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  • This is Really The End

    Few things are sadder than seeing a stage, full of such life and vibrancy just a few days ago, empty except for the crew loading out.

    But that’s what happens when a show closes. For those not familiar with the lingo, it’s called the “strike.” (Ironically appropriate, in this case…)

    This morning, after dropping Ben off for school, I walked past the Neil Simon for the first time since Sunday’s closing performance, seeing the crates and the crew working in what seemed like organized chaos to me. It’s yet another difference between community and professional theatre; in this case, you have a lot of people who are paid good money to clean up afterward.

    It’s still sad, however. And it made me do my own version of a circle back.

    I circled back to last week, when suddenly people who thought the show would run for a lot longer raced to the theatre to see “Ragtime.” Several times, waiting after the show, I looked at the crowd standing outside in the frigid cold to get autographs and wondered: WHY?

    Why, indeed.

    In the short, three-plus block walk from the theatre to our apartment, I also thought of Alejando Escovedo’s song “The End,” written about the dissolution of a relationship. As the guitars build, Escovedo almost shouts, “Is this really the end?” repeatedly during the chorus.

    I use music (along with writing) to process my thoughts and this was the song I played walking around the hospital in the final night before my father passed away. Sadly, the feelings were the same.

    This show is not coming back; it really is the end.

    ••••••

    If you have the time, take a look at this video of “Gene” the puppet, a creation by cast member Benjamin Schrader, talking to cast members about the show’s closing. It will make you smile.