This and That: Oliver…A Dream Come True.

Good morning! Muchas gracias. Merci beaucoup. Molte grazie. Dankeschön. Dankjewel. Muito obrigado. Teşekkür ederim. Благодарю. Stokrotne dzięki. Mahalo. Arigatou gozaimasu. 谢谢. From Spanish to Russian, Hawaiian to Mandarin Chinese, the words are the same: THANK YOU! I’m out of superlatives regarding words of praise for Biloxi Little Theater, along with my dear CAST and CREW, for making OLIVER a dream come true! Directing this musical was the last thing on my theatrical bucket list. And due to your talents, patience, and creativity, I can now check it off the list.

It was such a blessing to see so many young people coming up through the ranks—the new “heir apparents” to the roles played by those of us a bit long in the tooth. Coastal theater will wither and fade without young blood rising in the ranks. What a travesty that would be! Carry on, dear young friends, carry on. Dear cast, it was a joy watching you take your roles and make them your own. To sing the songs with gusto. To dance with abandon, a smile on your face for all to see. THANK YOU, dear ones, THANK YOU!!

And a special THANK YOU to my fantastic crew!! Mary, Christopher, Cherie, Maury, Chris, Shawn, Korrie, Brandon, and Melissa, your talents and professionalism helped make OLIVER the sold-out, smashing success it was. Hats off to you! One other THANK YOU. Carolyn Martin, had you not been there saying, “It will be okay. Don’t worry. I’ll figure something out,” I would have been lost in a world that was a wee bit bigger musically than I ever imagined.

When a show—either one that I’m in or one that I’ve directed—closes, I know its closing is official when I put the script on a shelf in the garage. BLT’s OLIVER now resides with 47 years of scripts. In the future, on lonely, rainy afternoons, or perhaps lovely, moonlit nights, I flip on the garage light, look at all the dusty scripts, and remember. I’ll remember all the shows—the music, the lights, the stages, the props, and the costumes.

But most of all, I’ll remember the people I met during those years, many of whom became lifelong compadres. I’ll also think of those dear friends now part of Heaven’s theatrical troupe. I’ll remember them with a smile and a tear.

And one day, when you, my theatrical friends, are my age, and I’m long gone, I hope you too will look at your theatrical “shelf” and remember your days on Coastal stages with fondness and a smile. Here’s wishing for each of you God’s continued blessings upon your lives. In a world gone mad, please remember that little acts of kindness and love go a long way. All my love to you, Anthony Wayne Kalberg.

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76Laura, Stagelegs and 74 others