Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Christmas Carol: Opening Night

Tonight was it. After two days off, we opened the show. But you wouldn't know we had two days off, as smoothly as it went. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, there were no major mistakes at any point. A few minor things, mostly involving props falling off of tables. But any previous problems spots to which I have been a party went well tonight. And I heard no mention of major speed bumps anywhere else.

And what of my much talked about "internalization"? Was it present tonight? Some. Not as much as the final dress rehearsal. It may be due to the natural ebb and flow of such things. It may be because, due to traffic I was later in getting there than I wanted to be. (I am always early, but not tonight...) Whatever the reason there was a bit more distance between myself and the characters in most places than is ideal to me.

That isn't to say, however, that there were no such moments. Despite an annoying costume issue on my part, the break up scene was probably the best it has ever been. I think we delivered it a bit different tonight, as the crowd looked on. It has more energy, and I think both I and my opposite were more emphatic in our delivery. Less casual in some places, and as a result more poignant. She even said she almost felt herself tearing up a bit. I rarely do that myself, but as I said, it was better. My natural is the best way to put it. It felt less like a presentation than it sometimes feels like. Maybe because I played Ebenezer as a bit less brooding, and a bit more confused about the turns of events. Not crushed exactly, because then he would not have been dumped in the first place. But tonight it just felt right to play him a bit less cool. And I think it paid off.

The Fred party scene, complete with word game, also felt more natural than ever before. That had suffered both from my tendency to be too fast as well as feeling a bit mechanical during rehearsal. Tonight however it was warmer. More fluid. Engaging. And it got a few laughs here and there. Not as many as it might have, but I can't complain too much.

And I believe I have at last mastered a system of organizing all of the crap from the Old Joe scene that allows me to easily carry everything off stage. I didn't drop anything. And that's twice in a row counting the final rehearsal. So, (knock on wood), it shouldn't be a problem anymore.

The crowd itself I think was more into it in Act Two than in Act One. But the second half is much more dynamic and moves a lot faster, as I have mentioned here several times. And though they did enjoy Act One, (I got some laughs as Fred in that first scene, whilst needling Scrooge with a "Happy New Year!"), I think ti took them a while to warm to this unique version of the story. So not a bad crowd, Just a bit cold at times.

Hopefully my half/vest with the dry rotted elastic belt will not give me as much trouble from here on out. I safety pinned that sucker during intermission. Hopefully it will not unbuckle again as it did during the dance scene. (Which also went well, incidentally.)

So we have proven that we can perform this show as smoothly as we have rehearsed it. We just need to keep doing that, and make it a little better each time. I generally enjoy Saturday performances the most. Will this weekend be the same? Check back tomorrow to find out, loyal blog readers.

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