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STRAY CATS, OPENING NIGHT! by Barbara Biddison


It was a small audience. The cast was on! I love an opening night. You could feel the expectation, the attention, and the appreciation. They clapped after each monologue!! We wanted them to, but we weren't sure that they would. They laughed, chuckled mostly, in the right places. (Actually, anytime you feel like laughing in this show is the right time. What they leave unsaid is often the funniest.) Dave Driskell is so there, between monologues, and you pay attention because what he's playing is either echoing what was said or previewing what is to come. And the final scene with all four "doing their thing" makes the perfect ending. Five more shows to go.

You might think, since I have seen rehearsals, that I just know what's coming next and lean back in my chair. Not so. This show is so rich, the monologues are so full of detail and emotional impact, that it really is like seeing it for the first time every time I see it. Tom at the 12-step meeting was so sweet and so clueless tonight that I actually felt sorry for him. The Jack-in-the-Box kid made me see and feel his surroundings more than I ever had before. Jocko the clown was powerful and the difference between his words and his costume was so vivid that it brought tears to my eyes. The poem writer was more self-important than ever, and the audience actually laughed at the ending of his piece. Weatherman Ol'Gator set us up for his final weather report as we came to realize that he really didn't think that he should have to go. And the writer at his window, spying while he should be typing, created quite a picture himself. The final scene you just have to see and hear to experience.

This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You'll never see a show quite like this again (unless you see this one twice).
I loved sitting through rehearsals and watching it grow. I know I'll have to see it again.