Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Home at last

I've unpacked, I'm sitting on my couch, the cat has mostly forgiven me, and the past six weeks feel wildly telescoped in both directions. I don't think I have the right mushroom to eat to get me back to where I was before Goodspeed, but that's the whole point, I guess. I'm a little numb; six weeks of constant self-evaluation (because, let's face it, our shows are ourselves) is both draining and strangely addictive. Each time I identified a problem and came up with a solution was a mini-rush, pushing me to look for another problem, etc. But at some point, I began to wonder if I was just making up problems so I could fix them.

And the Feedback, that multi-headed monster who giveth (standing ovations, "strongest score I've heard in years", "a good, old-fashioned patriotic show") and taketh away ("dreck", "this proves that there is no talent left in musical theater", "the composer should be smothered"). What to do? First, I guess, is to realize that there isn't a show, movie, book, painting or sculpture on the planet that someone doesn't hate. Then, we listen to the voices in the middle, who (thankfully) kept saying the same things in one way or another. And we have faith, or something like it: we try to really believe the people who like what we've written, even when we know we can do better, we can always do better, in an art form where there is no perfect.

And we keep writing. Two months from today, we begin rehearsals in DC for our production at the Ford's Theatre. Yesterday, we generated a lengthy to-do list, including some major structural changes, a proposed new song (in addition to the two new songs we wrote during the Goodspeed run and didn't get to put in to the show), and a few last cans of worms we'd pushed to the back of the pantry but finally have to open and address.

But what can't be summarized in a blog or captured on a list is the experience of working with such a beautiful, creative and generous group of actors, designers and staff as we had at Goodspeed. The support and camaraderie through good times and hard is what got us through and maybe is what will keep us writing when, on a daily basis, we think, "There's got to be an easier job." Well, of course there is, but I guarantee there's nothing like it.

See you in Washington!

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