Tonight I am standing at the subway on the corner of 8th and 44th saying goodbye to the Wiz. Wiz has a personal obligation that must be attended tomorrow and alternate Wiz will be running the shows. We have known about this since we started the show. It is a good thing, but it will be strange doing a show in New York without the Wiz calling the shots.
There is a delicate dance in this show between the Stage Manager and Me. Lighting cues, and sound cues happen on certain words and movements. The Wiz keeps Joe (on the lights) and Bobby (on the sound) ready for anything. The Wiz can sense the cue even when I say something I have never said before that moment.
Once the show begins, the Wiz is my only connection to the stage and we have to communicate without saying a word. It is a psychic connection. No one knows the amount of work it takes just to listen to what I am saying and keep the show moving technically.. If it works right it is seamless and no one is ever aware, except me. I don’t take the talents of the Wiz for granted.
So it is not without concern that I am saying bye to the Wiz at the subway stop, not thinking of much except how I will get through two shows tomorrow. As we are going over the last details, a man comes up behind me, grabs me and says,
“Don’t move buddy, just give it up”. He has a grip on me that I won’t be able to break. He grabbed me so tightly I can tell he is wearing a bullet -proof vest, and there is a gun in his waistband. This only happens in the movies. I wait for him to release me so I can hand over my wallet and cash.
That is when the man starts laughing. It is Officer Don, my friend, the beat cop of 44th Street.
“Happy Halloween!” he tells me. He is off on vacation next week and won’t be able to give me a scare on October 31st. I will remember that long after Halloween.
As you were,