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July 25, 2013

Les Miserables Performance Recap

I have never experienced anything like it.

Opening night was a roller coaster of emotions.
Things started off a little shaky.
Our director came in early to tell those of us int he dressing room that her husband, the music director, was not feeling his best due to his chemo and how tiring tech week was for him. We were all on edge, knowing how demanding conducting for over 2 hours, non-stop.
We did our pre-show warm up and curtain went up.

We got to the part where Fantine sells her hair, and things got dicey.

I was back stage, because I was the wig stylist for our Fantine, and all of a sudden we hear a loud crash.
The tech director starts rushing toward the pit saying that our music director had passed out.
The music stopped immediately while people tried to figure out what had happened.
About 30 seconds later we hear someone starting the song again. It was one of the director's former students singing someone else's solo because they didn't want to go on.
After a measure or two of people following suit and getting back into the song we heard the music start back up again.
Once our music director was clear of the chair and on his way upstairs with the paramedics, the keyboardist jumped up and finished conducting the show.

Talk about 'the show must go on!'

While the ambulance checked everything out, we went on with the show.
Jake said that only one person really broke character on stage during the whole incident.
The rest of the show went amazingly well.

The truly awesome part is how much it drew our cast of 100 together.
We all asked each other how we were holding up. There were hugs exchanged in hallways and backstage. People encouraged and complimented people who they've never interacted with before.
It was heartwarming.
It helped that our music director decided to drive himself home and we could all giggle over how crazy he was.
I love that man.

The show finished each night with people standing and cheering before the finale was even over.
The Hilliard Arts Council more than doubled their previous average attendance each night.
Opening night we were 16 seats away from being sold out in a 900 seat auditorium!

To say that the lobby afterward was a crowded would be the understatement of the decade.
I was humbled by the comments and encouragement from so many people, friends and strangers, in that lobby.
Overwhelmed, really.
I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity to perform the role that founded my love of musical theatre. I know that Eponine is many people's favorite character in the show, and to have such a positive response to my portrayal of her is beyond words.

Our production made local history.
I'm so proud to have the ability to say that I have preformed with some of the most talented people I have ever met.

Can you tell I'm still in awe of the experience, even 2 weeks after?


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