Well, here we go. The final matinee of Man of La Mancha is underway at Wayside Theatre, as I write this, and we have the closing night performance later today. We've got earlier curtain times for both performances to aid the Town of Middletown with its 4th of July parade without our matinee customers being trapped in town; and so that the fireworks celebration tonight doesn't disrupt the show. Audience numbers will be down for both shows as many are spending what looks like a typical 4th of July weather-wise out of doors today. My wife and I will be announcing the parade as soon as the matinee comes down and we get things started.
This is a tough show to say goodbye to. It was a great challenge to get it mounted and the response to our work as been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. We've had numerous standing ovations throughout the run, and we've done a lot of repeat business. The cast has been fantastic and continued to improve and hone their performances after the sensational opening night. Our young interns have done great work, and the entire ensemble is just a dream of a cast. Tom Simpson, Nancy O'Bryan, and R. Scott Williams as the three leads have done exceptional work, and this is one of those experiences that we will all hang on to in our memories for quite some time.
This last week I've been asked time and time again how the show performed at the box office. I've found myself saying the good news is that it did just about what we thought it would, but the bad news is that it did just about what we thought it would. Our predictions of seeing our box office decline by about 15% during these times of economic turmoil have proved to be true during this show, and look like they will hold true for the next one as well. All that proves is that we can read the tea leaves well. Our efforts at changing that equation haven't met with much success so far, so we'll keep plugging away and see how we do going forward.
Closing a show is always tough, but when you close one that has been so universally loved by the artists and the audience it is even more so. We took a gamble with this show and it looks like it will pay off in the long run. Now we just have to keep working for that long run to get here. Saying goodbye to a well loved show does not mean saying goodbye to your dreams.
Next up The Gin Game.