Sunday, August 26, 2007
Our Final Show.
Today's final show didn't feel like an ending. It felt like a beginning. We love San Francisco; and we feel loved by San Francisco. I love just saying, "San Francisco." I love how it's such a delicious mouthful of crunchy sounds.
Jim and I also love the people on the staff at New Conservatory Theatre Center. It's a place where the people genuinely like each other. The sheer volume of work, not to mention the focus required to produce, schedule, staff, cast, build and promote full seasons of shows on three stages is mind-boggling. It's an extraordinary achievement to done by just a handful of people. I've been a part of non-profit orgs. It's a lot of stress and requires utter commitment. It seemed to me that Ed sets a very kind atmosphere. Loose and efficient.
You know, a non-profit theatre is a terrific place to just go volunteer/work when you're young and you need some structure -- especially if you're feeling a bit lost. There's always work that needs to be done, it's a disciplined atmosphere and it's a college education just to work on a full season, even if you're just running errands, making copies and helping build and strike sets (or whatever).
Jim and I loved melting into the family there and being a part of it all.
Several people reported seeing the show four times during this run. Some three. A lot of people came twice. It was fantastic. It made me wonder if we couldn't actually do an extended run here.
I also loved how our journey seemed to strike a chord with so many different kinds of people -- atheists, Catholics, Jews, spiritualists, theatre haters and theatre queens. And yes, Ethel Queens and Judy Queens. The Jewish mom brought her 14 year old daughter (which reminded me of the man who brought back his kids when we played for the Unitarian Universalist conference).
I love that people see our show as a romantic date musical. We saw old gay couples, young gay couples. Lesbian couples (I'm such a lesbophile). Cute straight couples sitting in the front row holding onto each other.
I'm sure this is all sounding very self-serving. I imagine everyone thinks their show has the capacity to cross over to any and all demographics. So, take everything I'm saying with a grain of salt. It's just how I feel right now.
Jim and I were in the car and he asked me how I felt about our experience here. I told him I felt triumphant. Did we totally sell out every house? No. But we always had full houses. And they were always enthusiastic. Plus, we had a total clean sweep of raves from the critics here. And lots of press (thanks to the promotional staff at NCTC).
It just could not have been better -- and it's very upsetting to have to leave just when we felt like we were getting settled in. But that's show business! We form these little families and then we break them up and move on to form even more. Today we drive back home with cats in tow.
So long, San Francisco. We will be back.
When the history of "The Big Voice: God or Merman? is written, there will be one moment that will shine, for us, above all. And it happ...
Hal Block, the increasingly irritating panelist on "What's My Line?" was fired last night after the show. Well, back in 1953. ...
Charles Nelson Reilly with the Laguna Playhouse cast of The Last Session. R. to L.: Joel Traywick, Bob Stillman, Michele Mais, Charles Nels...