June 28th 2015
“Double Trouble” opened last night to a packed house and a cast that delivered a fantastic performance. It all came together in the last 48 hours in one of those wonderful leaps that productions can make. I saw it beginning at the preview yesterday afternoon and then, that night, buoyed by a supportive audience, the cast nailed it uniting text, song and production in an artistic whole. The big improvement was in the second act. The first had come out of the box fully formed but the second, bouncing back and forth between two narratives, required rewiring. The cast handled the new pages like pros, Kate Bryer moved them on and offstage with split second precision and the balance between humour and drama steadily improved until it locked in last night. What a relief!
The cast know what they have now, they believe in it and they will never forget. What a process! The German Ambassador’s wife and family were in the audience and very complimentary as we’re many others. “This play has legs” was a very nice one. But my favourite was the Mom who thanked me, “on behalf of all divorced couples for changing the ending”. That was my big narrative gamble. In the original, written in 1949, the parents magically fall in love after ten years of bitter estrangement. A potentially hurtful fantasy to all the modern kids living with divorced parents. But you meddle with a story made famous by two Disney movies at your peril so it was wonderful that it worked. In fact, it seemed so natural I had to examine how it had been changed. Phew. Heading back to Toronto leaving a happy theatre, composer and cast. Very grateful… And relieved!
All the best,