Last Performance Experiences

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OlBlueEyes
Broadway Legend
joined:5/31/10
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Last Performance Experiences#26
Posted: 8/11/19 at 3:20am

Stop me if you've heard this one. I went to the last performance of Lauren Ambrose in My Fair Lady. It was really on a whim. I was checking to see if the her last show was sold out, and I saw a prime vacant seat. Looked like a House seat that had been released for public sale. So I grabbed it. 

I found myself seated beside a pleasant woman who appeared to be in her 60s. We exchanged a few words, but the surprise occurred during the curtain call and ovation. I leaned over to the woman and confessed that I had seen Lauren in the show three times. She saw my three and raised it to eight. Before my brain could process that she said quietly and with pride that she was Lauren's mother.

Nice. She chatted with me for a minute before heading for the door. I was actually trying to get information out of her on why Lauren had really left the show sooner than expected. She repeated what had been said, that she really wanted to do this television piece for Apple. On the way out she was joined by other family members and I turned back and bid her farewell, disappointed that I had not been invited to dine with the family.

But the real surprise was on the next day when I read an "exit" interview with Lauren the next day in the New York Times. It was there that I found out that I learned that her father had been dying during her run and had actually died about a month before Lauren's last. performance. 

What conflicting emotions must have been running through Lauren's mother at the end of the last performance. Pride and Grief. I also recognized the strain that must have been put on Lauren in the days preceding and following her father's death. She must have given some rough performances, when she went on despite feeling awful.

 

 

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Broadway212
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joined:5/14/08
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Last Performance Experiences#27
Posted: 8/11/19 at 7:42pm

I was at the final performance of Head Over Heels, front row center, the show was electric! Standing ovations for almost every song, it was a night I will never forget.

Broadwaybri2
Chorus Member
joined:4/20/19
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Last Performance Experiences#28
Posted: 8/11/19 at 9:28pm
Was anyone else at the prom today? I’ve never cried so much at a show that I’ve already seen multiple times?? It was my first closing performance of a show but that one felt particularly emotional.

Things that happened that were memorable:

- before the curtain went up they started with some chant I missed what they said but heard the word “bull****” i think?? Can anyone confirm?
- Beth level i believe waved from beneath the curtain before it began
- many many standing ovations, including for lady improving (where Beth cried during the ovation), Barry’s going to prom, unruly heart.
- caitlin was in a onesie at some point which i don’t remember being a thing? They referred to her as a kitten lolol?
- courtenay could not get her final line out. Just was crying so hard.
-i just wanna dance with you reprise Izzy and Caitlin we’re crying so much and could barely sing that then they (and everyone) started laughing
- the cast did a clapping thing during and then Beth clapped a second time even though no one else was doing it the second time and it was hilarious. Hard to explain.
-brooks then literally said “guys let’s get our **** together” since they were all sobbing before the last number
-Caitlin and Izzy kissed twice at the last number.

Also had a view of the creative team and they were sobbing from the musical intro before the curtain goes up through the end. As were most folks.

Anything else I’m forgetting folks who were there? God i still have goosebumps. I’m going to miss it so much.
BentleyB
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joined:4/4/17
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Last Performance Experiences#29
Posted: 8/11/19 at 9:51pm

Broadwaybri2 said: "Was anyone else at the prom today? I’ve never cried so much at a show that I’ve already seen multiple times?? It was my first closing performance of a show but that one felt particularly emotional.

Things that happened that were memorable:

- before the curtain went up they started with some chant I missed what they said but heard the word “bull****” i think?? Can anyone confirm?
- Beth level i believe waved from beneath the curtain before it began
- many many standing ovations, including for lady improving (where Beth cried during the ovation), Barry’s going to prom, unruly heart.
- caitlin was in a onesie at some point which i don’t remember being a thing? They referred to her as a kitten lolol?
- courtenay could not get her final line out. Just was crying so hard.
-i just wanna dance with you reprise Izzy and Caitlin we’re crying so much and could barely sing that then they (and everyone) started laughing
- the cast did a clapping thing during and then Beth clapped a second time even though no one else was doing it the second time and it was hilarious. Hard to explain.
-brooks then literally said “guys let’s get our **** together” since they were all sobbing before the last number
-Caitlin and Izzy kissed twice at the last number.

Also had a view of the creative team and they were sobbing from the musical intro before the curtain goes up through the end. As were most folks.

Anything else I’m forgetting folks who were there? God i still have goosebumps. I’m going to miss it so much.
"

i was there ... the we’re saying “Meryl in the movie, bull****” which Beth Pulled up the stage curtain and did an okay sign to.  It was truly a magical afternoon. Soo much love in that audience and cast. I have seen it 9 times and I am So honored to have seen the final show. To all involved, thanks for bringing such joy to many of us with a story that made a point. 

