Well, the LA Times critic was in the audience last night. The big Kahuna. Also another paper but I'm not sure who they were. But, obviously, it is the Times that matters. A really hot notice from the Times could turn everything around for us. And last night was a very good show. Everyone was 'on' and the audience did the standing O thing and everything seemed to fall into place. We even had a particularly pesky sound cue finally work that never has before. When I got back to the dressing room after the show, I announced to the cast that the Times had just seen the play. Some of the actors had asked that they not be informed before hand if a big paper was out there, so Teal respected their wishes and only told me. I told the cast we did the best we could and it was pretty damn good and if the Times gave us some bad press it won't be because they didn't like how we interpreted things it will be because they don't like what we do. And there's nothing anyone on God's Green Earth can do about that. We did our part. And that's all we can truly do.
Naturally, several people were watching the Times critic out of the corner of their eye to see how he reacted. I'm told he laughed and cried and took copious notes. So now we wait. In the old days in New York, one could finish the show, go to Sardi's, have some drinks and food till around four in the morning and then catch the morning edition of the paper and see the review. Those were the good, old days, though. Now we have to wait several days. And they will be long days, I'm sure, as we all wait to see what our fate is.
I had some old friends in the audience last night. Bridget Baker, whom I've known since college, was there with her husband, Rob. And Bud Craig whom I did Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July with many years ago was there with his wife. They both loved the piece and were full of nice things to say about it.
NoHo's marketing guy, Raul Espinoza was there with his boyfriend, Norman Dixon, who, incidentally, is one of my favorite people with the company. Just an incredibly nice and sweet-natured man, Norman is. His one-person show, Becoming Norman, is going up at NoHo following our run of Praying Small. It's a really interesting journey, I'm told. Norman comes from a rather rigid Mormon background and his journey to musical theatre and open homosexuality has been a bumpy one. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing his story.
The show last night was not a particularly emotional one for me. They can't all be. In fact, I've only had one that was so far and that was a dress rehearsal. And that's perfectly fine. As I've said before, no one cares what the actor is feeling, much to the surprise of many. It only matters what the audience feels. And judging from the standing O and sniffles and sobs I heard coming from the audience at the end of the show, I think it safe to say they were involved with our story.
I'm still struggling now and then for the words in a tough monologue during what I call 'the proposal scene.' Oy. Drives me crazy. STILL can't get those damn words to stick.
Another show today at three. Nearly a full house, I'm told. We shall, as ever, do our best.
Anticipating our notice from the Times. Waiting sucks.
See you tomorrow.