As the gold curtain of Broadway's Royale Theatre rose on Triumph of Love for the last time Jan. 4, it revealed an emotional Betty Buckley and Christopher Seiber. An immediate standing ovation opened the show.
Everyone in the cast had his or her turn to display their grief over the closing of the show. Yes, even F. Murray Abraham shed a few tears during his song "The Tree" which he sang with Buckley. "Serenity," Buckley's first act aria, brought a flood of emotion not only from herself but from Egan who could not hold back her tears. The two of them shared a brief moment of gazing into each others eyes and smiled before clutching onto each other with a hug before exiting the stage.
The big number that brought the house down was Roger Bart and Kevin Chamberlin's comedy turn, "Henchmen." They received a standing ovation that went on for at least five minutes. Nancy Opel usually joins the two of them on stage during the last part of the song and holds a pose at the end where her hands are placed on the hat she is wearing. After such a long round of applause on closing night she took the hat off of her head and held it to the audience, as if asking for money.
Open then flashed a grin towards the audience, then to her co-stars, and dashed offstage. all the while with tears in her eyes.
Bart and Chamberlin sat on the stage for a while after the applause died, both with tears falling from their eyes. Finally Bart said his line which starts, "Now we'll be unemployed" and the look he gave the audience sent the crowd wild again clapping but he didn't stop there. He went on to deliver his next line which is "And they will be gone within the hour." However, instead of referring to the cast he pointed toward the audience and the applause from the crowd made him and Chamberlin laugh. Finally, out of character, he said to his co-star, "Want that line again?" and Chamberlin, between laughs, said "Please." And they began the lines again and made their exit. At the final curtain the cast got a huge standing ovation. While the applause was still going strong, Susan Egan took out a camera and pointed it towards the audience and started snapping pictures of everyone. Then Buckley reached into the crowd and took a video camera on stage and taped the audience applauding the cast. When the crowd finally settled down Buckley took out a list and began introducing the people who created and helped with production.
Among those who came out on stage and took a bow were lyricist Susan Birkenhead, librettist James Magruder, and composer Jeffrey Stock. Even producer Margo Lion made her appearance on stage to announce that this was not the last performance of Triumph; just the last performance at the Royale Theatre. She said the show will begin touring next year sometime. Finally Buckley introduced the entire crew, light operators, wig designers, dressers, house management, ushers, and merchandisers before giving her final bow.
The lights on the stage went down for the last time on Triumph of Love and the house lights went up to reveal an emotional audience waving goodbye to the show.