Anticipation…

Tonight, Geva announces its 2013-2014 season. The anticipation of the event reminds me of a moment from my childhood – if you’ll forgive the indulgence.

jazz handsWhen I was younger – much, much younger – I was in a dance recital that began with all of the students and staff of the dance studio performing “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” the great opening number from Kiss Me, Kate. I had no idea at the time where it was from, and I wasn’t even sure what “jazz hands” were, but I shimmied around the stage and dutifully wiggled my fingers as I was instructed. I’m sure it was transcendent art…but that’s not the point here.

 

The lyrics of the song go like this:

“Another op’nin’, another show
In Philly, Boston or Baltimo’,
A chance for stage folks to say hello,
Another op’nin’ of another show.
Another job that you hope, at last,
Will make your future forget your past,
Another pain where the ulcers grow,
Another op’nin’ of another show.
Four weeks, you rehearse and rehearse,
Three weeks and it couldn’t be worse,
One week, will it ever be right?
Then out o’ the hat, it’s that big first night!
The overture is about to start,
You cross your fingers and hold your heart,
It’s curtain time and away we go!
Another op’nin’,
Just another op’nin’ of another show.”

Tv_muppet_show_openingOK, it’s cheesy, but it’s fun, and it’s musical theatre – and it’s part of our pop culture again, thanks to the 1999-2000 revival of Kiss Me, Kate on Broadway and television shows like The Muppet Show and Smash. (For some fun, search for the title of the song on YouTube…) Some days, the song unexpectedly rattles around my head in the way that only great musical numbers can.

My point, though, is the anticipation, the excitement of producing live theatre. The lyric above, “you cross your fingers and hold your heart,” is true with each production, each play in the rehearsal room and on our stages, and certainly, on a larger scale, each season. Because it’s live theatre, you can’t predict what will happen, how any given performance will go, how every audience will react. As we make theatre in Rochester, specifically for Rochester audiences, we experience that thrill, that anticipation, that wonder again and again. Will it be magical? Will we be carried away by the story? Will we be provoked by the ideas expressed by the actors? Will we fall into, or out of, love? Will we cry? Will we tap our toes along with the music?

Today, even as I remember that young dancer who was simultaneously trying not to trip on stage while also trying to impress her parents and friends in the audience, I’m thinking about our community. The Geva community is made up of audiences, donors and sponsors, artists, students and staff (many of whom are also artists). We are all neighbors, living and working together to make Rochester a great community, to learn from each other and to inspire each other. I hope that our next season does that for you – we announce tonight. Be on the lookout for news – and let us know what you’re anticipating in our next season together!

 

 

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