Nancy Opel was standing at the bottom of the staircase just outside the fire door leading to the stage. A wardrobe person was working on her dress. "I find it a good sign that I have to have my costume pinned on opening night. It's a good omen!"
"OK, Betty's on the stage," says Stage Manager Arturo Porazzi, standing at the Stage Manager's desk at stage right. He watches the show on three video screen. "Murray's here."
The cast gathers on stage in a circle, along with the producers and the stage manager. They hold hands around the circle, bow briefly, a few words are said.
"Now, we must each say a word," says male lead F. Murray Abraham. "One word."
As the musicians in the pit warm up with snatches of music, around the circle it goes: "Champagne! Love! Triumph! Passion! Sex! Tickets!," etc.
"This is fun time," says Nancy Opel.
The house manager is waiting for the last few celebrities to take their seats. "When he says OK, I'll say three important words," Porazzi said: "'House to half.'"
House Manager Bill Liberman pokes his head into the door next to Porazzi's desk. He shrugs nonchalantly. "Why not?"
Porazzi speaks into his headset, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have the go. Work lights out. OK, ladies and gentlemen and crew. Let's have a good show. Make it pretty. House lights to half. Electrics cue 2. Go!"
The overture begins. The first section has a galloping beat. Sieber and Buckley slap their thighs and pretend to be riding horses. They smile.
Porazzi: "Electrics cue 3. Go!"
The curtain rises to audience applause. Triumph of Love is open.
-- By Robert Viagas