Okay. Tonight was cray-cray. That's the only way to describe it, backstage, in the house ... about the only place that was safe was onstage, during the performance.
Negotiating the space took a little more time than usual. Lakewood has a great auditorium, which is just a touch to shallow for our needs. We decided to go without the black masking behind the doors, we'd tried that before at Kendal, but figuring out our make-shift wings took a little time.
Meanwhile, a crowd was growing in the space outside the auditorium. A big crowd. Quite a big crowd. A few minutes after opening the house, we were full. Extra chairs were brought in. Children sat on the floor directly in front of the stage. People stood in the aisles, and in the doors at the rear of the house. We were packed.
However, those who did get in were a spirited crowd, in the mood for a good show. There were several actor-teachers there (thanks for the sweet text, Randy!) and relatives and friends I haven't seen in years.
The show began ... and the weirdness started. There were wardrobe malfunctions. Cues were jumped. Props blew away -- literally, blew from where they were supposed to be. Errors that had never happened before during the entire tour. And yet, none of this was noticeable to the audience. It was like insanity back there, but listening to what was happening for the audience, delivery was sharper than I have heard in days, much more spontaneous, the laughs were bigger, it was all fuel for a charged, energetic, slightly neurotic show. And a very good one.
I was amused, the moment I walked on, I heard some guy in the front say quietly, "He's skinny." Skinny for Poirot I guess, fat-padding notwithstanding. I stuck my belly out further.
Afterward, Michael, Emily and I went out with Dusten, former actor-teacher and member of the Dark Side cast (see above) for a beer and a burger. I won't say where we went ... again, there were errors. Still, awesome night, I am still wired. Many thanks to Ben and Rich at LPL, for all your assistance, loading in and out and taking such good care of us. Love Lakewood!