Before the show, I took it upon myself to forewarn Ellen that opening night houses tend to be quieter than one might hope for or expect. I am not sure why this is the case, but in my experience it has proven to be true more often than not. Well, I am very happy to publicly declare, right here on the blogosphere, that I was WRONG! The audience was incredibly responsive and warm- we even earned a second set of bows at the curtain call. Henry is generally opposed to multiple curtain calls (leave 'em wanting more, I suppose), but he did tell Janet (our stage manager) that she had permission to call the actors back to the stage if the audience response was particularly long-lasting.
However, one minor snafu occurred when Polly Lee, the actress who plays Anna (a.k.a. The Red Head), initially failed to appear for the second set of bows (she eventually made it out!). At the post-play celebration, Polly confessed the reason for her delay... Not to ruin the magic of theater (or the effectiveness of a great wig), but Polly is not a real red head. In her eagerness to celebrate the outstanding opening at the post-show soiree, Polly waltzed off stage and immediately began removing her wig. Suddenly, she realized her cast mates were heading out for a second bow! Ever the professional (or perhaps fearing she would be unrecognizable to the appreciative crowd sans red hair), Polly shoved the wig haphazardly back on her head and joined her cast mates for the final bow. As it turned out, Janet inadvertently neglected to bring the stage lights back up, so the second set of bows was in very low light...the audience was spared the illusion-breaking moment of seeing Polly with her wig falling off her head after all! As far as opening night snafus go, that one was delightfully minor!
Jenny Mercein is the Assistant Director for Graceland.