Thursday, July 31, 2008

Show # 2

Lots to catch up on! This will be a long entry, broken up into easy, aesthetically pleasing chunks for your reading ease.
First things first...
The End (of the Full Monty)

No pun intended. You'll all be happy to know that we wrapped up this production with all actors and most of the scenery intact. In fact we suffered only a couple of injuries worth mentioning, since my last entry.
For those of you who saw the show, you know that one of the scenes features a real live (if comically small) car onstage. We had gutted and tweaked this machine into a fine piece of mobile scenery for our purpose, but apparently missed one jagged piece of metal on the inside passenger door. One of our actors, through the course of the scene, punctured his hand on this piece of metal and bled profusely. He continued with the scene, using another actor's extra costume piece (flannel shirt wrapped around the waist) to stop the blood flow. Once he was offstage, my intrepid ASM patched him up and sent him on his way.
Interestingly enough, there was a doctor in the house who was able to look at the actor's hand during intermission. He required stitches and a tetanus shot. I took my Leatherman pliers to the car after the show and tamed the sharp metal, but needless to say no one was happy. Don't let anyone tell you this profession is particularly easy or safe. Without any sarcasm at all, I will say that I think actors and stage hands are some of the most courageous people out there - and if you look at big shows like The Full Monty and things they have to work around, you must agree.
After that it was smooth sailing for the final night. Scene changes were a little rough. Matinees will do that to you. We held our closing night party at a fancy lodge at Iron Horse, passed around many hugs and congratulations and... the time has flown. It took such force and momentum to get the show up, I think we were all surprised how quickly it passed.
Definitely a case of 'What didn't destroy us made us stronger.' To say the least.


Pete 'n' Keely

The second show hasn't garnered much attention here a) because I haven't been writing and b) because it has simply been toiling quietly on without the drama and struggle of Monty. A two person musical comedy, PK features smaller but still way-snazzy scenery, fewer changes, a smaller stage, and overall a smoother, more cocktail-lounge and soft music kind of feel than the hard-pressed, rough steel of Show # 1.

We're going into techs today and the atmosphere is mostly calm. Calmer. My ASM and I are swapping roles for this one and she will be calling the light and sound cues while I handle things backstage on deck. She reads music better than I do... okay, let's be honest. She reads music. That's right. I've skated by doing musicals for years and I don't read music. It doesn't help so much anyway. You can assign a count or a beat that a light cue is supposed to go on, but it's really a gut process. You get the show in your body as much as an actor gets a dance move, and you feel it.

Either way, I'll be getting a sort of break, and also be appearing onstage. That's right. PK features an onstage Stage Manager's console as part of the set dressing, and that's where I'll be for much of the show. Go figure.

Wish us many broken legs!
Show #3

I have to say that doing straight stock all summer takes some kind of stamina, and I still don't know if I prefer it over doing show in rep. That way, you get all your shows open and basically have the daytime free. This way, you're always busy, but part of me has such a lazy streak, it's hard to say which is better.
While digging down into techs for P & K, we must already be thinking about rehearsals for Olympia Dukakis' Another Side of the Island, which begins rehearsals next Wednesday. I'm thrilled to be working on this project, but also a little out of sorts. I'm the Production Stage Manager and that big title makes a shiny impressive impression, but there are still some questions like..
"Olympia.." Oh wait, should I say,.. "Mrs. Dukakis.." Or.. "Ms. Dukakis..?"
Time for that 'Attitude is Everything' advice I've always lived on.
I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, hope to see you all at the next show.

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