Rough night. April 22.
One of the actors tripped over a set piece and got banged-up a bit.
A different flute player. No pit piano player so Paul Abbott played and directed. This kind of thing happens in community theatre, especially with groups that run their shows for more than two weekends. It’s difficult to find musicians who get a lot of gigs who will be available for all 16 or so nights of rehearsals and performances. The little changes can throw the actors, but these kinds of experiences can make them better performers.
We were scheduled to start at 7:00PM, but didn’t really get underway until after 8:00PM as the crew was still working on the set.
The opening of the show is wonderful. The Liebeslieder singers (Jillian Drapala, Julie Brown, Shardai Davis, Mark Byars, and Brian Townsend) are great fun to watch because they are having a lot of fun, or at least it looks as though they are.
Technical Director James Mayne has added some overhead mikes and, from the back of the house, I could hear pretty much everything pretty well. And my hearing’s not the best. Assistant Director Rich Bulleri was sitting in the front row and, because the orchestra was immediately in front of him, he had a hard time hearing when the orchestra was playing. Mayne plans to add some more mikes and that will help. The sound baffle, a short wall that stretches across the house in front of the orchestra, still needs to be put in place. That will also help with the sound.
Many of the costumes are spectacular, especially the gowns. They’re beautiful. The costume crew is hard at work finishing various pieces and so we saw some actors with great clothes on their upper bodies and bluejeans for pants.
Speaking of pants, they provided one of the lighter moments of the rehearsal. Petra (Chelsea Burke) and Henrik (Michael Suchyta) “get it on” at one point in the show and, afterwards, Petra offers to button up his fly. This was taking Chelsea a bit of time and, to riotous laughter, she ad-libbed that she hasn’t ever done this before. Later she was overheard telling Mike that she wanted to go “practice the pants.” That also got a lot of laughs.
With a lot of stopping and starting we got through the first Act sometime around 10:30PM. Director Harold Jurkiewicz gave notes and sent everyone home to rest. With tongue in cheek, Mark Byars suggested we could run Act I and send the audiences home with little summaries of Act II.
There’s a lot of good stuff in Act I. We just need to get it together. We go at it again tonight, starting with the Act I finale and moving on to Act II.
Welcome to the theatre.