Our dress rehearsal is terrible. Ellie has run out of base and lipstick, which means a hurried rush to restock so Phil can see how the actors look under the lights. The high school band sounds great, but plays so loudly that Steve constantly has to readjust Maria’s microphone volume. Gretl von Trapp has a sore throat, and I’m pretty sure Rolf tried to grab my butt as we crossed paths in the tunnel. Phil claims that all these calamities (except the possible groping, I’d rather die than mention that to Phil) foretell a smash hit on opening night, so we all cross our fingers that he is right. On opening night, Dad and Uncle Jack sit together in the row with a big open spot for Uncle Jack’s wheelchair. I can see them through the small gap in the curtain on Stage Left. Coy and I are dressed all in black- black shoes, socks, pants, long-sleeved tees. We don’t wear black caps because we both have such dark hair it would be pointless. In a moment of giddiness an hour before the curtain goes up, Coy writes “Backstage Goddess” on the back of my shirt with a black Sharpie marker. With 10 minutes to go, I pull my hair back into a ponytail, and send Coy through the tunnel to Stage Right. Phil leads the actors in a “shake out” where they all stand in the green room and shake wildly to release the nerves. Even Captain von Trapp participates, and this is his 5th show with us. Everyone is full of energy.
And of course, Phil’s prediction comes true. Opening night is amazing. Coy, Rolf, and Captain von Trapp manage to change the sets in less than 3 minutes. The band doesn’t drown out Maria. No one tries to cop a feel before they are herded onstage. After the show, my dad gives me pink carnations, as he does every opening night. Uncle Jack shakes my hand and tells me he can’t wait to see it again tomorrow night. Coy and I exchange high-fives that turn into hugs. The whole cast is on fire.
Hope it made you laugh!