Closing The Prom on Broadway.
We learned our show was closing with a good amount of notice. At the time, we had about 7 weeks to process it and prepare for it mentally, financially, whatever we needed to do. When I heard the news I wasn’t surprised. We hadn’t won any Tony Awards and though our theatre was packed every night, we weren’t bringing in a TON of revenue weekly. Why they didn’t raise the ticket prices, I’ll never know. There are so many things that go into creating and sustaining a Broadway show that I’ll probably never understand. It’s complicated. Anyway, I was sad when we got the news but also realized that a full seven weeks was still a good amount of time. I actually felt OK leading up to closing week. It was easy to focus on the good things that would come from closing: my body is certainly appreciating some recovery time already, I was finally able to go on a vacation with my husband & I’m catching up on some much needed down time and sleep. But…
I hated every second of closing day on Broadway. I know, that doesn’t sound like the positive, always-trying-to-see-the-bright-side me but I don’t like “goodbyes” in general and this was the longest, most drawn out goodbye that was forced upon me, on a stage, for everyone to see. I was stuck in a state of pure sadness for like, 8 hours, and I couldn’t escape it. It was HORRIBLE, you guys. It in no way felt like a celebration of all we’d accomplished or how far we’d come. It was just an abrupt ending. My life was completely changed in a single day, my ultimate dream had come to an end and I would no longer have the privilege of seeing the people I love, who I’ve spent the last 4 years creating this show with, on a daily basis. It was devastating. I literally cried the ENTIRE show. I couldn’t sing ONE word of “Unruly Heart” and I was navigating the snot in my head, trying to stop it from flying out of my nose as I attempted to dance and sing my best on stage. At one point, before an entrance, I simply said to myself “I just want to be able to focus and do my job today and I just… can’t.” I wanted the final show to feel GOOD, like I’d done my absolute best but that certainly wasn’t the case and I was so relieved when it was over. I survived it. Barely.
I don’t know if every Broadway show closing feels like this. Does everyone think their show is extremely special and deserves to be seen because it’s truly making the world a better place? Does everyone truly enjoy being at their theatre so much on a regular basis? Does everyone appreciate the challenge of an 8 show week as much as I did? Leading up to closing, I think I tried to convince myself that I didn’t love it so it wouldn’t hurt so much. The truth is, I loved it SO. MUCH. I loved our show, the people, the challenge, the many times where it felt impossible to get through bc I felt so tired but I did it anyway, the pride I felt in myself for giving 100% every time I stepped onstage no matter how much it hurt, what day of the week it was, what time of day, what else was going on in my life. Doing that on a daily basis is the MOST challenging, but I appreciated it. It took me so long to get there. I still can’t believe I got to do it. I am thankful, I am grateful and I am never doing a closing performance of a Broadway show ever again.