Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finally, Opening Night!

Opening night was good. We had about 60, which in this theatre looks small, but is a huge crowd for the company's usual venue. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. They laughed at a lot of the stuff and even the people who said they didn't fully understand it (it's a very weird play) said that they still enjoyed it. A lot of people were surprised to see the bird was actually real, which was funny, And they loved the puppets. When it got intense in Act III, you could have heard a pin drop. They were a very good opening night audience. Next weekend's houses are shaping up to be much fuller, so this is good that they'll get to build up to it. Was it flawless? No. That's nearly impossible. But it was damned tasty. We'll see what happens when people have off from work and school tomorrow and have a chance to rest before the show. Tonight they were tired. They had a long week of late rehearsals. But they pushed through and had a very solid opening night.
The show will continue to grow and they will continue to find funny things to do and say, which I love. I have such a great mix of older, more experienced and younger, fearless actors who feed off of each other in perfect balance. Given room to play, the younger folks did, and when the older folks saw how much fun they were having, they started to play, too (though truth be told, one or two of them were playing right from the start). Gladys did a new thing with her hair in Act I tonight that was just hilarious (she looked just like Cindi-Lou Who). My Fred Bailey continues to make the most of his smaller roles and has several of the funniest moments in the show. Henry's propeller-beanie is absolutely brilliant, with a very shiny SP propeller, and the extra goggles, glasses and hats I bought make a huge difference, epecially in Acts I & II.
I need the extras to be more natural, especially in Act II, where the traffic pattern has grown increasingly bizarre and cartoonish. The show is cartoonish enough without having people looking like they're circling O'Hare, waiting for fog to lift. The animal shadow puppets still aren't quite right. There should be two of each and the students who made them didn't realize that three elephants, trunk-to-tail were inappropriate. Or that a whale would not need to board the Ark. And the extras puppeteering don't realize that the animals should be walking to the ark, rather than magically floating in slo-motion toward it. Still, it has its surreal charm. Hopefully, by the time the conference attendees see it, we will have fixed the problems with the extras. Their costuming bothers me, as well. We need to throw some vests and hats on these guys. Oh well, all notes for my producer and extras wranglers.
I'm tired, but glad the show has opened and my love affair with most of my cast continues.
As always, more anon...

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