Well, our show is over. An exciting and charming time out -- like a cruise. You bond deeply and briefly with the cast, and when it's over, it's over. For a while there all the kids in the cast were my kids, all the adults my partners. I must have hugged forty people at the cast party last night. No wonder Hollywood keeps divorcing and re-pairing.
Funny moment a couple of night ago when I took some liberties with my big solo that finishes the first act. The original words are, Journey's over, all is mended, and it's not just for today. I had my mouth open, ready to go, and then someone behind me coughed a real good one, and, not being a particularly focussed individual, I got distracted, and started thinking of other coughs I'd heard, and ... suddenly my mind was filled with a great and powerful blankness. With everyone onstage and a full house looking on, I sang, and I quote: Dub a dub dub, whub a dah dah, and a doo dah doo dah day. Poor Mr Sondheim. What was interesting is the way the cast reacted afterwards. The ones who do a lot of this, professionally and semi-professionally, made a point of complimenting some part of my performance, or telling amusing anecdotes about how similar things had happened to them, or NathanLane, or Bernadette Peters. One of the kids took a different approach. That was awful, Richard, he said, when we were alone in the dressing room. Yeah, sorry, I said. No, really, awful. We all know that song, he said. Anyone in the cast could have done a better version of that song than you did. Yeah, I said. He continued in this vein for a while. The stage crew could have sung it better, he said. The lighting guy, the props lady -- anyone in the theater could have done better with that song than you did. It's ironic, isn't it, Richard, that the person who sings that song is the one person in the whole theater who would have screwed it up. Ironic, I agreed. I had a smile on my face by now. He'd gone on so long that it had become funny. My shame had vanished. We stared at each other for a moment. Want a candy? I said, holding out a bag of jujubes. His face brightened fast and totally, like a tropical sunrise. Hey, thanks, he said.
At the cast party he made a point of lifting me off the ground and spinning me around. Always wanted to do that, he told me. I patted him on the back.
Next time: my space. I mean, where the heck are my friends?