Life is a Cabaret, old chum

published: Fri, 4-Feb-2005   |   updated: Thu, 16-Jun-2005

For the past couple of months, I've had a side project that's been occupying my time in the evenings and at weekends. It's one of those projects that is completely orthogonal to my work life: nothing to do with programming. Regular readers will known what it is -- I've mentioned it a couple of times -- but it's time to come clean.

In my spare time I like to "do" theater, mostly as an actor, but sometimes as a director. Well, my current gig is due to finish tonight. I've been directing a production of Cabaret, the musical, for the Rep at the Fine Arts Center in town and we open tonight. Traditionally the opening night is the end of the director's job: at that point, the cast go ahead and perform the show as rehearsed.

We're doing 12 performances: Friday and Saturday evenings with a Sunday matinee for every weekend in February. If you live in Colorado Springs (or are close by), you really should come and see it. It's a fabulous production that's gone much further than I could ever have envisioned (and believe me, my vision was pretty detailed).

But do note that we're selling tickets fast. I was talking to the Fine Arts Center box office last night and I'm guessing that it's about 3/5 sold out so far, and we haven't even opened. It's a great position to be in.

Yesterday the Independent paper ran a preview article and today we got the front cover of the GO! section of The Gazette (their weekly entertainment section) together with an article in the middle spread. Yesterday I got up early and was interviewed by Channel 13 (KRDO) on tape, which was broadcast this morning as part of their morning show.

The buzz is starting.

It's a sad time for me tonight, at the same time as it being a happy time for the cast. They go live, but I'm done. I've directed the show the way I wanted it to look. I've coached, cosseted and cajoled the cast into going further than they've been before. I've tried to stand firm with the tech stuff, insisting on my vision for the look and feel. But that's all done now. All those little bits I've since thought of but not managed to do will have to be tossed aside. It's like releasing software: at some point you have to draw a line and say that anything beyond that will not get done. Unlike software though, with a musical production there is only one version; there can never be another release.

My cast really is wonderful. Thank you Anita, Alicia, Holly, Claire, Gena and Emily, my gorgeous talented Kittens. Thank you Dante, Jack, Jon, Jordan (great gorilla!), Brenan, and Jeff, my waiters, sailors, and Nazi heavies. Thank you Mike, Sue, Greg, and Diana, my principals. Thank you David, my Cliff. Thank you Jonathan, my wonderfully evil androgynous Emcee. And most of all, thank you Taylor: you are without doubt the perfect Sally Bowles, all I wanted and more; when you sing Cabaret I just choke up inside.