October 24, 1998
I spent a good amount of the morning sleeping, something I did little of this whole week due to late rehearsals and early classes. I didn't do much during the day, just hung out and relaxed. I got opening night presents ready and then went to the theatre for my 5:30 call.
My scenes aren't until the second act so I can really relax until the show starts when I begin to get on makeup and costume. The opening night presents I gave to Scott (playwright/lyricist), Jef (composer) and Danny (director) were Princess Diana items (posters, photos, magazines) and cards that I designed which were unique spoofs on the Diana poster design:
Then he presented the University's ceremonial Gypsy Robe. On Broadway, the Gypsy Robe is given on opening night to the ensemble member of the production who has worked under the most ensemble Equity contracts. The actor who receives the robe decorates a section of the robe with artwork that represents the production they are in. In off Broadway theaters, traditional Gypsy Robes are given on opening night of each production to the ensemble member who has contributed the most to the production and they, too, decorate the robe. This year, the robe was given to me. I can't tell you how proud I am to have been given such an honor.
We were told before the show that many television media would be at the performance to get footage for the evening's news. Then it was decided that instead of repeating several scenes after the show the cameras would be allowed in the theatre towards the end of the show.
The show went really well. The audience seemed to really enjoy and "get it." Rumors of protestors planning to picket the show were apparently just that, simply rumors. Other media was there covering the show, interviewing audience members and staff.
Most of the cast and crew headed out to Waves after the show. When the 10 and 11pm news started on all of the network stations we were all crowded around one of the TV's which we somehow were able to take over. Soon enough ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. began to cover the show. When the evening's performance footage came on the whole place just erupted. What a feeling. Nothing, I'm sure, like waiting at Sardi's for the reviews to come in. But for a college production to be getting the national and international coverage like we've been getting with this show is truly exhilerating. When the news went away and Letterman and Leno came on we hit the dance floor into the wee hours of the night. Late into this some of us got the bright idea to get out of there and head over to a cheap little karaoeke bar inside a bowling alley a few blocks away. Michelle, Jason, and I were the only ones who actually made it to the "joint". Anyway, not long after arriving the three of us were belting "Natural Woman" in front of an audience of about 30 very large drunk people. You had to be there, I guess.
One performance down, eight to go.
© 1998. Mark Bakalor. All Rights Reserved.