James Dybas, a stage veteran who plays the Executioner in The Scarlet Pimpernel, agreed to keep a diary of the experience for Playbill On-Line's readers. Here is his diary of the weeks leading up to the opening. Watch for his posts throughout the day as he shares his opening night with you.
Sunday November 9, 1997 - 8:30 PM Intermission We got some fabulous gifts!
The producers gave us a watch with the pimpernel flower and the date of the opening.
Alison Lory gave us white boxer shorts with the pimpernel flower and the words from the show: "Do stay calm." I gave a card with a picture of the theatre. I happened to pass by last year when they were changing over from Sunset to Pimpernel, and the theatre said, " Scarlet Pimpernel starring Elaine Paige"! I told Elaine and she said it was really a hoot.
Nan Knighton gave a model sailing ship with the words "Into the fire."
[Costumer] Jane Greenwood gave us a costume sketch.
Katie Nutt gave us a champagne flute hand-painted with the pimpernel flower.
Philip Hoffman gave us a bottle of wine with his own label: "Chateau Tussaud" -- that's his character name -- "1997. Product of Broadway."
Christine Andreas gave us a beautiful stick pin with the pimpernel flower.
Craig Rubano got a box of "Tension Tamer" tea.
I had one really wonderful experience just now. When we were singing "Riddle," I looked out into the house, and sitting in the front row are my brother and my 11-year-old nephew. It makes me feel so connected! I've also had well-wishes and messages and flowers from my mother and sisters. I'm so grateful to have a family that's supportive and love me.
I've been thinking about getting the Gypsy Robe, and I realize: This whole thing has been like one big circle!
I brought the Robe [in 1976] to someone working in this very theatre. Darlene, who brought it to me here tonight was the person who put me into Sunset, also here at this theatre.
How exciting it is to be a part of a company so loving, and giving and supportive. I just feel the energy of getting through these 10-of-12 hour days, culminating in the excitement of this evening.
Now it's time for Act II. I'll see you at the party!