I usually check back in with the blogworld right after we close a show. Not sure why it's taken me almost a week this time...
So yes, Spelling Bee did close, after an absolutely triumphant fucking run! THANK YOU, ST. LOUIS! Rave reviews, big houses, lots of repeat customers, the perfect cast in brilliant material, with a great band, terrific choreography, and (if I do say so myself) strong direction. It was hard to close it, and say goodbye to this weird world and wonderful characters.
This whole season has been such an incredible success, more than I would have ever expected. Hair blew people's minds (though I knew it would) and so very many people just fell in love with it, quite a few of them seeing the show multiple times. Then Forbidden Planet, possibly the oddest show I've ever done, also found an adoring audience, rave reviews, and repeat customers. And now Spelling Bee, embraced so fully by audiences -- every single night the audience was soooo engaged. It wasn't just about the jokes; it was about really thoughtful, artful, insightful material being performed by brilliant character actors working together with the precision of a Swiss watch. It reminded me a lot of our Bat Boy, one of those New Line shows that has become legendary.
So now this week I'm off, and then next week, we start work on Love Kills. And I have to tell you, the more I work on this material, the more I play the score, the more I find unbelievable artistry and depth and subtlety in it. This is going to be such a blast to work on, and a real change of pace from last season.
Last season was the Season of Laughs. This season looks like it's gonna be the Season of Death and Despair. Well, you know what they say, variety is the spice of life. Variety and cinnamon. And besides, we've haven't done drama this relentlessly intense since Kiss of the Spider Woman in 2005. It'll be great to flex those muscles again. I can't wait to get to work!
Spelling Bee will forever have a special place in my heart. It's not often you get to work on art that special. But the new season holds some pretty awesome work ahead...
Long Live the Musical!