During the lovely Eden Espinosa's mini-break this past weekend, I was scheduled to perform as Elphaba for all four shows (two Saturday and two Sunday-- we recently began a new schedule in which there's no Wednesday matinee, but instead an additional Sunday evening show at 7:30). And, well: three outta four ain't bad!
One of the coolest parts of the weekend was our new Elphaba understudy, Alyssa Fox (what's the difference between an understudy and a standby?), made her Elphie debut on Saturday night in front of a fantastic crowd! I was out sick so I didn't get a chance to see it, but I've heard nothing but great things, like that she knocked the you-know-what off the you-know-what and took everyone's you-know-whats home with her. Yeah, that's right, I'm mixing metaphors. The point is: CONGRATULATIONS, ALYSSA!
This weekend also presented a few other interesting firsts: it was my first time performing as Elphaba in front of family and friends, my first time performing alongside our newest cast member Stephen J. Williams (who heroically jumped in and made his debut Sunday night-- one day earlier than planned! (this happened because we were short several ensemble members Sunday night (if you were there, you probably recall Stephen as the Ribbon Dancer in "One Short Day" (or should we call it "One Day Short... Of His Original Debut" (or "One Guy Short"? (I thought I had a better joke forming, but it died in childbirth)))))), and finally, it was my first time calling out sick when I was supposed to play Elphaba!
Calling out of a show is so hard to do! It felt like one of those scenes from a space movie where the astronauts think they have lost nearly all their oxygen and they're debating over whether or not to eat one of the other passengers.
Actually, it felt nothing like that. But the astro-cannibalism analogy was meant to evoke the challenge of having to predict some impending doom without being certain that it's impending. You know what I mean? Like, I sang Elphie during the matinee on Saturday, but it was so taxing for me, physically and vocally that, heading into Saturday night, I had to gauge whether I could do it again. Whether I would want to do the show again while feeling so under the weather (because, believe me, singing Elphaba is not something you can just fake your way through!). I had to decide what was best for the show. And the world. (I wrote that last sentence just to sound like an astronaut (Though I do not want to sound like a cannibal (It would be awful it you found out the truth about me (Don't you love this new parentheses within parentheses? (I know I do)))))).
In all honesty, calling out of the show was really hard to do, but after having done it I knew I had made the right choice. I was able to rest up and perform both shows on Sunday, and I did so without feeling like I was going to collapse the entire time. And Alyssa got to bring down the you-know-what and take no you-know-whats!
Thanks for listening, friends. And thank you to everyone who came out to see the show this weekend! You all rock.
Alrighty: off to hang out with my family because they're still here visiting! Yip!