Go ahead, make my day

Clint Eastwood said that with a sneer. I say it, face dead-pan, arms crossed tightly over my chest, to my own book and lyrics as I prepare to watch another run-through on Monday night. Prove yourself, POPart. I am not easily impressed. And I’m no mood for your crap.

That was around 7:47 pm. By 8:30 pm, my tough outer shell was starting to disintegrate in spite of itself And by 9:15, I was a warm pool of goofy good vibes.

Does that mean the show is a success? It’s true I see an edge here and there I’d like to do some mild sanding to, script-wise (right now, I’m obsessing a little over the set-up for “Watch the Birdy”). And there is still the occasional joke that doesn’t land the way I’d hoped (Monica continues to direct them into new ways of delivery and approach and to show ME new ways of thinking about the words, so I’m content to let it evolve). But if the test is in its ability to make you laugh no matter what s*$#! you brought with you into the theater, then I say it’s road-ready.

Of course, it’s due in no small part to the fact that the kids are having a ball on stage. A couple of them remarked last night, “This show is SOOOO much fun to do” (thanks Matt and Evan—you’re pretty bleepin’ fun to watch). And I don’t think they were merely blowing Van Gogh’s sunflowers up my bum. The cast IS an ensemble now, in all their collective cornball-i-ness (thank Zeus for cornballs!). Getting to run the show every night is the pay-off to the hard march they made to get here.


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