Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good day, Annie.

Annie is done. Final performance was last night, with the strike/cast party after.  Somewhat bittersweet.  I got a little misty as I came offstage after the cabinet scene, and reluctantly shed the Frances Perkins suit, hat, and persona that fit me so well.

Our director, Taffy Geisel, was there to watch the last show, and I don't think we could have done a better job.  It was a near-perfect performance.  Hooverville rocked. NYC flowed. The mansion bustled. The cabinet blustered and harmonized. It was a fitting close to a record-breaking show. (97% of all available seats for the entire run were sold--that's nearly 4000 seat filled.)

Taffy is directing The Happiest Millionaire at Plaza in a few months. She asked if I was familiar with the show and encouraged me to audition.  She remarked at how much I'd grown as an actress since the audition. As I lamented at the time, the audition sucked beans, and wasn't remotely indicative of what I'm capable of achieving.  But she only knows what she sees, and yes, from crappy audition to final show, I guess I've flourished.  And I'm flattered that she's impressed enough to share her thoughts with me.  Yeah, it was a bit of an ego boost, I won't lie :)

We got production photo CD's last night, too (those who ordered them). So as I write this, I'm working on a photo book on Shutterfly. Totally copying the idea from castmates Shauna and Jay Lewis, who have a large collection of photobooks from shows they've worked on.  Below are a few pics from Annie that include ME in them. These were taken on opening weekend, Saturday, November 19th.

Mrs. Greer and Mrs. Pugh kibitzing

The painting from Paris that grows on Mr. Warbucks

Eavesdropping on a phone conversation

You won't be an orphan for long...

Frances Perkins *gasp* agreeing with a Republican!

Frances Perkins and Cordell Hull getting riled up!
New Deal for Christmas (show finale)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bah humbug

I'm not doing it this year.  The ridiculous commercialization of a date set rather arbitrarily in the late 4th century to commemorate the birth of the Christ Child. I'm not doing it. That is to say, I'm celebrating the birth of my Savior, but not the BUY LOTS OF STUFF!!!!! aspect of it.

Christmas shouldn't be about 'stuff', yet I see people rushing around, cranky and selfish, being rude to others in the stifling crush of last-minute retail shoppers.  And that was last week! I can't imagine what it's like this week!

I admit, when the kids were younger, I did succumb to the 'stuff' aspect.  We didn't do Santa in our house, so I felt like I needed to compensate, perhaps.  I did what I could to make that obligatory Christmas morning tree photo look as impressive as possible, so they wouldn't look back on childhood memories and remember that we were as monetarily-challenged as we were.  But now that they're older and know that Jesus' actual birth month and day is as yet indeterminable, I'm more inclined to stay far far FAR away from retail establishments and their in-your-face commercialization, and celebrate quietly, remembering those less fortunate than us.  I do have a few small things to unwrap on Sunday morning, and I think we may venture out next week to pick up some needed items in the post-holiday sales, like a winter coat for Sunshine, some black jeans for Norseman.  But you can keep your last-minute mad dash to find and purchase that so-called perfect gift.  My Perfect Gift arrived about 2000 years ago.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One more week...

A little melancholy tonight.  Doug (aka Roosevelt) observed that one week from tonight will be our last show.  It's been so hectic lately that I hadn't really thought about the impending close of Annie.  And so I'm a little sad.  Milette (producer) shrugged and said "There's always the next show."  This one is particularly special, though, since it was my first.  And it's gonna be a bummer when it's over.

But then it will be on to Foreigner, and finishing the costumes for that.  And Fiddler rehearsals have already started, so there's that.  Annie details (like dance steps I've done a bazillion times) have already started trickling out of my head, replaced by Yente mini-monologues.

I love it <3

Friday, December 09, 2011

Skinny college dress....

Yesterday I dug a dress out of my closet, one I bought at goodwill in the spring of 1992 and wore often.  It's a green and white sleeveless sheath dress with flattering darts and not a smidgen of elastic.  As I remember, it fit just right if I remembered to suck in my itty-bitty belly pooch.  Yesterday when I found it, I held it up to my 20-years-later body and smiled, thinking "This thing probably still fits!"

Today, just for grins, I tried it on.

And it's way too big!
Like at least 2 sizes too big.

What the heck? No way, after 20 years and 2 kids, am I smaller now than I was in college.  I lost 5 pounds that year because I lived on the 6th floor and hated to take the cramped elevators thanks to claustrophobia, and subsisted on salads and Mt. Dew.

I'm a little more than an inch taller now than I was then. And I guess I weigh about the same as I did then. Can an inch of height really make that much of a difference?

Monday, December 05, 2011

It's a Yente!

I think my disappointment that Sunshine was again not cast is overshadowing my glee at landing the role of Yente, the Matchmaker.

BUT, Sunshine and I got to talking and we noted that pretty much everyone in Annie has theatre training.  All the kids have done Plaza Theatre summer camps at some point, most of the young adults are theatre majors in college. Most of the older adults WORK in theatre, like teaching, opera, etc.  Even I had four years of drama in high school. I started to inquire about theatre as an elective at her school next semester, but she nixed it immediately, said "all they do in there is color." (?) So we looked at the spring schedule for Plaza Academy, and there's an Acting for Teens class on a day and time that's nicely compatible with rehearsals.

And we both feel better.

And I am really super stinkin' excited about playing Yente!  I'm double-cast, which is fine with me.  I didn't have any scheduling conflicts to need a double, but I'm okay with sharing the love. The full cast list will be posted tomorrow.  Woot! An almost-principal, almost-comedic role! 

Show opens February 3rd, so mark your calendars!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

I hate wait

This is the excruciating wait.  The time between callbacks and the possible call to offer a role.  Less than 48 hours... Oy!

I feel good about today! So very many ridiculously talented people; it was an honor to be among them.  Although it was only my 2nd real audition ever and I did 6000% better than last time, I could have done better. But nerves and inexperience were very real obstacles (that will diminish with every play). Even so, I think I have a real shot at getting a more principal role.  I'll be happy with nondescript 'Villager', too, just for the experience!

A few other things to note today...  Positive note first: Taylor O'Toole, the actress who plays Annie in my cast, injured her ankle on stage half way through the second act (in the cabinet scene in fact, just feet away from me).  But she got up and kept going, and the audience barely noticed.  Her mom whisked her off for x-rays after final bows (ankle was already swollen and purple--looked really bad), but thankfully it's 'just' a severe sprain, rather than a break.  The grown-up actors in particular were just awed at this young woman's professionalism and grit. Amazing.

Now the crappy note: Found out this morning that my friend Brian Harrington died on Sunday, apparently by his own hand. I last saw him about a month ago--we went to see the Caravaggio exhibit at the Kimball.  He was in good spirits with plans for the future.  He was going to come see me in Annie, and go with me to try the Thai restaurant near the theatre.  He was arrogant and self-absorbed, annoyingly intelligent, but witty and gracious when he wanted to be.  I'm sad, but mad, too. Dammit.