Saturday, November 13, 2010

v2, d207: Farewell to Pooh

It seems I ought to say something reflective upon the closing of Winnie-the-Pooh.  I'm not sure why because, realistically, it was only nine weeks of my life.  Nevertheless, there's always such a sense of finality when a show closes, when you bow for the final time, when you hang up the costume never to put it on again.  Though in all likelihood you will put at least pieces of it on again, because you're a rep company and a non-profit and there are only so many things in your costume stock that will fit you. 

I think I've said before how much I've enjoyed the show and what a privilege it has been work with this particular cast.  The show ends with a rousing little reprise of "Sing Ho! For a Bear" where the entire cast changes the lyrics to "Sing Ho! For my life!"  And I would generally agree with that sentiment when we reached that point in the show.  I was always happy to be there, doing a play, playing Winnie-the-Pooh, with these people.  The entire show was an hour of warm fuzzies and feel-good times from start to finish.  And that's how I'd like to remember it.

Not with the way it ended up ending up: starting 20 minutes late on the day of the last performance, with me losing my voice progressively as the show went along to the point where "Cottleston Pie" was half-sung, half growled because I'd somehow lost 80% of what limited vocal range I'd had at the beginning of the morning.  Among other things. 

In-joke saved for posterity:  "I partied with the Mad Hatter!  And Winnie the Pooh!" 


Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands, called out, "Pooh!"
"Yes?" said Pooh.
"When I'm--when--Pooh!"
"Yes, Christopher Robin?"
"I'm not going to do Nothing any more."
"Never again?"
"Well, not so much.  They don't let you."
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
"Yes, Christopher Robin?" said Pooh helpfully.
"Pooh, when I'm--you know--when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Just me?"
"Yes, Pooh."
"Will you be here too?"
"Yes, Pooh, I will be, really.  I promise I will be, Pooh."
"That's good," said Pooh.
"Pooh, promise me you won't forget about me, ever.  Not even when I'm a hundred."
Pooh thought for a little.
"How old shall I be then?"
Pooh nodded.
"I promise," he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt for Pooh's paw.
"Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I--if I'm not quite---" he stopped and tried again--"Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?"
"Understand what?"
"Oh, nothing."  He laughed and jumped to his feet.  "Come on!"
"Where?" said Pooh.
"Anywhere," said Christopher Robin.

So they went off together.  But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."