Upon the second viewing, I was struck by how much of the show depended on the performance of Jason Hite, the lead playing Melchior Gabor. While this ensemble musical provides features songs for most of the characters, Melchior sings the songs involved in most of the movement of the plot.
Of course, he still could not have done it all alone. All the performances by the troupe were strong, and on second viewing, DH and I were thrilled to have the chance to check out the antics of the secondary characters on stage during the musical numbers. They were all performing at top level, with facial expressions, songs, and poses that would have been appropriate if they had owned the spotlight alone.
Miguel Cervantes (Moritz) and Zarah Mahler (Ilse) are two we especially enjoyed watching.
DH and I both wished we could have the cast album from THIS show, as the songs were performed even more passionately than on the Broadway recording that we have. I was happy to find that San Jose Rep had its digital scrapbook posted here. Not sure how long that will be available, but they've been kind enough to provide both print and web downloads. I'm going to make my own scrapbook pages from these! Though we'll try to see other versions of this show for comparison, I am afraid we may have already seen the best ever and others won't compare. Like the lyrics from the song, "Those we've known", we'll carry the memories from this show with us forever.
The performers were in the lobby again, and we took the opportunity to chat with Zarah, whose resemblance to our babysitter was so uncanny that it sent us rushing home after the first performance to check on our kids. DH offered to take my picture with Jason Hite, and I declined. Though he may well be famous some day, having a picture of him wouldn't mean all that much, since he would be unlikely to remember me. (I should have gotten a picture of his Mom/Grandmom, though!).
When we got home, I did some online research, and discovered there is another famous Jason Hite, known for his photography. Our Jason was in the Berkeley performance of "Girlfriend" last year (link to interview). I'll be watching for more news as his career grows.