10 PM: The Opening Night Party

News   10 PM: The Opening Night Party
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L: Cast members Don Stephenson, Michele Ragusa, and Michael Mulheren;R: Michael Cerveris and Beth Ostrosky
L: Cast members Don Stephenson, Michele Ragusa, and Michael Mulheren;
R: Michael Cerveris and Beth Ostrosky Photo by Photo credit: Starla Smith

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The curtain falls on the opening night performance of Titanic at 9:15 PM to extended applause, as you might expect from a crowd mostly of backers and family members.

But the applause continues after the house lights came up, and persists until the curtain is raised again and the cast comes forward to applaud back.

As the audience exited and crossed 46th Street to the opening celebration at the Marriott Marquis Hotel a TV reporter from Reuters was stopping audience members, asking for instant reviews. They are uniformly favorable, again, as expected.

In the Westside Ballroom on the hotel's 7th floor, revelers pass through balloon archways to the sound of jazz from a live band. As promised, guests are served, buffet style, many of the same dishes served on the night of the famous disaster, and the passengers on the original Titanic are toasted with the same heartfelt enthusiasm as the cast and crew of the new musical. Playbill On-Line stopped several of the guests and asked them, not to review the show, but to recall their most vivid memory.

* Kevin Lynch -- Being recently married, I was moved by the scene where the Strauses decide to go down together ["Still"]. They renew their vows and break the glass. I hope that, 40 years from now, my wife and I would be so close that we'd want to stay on a sinking ship together.

* Tricia Shaw -- For me, in Act II, it was the scene where people are saying goodbye. It's not a musical scene, but it epitomize for me the personal experience of the actual catastrophe. We, as a society, as a culture, totally underappreciate the value of lost lives. But that moment was so touching because it was so bare.

* Robert Oliver -- I loved the scene when we saw the model of the ship sailing into the iceberg [the Act I finale]. It was very impressive. Also the scene were the guy in the crow's nest came down ["No Moon"] -- it was a very dramatic effect.

* Maryann Anderson -- I loved the whole style of the piece, the whole look of it, the operatic quality. The way they used color was magnificent.

* Joanne Wilker -- The opening number ["The Launch"] and the closing number ["Godspeed Titanic], when they're all singing together. I found myself getting very involved with the characters, with the emotionality of knowing what will happen to them.

* Lauren Peduzzi -- My most vivid memory was the scene when they're separating the husbands from the wives ["We'll Meet Tomorrow"]. You go from having a grand old time to where you really feel their terror.

* Dean Sicoli -- When the crow's nest comes down ["No Moon"], it's so eerie. It made it seem real to me.

* Betsy Friday -- The most vivid moment was the duet between the two men ["The Proposal"]. You don't often see two men sing like that together. Also, there was the moment when you saw the stars go up [as the ship makes its final plunge].

* Mark Ariail -- The most vivid memory is when you see the piano sliding down and the people [on the deck] above the piano trying to get away from the water. ["Mr. Andrews' Vision"]. Because of the passion he has about his ship, and the people above their passion to save their lives. One is going up and one is going down -- and of course they're both destroyed in the end.

* U.S. Navy Capt. Philip Porter -- The thing that really got to me was the scene on the bridge -- when the bridge of the ship appeared. It looked authentic. I think the way they mechanized it all was fascinating -- the way they could jump from the boiler room to the bridge. And the scene where they guy in the crow's nest comes down -- it was electrifying.

* Andrea Rounds -- Even though it's an ensemble piece, I felt every person's personality and character. I felt a part of it. I expected it to be episodic, but it wasn't. The most memorable visual moment for me was when the liquor tray rolled across the stage [and characters realized for the first time that the ship was tipping]. It sent goosebumps up my spine.

* Matt Olin -- I love the very opening scene. The song ["There She Is"] is surging, gorgeous. When the kid ran out and held up the [toy] boat, I knew that image would have to appear again at the end of the show -- and it did. The child - it was something about Yeston. When he held up that boat, it was everything Maury Yeston and Peter Stone were trying to say about the building of the Titanic.

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