Hello all! This Lexi Barnett, Artistic Director for Broadway Olympia! I want to start by thanking you for "tuning in" to everything going on with our company and engaging with us via social media, we love getting to "meet" so many theatre enthusiasts before we even get to put up a production for you!
The other night, I had an opportunity to stop by a choreography rehearsal for Legally Blonde and I had the best time! Seriously this cast is A- Talented and B- Good People. Even at the callbacks, it was evident that we had actors who were full of heart, cheering each other on and building each other up. That is really cool to see and not always something you find when you work in theatre.
While at rehearsal, I got the chance to chat with an old friend, who also happens to be an actor in this show. We chatted about the "good old days" when we had gotten the opportunity to be in shows together pretty regularly. One of which was Wedding Singer, 8 years ago at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Upon reflection later that night, I realized all the crazy connections that this production of Legally Blonde in Olympia has with that long ago production in Tacoma.
To name a few:
1- I was in that show with Matt who is now an actor in our show and an equity actor working primarily in the Seattle area, but who has also worked locally in the Olympia area, where his family lives.
2- Our choreographer Jimmy was in the ensemble with me and is now an equity actor in Seattle and a choreographer and director. He recently was a feautred choreographer for Village Theatre's production of Hairspray.
3- I met Megan Hicks in the ensemble of the Wedding Singer. She introduced me to Kathryn, her best friend and our director for Legally Blonde, when they both worked on a show with my husband last summer.
4- My "dad" in the show was non other than the incomparable Chris Serface. He is now the Managing Artistic Director at Tacoma Little Theatre, and the person who connected me with Kyle Murphy who is the founder of Broadway Olympia which ultimately led to me getting this job.
And there are many other funny connections with the friends and contacts I made in that show that continue to pop up at different times in my life. Heck- that was the first show I did with Steve Barnett and we ended up getting married!
The drive home after that rehearsal for Legally Blonde, I caught a ride back up to Tacoma with "The Carpool Crew" as they have named themselves. Three actors in the cast who also all happen to be former students of mine from different times in my career as a theatre educator. As they chatted happily about rehearsal and past shows they have done, I couldn't help but reflect on how small the theatre world actually is. You truly never know where the friends you make in a show that you are involved in will pop up again in your life.
That is the beauty of theatre. A bunch of strangers come together for a brief moment in time. They work and they laugh and sometimes cry together, and they create something that is momentary and beautiful- something that only exists when all of them are together. And once the show is over, they disperse. Sometimes your paths cross again, sometimes they don't. Sometimes you marry one of them, sometimes they end up hiring you in your first big gig.
If I have gained anything from these experiences it is this: Be nice, work hard, stay humble, and make friends- this industry and this life are too short to not jump in and live each experience to the fullest.
I cannot wait to see what this cast does together in the next month and where they go from here. I hope you will join us to see this show they are hard at work preparing to share with Olympia.