Opening of Pirates of Penzance was an Adventure!
We suffered a huge thunderstorm that rolled in around dinner time and let loose right before curtain. I just prayed that we would make it to intermission without suffering a power failure. And we did - make it to intermission. About five minutes into intermission there was an earthshaking thunderclap overhead, apparently lightning struck a tree next door and every single lighting instrument flashed to full bright.
We lost dimmers, lost control of the lights and the board and we scrambled to gain control before act two. No such luck. I went out onstage, informed the audience that we would be performing the rest of the show under emergency work lighting and told them to enjoy.
It was a moment of truth. Curt (director) used to comment that the scenery and such for the show is so sparse we could do it in a shopping mall. Moment of truth! Not a shopping mall, but hardly any lights. The actors did a fine job of carrying on, despite that anyone who crossed downstage of the proscenium line was in an impressively dark shadow. But the audience came along for the ride, and we got many nice comments at the party afterwards. It was catered by a playhouse alum and so we had a pirate ship cake, chocolate gold coins everywhere and some yummy exotic treats like stuffed grape leaves.
For "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" last night we borrowed a board and system from the community college and rigged twenty four instruments and some work lights - all in front of house to put light on the stage. We're waiting for repaired parts to come back to us before we can have the shows back to normal. It didn't look terrible... Fortunately Alan is used to working with whatever power and lights he has, from tour, so things are all right.
Ah, live theatre. Never a dull moment.