Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Show 10 and 11: The End of The World and The End of The Show

In the darkness, there lurks...

a maze of looming passages, secrets unknown...

cross, if you'll risk it...

and, uh, ominous stuff and thunder and... More darkness?

Okay, so the theatre's not that dark. But it is scary!

During the final matinee performance, one of the biggest and most obvious flubs of the run occurred. On stage right, there is this cute little table with wine and bread and a candle...

and it got knocked right over. Luckily, the wine was corked because there's actual liquid in it and hoo boy that would have been bad. (I'm bringing back the phrase 'hoo boy'. Spread the word.)

During that same opening sequence, I put my mask on and, for the first time, got a ton of hair stuck under it, rubbing against my face! Distracting! I guess it's still better than what some of the other girls had to deal with: one ate a feather.

Between shows, we had a potluck and drank 5 hour energy shots and I finished reading Harry Potter 5. There's a picture of me, in costume, with my head down, reading in the greenroom. I think that's what I looked like for most of the run.

We also took cast pictures onstage. There were two honorary cast members who joined us, the lead couple in both HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance. The last time they did Gondoliers, they were just engaged. This time, they brought their newborn.

Finally: the last show. Like every year, it's bittersweet. I never have to wear that tulle floral skirt ever again! But at the same time, I'll never get to perform List and Learn with the girls ever again.

The show went quite well, nothing got knocked over, and no one crashed through the set. During the middle of Act I, most of the girls were mulling around the dressing rooms, chatting and taking pictures. It was the last time our two leads would wear their wedding dresses, the last time we would wave good-bye to our men during the finale.

We were reminiscing so much that we were halfway through our cue song before someone piped up, "oh shit, we're on next!"

We ran. Out the dressing room, down the hall, up the stairs, down a looming passage behind the stage, all the way to stage left.

Some of the cast, including the male leads, were already there. "Nice of you to make it."

We did not miss our entrance, but hoo boy it was too close for comfort. Of course, it was the last time we'd ever have to worry about that entrance.

After the show, there were lists of things to be done before the cast party. The set had to be striked (stroke?), the dressing rooms emptied and cleaned, the costumes and props returned.

"And...I've done!"  

Show 8 and 9

The set was bouncing uncertainly beneath me.

That is a really really bad sign. I hadn't noticed it during Act I, but during the second act, I spend the two biggest dance numbers--the Cachucha and the Finale--on the top of the stairs towards stage right in a particular area that had become increasingly less sturdy. The plywood--ahem, I mean marble--had developed a bit of a spring. Right where I twirled, jumped and danced.

It didn't break, but with the hot lights beating down, with the music whirling and skirts flying and a flurry of movement surrounding me, I was struggling to keep a cheerful face. Hard to do when you think you may crash at any moment.

The area had extra support added for the next night, the nineth show. Backstage, we had the most serious conversation that the greenroom has ever seen--a debate on capital punishment--which was ridiculous because we're actors and what the hell do we know.

Onstage, one of the girls had trouble tying her skirt during the overture. It was too loose and kept sliding down, so as she twirled during a dance, she ripped it off and flung it aside. So now she's a stripper. See how that works?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Show 7!

Yet another earring was lost today. I think we're up to eight now that have flown off onstage.

The second week of shows always begins a little hesitantly. We've had two days without hairspray or character shoes or Bump-its. Rhythm is gone.

The cool thing though is it shows that a four month rehearsal period is worth it because the steps, the lines, the reactions are all subconsciously there, ready to go. Yay for muscle memory!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Show 6!

There is a mutual understanding that what happens in the girls dressing room, probably remains in the girls dressing room.

So instead, I give you: the dress

they made fun of me for taking pictuures of my lap
 the make-up:
this doesn't show the stage foundation because stage foundation is the devil and
everyone knows only Nikons can capture the devil.
 and the props:
the purses aka the bombs

and these are actually tulle skirts with flowers on them that we put on during the overture. 
We've finally got a system for putting them on so, in theory, no one ends up naked. In theory.

I would share more but...


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Show 4 and 5

During the matinee, one of the purses (which are more like miniature suitcases) was left onstage after the girls exit. So, during the following scenes, it sat there.


Taunting everyone who passed it, reminding them they made a mistake.

So when the ducal party entered with their bodyguards, swarmed by paparazzi, the bodyguards treated it like a bomb, panicked, and rushed it offstage.

The bomb.
 During the evening show, my voice was feeling a little bleh but I did the Cachucha and the Finale perfectly. That evens it out, right?

Show 3: Gala!

At the end of Act One, all the gondoliers get in their boat and sail away as the women wave and blow kisses.

But tonight, the two poles that mark the dock where the boat is...broke. One crumbled. The sphere on the top of the second one popped off and left several gondoliers scrambling to put it back. Then, as the two lead females threw their roses, both lead males missed.

The audience thought it was a hoot though.

I don't have a picture of the dock, but...

These are the easy sets. Then there are the stairs:

More pictures to come in future posts!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Show 2: Opening Night

During the first show, as all of the girls were handed beautiful red and white roses, one of the girls got a rose with no head. Just a plastic green stem.

So she sighed happily and smelled it.

Last night went much better. All the girls got their skirts on properly (um, over top of their regular dresses, I mean).

On the plus, I didn't mess up the finale choreography! And all the bags were taken offstage during Act II! And no one missed an entrance or fell on their ass onstage!

Err, well, almost. One of the chorus guys ran on late during the finale. Then, because he was on the wrong side of the stage when the choreography started, he had to rush to the other side and accidentally tripped. He was fine, just chagrined, and was up quickly.


But other than that!

Tonight is Gala, which is sold out, and if anyone screws up it will haunt them forever and ever and they'll never be allowed back in again. Or not. The point is it's a big deal and everyone dresses up after and pretends they're not sweaty and tired.

More importantly, it means I got new shoes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Show 1: Preview Night!

Preview Night of the Gondoliers began with...a very stressed out stage manager.

Big accidents on multiple bridges: the musical director, the male lead and one chorus member were all stuck in traffic.

The Cachucha, the insane dance I've already blogged about, wasn't looking very good last night so an hour before the show began, four of us were given brand new choreography.

Brand new choreography. Insert moment of blind panic here.

The show opened and, to be honest, I wasn't nervous. I was too busy going over the new steps in my head. Everything seemed to go well. One of the lead males--who did manage to arrive on time!--did not smack me in the face with his elbow like last night, and after some very stressful moments backstage trying to rehearse the new choreo in the bathroom, we headed onstage to perform the Cachucha.

Defying all odds, the four of us with new steps did them perfectly!

So of course I messed up the finale instead. But hey, that's preview night.

We're called Gondolieri

We all look like tramps.

I mean that in the nicest way though. Tonight was the Gondoliers dress rehearsal, and it was the first time everyone was in full make-up and costume, and wow, the female chorus is trash. In the best way possible.

Everyone was a little on edge for tonight's run because it's our only full run-thru in the theatre before we have an audience. The set has large stairs everywhere that make it difficult to move quietly or smoothly. They're supposed to be marble but they're actually plywood. Shh, don't tell.

A lot of minor things went wrong. Before the show tomorrow, we're re-blocking the major dance number because it looked too squishy.

Squishy, squishy, squishy.

I shouldn't blog when I'm tired. Excuse me as I go scrape off my tramp make-up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

fourteen layers later

For my momma's birthday, I made a cake. It looked like this:

And then it looked like this:

And then like this:

The end.