I could sit here and post all day about my favorite 212 memories - and I'm sure I'll have many more to share over the coming months. Bur for starters, I'll share one of my all-time favorite memories. 20 years ago this summer, we performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was an AMAZING summer...and the show was so crazy-popular that the board decided that we should revive it at the holidays for a special New Year's week run . During the middle of our revival run, the Illinois Valley was hit by a major blizzard. Jon and Rhonda STRONGLY suggested that no one leave town for fear that we wouldn't be able to get back to the theater for the remaining three performances. A group of us all ended up spending the weekend bunked up in the basement of Bobbi (Edgcomb) Marchuk's home. It was a crazy weekend filled with endless board games, movie marathons, interpretive dance performances inspired by Dirty Dancing and, thanks to Matt and Irma Valle, tons and tons of cheese! On Sunday morning, just as cabin fever was officially setting in, we got the call that the roads were clear enough to open the theater. The box office had been flooded with calls from people who had tickets to both Saturday shows asking if they'd still get a chance to see it. The decision was made that we would perform THREE shows that afternoon...back-to-back-to-back. Everyone arrived at the theater completely wound up and ready to go. To our surprise, EVERYONE with tickets made it to the theater and we played to three completely sold out performances. It was amazing....and exhausting at the same time. Joseph doesn't stop - that show is two hours of non-stop music and dance and the cast rallied together to make magic that afternoon. To say we were punchy by the third show was an understatement. Paul and I could barely make it through the Pharaoh's scene without cracking up. When the curtain closed on show number three, I remember the entire cast just sitting on the stage with quiet exhaustion and pride. Everything had gone so fast that day that it took some time for it to sink in that we were done. It was one of the most amazing stage experiences I ever had at 212 - so much pride....so much love. I look back on that show, and especially that weekend often. One of the million reasons I love that place...and those people. Looking forward to celebrating with everyone this year!
I had an opportunity to act at Stage 212 during my last spring before I moved away. I even landed a lead on my first try. I played Susan in 2012's Don't Drink the Water. I can say I've never had more fun. There is a photo... somewhere.... of me during our rehearsal when I was first confronted with the best prop I've ever seen. Larry Kelsey on a copy of Time Magazine. I'm clearly cracking up and trying to remain in character. I can only hope someone still has that magazine.