Saturday, July 07, 2007

Post-Opening Night Praise and Thanksgiving

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple;* praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts;* praise him for his excellent greatness. Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn;* praise him with lyre and harp. Praise him with timbrel and dance;* praise him with strings and pipe. Praise him with resounding cymbals;* praise him with loud-clanging cymbals. Let everything that has breath* praise the LORD. Hallelujah!

This psalm, which greeted me just now on this page, expresses my heart this morning. I am so GLAD--after none-too-reassuring dress rehearsals--for how well the musical came together last night! And it was such a meaningful, joyful experience. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I shall dole out my pictures (taken at Thursday's dress rehearsal) soon, but first I must capture in words the moments I have no photos of:

--the power of the allegory of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. "All during your song [after Aslan dies], I just kept thinking of all those Christian themes that are in the story," one mom told Blondechick14.

--the transcendance of theater; how you forget the individual actors and are drawn into the place, the action, the themes--in this case, of justice, courage, redemption and transformation--that are so much bigger than the words or actions.

--my personal connection to the story--on one level, I watched the White Witch tempt and lay claim to the life of my son, and saw my husband give up his life for him.

--"No greater love than this; that a man lay down his life for a friend," quoted in the playbill by a wife and mother of three cast members, whose husband, just weeks ago, donated his kidney to her. "I can truly say that a part of you will always be with me!"

--a quick family prayer in the Green Room, before we started, initiated by my son

--more prayer backstage, just before the curtains opened, for an "unnerved" Lucy. (She uses that word about 4 times in the script!)

--comments afterword from a male friend, about my husband's performance as Aslan: "I didn't expect to cry. I'm sitting there thinking, this is crazy, this is just community theater--but I'm crying!"

--my own tears at the Christmas scene, of all things: seeing our good friend in the iconic robes of Father Christmas, passing out good gifts to the children, receiving a kiss from Lucy (his daughter in real life) who sweetly calls him "Father," ushering in the season of Christmas and the end of the Witch's rule.

--compliments for my kids:

"I knew Blondechick14 would be great, and I had heard how well Bantam8 was doing, but I kinda wondered how Bantam12 would do.... He was great! He never broke character. He was so pouty at the beginning and very kind at the end; he made that transformation so well."

"The scene that I noticed, that I barely remember from the other production, was the song the two girls sang after Aslan dies. Their voices just blended perfectly together--it was beautiful."

"My favorite part was watching Bantam8 as the Dwarf. He was hysterical!"

"I loved watching [Chicklet4]. It was so cute how she just kept copying the other ballerinas!"

--from my son: "You were great, Mom--I just thought you were Mrs. Macready. I forgot you were my mom. "

--the delighted, enthusiastic faces of our friends in the audience during curtain call, and the bear hugs afterwards

--the welling up of applause as my children and husband took their bows--and the whoops and hollers for Bantam8!

--after our final bows, the way my kids got so many of the other kids (their new friends) to point, as a gesture of thanks, to the tech crew, the backstage crew--and then to God.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

Two others who know what I'm talkin' about:
"I almost always cry at the end of a play...tears of joy for the participants," says Donna, quoted here by Mental Multivitamin, who adds, "Theater is a catharsis, and we laugh and we cry and we clap as the experience draws to a close."


Erin said...

How absolutely wonderful! I'm so very glad everything went so well. Oh, how I WISH I could see it. :)

How many performances do you have?

At A Hen's Pace said...


Nine in all--Fri, Sat and Sun for the next three weekends--for 5 out of 7 of us. But there's another Aslan and another Susan that will alternate with my husband and Blondechick, so--only 3 more that we're all in.

I wish you could see it too! It would be so fun to meet you!