Monday, April 16, 2007

Opening weekend!

Our talented cast: Rick Park, Maureen Adduci, Brian Quint, Elisa MacDonald, Christopher Brophy, and Jon Ferreira

After a truly frightening dress - in which it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did - Valhalla opened last Friday, the 13th (!). But the date, surprisingly, was no jinx; instead, for the first time, the show's many costume changes and lighting/sound cues came off without a hitch. And the audience was in stitches - our trusty stage manager, Deirdre Benson, told us that audience laughter added 15 minutes to the running time! It was a shock to several actors (we'd all pretty much forgotten just how funny the play is) - but everyone was quite light on their feet, finding new beats and adjusting their rhythms to match the audience response. And both Jon and Brian brought a moving new dimension to the lead roles; for the first time a sense of heartbreaking loss seemed to hang in the air. At the final curtain, hugs were traded all around, and most of the cast (and yours truly) retired to the oh-so-elegant Sibling Rivalry to sip overpriced martinis (you must try the Pamplemousse if you're there) and trade war stories.

I could sleep it off the next day - but the cast had to rest up for two shows, at 4 and 8 (which the Globe and Phoenix attended), as well as the matinee on Sunday. It is, to be sure, an exhausting show, but it's also oh so satisfying to finally feel it play out before an audience. Valhalla has finally arrived.

Chris and Jon get acquainted with Greco-Roman Art. This scene had the straight guys in the audience hiding their eyes.

Brian (Ludwig) and Elisa (Marie Antoinette) get ready to gavotte in Seth Bodie's gorgeous costumes.

Brian (Ludwig) ascends the throne, but stays under Maureen's (the Queen's) thumb.

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