Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Speeding Motorcycle 6/17

Saturday night’s magic was the kind that comes from hard work and determination. Everyone showed up to the theater with their A-game in tow. After Friday nights less than spectacular show, the unspoken phrase on everyone’s mind was, “Let’s kick some mutherfuckin’ ASS!” And kick some ass we did.
Having the first solo song of the show, I tried my best to set the tone for the night. Without saying a word to each other, Kyle definitely was in the same frame of mind as he performed the most soulful version of “Dream Scream” I’ve heard so far. The game was afoot and I’m always up for a healthy competition.
Cathy and I had some great moments of “staged” flirting during “Life In Vain”. The audience was very attentive and I could feel them soaking up the show and its moments of truth that flow throughout.
As Cathy & I sat behind the closed curtain prior to “Life In Vain”, we were perplexed by the action going on stage right. Tony had quickly hopped up from behind his piano and was pacing about in a controlled panic. We both looked at each other and shrugged it off. It wasn’t long before he composed himself, sat down, and took a deep breath. We later found out that he had realized that the “falling baby” hadn’t been pre-set in its box and would have to be thrown onstage by a band member. It all worked out, too. It didn’t get as big a laugh as it usually does, but did receive a very respectable reaction from the audience. It was our only snafu of the evening.
The rest of the show was a good as it gets. The crowd was fantastic and had a great time from top to bottom.
The lobby performance was where we really let our hair down. All the songs were delivered with passion and fire. I had told Jason, several weeks earlier, that I was bound and determined to perform “Brainwashed” sans amplification (stealing a page from the Elvis Costello play book). I was feeling bold and did just as I promised. It felt fucking great! Stepping up to the front of the stage, the chorus of dancing girls all gathered at the lip of the stage and enthusiastically joined in.
“True Grief” had Tony bitch slapping his microphone and “Rock This Town” found Johnny Freedom doing his best Pete Townshend impersonation. His antics included several deep knee bends and climaxed with a karate kick to an unsuspecting music stand. HI-YA!
Long time IBP supporters Bill & Sarah Stewart were in the audience and I did a good portion of my performances straight to them, including the entire “Birthday” speech. Over the years, they have become like grandparents to me. Super- cool, fucking-rad grandparents who are in their late 70’s. I’ll never be able to erase the image of Bill doing the pogo (with his hands above his head) during the rock show portion in the lobby. If this show can do THAT to a senior citizen, the terrorists have truly been defeated
The highlight of the evening, though, was talking to my high school acting teacher, Bob Singleton, following the show. He was overflowing with pride and had nothing but terrific things to say about the show and its performances. He’s one of the few educators in my life that I hold in high esteem and whose words of wisdom mean more to me each and every day. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to thank those who’ve had that kind of an impact on your life and recognizing the moment, I did just that. It was the perfect end to a perfect night.


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