I. . . am. . . Leonide." Crusty old stage doorman Bill Margaretten is sitting with his head cocked, his eyes closed. He's singing along with the final song of Triumph of Love, "This Day of Days," which he can hear through the door to the stage.
Susan Egan delivers the line, "And now I believe it's time," which Stage Manager Gary Mickelson takes as his cue to creep behind the set and shut his eyes. Tight. Tighter. Until no light gets in.
As the music moves to a climax, the show's most memorable special effect is unleashed: millions of bubbles, created by machines behind the set's false proscenium. The audience loves it.
The topiary slides off, nearly dismembering Playbill On-Line's reporter.
Betty Buckley delivers the comedic final line, and the dazzlingly bright stage is plunged into darkness. Everyone on stage is instantly blind -- except the people like Mickelson, who pops open his eyes and can see perfectly. As the applause erupts, it's his job to steer the blinded Betty Buckley off the stage.
Suddenly, Buckley and Abraham go from being French aristocrats to what they truly are: natural-born Texans.
"Whooeee! Wow!" Buckley hoots.
"We did it," Murray exults.
"Jiminy Cricket!" Buckley says.
A stagehand tells them, "The audience is already on its feet."
And they line up to take their bows.
-- By Robert Viagas