Saturday, March 13, 2010


opening day, today, of "isabelle and the pretty ugly spell." my new york off broadway musical debut. the day went very well, i believe. after every day rehearsal for the last three weeks, we finally put it up in front of an audience. now, this is children's theater. this means that the average age of our 11:00 am performance was about two and half years old. they are beautiful, of course, but not quite so sophisticated when it comes to clever lyrics that advance the plot. however, they love all the colorful costumes and whenever we move around. and let's face it, they loved izzy, the extremely cute fairy godmother. and the princess, the equally cute daughter of the king. and the grand fairy, rounding out the cute trio of ladies in our cast.

i'm sure they also enjoyed the other fairy godmothers, played by two very talented actors who had to sing in falsetto the whole time. that's hard work! and they loved clyde, our once and future prince who had all kinds of fun gadgets that he "invented". i suppose they may have enjoyed myself as king but only because i took up the most space and had an awesome cape on.

after the show we all signed autographs and the children had two main questions for me: was my beard real? and was i a real king? i answered both questions in the affirmative, of course. wasn't sure what else to say, really. my beard is mine, and i'm kind of the king of my little apartment in midtown. and i've been king of the backgammon game on my iphone, so... is that a stretch?

the vital theater company is where this took place. it's on broadway at 76th street. so in a way, it was a broadway show. :) actually, though, there aren't enough seats to make it a true broadway show. it takes more than the 108 that vital has, but it's a great theater with a green room and dressing rooms and everything that an actor could want. even those mirrors lined with big bulbed lights so you can see every line on your face that you seek to cover with base and rouge.

the other thing it has is a small backstage, but this just makes things more fun. all the set pieces that aren't on stage are behind the curtain...along with all the actors...and the rack of clothes for between-scene changes...and the crew of interns who help with set changes and actor clothing changes. this means that we all bump into each other quite a bit. it was during one of these encounters that i felt a tinge of frustration that i couldn't move without running into something or having someone run into me. and then, almost as quickly, was struck with another thought.

it was almost a wave of thoughts all at once. a mixture of "mark, chill out", and "just move over a little", " it's no big deal." but the predominant thought was that of being privileged. privileged to share this new york, off broadway stage with such talented people. privileged to be a part of a great opening day performance and to hear the applause of entertained people. privileged to be doing something that seemed like a crazy dream just two years ago. privileged to be standing in this crazy crowded backstage in which so many would love to be standing.

what a gift. 31 more shows to go!