 

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PatrickDC
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joined:10/3/16
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Last Performance Experiences#30
Posted: 8/11/19 at 10:09pm

I’ve already shared about the closing performance of KINKY BOOTS, but I remember think8ng this balcony is going to come crashing down, during Raise You Up when everyone was on their feet, jumping, clapping...really electric. I wonder what it feels like to an actor to experience such a response from the audience? 

Im bummed THE CHER SHOW is closing but I’ll be there a week from today. I’m debating bringing earplugs for what I suspect will be massive applause throughout! ?

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VotePeron
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joined:5/2/13
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Last Performance Experiences#31
Posted: 8/11/19 at 10:44pm

For anyone interested -

The final performance of Be More Chill was wonderful today. Obviously a very enthusiastic crowd, but everyone was very respectful to the performance and well behaved, aside from the expected cheering and regular standing ovations. It felt like a true celebration of a special show that meant so much to so many. Everyone in that room knew every beat of the show, and we all still sat on the edge of our seats.

As for the show itself, it was very by the book. No ad-libs, extra riffs, or extraneous actions. The cast held their emotions together shockingly well and the mood was super light the whole afternoon. Seeing the audience leap to their feet after Michael in the Bathroom was a moment I won’t forget for a while.

However, after curtain call, oh boy. Joe Iconis came out and gave a really moving speech, addressing and highlighting many praises and criticisms he and the show have received while on Broadway. He mentioned how the show had been “embraced, bullied, elevated, ignored, energized, and weirdly parodied.” He thanked the new, younger generation of theater audiences, he thanked the front of house for dealing with this crazy show, and thanked Broadway for making space for this zany show. He then brought Jason Sweettooth out to sing Iconis’ “The Goodbye Song,” most recognizable from Smash’s musical Hit List.

As Jason sang, the company joined him, followed by the entire Iconis Family, or as he put it, dozens and dozens of artists who have worked with him for years for free, in basements, through all things. This amazing Family got to sing on Broadway, and celebrate the next step in what I hope is a lifetime career for Joe and everyone up there.

The stage and theater shook as we all sang The Goodbye Song. It was pure magic.

(The full encore is on their Instagram story, I highly recommend it).

Updated On: 8/11/19 at 10:44 PM
Jdracoules
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joined:10/28/17
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Last Performance Experiences#32
Posted: 8/11/19 at 11:22pm
At the final performance of Spring Awakening’s first run,a prolonged standing ovation after Totally F-cked had them reset and do the whole number over again.
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justoldbill
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Last Performance Experiences#33
Posted: 8/11/19 at 11:26pm

I also attended the New York closing of FOLLIES in 1972 and can echo jayincheasea's remarks, adding the absolute shell-shocked look on Alexis Smith's face during that curtain call.  I suppose her stock performances of PLAIN AND FANCY didn't prepare her.

Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
rpvee
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joined:11/27/18
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Last Performance Experiences#34
Posted: 8/11/19 at 11:51pm
The final performance of The Band’s Visit was pretty routine in terms of the performances not having any unique additions, but the audience’s energy was incredible, with extended applauses and even applause at moments there usually wasn’t any (such as after Itzik’s Lullaby). Sasson Gabay also made his final bow of thanks to Katrina a bit slower and extra graceful, which was chilling.

It was my 50th time and I was a blubbering mess, but it was a wonderful performance.
LightsOut90
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joined:5/2/14
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Last Performance Experiences#35
Posted: 8/12/19 at 12:59am

VotePeron said: "For anyone interested -

However, after curtain call, oh boy. Joe Iconis came out and gave a really moving speech, addressing and highlightingmany praises and criticisms he and the show have received while on Broadway. He mentioned how the show had been “embraced, bullied, elevated, ignored, energized, and weirdly parodied.” He thanked the new, younger generation of theater audiences, he thanked the front of house for dealing with this crazy show, and thanked Broadway for making space for this zany show.He then brought Jason Sweettooth out to sing Iconis’ “The Goodbye Song,” most recognizable from Smash’s musical Hit List.

 

Oh brother you know I went to closing of The Prom today and it really solidifed for me just how fake Be More Chill is and was, its suppose to be about outcasts and loser but it always felt like they felt they were the cool kids table with how people acted offstage, meanwhile The Prom felt truly like an underdog story about "loser and outcasts" looking to be accepted. good riddence to BMC 

 

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VotePeron
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Last Performance Experiences#36
Posted: 8/12/19 at 1:09am

LightsOut90 said:

Oh brother you know I went to closing of The Prom today and it really solidifed for me just how fake Be More Chill is and was, its suppose to be about outcasts and loser but it always felt like they felt they were the cool kids table with how people acted offstage, meanwhile The Prom felt truly like an underdog story about "loser and outcasts" looking to be accepted. good riddence to BMC"

 

LOL would’ve thought The Prom’s story of love and acceptance would make you a bit more empathetic - or less of a dick - but hey, to each their own. 

