Last night's show began with the crowd feeling a little reserved. It wasn't that they weren't responsive in their own way nor that they weren't into it fully. We could feel their intensity, but the laughs were a little quieter and it felt like they were studying us rather than jumping into it and joining in.
That is until the ship scene where we meet. It was like someone took the lid off the pot. The laughs began to explode and I could feel a total change come over them.
(For the record, I was chatting with a friend this morning who had come to see the show. He said that during the first part of the show, there were people behind him who were saying things like, "Yes!" and "That's exactly how I feel." He said they weren't disruptive, but like I said, this was an intense crowd -- and a little older than previous nights.)
Anyway, once we got on the ship and started the story of how we met, they started to just let go. And then, in act two, they were actually MORE responsive than the previous audiences. The laughs were EXPLOSIVE and the standing ovation was immediate and thrilling. So, um, whew.
I know I should feel totally secure after having done this show for four years -- or is it five? -- but every night is a new night. Every audience is a new audience, and I never want to feel complacent. I want them to have a completely fresh show. And it does feel fresh.
In fact, I still remember what Barnard Hughes said about long runs. That he sees every show as a chance to do it better. And that's how I feel. I found new things last night in act two, ways of saying the lines that I'd never felt before. It's such a great feeling.
Tonight is opening night!
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