Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The set that ate Bigfork

Well I haven't been able to do a step-by-step update of the whole rehearsal and production process for "Helloy, Dolly!" but suffice it to say that it's been ridiculous where scenery is concerned. The show was designed far too large for our space, keeping in mind the room we have backstage, scene changes and the fact that there is a limited shop staff, and we have three other shows to think about. Everyone was on edge for the whole process, actors included, especially once we got to work with the scenery, only to find that quite a bit of it wasn't sturdy.
Most of the problems got fixed by the handful of guys in the shop who Do know what they're doing, but despite all that, last night at our opening a piece of scenery still fell down.
Yes, fell down.
Right before Dolly is supposed to enter the Harmonia Gardens restaurant and perform the title number of the show with the waitstaff, the waiter who announces her coming ran up the stairs, the center archway teetered and fell backwards, just striking the backdrop. It was like a movie - there was a huge, collective audience gasp, the actors stood for a beat - the actor playing the head waiter glared (in character!) at the waiter as if he'd knocked over the archway, then the waiter said, 'She's Here!" and Dolly entered and the audience applauded. They performed the number to much audience applause and enjoyment.
I hate to see shows go wrong - but it makes a good story. Plus, no one was hurt - so while it's unfortunate, I can bet no one will ever forget that opening night.

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