But, you know, old theatre pros like Jim, he could swim the Potomac, cook a ten course meal and run and marathon, and still have energy left to do a show. All he needs is a little greasepaint, a stage and an audience.
And he really did have them in the palm of his hand. They were laughing sometimes uncontrollably and applauding wildly. This is a great relief, for sure. No matter how tested a piece might be, a new city and a new audience always brings a new dynamic.
It also looks like ticket sales are starting to fly. In this economy, theatregoers are being reticent about buying anything in advance until they feel they're going to get something worth their time. The difference between the pre-sold yesterday morning and after we got home last night were quite startling.
I'm also enjoying my role as caregiver here. Jim is expending a lot of energy. And, like I said, because of the heavy atmosphere, and him with his asthma, I'm being like a mother hen. But, so is little Seth Finkle, the stage manager, who's doing a terrific job of looking out for him, making sure he has everything he needs.
The official opening night is Wednesday. Piper Laurie will be flying in soon to join us. It's really quite a special time. Once we get fully open and settled in, we'll start touring around the city, doing some videos and generally being silly.
For now, our focus is strictly on getting the show right, getting some audiences in, and working out any last minute kinks. And I'm making sure he sleeps good, and remembers to eat and drink lots of water.
What an exciting time!