Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Muppets Take Manhattan Or Closing Two Shows

I know -- it's an odd title for a post...bear with me! It's one of my all time favorite movies, who doesn't love the Muppets? (by the way, the word Muppets is not in my spell-check. How can such an iconic franchise not be recognized by spell-check?) Anyway, I love that movie and in more than one way it seems a bit appropriate to title my post "The Muppets Take Manhattan." I'll explain.

As I was watching the second to last performance of Twelfth Night and the final Patriotism Unleashed cast last night the lyrics to "Saying Goodbye" from Muppets Take Manhattan started running through my hear. For those of you unfamiliar with the song it's goes like this:

Saying Good Bye,
Going Away,
Seems like Goodbye's such a hard thing to say,
Touching our hands,
Wondering why, it's time for saying goodbye.

Saying Good Bye,
Why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we've had,
Much more to say, Foolish to try.
It's time for saying goodbye.

Don't want to leave,
But we both know,
Sometimes it's better to go.

Somehow I know we'll meet again,
I'm not sure quite where and I don't know quite when.
You're in my heart, until then,
It's time for saying goodbye.

Want to Smile,
Want to cry,
It's time for saying Good Bye

Sappy? Perhaps, but it's what began running through my head. I really don't like saying goodbye to great casts and this song kind of embodies all of my closing night emotions. All good shows much come to an end and the sad part is that like the song says sometime we will meet again, but it won't be under these conditions, it won't be this play or this theater or this exact group of people. And ending it does remind you of how much fun you had creating it and at the same time, there is a feeling that it is time for it end, go out on top, with sold-out houses, that's always the best way to close something. As always I will miss these two casts. I've been blessed with fantastic groups of people this summer and will miss hanging out with them on a weekly basis. I'm guessing the local bar down the street will also miss us hanging out on weekly basis!

Before I continue to explain the title of my post, I have to share one small story from our second to last after show gathering. Last night I had to laugh because the bartender yelled out "Last Call" and eight people immediately responded, "Thank You Last Call" For those of you not in theater, it's standard procedure that when the SM or someone else says something like "5 minutes to places" or "ladder coming through" the standard response is "Thank you 5 minutes" or "Thank you ladder" it ensures that everyone heard the announcement. So hearing the automatic, "Thank You Last Call" response made me smile, you can take the actors to the bar, but you can't truly take them out of the theater!

So the second reason this blog is titled The Muppets Take Manhattan is because in less than a month Friends Like These will be in Manhattan. Now, I'm not saying we're muppets, although, I'm guessing there may be times when we'll feel like the muppets, rather clueless, but having a good time being clueless and I'm not really expecting any breakout dance/musical numbers to happen over a late night dinner in a diner, but I do think it will be an adventure that will give us many stories to share for months to come.

So after tonight, Twelfth Night will be done. Noah will not have to wear bright yellow leggings and be cross-gartered, Jim won't have a reason to grab Jenn's boob, Darci won't need to put her hair in pin curls to wear two different wigs, Julia won't need to worry that her veil will unhook too early, Tom won't need to load six different instruments into the car every weekend, Paul won't need to perfect his "drunk hair," Chris won't need to worry about being boogered by Julia, Carlos won't need to spend 90% of the play moving furniture, Tracey will no longer make us laugh with Fabian's improvisational outbursts. Courtney can finally focus on one show instead of three, Sacha won't have to give Shawn piggy back rides, and Erica and Jessica won't need to avoid the set changers while they are dancing. They will have one last circle of actor love tonight, have one more great performance and then we will head to the Lativan Center for one last post-show gathering. Tomorrow we will all wake up with different agendas, the words, the blocking, the set changes, the costumes of Twelfth Night will slowly drift from our heads, new shows will come up and this summer will become a good, but distant memory. And so Twelfth Night cast, I shall end by saying, "want to smile, want to cry, it's time for saying goodbye!"

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