Today on the blog, we're compiling closing day posts from the ensemblists of Bandstand and Groundhog Day. Check back throughout the day for updates!
Max Clayton (Groundhog Day)
Just breathe. That's what @jaimeverazin has taught me. Each show before "You Deserve It" we take a second to connect with three deep breaths and a big kiss on the forehead. A tradition that began during tech. Thank you @lauraosnes for catching this moment and thank you Jaime, for your trust, your patience, your laughter and your love. ❤️Taking it all in. @bandstandbway #home
Michael Fatica (Groundhog Day)
Today is our final performance of Groundhog Day on Broadway. I try not to inundate Facebook with my feelings, so, I'll keep it brief. I have completely loved doing this beautiful show with these truly wonderful people, all across the board. It was by far not perfect, we had plenty of huge bumps in the road, but I can safely say that I've learned a lot about myself as an actor and as a human in this sadistically amazing theatre world, and will spend today celebrating the joy that this show has hopefully spread to those who were able to see it.
On our Opening Night of Newsies, our director Jeff Calhoun said to us "These are the good old days, cherish them". It took me a while to truly understand that (and DONT WORRY I still am trying to every day), but I can certainly include the last 9 months as a part of those wonderful moments that we can all look back on and feel extremely lucky to have had. Break legs, Groundhogs! "There is NO TOWN GREATER"
Also wishing a fantastic closing to the cast of Bandstand. Don't forget to hug each other
Jordan Grubb (Groundhog Day)
I signed my dressing station to make it official! One of the most unpredictable journeys of my life is coming to an end. Though it feels we're leaving too soon, it's been such an honor to be part of this year's season.
The grand total: 176 performances. I swung on 91 of them. 9 of 11 tracks. I just got slightly dizzy typing that.
This time last year, making my debut in such a rich, smart, and original show would've seemed like a distant dream. It just shows how quickly your fortune can change in this business. I can, without question, say this was the hardest I have ever worked. I went 30 years of my life without drinking coffee...then I did "Groundhog Day". As incredibly difficult as it was to learn this show, the fruits of the labor were so plentiful. As this journey ends, I want to thank everyone along the way who has offered their support. Over the years, I've learned it's a fool's errand to define success by what show I'm doing and where I'm doing it. There have, of course, been times when this business has gotten me down. I think most performers have had those moments. In those times of doubt, I always try to circle back to one thing: True success is doing what you love, finding your tribe to share in that love, and having an amazing network of people to celebrate with you in times of abundance and hold you up when things look bleak. In that regard, I feel like Bill freaking Gates.
A long list of "thank you's" and acknowledgements below, but in closing (pun definitely intended), I couldn't be more proud of this company, this show, this journey. It forever changed my life, and if you visited our little town, I'd venture to guess it did a little to yours too. Farewell, Punxsutawney. "Tomorrow there will be sun."
Ryan Kasprzak (Bandstand)
From Saturday evening: Tonight's the night I say goodbye to Groundhog Day. Our penultimate show. We have our final matinee tomorrow but I know that's going to be an absolute adrenaline blur of emotions and tears.
I'll be sure to relish every moment with every single person on that stage and backstage tonight. It's truly an incredible group of people and I will miss telling this story. What a roller coaster we've all been through this year. And it's truly bonded us.
And to Ralph, Phil, Graham the Selfie Man, and Stormchaser...I love you guys.
Erica Mansfield (Bandstand)
We have built trust and compassion. We have laughed and we have cried. We know what it is to survive in this business and we to know how rare it is to do a show like this. I will run into your arms tomorrow for the last time knowing that you get it. That this was a gift. That we are so lucky to be where we are. Thank you @kevenq for sharing your heart and your passion. I never took one second for granted.
Morgan Marcell (Bandstand)
This is the first picture we ever took. It's from the @bandstandbway commercial in January 2017, when we didn't know how to swing dance, we had no idea what this show would mean, we didn't know whose story we would tell and we couldn't conceive of the vulnerable partnership we would create. We were strangers and now I trust him with my life. Thank you for carrying me through this process, literally. Thank you for letting me trust you. I cannot tell you all how much this man, artist, partner, friend has changed me. I've landed on his head & cried on his shoulder. I could not have asked for a more reliable, inspiring partner on #teamswag :) @ryanvandenboom#igotyoursix and #youdeserveit #vibes#muppet #dance #partners #swing#handstand #slapthebar #sugarpush#closingweekend
Jonathan Shew (Bandstand)
There are so many feelings and thoughts that come with today... with closing a show. This has been an absolute DREAM of a Broadway debut. This cast of humans has been what every cast wishes they could be. The kindness, the humor, the openness, the humbleness that everyone possesses has taught me so much and has been an absolute joy 8x a week and beyond. I will miss this every day. I will miss this group. I will miss my mustache.
Let's tell our story one more time.