Audience response has been superb. Heather's Rose is just wowing audiences, and several of my harshest critics have seen the show and are just full of praise for it, the cast, and me.
Here's some things I love about the show:
Upon the cutoff of the overture, the sound of Tristan, who plays Clarence the kid with the clarinet, yelling at the top of his lungs in the mêlée that is Uncle Jocko's Kiddie Show. He has three "mothers" all giving him commands and encouragement at once.
I share a dressing room with Danny Cunningham, the only other adult male in the cast, and he plays multiple roles. I love crossing paths with him as we change costumes and get ready for scenes. He has several quick changes--one from Pops to a stagehand that I don't know how he manages.
The sound guy, a hot little multi-racial guy named Randy, who endures my affections with style and grace and always makes sure my microphone is in place.
Watching Heather get that gold plaque in her purse on exactly the right beat at the end of "Some People" every night.
Feeling my way through the first encounter between Rose and Herbie and getting turned on by Rose every time. The scene was built on a foundation of connection, but it has become to me all about Herbie's desire for Rose. Heather started ramping up the sexy about a week ago, providing a great knowing laugh from the audience that wasn't there before. One of the many ways an audience is your best scene partner.
I'm not crazy about the way "Mr. Goldstone" turned out--I would have preferred to have way more props involved, but I am a whore for schtick--but it is so fun to do every night, particularly the exchange around "gallstones" and Heather's "OK enough of this crap" response that makes me laugh every time.
The absolute coldness with which Samantha's Louise regards me in the Chinese Restaurant scene, then the Tulsa scene, and its transformation on the railway platform to one of complete love and acceptance after I propose to Rose. Let me tell you, what makes this show so splendid for me is that I have two women to act off of who are thoroughly committed and completely professional--they give me their all on stage.
Dancing and singing with Heather in "You'll Never Get Away from Me," a moment that never fails to move me, even if I lean to the left when I should be leaning to the right.
The moment before my entrance onto the railway platform for the close of Act One, as I manufacture an argument with Dan Hurst's Yonkers.
Jason Rehklau's hilarious "Yes. Sir. Herbie."
The horror of "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Every time. It just horrifies Herbie (and me) so much.
Doing "Together Wherever We Go," which is just "Friendship" from ANYTHING GOES all over again and every bit as joyful to perform as that number was. Although Heather did manage to land her baton squarely on my head once...
Grabbing Adam Magill's Pastey by the tie and hoisting him onto his toes as Herbie asserts his manhood.
Our strippers are so good--all of 'em aging broads who are total pros and get all the laughs in all the right places. "Gimmick" never fails to bring down the house. What a brilliant performance of a brilliant number.
Herbie's goodbye scene, which is authentic and honest every night, and yet I never say the lines the same way. Ever. I am astounded that it works, but Laurents' writing allows me such specificity and flexibility at the same time, so I can react in the moment. Our director gave me one very powerful note, one that scares the hell out of me each time I do that scene--if I am too close to Rose, Herbie might hit her in his burst of anger. That's how pent up he is. Yet that moment passes in a flash and all the angry goes out of me and I am left with a sadness on my exit that takes several moments to escape.
Listening to Sam and Heather tear through the penultimate scene. Lacerating!
And watching "Rose's Turn" from the wings every night. Call me crazy, but it finally hit me that I will never get to play this part, so now I revel in Heather's performance of it each night.
Our cast doing our backstage boogie to the curtain call music after the final bow.
There's more, but that's what I'm feeling now. Come see us!!!