Monday, December 05, 2011

Opening Night of The Man Who Came To Dinner.

It's been an amazing learning experience for me, watching this cast find all the beats of this complex farce, and especially Jim, putting some blood into the role of Sheridan Whiteside. I've seen every preview and, now, opening night. What most people don't know is that this production is on an Equity Showcase contract. There was a maddeningly brief rehearsal time, three previews to get it on its feet, then the critics in the audience, and then the opening night -- which was a fantastic show, their best performance.

But those early shows were previews. It's the place you figure out what's not working. A large budgeted show would have a much longer time to work out all the kinks -- which is, of course, what this run will do. Jim got some great notices, but also got punched a little, mostly for not being mean enough or something.

Well, just stand back. I don't mean that Jim is going to let others direct him, but I know that the show they saw is not the show that will run forward. Really what they were witnessing is Jim finding Sheridan's beating heart. Why would a person do the horrific things he does?

Now they'll all start having some fun -- and it is a very fun show. I sit up behind everyone -- some seats are roped off because they can only allow 99 seats per performance.

What's great is that the people watching this play, even when they're not laughing out loud, they have huge grins on their faces, and their body language is forward and attentive. They are having a very good time.

But to get to this point, Jim is tired. I'm keeping him in all day, rested and warm. I took a lot of snapshots, so I'll post them over on Facebook, so the other cast members can tag themselves.

But here is a snapshot from the party, where they're all getting ready for the big cast portrait.

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