Twenty-nine days to opening night and counting
Last updated 1/29/2020 at 4:10pm | View PDF
Four short weeks from tomorrow is opening night for “Hinsdopoloy,” the 2020 Community Revue.
I’ve been part of the revue cast for 16 years now. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the revue, it’s a fundraiser for The Community House held just about every other year. A very talented group of writers and our esteemed director create an original script and rewrite the lyrics to Broadway and popular songs to create a show that pokes fun at all things Hinsdale (wealth, success, wealth, ambition, wealth — you get the idea).
I have noticed a few changes since I made my community theater debut in “Hinsdale: The Reality Factor” in 2004.
First, I am no longer 37 years old. I used to be the new, young cast member, the one who learned all the dance steps quickly. Now I am the returning, much older cast member who learns all the dance steps, but only after days and days of running them in my kitchen. And now I and other cast members of a certain age discuss things like whether a split sole tap shoe will be more forgiving to feet that have experienced plantar fasciitis.
Jim is in the show, too, and he and I used to practice the dance numbers in the basement of The Doings. We no longer work at The Doings, of course, and no longer have a spacious basement in our building, so we must rehearse in the conference room. We try to do so as often as possible, as this delights all our co-workers. The only thing they love more is hearing us talk about the show.
I don’t really have much else to talk about, though, since I spend all of my time working, rehearsing and sleeping, with a few nods toward being a wife and mother.
The good news is I am not the only cast member with more than a decade of experience. Sara Martin, Dick Johnson and Laura LaPlaca were in the very first Community Revue in 1997.
“I was a year old. I was a little child actress,” LaPlaca claimed earlier this week when asked how many years ago she appeared in her first revue.
Our youngest cast member is in her late 20s, as is our new choreographer. Amanda is lovely — and super-positive. She opened her Facebook post Sunday with a note of thanks for all of our hard work and the great things happening while we dance, followed by a smiley emoji!
Then she proceeded to provide 27 lines of notes of areas for improvement.
Our director Dave Heilmann, was a little more, well, direct. He, too, complimented our effort and then told us only two things are holding us back: lyrics and choreography.
Oh, good. Just those two things. No sweat!
Actually, we are sweating quite a bit, both from vigorous dancing to really fast songs and from panic that we will not remember all the dance steps to the really fast songs. Or the slow ones.
But, as Dave reminded us, all will be well. We will learn it all. Our characters will be believable and funny, our kick lines sharp and (fingers crossed) in unison.
And come Feb. 28, opening night, we’ll all wait with anticipation for the curtain to rise, eager to share our little show. And very happy that audience members enjoyed a visit to the open bar prior to watching it.
— Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected]