Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Fantastick Experience with Carmel Repertory Theater

"I am special. I am special. 
Please God, please! Don't let me be normal!"

As a fifteen year old naive girl, I had the thrill of playing Louisa in the Carmel Repertory Theater's presentation of The Fantasticks at the Carmel Gazebo back in 1994. Having never had a lead role in anything, this was a huge step in my life! It's a key that turned a lock in my heart that shouted, "I want to do this forever!"

"There was a girl."
At the time, I didn't really comprehend the meaning of the musical, but when my dad appeared yesterday morning with a fresh DVD in his hand of my show, I had the opportunity to re-live the experience. You see, we were going together to see The Fantasticks again that night, 17 years later, at Carmel Rep, and it brought back memories of my own happy nights as "the girl."

My daughters loved watching the DVD of their young mom on stage, but as I sat explaining to them the meaning behind the lines, I realized just how true of a play it really is. One daughter would ask, "Why would they love their radishes more than children?" and I'd reply, "Because they're predictable." And "Why would she like the bandit? Isn't he bad?" I'd laugh and shake my head, "Because he's new and exciting."

Why didn't I understand it when I was in it? Because I truly was "the girl," as so many of us were. Naive, full of hope, and dreading, more than anything, to be normal.

The show last night was enchanting! 

Carmel Rep has come a long way from the little play on the gazebo, but those special times of a theater that was just getting started carved a way for others, like myself, to continue in the arts.

Ben Davis
Last night, the man who was El Gallo in my production, Ben Davis, was there fresh from Broadway to sing a few songs. Larry Creviston, the director of this show as well as the one I was in, whisked me backstage to say hi. My goodness, he hasn't changed! Still a handsome, dashing bandit, only now he's a Tony Award Winner! I asked him after the play while we were taking a few pictures, "Seriously, you've worked with Bernadette Peters?" His eyes sparkled, betraying the adoradion he also has for the actress, and he showed me a picture of them together on his phone. Can you say "Wow?"

Two of the actors last night were also in my production. Ron Creviston and Dick Davis were hilarious! I was rolling. I think Ron's antics added at least ten minutes to the show.

It seemed like the boy and girl had just stepped off of a Disney set. They were so cute! Even though I might have been grading the girl a bit harder, I still give them both an A plus. Actually, come to think of it, I might give them just an A simply because they weren't even born when I was in The Fantasticks. That was a tad bit hard to swallow!


The new Studio Theater in Carmel is the perfect black box stage. When Ben was singing without microphones, he was heard loud and clear in his deep voice, singing "Stars" from Les Miserables. The ticket prices are inexpensive, making theater affordable and available. Really, try to get over there to see it. You will walk out warm and happy, filled with memories of simpler days, that weren't really so simple after all.





When the dance was done,
When I went my way,
When I tried to find rainbows far away,
All the lovely lights
Seemed to fade from view:
They were you.




To be honest, in so many ways, I still feel like "the girl." 

I'd like to take a week - or two - and never do a chore. I like to wear my hair down. And, still to this day, I pray, "Please, God, please! Don't let me be normal!"


Try to remember...

Ben Davis as El Gallo - Round and Round
Ron Creviston and Dick Davis

6 comments:

Kyle Thomas said...

Becky,
I happened across the link to this blog on Carmel Rep's Facebook page. It was great to read about your memories of "The Fantasticks" and I remember having so much fun with the show, especially trying not to laugh when you and Jack were singing "Metaphor". Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!
Kyle Thomas (the Mute, Fantasticks 1994)

Kyle Thomas said...

Becky,
I happened across the link to this blog on Carmel Rep's Facebook page. It was great to read about your memories of "The Fantasticks" and I remember having so much fun with the show, especially trying not to laugh when you and Jack were singing "Metaphor". Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!
Kyle Thomas (the Mute, Fantasticks 1994)

Kyle Thomas said...

Becky,
I happened across the link to this blog on Carmel Rep's Facebook page. It was great to read about your memories of "The Fantasticks" and I remember having so much fun with the show, especially trying not to laugh when you and Jack were singing "Metaphor". Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!
Kyle Thomas (the Mute, Fantasticks 1994)

BeckyE said...

Kyle! So great to hear from you! Have you been doing any theater since?

Kyle Thomas said...

Yes, I kept busy in various aspects of theater over the years. I'm currently playing piano for Carmel Rep's production of "Scrooge, the Musical" - opening next Friday and playing through December. If you and your family come to the show, be sure to say "Hi"! :-)

BeckyE said...

Will do!