Sorry, not a Burt Reynolds wacky racing movie, but our lives all last week. The first weekend of our run of Oklahoma! was quite good, with moderately-sized audiences. Friday's show was better than opening night, Saturday's was better still, and Sunday's was just about spot-on (or as spot-on as live theater gets). Enter the 5-day break and when everyone reassembled this last Wednesday for the brush-up rehearsal, things were a bit crazy. Crazy with shtick. Crazy with overconfidence.
Photo © Copyright Ron Dugdale Photography 2007
While confidence is good, overconfidence is not - and I think it showed on Thursday's performance (with which the cast and crew will agree). Last night, however, it was ON. The actors were on. Tech was on. The house was packed, and they were full of energy. The orchestra, which is awesome anyway, was even more awesomer. And yes, that's a real word, because it needs to describe how friggin' awesome the orchestra was. All the crucial cues were hit dead-on, the singing and dancing was top-notch. Standing ovation. It's nights like THAT which make community theater worthwhile - it surpassed some professional shows I've seen. Not just equaled. Surpassed.
So tonight the show closes. Tomorrow is a cast & crew BBQ where we have the annual SPAM awards (or "SPAMMIES", as they've become known), where a bunch of traditionally silly prizes are awarded to folks who did stuff. Most of the prizes feature canned meat products. The big one is actually an engraved trophy, The Samantha Downing Memorial Grand SPAM Award. She was the first one to win the thing, and the year we were in Bye Bye Birdie together, I won it. And I've been honored to give the award every year since Sam died. The names on the trophy are this amazing continuity of time, place and person. Kayleigh has decided to take a pass on the cast party, instead hanging with her brother, uncle and aunt in their Star Wars 30th Anniversary "Project Red-Eye", where they have friends over like a Superbowl party and watch all six Star Wars movies in chronological order. The kids are under specific instructions to bring other amusements in case they get bored.
On Tuesday, I will put them on a plane for California and bite my nails anxiously as they take off for a week with Sam's folks. First time traveling without a parent. I'm just a tad nervous. But I will have a mini vacation, in that the house will be really really quiet for a week, and then two days after they get back, I head off to Atlanta for the Ordinary Angels premiere.
My mom went with some friends up to Canada last night to see this guy. First time she'd been to a stadium concert in many years (was it Tom Jones?). Apparently they had their tickets upgraded to fill a section closer in, so she got a really great show!
In other news, the Ordinary Angels DVDs are at the manufacturer and should be arriving at my house about the same time I leave for Atlanta. I'm requesting they overnight a few so I can take 'em along to Dragon*Con. Dan did a great job assembling my menu art and Chris Clement's music clip into a real DVD menu. It looks good!
In still other news, Brian Chase gave me the mastered tracks for the And Tears Fell Requiem CD. Our 20 year-old music rerecorded and reborn. It sounds better than it ever has before, and I wept the first tears in a long while as I drove home from Brian's with my car stereo blasting. Especially "Sometimes", with Caleb's spoken word performance at the end. There are four tracks available to preview over at our MySpace page. I recommend "Tapestry" and "Sometimes". Enjoy.
It feels good to check these long-term projects off the list, y'know?
Finally, introducing our newest family member, Elvis Catsley.