Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Stop on the Rehearsal Train

One that sometimes jumped the tracks over the last few weeks with A Thurber Carnival. You know the drill by now, I won't dredge it all up.

So is the show ready for opening night? Let's just say it was more ready tonight than it was last night. Beyond that, I can't really say. not as ready as it should be, probably.

The choreographer now is a self appointed quasi-stage manager, (even though we have an actual stage manager.) She gives out acting and costume notes as though it were her job or something. It amuses me a bit that she can't even bring herself to give these so called notes to me herself. She gives them to other people to give to me, despite being in the same room.

The last time I checked she had not been named director or even assistant director of this production, and until instructed otherwise, I will listen only to notes given by the actual director of this show, unless it pertains to a dance situation. (And even then, my ability to change anything now that rehearsals are over and we are opening the show is in doubt. My energies must be focused on acting now, giving that this is not a musical. Not sold as one, or advertised as one. No sheet music comes with the script. It is a straight show with a dance number at the beginning. Always has been.

That straight show had a small audience tonight. For a while, anyway. There was a right up being done for the local paper. Billed as a "review", the reporter left before the play was over. In fact, so did the entire mini-audience, which consisted of a few students from one of the college classes taught by one of the cast mates.

They must not have been impressed with what they saw, or otherwise just all happened to have had somewhere else to be at the exact same time. Or their teacher told them to go after all of his biggest roles were done, and not worry about the rest of the play. Either way, by the time Act Two rolled around, it was totally empty in the house. Not even the director was out there anymore. (She had moved up to the lighting booth to help give cues, and fix some sound problems.

And there were sound problems from the start. Musical cues did come, or came late during the word dance. Which means we have never run it with the correct music all the way through. Today, in front of the microscopic test audience was only the second time we had run the thing all the way through at all. It went as well as can be expected.

I didn't get the impression anybody was laughing, though of course I was not out there the entire time. People being out there did serve a purpose, though. Being watched, even by only a few people, does tend to sharpen a few rough edges. I just wish I could have had a little of that for Act Two.

Not that I screwed up in any major way, that I know of. In fact, most of my stuff went smoothly. Mitty was probably the best it has been. Everything seemed to go faster tonight, (though we started an hour late due to some construction.)

I have zero costume change issues. They all have oodles of time, and they only involve putting on or taking off some jacket or another, and a hat here and there. Easy street as far as that goes. Others have it rougher. But as I mention earlier this week, I came up with a base costume, and have not been told to change it. So there it is.

I may have been talking a little too fast tonight. It dawned on me during a few speeches. I made a concerted effort to speak slower in the second act.

The director's main note was that energy was low. I think that is probably true, and has probably been true for most of the rehearsals this week. It's a hard show to infuse energy into. If things had been different, we may have been able to, but I think everyone is just running on fumes at this point. I hope the energy of whatever crowd we get tomorrow helps out with that. But if not, I will be happy just to get the opening out of the way.

If I sound non-committal, I am. I am more concerned, and less excited about this opening than I have been in a while. They say things always work out in theatre. I cannot agree. That is not my prophesying a bad opening, and I of course wish against that. It simply means that I don't assume things that have me concerned now will just go away naturally. Even if the show went perfectly from a technical standpoint, there is so much baggage connected to it now, it feels more laborious than some shows.

Nonetheless I will do what I can. I can't say I will have 100% for this show, as I admit mental exhaustion has set in in regards to some things. But I will do what I can. I just wish I was more excited for this one.

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