LightsOut90
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Last Performance Experiences#37
Posted: 8/12/19 at 1:11am

Yeah The Prom didn't use their curtain speech to talk about how unfair life is and that their show was bullied (hard eye roll) 

magictodo123
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joined:3/18/19
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Last Performance Experiences#38
Posted: 8/12/19 at 8:03am

LightsOut90 said: "Yeah The Prom didn't use their curtain speech to talk about how unfair life is and that their show was bullied (hard eye roll)"

I can not believe the creators would have the gall to use their closing performance speech not to acknowledge everyone who made the production possible, but instead would use it to attack other productions and make it seem like the victimized show of the season? Do they not realize how big this show got?? How many fans came back time and time again, how many people fell in love with the show. It's a little pathetic that's how they chose to send off the show.

MollyJeanneMusic
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Last Performance Experiences#39
Posted: 8/12/19 at 8:09am

If we want to talk about the Prom vs. BMC, let's keep that on another thread.  While the conversation is, of course, valuable, it's not what this thread is about.  

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
rjm516
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Last Performance Experiences#40
Posted: 8/12/19 at 9:50am

The Bridges of Madison County! One of my most special theatre experiences every time I saw Kelli + Steven do their magic but that last show was astounding. Everyone around me was crying throughout, and the show was extra beautiful because you could see the cast was all extra emotional. And it's not the show you can really woooo throughout so it was still respectful (but the applause breaks were of course raucous). I sat near Keala Settle and she gave me a big hug after because the two of us couldn't stop crying or bring ourselves to leave the theatre Last Performance Experiences 

Paul Skeen
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Last Performance Experiences#41
Posted: 8/12/19 at 1:16pm

Was fortunate also to be at the final performance of Spongebob The Musical and would agree it was very moving. Great energy and was so happy to share it with my daughter. I have only been to a couple final performances, but the first one I was at was for the original production of Sunday in The Park With George. Had no idea it was going to be the final performance when I got the ticket, but it wound up closing early. Amazing performance which ran about 15 minutes longer than usual due to extended ovations, especially after Move On. After the initial bows, Mandy Patinkin made a very nice speech thanking all the crew, the swings, the house staff, the orchestra, He then said that if we ever see any of them on the street to tell them we were here since this was a very moving day for them. Finally both James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim came out to thunderous applause. It was a pretty amazing afternoon.

Matthew V.
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Lot666
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Last Performance Experiences#42
Posted: 8/14/19 at 8:25am

FlyHigh523 said: "I’ve been to a few, but one I really remember was Sierra Boggess’s last show as Christine on Broadway. After Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, she got at least a five minute applause and I think a standing ovation. She was also really emotional and crying at the end. It was memorable."

I had a similar experience when we flew to London for her final performance in Love Never Dies. The audience reaction at the end of the title aria was profound and extended, and she eventually sank to her knees with her hands clasped over her heart, and sobbed.

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OlBlueEyes
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Last Performance Experiences#43
Posted: 8/14/19 at 12:50pm

I have never seen Sierra Boggess live in a show, but I’ve attended her last two performances at 54 Below. Among the many talented young actresses, she is way up there in the hierarchy. Moved easily between light (leading a singalong of “Danced All Night&rdquoLast Performance Experiences to the heavier(“Wishing” dedicated to Hal Prince). She tenderly sang “Feed the Birds” to create an awareness of that song that I never had before. Told the story of being at the head of the table with ALW when the Queen dropped by.

Yet it doesn’t appear that producers are banging down her doors. The show they will tell you she sold out, and attendance was excellent, but there were still some seats available on the morning of the show.

This is a tough business. Thanks to the policy of 54 Below to allow non-disruptive videos, I think all her songs are preserved on YouTube.

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Lot666
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Last Performance Experiences#44
Posted: 8/14/19 at 2:30pm

OlBlueEyes said: "it doesn’t appear that producers are banging down [Sierra Boggess'] doors."

And I can't figure that out. I saw her three times in Love Never Dies, four times in Phantom of the Opera (including the London 25th at Royal Albert Hall), once in Master Class, and once in It Shoulda Been You. The lady has a voice of pure gold.

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PutonyourWarPaint
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Last Performance Experiences#45
Posted: 8/14/19 at 3:24pm

I'm thrilled this Sunday we have tickets for the closing night of The Cher Show. We saw it last month and just found it so FUN we wanted to go back.

I've been to one other closing night performance -- Once On This Island (revival). Speechless.

