All the pieces have come together. Frank's set came together over the course of the last couple weeks, we had our lighting cue-to-cue rehearsal Saturday, and we had our sitzprobe (a run-through of the score with the band and actors) on Sunday. And now we're in the easiest Hell Week I think I've ever had.
This show is in great shape. I've never taken so few notes during the final rehearsals. That's partly because there are only four actors, so there are automatically fewer problems to clean up, but it's also because these four actors know exactly what they're doing. Even when they're dealing with the mics for the first time, the glass (you'll see!), the handcuffs -- their acting is so strong at this point that the various distractions we throw at them these last few days don't seem to faze them in the least. In fact, it's exactly the opposite -- despite all the technical stuff, the emotion of the show has just gotten deeper and deeper. And it's given us a chance we don't always have to focus on the smallest, most subtle moments -- that's so nice.
And though this is one of the more slowly paced shows we've worked on in a while, it also feels like it just zooms by when you're watching it. It actually runs about 95 minutes (no intermission), but it feels more like an hour...! It's so compelling!
To be honest, I have no idea what people are going to think about this show. It's so intense, so wild, and so incredibly emotional. Some people may be uncomfortable with it. Some may not like spending an evening with two kids who killed eleven people.
But I have this theory that, despite Conventional Wisdom, audiences don't only like what they know, and they don't want to escape -- they want what's good and they go to the theatre for connection, not escape. This show certainly delivers on those two counts. It's unbelievably strong, smart, artful writing, and you really have no choice but to feel for these characters -- all four of them. It's powerful stuff.
I've gotten very Zen-like about the show in the last week or so. It may not sell as well as some of our recent shows (and if the Cardinals go to the World Series, that may kill us), but we actually have money in the bank from our wildly successful last season. So even if ticket sales are low, we'll still be able to pay everyone. So that's not an issue, like it often is...
And I know what we've made is extremely good theatre. We have done this material justice. We are telling this story well and clearly. I think many, many people will respond to that.
We'll see. But however we do with ticket sales and with the reviewers, I am so proud of this show, these four remarkable actors, and our three indomitable musicians.
Come see us.
Long Live the Musical!