Tonight is opening night for “The Gifts of the Magi,” a musical version of two short stories by O. Henry that I directed at St. Clair County Community College. It’s the first musical our department has done in several years, and tonight’s performance will be in front of many of the college’s administrators and over a hundred donors, so it’s a big deal. Dress rehearsal started a little rough last night, but the show got stronger as we went through it, and I think we solved the problem that was getting us off to a slow start. So I feel pretty confident about tonight.
In addition to directing the show, I’m also the vocal director and I’m conducting from the first row of our 300-seat thrust stage theater. I’m going to try to be as invisible as I can be, but I determined it would help if I was keeping the tempo and conducting the few odd rhythms that are in the music. I’ve enjoyed working on this production, especially with the talented students who are playing the six roles and working on the crew. My fellow faculty members Mary Hackstock (piano accompanist) and Lisa Sturtridge (costume designer) have been great to work with, and SC4 grad and current public school art teacher Janine Murphy-Evenson created a fantastic background on stage that sets our scene perfectly.
The show is Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. if you’re in the Port Huron area this weekend.