The night for our first preview performance began like any other fledgling theatrical offering…a frenetic buzz from cast and crew as we all triple-checked props, muttered snippets of lines, were fitted with last-minute and unfamiliar costume pieces…and also the kind of scattered but determined focus needed to pull of a smooth(ish) run (having done it just once before the whole way through). A common theatre tale, right?
And yeah, there were a few hiccups…I mean, its not everyday that Jesus grabs you during a scene change and whispers, “I forgot my loin cloth…” Fixable. Totally.
You know how they say “Expect the Unexpected,” “Assume the Worst,” etc, etc, ad nauseum??? Well, it wasn’t a HUGE surprise when the fire alarm went off during the Fish Parade of Act III. We had been blasting the Hazer for the past week and, let’s just say, it wasn’t our first run in with Brooklyn’s batch of firefighters…
What happened next was definitely UNexpected. As a unit, the cast decided to keep the show going…on the sidewalk in front of a loyal audience huddled for warmth, with only flashlights and moonlight for ambience, Queen Elizabeth standing out in stark relief against the line of spectators and Jesus bare-chestedly defying the elements…we performed our play.
It was one of the bravest things I’ve seen.
Tears gathered in the eyes of actors and playwright alike.
…And the New York Times caught it all on tape! Here’s a snippet: