Never/land ended its short run last weekend. It was a laugh-a-minute, happy-tears-at-the-end sort of musical, and I wish you had been there to see it. I’d been helping with costume sewing/art needs here and there, but I was roped in for the final week of rehearsals and for the shows to assist with makeup. Don’t know if I’ve ever been in a room with so many talented people — gorgeous, wide-eyed ingenues, pitch perfect soulful singers, dashing and hilarious leading men, adorable dancers.
As I was doing the makeup for one of the pirate henchmen (styled as chinese opera painted villains, no less), he asked “are you happy that it’s going to end soon? then you and samuel will get to spend more time together.”
“well, yes”, i replied, “but it hasn’t really been difficult at all.”
There are few joys greater than watching my love in his element. I always knew he was giving so much of himself to the production, but it didn’t really hit me till the lead actress introduced him for the curtain call as “the person who always inspired us and told us to believe to see. Our director, our composer, our lyricist…our everything”. In that second, your heart swells, and you just don’t forget a moment like that.
I had a private word with Ivan Heng after the show, and he said “his songs have a hook, and my god, he’s not even professionally trained. He has a gift.” I want to jump up and down in agreement, but just smile and say, “that’s why I’ve always been his number one fan”. Sam and I spent some of our best dates at the theatre watching this very man on stage, so it was such an honour to finally meet both Ivan and Tony, the men behind Wild Rice.
He even managed to put in a bit of our story into this new story for the stage. I would call it ‘his new story’, but the tale belongs to everyone. It’s for every child who’s grown up too quickly and pined for the past, only to later realise life does not cleanly divide itself into past, present and future. Without even knowing, we are always set in constant motion, and what else can we do but march on unafraid?
There is a line in one song that goes “the monsters hiding under our beds live only inside our heads“. It’s something my father used to say to us as little girls and I must have forgotten it along the way, because when every time I heard it on stage last week, it made me tear up. Do I dare wonder why?
Congratulations to the whole cast & crew for a knockout weekend! Thank you for the magic.