The Full Monty: Epilogue

Ken AshfordPersonalLeave a Comment

MontydatesShow closings are always bittersweet for everyone involved, but I think for everyone associated with the LTWS/CTG production of The Full Monty, it was particularly hard.  Myself included.

It seems like years since we sat around on first rehearsal, with everyone stating their name and who they are playing.  But it was only a couple of months ago.  For me, it was some old and beloved friends and some new people I would grow to love and admire.

Since then, we’ve experienced our fair share of frustrations, laughs, wardrobe malfunctions, running jokes, feet going through walls, parades, promotional adds, etc.  It’s all been good.

The last week of the show was by far the best from a performance standpoint.  We had large and receptive audiences — even the closing show (a Sunday matinee!). 

We had a lot of two-timers and three-timers in the audience this week, people coming back to see it again.  That’s pretty cool.

I always marvel at how these things come together.  There’s a wonderful backstage dance that happens in productions like this, where things happen like clockwork.  A pen shows up in my hand just as I need it, right before I go onstage.  A cast member is there to help another cast member do a quick costume change.  Things like that.  They’re there; there reliable; you can count on these things.  Not much else about life that goes that way.

The nice thing about a four-week run is that the show gets really polished.  You’ve added things; you’ve changed things.  A subtle look here.  A pregnant pause here.  An added phrase.  You discover what works, and fix what hasn’t worked.  The last week of this show was, in my mind, twice as good as the first week, purely from a performance standpoint.

On Sunday’s matinee, the pre-show entertainment (a Triad Idol winner) sang the opening strains of "Tomorrow", and the cast — including seasoned vets — started to digest the impact of the upcoming 3 hours.  "Last time we’ll do this; last time I’ll say that".  It kind of got to us, but the curtain rose and we gave them a good show.  I was already primed for a letdown, having been reminded by Heather that we probably weren’t going to appear onstage together again (she’s moving to NYC).

But the show was a thrill, and fun, as always.

Then came strike, the ultimate anti-climax to a two-plus-month thrill ride.  It went suprisingly well and mercifully quick (as strikes go).  Then, exhausted, we mumbled goodbyes, made future plans to get together.

I got in my car and drove to Winston.  Seals & Crofts "Summer Breeze" blared from the iPod.  Sure I’ll see these people again (I hope), but not in that setting, not in that show.  Nothing like it ever again.  Tough to let go.

But what a journey, huh?

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