And the Tony goes to…
While SCW Stella is home resting with Roc today following the debut performance of her 1-woman show in NYC, I wanted to guest post a review of the event. I am not a writer, reviewer, blogger or actor. I am simply a friend and had the honor and privilege of running rehearsals with Stella a few weeks ago. I didn’t know what to expect going into that 1st rehearsal, and even with that sneak peak, I couldn’t have predicted the transformation that took place on stage last night.
Our Stella is larger than life and a character in her own right. So it was no surprise that the performance was loaded with explosive energy, and that she told a story that was funny, angry, sad and ironic all at the same time. I’ve heard these stories before, and knew she was taking a risk, diving into deep emotional territory to tell her story. I was nervous that it might come across as too over the top, because let’s be honest – Stella is admittedly over the top in all that she does. But what she did up on that stage last night was nothing short of amazing to me. She was subtle, switching deftly between the various characters portrayed in the 6 moving vignettes, displaying a softness and vulnerability in her characters, even while yelling and screaming during confrontational scenes. She bounced between her characters with the ease of a veteran performer, yelling & excited as one, subdued and nearly whispering as the other. She brought us on her personal and emotional journey, showing not only what it’s like to be a cop’s wife, but also a little about what it’s like to be a cop, something I realized that I took for granted as I sat in that darkened theater listening in horror to the radio call from Roc’s patrol urge caution as the suspect in question was seen nearby and carrying a gun. Stella’s fears suddenly became real to us all.
I don’t know exactly what a director does, but kudos to Elizabeth Browning for guiding Stella on her journey. Throughout the performance, you could hear the audience laugh, gasp, mutter shocked explicatives under their breath, and although many tried to hide it, there were sniffles & tears too. And at times, the silence was profound; you knew that there is a lot more at stake for her coming out of this performance than whether people enjoyed it. And we did enjoy it. A lot.
So to all the boys in blue out there, thank you for your service, for keeping us safe. To all their wives, girlfriends and significant others – thank you for being their rock that keeps them grounded and gives them the strength to put their lives on the line day in and day out. And to Stella – thank YOU for letting us in and putting on one hell of a show!