I can't believe I found myself getting choked up over Annie Junior. There was a moment in the beginning of the show where Annie sings "Maybe" while the other orphans gather around her, and I actually got va klempt! I don't know what it was, maybe I am just hormonal about leaving the country for another six months, but I was definitely tearing up at this simple moment onstage done by a group of pre-adolescents!
I was proud today. Very. That I was able to pull off a totally "bare bones" version of this musical, and have it actually work! It didn't matter that we had no set. It didn't matter that the theatre wouldn't let us use lights, so there I was calling "Blackout" as I started to move blocks around to represent Warbucks Mansion, or Hannigan's Office, or the NBC Radio studio. It worked.
Then I got pissed off. Of course it worked. Mary Kathryn and I put our hearts into this to make it work without the help of the "powers that be." And that has now set a precedence that it can be done, and these kids after us will again be cheated of the chance to do a show with any sort of technical elements. I made the props. I did the costumes. I got help from an outside source so the kids could have something to use as set pieces. And I was working AT A THEATRE!
I'm not going to dwell on this. The show was good because of the kids. All that technical stuff didn't matter in the long run. The kids pulled it off. Their voices filled the stage, and the audience was enraptured from the downbeat of the Overture. My idea of making it an ensemble show really worked. It was an ensemble show. And Annie was awesome, too.
I feel good leaving the country now, knowing that I was able to affect someone's life today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a similar experience, though from my own experience, I find that the second performance never reaches that first night excitement or polish. I hope they prove me wrong.
I'll let you know.