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The wondrousness of this production just keeps on growing – after only 11 performances we get a 3 day Memorial Day weekend break! I believe the majority of us can use the respite. It’s time to kick off the summer season and several of the cast members have plans to swim or hike; one’s family is coming into town for a stay; at least one I know of will be going to the 500 mile race. Others, like me, will just be relaxing and enjoying the cool sunshine that is forecast – charging our batteries for the remaining shows.

The run is going well, audiences are certainly enjoying the performances – and backstage activity is going reasonably well. As I sit in my costume(s), waiting to do my scene change duties or waiting for an entrance, there is a constant fluctuation of personnel in and out of the green room, especially the children who somehow manage all their quick and frequent costume changes with enough time to come into the room in threes or fours and add their kid-energy to the otherwise low-key adult environment we try to sustain there. On the television screen, the show plays on. The audience is treated to a mere portion of the cast’s output, as in the backstage area, stories are related and jokes told. I think we truly enjoy each other’s company.

One major occurrence this past week has been both troublesome and inspiring. Eddie Curry, the veteran B&B actor who plays Max Detweiler in our production, came down with a terrible case of stomach flu Tuesday. After a retching (sic) day, he had barely the energy to put on his costume. But, he managed all his duties, from warming up the audience with birthday announcements and jokes, to singing AND dancing his part on stage. His time between scenes was often spent lying on the floor in his shared dressing room, listening for the songs and dialogue to come around to his next entrance. He was very sick – but the show went on and Eddie did not miss a moment.

The next day, we had two shows – one at 1pm and one at 8pm. For the first show, Eddie felt a lot better physically – but his normal voice had left him, leaving behind a vocal quality somewhere between Harvey Fierstein and Jack Benny’s valet, Rochester. Now, though his energy was fine, he had the task of finding a way to be expressive with a gravelly, coarse sounding voice. Somehow, the show went on. He made it through the matinee- though it wasn’t up to Eddie’s normal standards by a longshot, his songs suffering greatly. For the next show, it was decided that we would cut Eddie’s two big numbers, one in each act. This shortened the show by about 10 minutes and also, in a sort of collateral damage, completely cut out the songs sung by the Elsa character, played by Sarah Hund. But, if you had not memorized the show’s pattern, you might not have even noticed the omissions. The show went on and Eddie made it through a bit better, but unfortunately, with the voice of a cartoon character.

Thursday’s show was a single effort, and Eddie’s voice was somewhat better; better to the point that he tried his first act song, but with unsatisfactory results. Once again the second act song got cut and the show went on, shorter and without Eddie’s usual energetic character. For Friday’s show, all seemed back to normal, and with Sarah’s father in the audience, she luckily got to perform both her numbers, with Eddie sounding like the old Eddie once more. I know he’ll enjoy this three day break.

How Eddie made it through all these ill-feelings is certainly a tribute to his performer’s spirit. The show had to be done – there was no understudy available, no substitute; it was him or it was nothing – and the show went on, albeit somewhat shortened.

You always hear the THE SHOW MUST GO ON mantra, but rarely do you see it first hand. My friend, Eddie Curry is a performer; my friend, Eddie Curry is a true professional!

If you are interested in attending Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at Beef and Board Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis, ticket information can be found by calling 317-872-9664. The show opens May 16 and runs thru June 30. Further info about the show can be found at http://www.beefandboards.com .

*Show picture from The Sound of Music by Julie Curry

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