Friday, December 16, 2016

Belated Send off to Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story

So it's Friday evening, and the show ended on Sunday afternoon. It's been a sort of distracted week for me, and I am just now sitting down to post the summary.

It was a sold out crowd, just as the previous Sunday was. Yet the crowd was not as enthusiastic as the first full house we had. They were not a dead audience by any means, but they didn't laugh as much or respond with as much to the show, or after the show.

To be fair, I don't think we did quite as well for them as we did the previous sell out either. There were a few trip ups, (I myself made a very minor one) and I think the energy was down.

That being said, it was still a decent, even if not amazing conclusion to a show that in many ways was different.

It began just a few days after Macbeth ended, so in some ways it felt like an odd extension of that show for the first few rehearsals. This is especially true given that everyone but one person was also in Macbeth. The total rehearsal time was only a month, (and coming after a show that had three months to rehearse, that was an adjustment for certain.)

I wore my base costume to the theatre and home every night, since I owned the whole thing.Because of this I was actually rarely in the dressing room. Being in the dressing room is a touchstone of the community theatre experience, and things feel off for me when it is missing. I kept my coat and personal items in there during the show, but that's about it. Never dressed or undressed in there during the show. And while I had my usual picture of Olivier there at what would have been my seat in the dressing room, I never taped it to the mirror as is my custom.

Due to the nature of the show, the only time I was in the green room was before the show, and intermission; nobody was off the stage long enough in this production to relax in the green room during the performance. That too made the whole show seem faster, and less official as well, (though it was the same for Night of One-ders.

Also, I have to say that in some ways, despite the changes in venue, script and cast, it sort of feels like a production of A Christmas Carol is never quite over for me. This was my sixth production of this story in some form, and no doubt there will be more. Many of the lines, and certainly the characters are the same for each one, and so though I still have to get off book each time I help tell this story, it sort of feels like a mere hiatus between such tellings. I've not been in this version of the story before, but once we got started on it, it didn't feel like it had been that long ago since I had been in a version. (Though it has been about three years, I think. Maybe more.)

Which is why I am almost always willing to be a part of this story on stage. The time may come when, for whatever reason I have to decline to be a part of a production of A Christmas Carol, but it hasn't yet. So timeless is the story, so loved by actors and audiences, and so tied in with a holiday that so many people revere that when in A Christmas Carol on stage, I feel part of Christmas as well as part of a show. (And I get to start celebrating the holiday a little earlier than most people when I am in a show like this.)

So, I do bid goodbye to this version, but it is only a matter of time, perhaps only a matter of less than a year before I help tell the story again.

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, everyone.

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