I just got back from our opening day party hosted by the “Kansas House Movers Association” (again, our adult chorus has too much time on their hands…see picture below)
I am pleased to say that opening did go well in comparison to every other run-through/dress rehearsal thus far. There surprisingly weren’t that many people there, only about 2,300 out of the 5,000 that usually pack the house. However, they were a responsive audience, one that joined in on “Lions and Tigers and Bears” and booed the witch whenever she came onstage. It was very fun to witness.
Toto actually behaved very nicely today with an audience! Yesterday Gus was a little frightened of all the people watching our final dress rehearsal, but we switched Gus and Ketchup in and out of the show today and it seemed to work very well. Poor things are getting very hot onstage though, as we all are. It’s supposed to get cooler as the show goes on though so I’m looking forward to that.
Back in Annie, I remember lots of little girls and boys who came up to me afterwards and wanted to just talk to me, and that happened again today. Some of the little girls dressed up as Dorothy which was very cute, and I signed two autographs! I love seeing little kids get touched by a show like this. I once heard an interview with Raul Esparza (from the recent revival of Company, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Taboo, Tick Tick Boom, and Rocky Horror) when he mentioned the first time he ever saw a professional show (Peter Pan) and how that performance made him want to pursue theatre. Every time I see one of these little kids I remember what he said about always performing to the best of your ability and always giving it your all no matter what, because there might be a kid whose life changes forever just from seeing it.
My fellow cast members worked very hard today and I was honored to share the stage with every single one of them. All the munchkins kept smiling, the dancers kept dancing to perfection, the stationary chorus sang their hearts out, and the other principles and I toughed it out even when the sweat was running down our backs. All our hard work definetly payed off for this. I can’t wait to do it again next week!