New York City is my favorite city in the world,and our visit was much too short.Naturally we dropped in on the little blossoms Godfather,who just happens to be the temporary caretaker of a collection of Tony Awards that he is presently cataloging and photographing,and just so she could get used to the feel of these babys,Uncle Stephen shot my angel with the crooked halo holding one.Being surrounded by all these Tony Awards really put us in the mood for a Tony winning production.Luckily we were holding front row mezzanine tickets to the impossibly honest and raw Spring Awakening,with beautiful and arresting music by Duncan Shiek.
I have waxed poetic before about how the theatre is my church.Specifically it is my own personal creative conduit to my spirituality.You see,at its best, the theatre is our mirror. A fly on the wall to the ways of the world.Which makes this beautiful piece of theatre especially moving.The musical is based on a German play of the same name written in 1891.This play was banned for almost 100 years...and it is still volatile material. In a nutshell, it is about repressed adolescents feeling strange new feelings and seeking reasonable answers for those feelings from a disaproving parental atmosphere.This lack of communication between the parents and children lie at the heart of Frank Wedekinds play and will perhaps always have resonance.I have actually portrayed the doomed young heroine Wendla in Herr Wedekinds piece(he is also the author who penned the play that the Louise Brooks movie Pandoras Box is based on).....and I had my reservations about bringing my oldest daughter.
I remembered the graphic situations,I was ask to portray as my character sought to break free from the chains of innocence.I was a late bloomer myself and I understood my characters frustrations very well.
In the end I chose to follow my instincts and share this special show with my daughter.The graphic portrayal remained intact and with even a bit more detail than I had imagined.I believe I have "set the stage" to open up an honest dialogue and open atmosphere to answer ANY of her curious questions.What a refreshing piece of art to have sparked this dialogue.My child and I were both moved by these brilliant young actors. They shared their hearts with us ,the audience ,in a very intimate way.
Afterwards she was able to meet the actors themselves at the stage door. I was very touched by the kindness these actors showed their fans.Jonathan Groff,was especially sweet,not only autographing playbills,and posing for pics,but spending time with each guest , chatting with them and making them feel special themselves. I found EACH performance breathtaking in their own way,and yet,Mr Groffs portrayal of Melchior was my favorite.The relationships he created onstage were among some of the most honest moments I have ever seen onstage.
Yup, thats me as Wendla (still wearing Kowalski undershirts,even back then),I feel such affection for the open book that I was and I feel honored for my humble connection to this bittersweet story both as actor and audience member.
If you have time please watch this performance from the Tonys. I think you will see exactly what I mean,even the camera man coud not capture the passion on that stage.
Next up: The Salem Witch trials,some vintage fashion(natch),and some Rockin' Girl Bloggers(thanx Anastasia)!
Tommorrow afternoon I teach a drama workshop,so I will catch up with all of you tommorrow night!