Friday, June 27, 2008

The Last Visit

I went to closing night of The Visit at Signature Theatre this past Sunday night.
It was the first time that I got to see the show, and what a night to see it on. The energy in the room was electric, and the audience was unbelievable. John Kander was there, and much of the show I found myself looking at him watch his own show. It was a very special evening.
Many Kander and Ebb shows have an iconic image or moment in them, and the most powerful moment that I experienced was when Chita was alone in the woods, sitting on the bench with her cane. She sang my favorite song in the score, "Love and Love Alone" and it was just one of those moments. I will never forget it. I wish I could remember all of the gorgeous lyrics to the song to post them, but I can't. During that song, you saw through to the heart of Claire, and the pain of her past and impending future. If irony has a sound, then it is this song. It simply drips with it. It is very much like an "I'm Still Here" dealing with aspects of the heart.
And I am not knocking the rest of the cast or George Hearn, who were all fantastic, but this was the moment and song that hit me the hardest.

George Hearn's voice is still an amazing instrument, and his acting was superb. I loved his rendition of "I Must have been Something". To see he and Chita in such a small theatre was an unusual treat. I got to talk to George, Chita, and John Kander after the show at the closing night party.
It was great to speak again with John Kander, as I haven't seen him since Kiss of the Spider Woman. I thanked him for everything, and in typical John Kander style said,"No, thank you."
It is strange to see the Kander and Ebb festival come to an end, and a little bit sad as well. I was lucky enough to appear in 2 offerings for the festival, Kiss and A Smile to Hide the Pain. But all things end I guess. Shaking John Kander's hand and saying goodnight, I walked out to my car thinking how surreal my life sometimes is.
Never would I have guessed while I was in High School listening to Kander and Ebb music, or watching George in Sweeney Todd, or Chita in Kiss of the Spider Woman that I would ever be in a place where all three were in the same room with me. Talking and laughing and shaking hands, and part of a festival that I too was a part of.
It is indeed a small world.

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