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Saturday Evening
07/26/09 @ 04:52:20 am, Categories: General, 894 words   English (US)

After a refreshing 5 hours of sleep we’re back to tell you the rest of what happened on Saturday.

Once Michael had got inside and the masses had cleared slightly we remained in our pole position spot next to the door. It was wonderful to see the cast arrive and tell each and everyone of them individually how much we enjoyed their talent and saying good-bye.

When we returned for the evening we saw so many familiar faces in the audience, it almost felt like a tour concert. Cathy was in the audience of course as was Phil Bowdery (Michael’s manager). We sat in the first two seats of row K. After being used to front rows this seemed to be incredibly far away, but they turned out to be good seats with a good view and the added bonus: For the finale Leanne, Ben and Adrian stand right next to you, waiting for their big entrance.

As far as Hairspray performances go this one surely was one of the best we have seen so far. Even more energetic and rousing than usual. The audience reactions were fantastic. Everyone seemed determined to give the three leads the farewell they deserve. When we came to “you can’t stop the beat” Leanne was in tears and Ben was struggling. They stopped the show right before Tracy tells everyone to dance with her.

We had a preview of what was coming for the cast as a group of theatre staff had lined up next to us, each one of them with a large bouquet in their hands. One of the Hairspray producers then got on stage and held a moving speech about their three leads leaving and how their talent had made Hairspray the phenomenon that it was today. Tears all around at this point.

then one after the other of the theatre staff walked on stage and handed over 600 roses, one for each of the performances. And then poor Michael had to give a speech, which was not easy for him, you could tell. But Ben and Leanne looked even more shaken, so he spoke on their behalf as well. Naturally the whole audience was on their feet by now.

He talked about what this experience has meant for him, how wonderful everyone on stage AND backstage had been. That the audiences were fantastic and on a personal note he said his thank you for the support he had at the home front. He knew that coming to terms with this (indicating Edna’s fabulous finale styling) he jokingly thanked Cathy for the loan of the clothes. By now he could hardly speak for tears and one had to fight the urge to rush on stage and give him a big hug.

After all this both, Leanne and Ben, had gathered themselves enough to say a few words of thanks and they told us how Hairspray would always mean so very much to them. Leanne said how this has been living her dream and now it was all over. Michael had his hand on her shoulder and said “It’s only the beginning!". It was quite a scene to behold. And then they all took a deep breath and finished the song with everyone dancing in the aisles and that was it. 21 months over like a shot.

When we all gathered outside of the theatre facing the window where we knew Michael was due to appear the three security guards struggled enormously to move the crowd further up the street. Everyone wanted to have a clear view and would not budge. As seen before many cast members were taking photographs of the masses clearly enjoying the spectacle.

And after a bit of a wait Michael appeared in the window looking incredibly handsome in a black suit (William Hunt, Savile Row) and black shirt. He held a very sweet speech, thanked us all and on popular demand even sang a bit with us (We’ll meet again). He then said he is off to the best party of his life and is determined to drink on everyone of us, individually.

A few moments later he left the stage door and fought his way through the crowd to his car. Just like this afternoon he held another little speech while standing slightly raised holding onto the railing of the car. Finally he asked whether he could do a little Moses and part the masses. It did the trick and he drove off into the night. Michael Ball had left the building.

Not being able to let go just yet we lingered at the stage door and had the opportunity to say our last good-byes to Adrian and Ben, but sadly did not catch Leanne leaving. When the car returned to pick up Andrew he lowered the window to wave good-bye to the remaining crowd. We still could not tear ourselves away from the theatre and eventually stayed longer than the security guards. The police line was cut, all lines went out… The end of an era.

Sitting on our hotel bed the truth still has not quite sunk in yet. No more Hairspray. No more prescription free anti-depressant. No more Edna - No more? Upon leaving Michael asked us, whether we thought we had seen the last of Edna Turnblad and hinted “Probably not!” We live in hope.

Take care,

The Bunnies

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