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LizzieCurry
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Last Performance Experiences#46
Posted: 8/14/19 at 4:16pm
I was at Nic Rouleau's last show in Mormon on tour (coincidence; already had tickets) and his LAST last show on Broadway (planned that one). There were no hijinks at the former but plenty of emotion and tears at the latter, since it was also Brian Sears' last performance.

I was at closing night of the San Francisco sit-down production of Phantom and it was both a party and a funeral. It was amazing and I had a blast. There weren't a lot of tears on stage but some goofing off (I vividly remember Carlotta tossing Christine across the bed at "silence, toad!" and everyone in the audience cracking up) and everyone just making the most of it. The stage door was bananas.

I was also at closing night of Head Over Heels and it was a huge love-fest. The audience wasn't full of screamers at random moments, thank goodness — all the ovations were in the appropriate places and the standing ovations were well-deserved. I treated a friend in town for her birthday and she loved it.

The Les Miz tour used to go on hiatus every summer (this was the third national tour, the last tour before the current revival) and I went to Salt Lake City with a friend to see their final weekend. About half to maybe 2/3 of the cast wasn't coming back in the fall, so everyone was crying and a few swings who weren't on that night made their way on stage during crowd scenes.
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Nicole7579
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Last Performance Experiences#47
Posted: 8/14/19 at 10:51pm
Been to a couple of closing shows and performances the last few years.
Cursed Child year 1 which was really wonderful. Poor Anthony not performing must have hurt but I loved that they had him do bows with the company. The entire cast also stage doored which was lovely because they took a lot of time to receive well wishes from the crowd (and it was so tame).
I went to Ben Platt’s final two performances of DEH and yea I would say he got a TON of love from the audience. Lots of small moments but they held it together really well I thought. Went to the first preview for this show too so it was special for me personally.
However I also went to Prom this past weekend and there was nothing like that closing performance. Above comment covered a lot of what happened. I think the funny moments and jokes would’ve made no sense had you not seen the show before. Like Caitlin wearing a cat onesie (not her costume) which had the audience in stitches to the point where the cast paused to laugh. Brooks adlibbed a line calling her kitty cat. Beth just being a Queen and crying during her second standing ovation was pure joy.
The cast lost it by the time they got to the final scenes before Build A Prom. Lines were missed, cast had tissues in hand on stage and if they weren’t speaking they were hugging. Truly demonstrated how special the show is.
Audience was electric that day. Whole room was on their feet for the final number. So many standing ovations. What an experience.

Closing performances are so bittersweet.
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Crazy NooNooHead
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Last Performance Experiences#48
Posted: 8/15/19 at 12:22am

I was at The Play That Goes Wrong's closing performance on Broadway. During the ledger scene where Chris yells at the audience, Mark Evans said, "If you're going to behave this way, go get tickets to Be More Chill the musical!" The audience loved that!

"I have maggots in my scrotum!"
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OlBlueEyes
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Last Performance Experiences#49
Posted: 8/15/19 at 1:41am

Lot666 said: "OlBlueEyes said: "it doesn’t appear that producers are banging down [Sierra Boggess'] doors."

And I can't figure that out. Isawher three times in Love Never Dies, four times in Phantom of the Opera (including the London 25th at Royal Albert Hall), once in Master Class, and once in It Shoulda Been You. The lady has a voice of pure gold.
"

A first reaction is that there aren't as many new shows calling for ingenues or post-ingenue actresses. Quiet musicals Dear Evan, Fun Home, The Band's Visit do well with critics (no criticism of these shows intended). So many jukebox musicals. Where is another Evita or even Man of La Mancha? Are producers too afraid of critical reaction to stage romance and sentiment? Bandstand had a strong singing female lead and tried to mix in sentiment and 40s nostalgia with the social issue of returning veterans. Critics seemed to think that in addition it had to win a Pulitzer Prize for perfectly integrating all. (Beth Leavel had a  non-diva role as a mother who had been disappointed in her own hopes for her life but was determined to keep her daughter from going down the same path. Lovely.)

Then there's the recent penchant for directors to cast actresses in their 40s in the roles of ingenues in their 20s. See Carousel, My Fair Lady, Music Man. No, Jesse Mueller was only 35 or 36 I think but performed the role much older than originator Jan Clayton (27) and film Shirley Jones (22). The revival of Carousel ran 180 performances plus previews. People should supply their own reasons for the disaster.

Incidentally, for fans of Carousel, the original Julie and Billy for a 1954 television special recreated the bench scene in full costume and set. You know where to find it.

OK, I shut up now.

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Lot666
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Last Performance Experiences#50
Posted: 8/15/19 at 8:41am

OlBlueEyes said: "A first reaction is that there aren't as many new shows calling for ingenues or post-ingenue actresses."

This is true, and I hadn't realized it.

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage