The second-to-last night of "The Dixie Swim Club",(Saturday, Feburary 25th) I had the loving support of many in my family(My Daddy--John Allender, was unable to come, due to a severe cold), IN THE AUDIENCE, including hubby Hansoo, my Mom--Demetra Allender, my Sis--Tina Dudley, My Uncle Buddy--known as Nick Comati to others, and dear friends Dan M., Coral McGhee, Alan Wright, and Cheryl Jones. I was told by Tina, that Penny (I'd call Penny Tina's BFF, fer sure.She brought her daughter, Isabo, too) would also be coming...and I was guessing all this support allowed me to personally have what was my best. night. onstage.....I recall feeling that the "communion" of which I often speak, was there. Real. Palpable.
That "sense" that the audience is TRULY "with" you....
I was about to discover who ELSE made this audience, all that I could have DREAMED OF...
After changing clothes, I ran outside our "green room" to hug family and friends, and was there only a few moments, when I noticed a red-haired woman who reminded me of BFF, Jeanne, from Florida....Standing directly behind her was a handsome, husky man with greenish eyes and jet black hair and a kind smile, who looked verrry familiar. I thought, 'Wowsers, she looks like Jeanne....And that guy, he looks alot like Derek Conte'...oh my God..is that...?'
I kept stammering "What in the WORLD?!" (something to that effect),because I was in a state of disbelief, suddenly understanding Jeanne had come over 500 miles,to see the show, and had enlisted Derek's help, in surprising me....
I managed to grab a passer-by and she readily agreed to photograph the entire big bunch of us...What Fun!
The hour was late, so I suggested we all get-together on Monday night,(the show closed after the Sunday, Feburary 26th Matinee').My family would have to leave Sunday morning, but several friends made it to The Tavern at Phipps that Monday, where we regaled each other with tales of acting, music, mayhem, and our collective sadness over the loss of Whitney Houston.
One important note: many, many relatives and friends made the trip out to The Cumming Playhouse,to see "The Dixie Swim Club", and I am so grateful for your kindness, laughter, and support and engagement in the arts....and in me!
Big, Big, Big Thank Yous to Hansoo Kwon, Jerry Gibbons; Dan Morrison; Joe and Mary Jean Goode, and Maggie Winfrey; Cathy Harris and Richard Olson; Young Soo and Young Ae Kwon, and our nieces Rachel and Grace; "Omma K" and "Appa K"; Carole Madan; Crystal & Wes Rast; Faith Dubose and three of her dear gal-pals; Collin Kelley, Franklin Abbott, Cleo Creech, Julie Bloemeke; Aarti Nayar; Estelle Ford-Williamson, and her friend; Dale & Christine Gray, and(up and coming Playwright)Glenn Slattery, & his wife, Karen; Kathryn Cueny and seven other women, including Dianne Williams, from our neighborhood(I still don't know who all was in the group, though I received nice notes thanking me for my performance!); and at our final Matinee', Andrew Pope and his wife, Bonnie.
Dear friend Dan attended the (rather rough) Preview Night(February 1st), and hubby Hansoo attended Opening Night(February 2nd), The Author's Night(February 10th), with the Playwrights), AND that truly-fabulous Saturday (February 25th) night.
If somehow I forgot to list you, please DO remind me...
Biggest thank yous and hugs to the cast in which I was so fortunate to be included:
Debbi Hamm--Sheree Hollinger
Carlene Archer--Vernadette Simms
Tracy Lee Holden--Jeri Neal
Director and Fearless Leader--Mercury.
Our crew was amazing too, especially Costumer, Debra Signa, and Bonnie Smith, Dresser/Stagehand.
Bob, our Lighting dude, was/is amazing!
Up next at Gypsy Theatre company, this Summer: The Wizard of Oz!!!
I don't audition for Musicals, but I'll be helping with Publicity on that. :D
The show is sure to be magical!