Had me a blast,
Happened so fast ..."
Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
DAYS 260-302: No apologies ... no excuses ... I will consider my 43 days away from my OGJ as my "summer break." I did promise myself, however, that I would complete one full year of My Online Gratitude Journal, so BACK TO IT!
THE PARADE PASSES BY
Two MAJOR events happened during my "blog break" ... the first was the opening and run of my musical Parade. I look back at the previous post on Day 259 - three weeks before we opened - and see a show in its infancy. It was an AMAZING three weeks of growth ... the skeleton of a set shown in my last post developed into a REMARKABLY stunning and massive two-story vision of faded glory framed by an enormous Confederate flag. Add to that some evocative lighting (as you can see in the picture above) and beautiful costumes ... it was a show that literally took your breath away.
The production design was icing on the cake, though ... the performances of a talented cast of THIRTY created a final product that was nothing less than STAGGERING in its power and message. I wept openly through many rehearsals and shows - something I RARELY do, particularly with shows I have directed. We ran for EIGHT SOLD-OUT performances, each culminating in a spontaneous standing ovation and NUMEROUS comments (even from my most critical theatre friends) that it was "the best show that they had EVER seen in Jacksonville." Even better, I had some audience members so stunned by the production that they could do little more than wordlessly shake my hand or hug me through their tears. In fact, a number of friends returned to see the show a second time.
I never feel sad when a show closes ... the final performance and "strike" of a set following the last curtain call always comes as a relief to me. Not this time ... I fought to hold back the tears as I watched the final show and my heart sank as the set was dismantled and I knew the Parade had passed by for the last time.