I am reflecting this morning on the glory of live theatre and the community that makes it. As we prepare to open SCANDALOUS at the Neil Simon Theatre, it just staggers me to think about all the many people that have given most of the hours of their days for the past three months to get to this point. Every single department on this production has given above and beyond the "normal". In fact, it is incredible. The definition of "incredible" is: so extraordinary as to seem impossible.
SCANDALOUS is a huge story - spanning three decades in the life of Aimee Semple McPherson. And it is told on stage by 20 actors, which means that everyone of us has a big responsibility. It is a big score, with lots of big singing, and our star, Carolee Carmello has the biggest job on Broadway this year. She is onstage all but 10 minutes or so. Incredible -(so extraordinary as to seem impossible).
Our incredible stage management team is there waiting for us when we get there and is still there when we leave at night. Our IATSE team of carpenters, prop men, lighting crew, fly crew and deck crew are tireless - keeping it all humming without drawing any attention to themselves. Incredible!
Our orchestra is stupendous, led by our maestro Joel Fram and his great music staff. We even have real, live strings! They play thru most of the show, since there is alot of underscoring and they sound- incredible!
Our wardrobe department is always busy - mending, ironing, fixing problems, presetting costumes all over the theatre. They are the real heroes of this experience, in my opinion. I don't know if there is an actual count on the number of costume pieces in this show, but it is as many as I have ever seen. And they are all pressed, cleaned and ready to go for us every day- incredible! The wig/hair department makes us all look great, and is responsible for the final touches of our many character changes. I have four different wigs that have to be washed and set and ready to go! Incredible.
Our creative staff is - you guessed it, incredible. They have made major changes in SCANDALOUS during previews - working tirelessly to tell this story that they love in the best way possible, within the time and financial restraints that they were given. And they, indeed, changed the show for the better. As for Kathie Lee Gifford, you can quote me here. She is beyond incredible. She has been there most every hour that we all have, plus doing rewrites, plus having a full time job on the Today show. She is there at night when we all leave, and then I turn on my TV in the morning and she is on the air in full makeup and hair, being her adorable self. I have never met a person who exudes such genuine good will. Her energy, talent and love for this piece and for all of us, is (here is another definition of incredible)- too extraordinary and improbable as to be believed.
This incredible team also includes the ushers, bartenders, concessions, box office staff, our door men and women, our housekeeping staff. Our company management keep everyone happy and keep it all running. And our publicity team keeps the SCANDALOUS logo and news out there at every moment.
And each one of them did this during a Superstorm/Hurricane, a Nor'easter, crippling mass transportation problems, downed trees and detours everywhere, gas rationing, massive power outages, and an historical Presidential Election? Gotta love these Broadway Folk - they are incredible!
I am grateful to be a part of it all, humbled by my good fortune, and excited for the next steps on this INCREDIBLE journey. Happy Opening, SCANDALOUS family!