Monday, July 28, 2008

Quick show update

I'm thrilled to tell you that our first weekend of The Miracle Worker was a raging success. By Sunday, word of mouth had swelled the audience to 3/4 of the theater (and I've played shows there with only 20 people in the seats, so this is definitely a commentary on the show). It's a physically demanding show, especially for the young women who are playing Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller (if you've ever seen the movie you know what I mean). They are doing a bang-up job of those action sequences. When we started rehearsing I was pretty sure it was going to look like a couple of girls pretending to fight with each other but Man! It surely does not!

The role I play, as Helen's mom, is a gem. Even though it's not a lead part, in my opinion Kate Keller really is the beating heart of the story (or am I prejudiced?). She loves her daughter fiercely, and even though she's a proper Southern belle, she is willing to stand up to an overbearing husband, a sniping stepson, and anyone else who tries to get in the way of getting Helen the help she needs. She is gracious, smart, and loving. She loves, jokes, smiles, struggles, cries, and offers emotional support to everyone in her family at one time or another. She's just a gem, and I'm privileged to play her.

The play is structured so that I'm on stage most of the time, even though the lead roles are Annie and Helen. I so much prefer being on stage a lot during a performance. It helps me stay in character; there's often a lot of goofing around going on backstage that can be distracting.

My costumes are drop-dead GORGEOUS! Here's a snapshot the Huz snapped. I'll have more at some point, as the costumer intends to offer them for rental on a website. They're completely authentic right down to the corset & chemise, and completely beautiful. She chose lovely fabrics for mine. In this picture you also see, from left to right, a blind girl, Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller, and a second blind girl. Click on the picture to see it a bit larger.

Saturday night for the first time in all my performances I had the heartwarming experience of hearing the audience clap louder when I came on stage. ("You like me, you really like me!") It happened again for the Sunday matinee, and the crowd held the applause for so long that we had a second bow.

I'm on cloud 9! (That little speck in the picture is me ;-)

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