>A Month From Tonight is the Last Night

>I woke up this morning and blurted out to my poor, still asleep husband, “A month from tonight is the last night of the show and we haven’t even got it ready yet. How can something be over in a month that isn’t yet ready?“

“Okay, baby, how can you be seeing the end of something that hasn’t begun? Now that’s the real question.”

I don’t know, but it seemed huge to me. It made the project both loom and vanish, like a weird perspective drawing or one of those images that is a young woman if you view her one way, but then morphs into a hag, and all you do is focus on the dark, or the light space.

Of course all I can do is what I have been, putting one foot in front of the other, making long lists and ticking off as many items as I can. I spoke to a wonderful former colleague at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs about help and or interest from the City in this project; composer Doug and I did a pod-cast in a smoke filled apartment where the occupants staunchly deny ever smoking, (whew we couldn’t live there we agreed) and I roasted a chicken, did laundry and made more phone calls. At dusk I headed off to rehearsal.

And it was at rehearsal, where the chorus chanted, the child intoned and the soprano emoted that I realized we had something extraordinary on our hands. It was magical; the sounds and interplay of voices, and I allowed myself to see it through the eyes of our lighting designer, who came to rehearsal for the first time last night. Burke Brown sat truly moved by what he heard in the dingy florescent light of a scuffed wood floor loft space on Great Jones Street.

We made something, even without the glorious artifice of light and the focus and import a real theater provides. Everyone played or sang and the simple truth was that there was passion and clarity.

I rode home to eat my chicken and see my family, and as I glided south on West Broadway, the swells in the toney cafes were much more silent. I passed the second restaurant where the blare of television was the news, not MTV or European soccer, instead it was Barack Obama. I heard his voice giving the acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. It was syncopated because it lurched from bar to bar ebbing and flowing as I rode home, but it was clear “We must, I promise and I believe.”

I felt as if, perhaps, we in the rehearsal room had made a few of those promises and we going to keep them.

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