Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apparently pretty big in the 70's too...

          To add to my last post, I have been informed of another story involving my mother and hairspray that I had never heard before.  This story comes to us courtesy of my mom's dear friend and Maid of Honor, Susan.  Back in 1973, my parents had a lovely wedding.  Apparently though, my Grandma Sophie's hair had a slight tinge of green.  My mom grabbed the wrong spray can in the bathroom so instead of hairspray, the Mother of the Bride got a liberal dousing of Lysol disinfectant.  It must have gone quite nicely with her aqua satin dress.  I will have to go back to the wedding album to examine this further...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blood, Sweat and Hairspray

          So as I mentally process the past weekend, a few things strike me. 

          One: I was involved in a wonderful production of Massenet's Cendrillon, with a great cast, of which I am very proud to have been a part.

          Two: Having the title role is exhausting. Never mind the memorization and rehearsal process, once Cinderella hits the stage, she really doesn't leave for more than 5 minutes- ever- and Act III is a marathon of epic proportions with approximately 1400 arias: (See also: long extended recitative in which she says goodbye to every piece of furniture in her home before she runs off into the woods). When she is not onstage, she is traipsing around backstage with one shoe on.

          Three: There is no more stark contrast than that of leaving one's house in complete disarray because of a fulltime job and tech rehearsals, and then having to go be a princess onstage that same evening. If Cinderella's house looked like mine before the ball, she would have been in a whole lot of trouble.

          And Four: "Hairspray must be much stronger than it used to be in the 80's".

          There is an explanation to that particular quotation. Our very talented hair and makeup designer could not be present at the show for our last performance, so she asked if I knew anyone who could style a French twist in my hair. Since my mother wore her hair in a French twist daily for nearly two decades, she was an obvious choice. She was coming to both performances anyway, (as with many performers, my parents are my biggest fans). So, at Sunday's matinee, my mom followed me into the dressing area with teasing comb and my hairspray in hand. After a number of people asked who my chic stylist was, my mother started getting at my hair. Once teased and situated to a sufficient height, she proceeded to spray the shit out of it. When I actually tasted some hairspray in my mouth, I thought it might have been a bit excessive, but my mother is nothing if not a bit in excess.

          It was several minutes later that the fire alarm sounded and we all had to evacuate the building. So, there we were; the entire cast outside, in full makeup, or at least partway there, waiting for the fire department to arrive. Fortunately we still had about 45 minutes before curtain. We thought that perhaps a curling iron had started smoking somewhere, but no. A few minutes later, it was announced that "too much hairspray" had tripped a detector. That's right Dana, if you are reading this; it was my mom. Try to remember how generous she has been with donations to MetroWest Opera in recent years. I offer an official apology, but must also admit that my mother and I got a good laugh out of it too.

          Even with all of the interesting snags, I am proud of the product. I think that with the help of everyone involved, and everyone who supported us, we successfully brought this story to life. Thank you.