The last show that I was super attached to was (of course) American Idiot. Even though it wasn't closing, the last time I saw the show I sobbed through the last 20 minutes. Saying goodbye is hard when you love something so much.
Somehow over this year I've become extremely attached to Chicago at the Cumberland County Playhouse. I think it started last year when they released the shows for 2011. I had always wanted to see Chicago and the fact that CCP was putting on the production played a major role in my buying season tickets this year.
Of course, it didn't hurt matters any that I got to know the director of this production of Chicago. John Fionte helped me out in my blogging endeavors by letting me interview him, sending me pictures of some of the set pieces, and sending me the cast list. Also, the YouTube page of CCP posted some great videos interviewing the cast and previewing the music before the show every opened. I blogged about those HERE and HERE. And then of course I saw the show. I posted about seeing it the first time. But then I saw it three other times.
Last night was closing and the last night that I saw the show. There have been some cast changes along the way. The original Billy Flynn, Britt Hancock, left to go on tour with Young Frankenstein. After he left, Jason Ross took over the role of Billy. Last night was the first time I'd seen Jason play the role. Mr. Ross was, of course, wonderful. He always is.
But the most amazing thing about closing night of Chicago was the emotion and excitement that I saw. The audience was fantastic. They were yelling, screaming (okay, I might have been doing a little of that myself) and cheering all through the show. The actors were giving 200%, and you could tell they were giving it everything they had plus, just because it was closing.
Sometimes taking a risk is a good thing. Chicago was a risk for the Playhouse. It's out of their typical "comfort zone." But it was by far one of the best productions I've seen there and from what I saw from the audience, it was appreciated and totally worth the risk.
Saying goodbye to Chicago, for me, was kind of sad. It's like I've lost a child, or a pet. I've been thinking about, blogging about, and seeing Chicago for nearly a year now. Heck, that's longer than my last relationship! But, I know that the Playhouse must move on, open new shows and continue to give us wonderful works of art.
Closing Curtain at Chicago: Picture courtesy of Kyle Guth
As a last note, I hope that the Cumberland County Playhouse continues to take risks. Because if they can pull off such a wonderful production of Chicago, I think almost anything is possible.