So, we moved into the performance space today. Goodbye air-conditioning. Goodbye Internet. Hello dirt, dust, bugs, heat, and vermin. We had the basic furniture in place, but the set pieces – the half walls, the doorways, and the stairs aren’t ready to go yet. But we could get some sense of things.
Of course, it took an hour and a half to get the headshots taken and some somewhat hastily costumed publicity stills taken – the kids are adorable. The gangsters look, well… let’s just say it’s way more 70s polyester than I’d ever put on a gangster. Then 'til the director got the set tweaked, and introduced her adorable dog Tally to everyone, it was a late start.
The pacing is glacial right now, which is so not what you want in a Farce. Combination of adjusting to the new space, and people starting to put their books down and beginning to work off book. All totally necessary to the process… but it’s a bit ugly to have to struggle through. It's running around 2.5 hours right now. I'd say we could cut half an hour off that and we'd be good... but we'll have to see what we end up running at.
Certainly not my best day, but the woman playing my sister Maude wasn’t there, so all of my timing goes out the window anyway. Director was telling me some night I wasn’t there (must have been Friday night) that the woman playing Carrie (the nursemaid) who’s done Opera for years, turned to the director in the presence of “Maude” and said “what’s up with Maude, is she retarded?” Um what? Something about the actresses delivery or facial expressions or whatnot. It is pretty clear that “Maude” is not naturally made for comedy. She has not much sense of timing. But in the words of my Friday night monologue “you make do with what you’re given.”
It’ll all be fine, but this next week is going to be long and hard and discouraging, as it always gets worse, before it gets better. The gangsters continue to be a hoot… if we can just get the lead woman to speed up her delivery a bit, and make it not quite so sing-songy I think we’ll have a really crowd pleasing show. We won’t have GREAT attendance numbers because a) it’s a play and they don’t sell as well as musicals, and b) no one ever heard of it before, which is a real publicity killer!
But onward we go! Seven more rehearsals ‘til we open!