Monday, July 31, 2006

Opening Night Report: Annie nearly pops a squirrel for supper!

Here's an eyewitness report from Opening Night that proves once again that live theatre is nothing if not unpredictable:
On Annie's first entrance early in Act I, she tries to sell the game she has shot. Asked what she has to sell, by hotel owner Wilson, she responds, "Quails, ducks, pheasants, geese squirrels, possums, wild turkeys, rabbits..." If she had been sitting in the eighth row center, she might have noticed a squirrel which dropped from the theatre lighting position above, into the audience, before scurrying out of sight. Apparently so intent on Annie's performance, there was barely a flutter in the audience.

A few minutes later, however, while Annie was singing "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun," if she had been looking upstage, she might well have gotten a squirrel, as our friend (We're naming him - only a guess at the true gender - "Irving," after our composer, Irving Berlin), scampered onto the stage, darted upstage and crossed from left to right, jumping ("squirrel choreography" of course) a couple of times to be silhouetted against the orange sky.

Other audience members reported our stage-struck Irving dashing down the full length of the theatre aisle.

After the performance, Foothill veteran (The Most Happy Fella, The Music Man) Hank Lawson, who with his wife Marcia were in the opening night audience, along with director Jay Manley, managed to corner Irving and then scoot him outside and into the night.

Which all just goes to prove that even in the animal kingdom, "there's no business like show business!"

I'm just glad the squirrel had a happy and unharmed ending!

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