First off, happy new marraige to Bondgirl, who was kind enough to offer many entries here in my absence (appearances here are still scant for the next two weeks).
Did Sam Tanenhaus earn his brownie during the past two weeks? Really, I wouldn’t know. There hasn’t been time to read. And this morning, my New York Times arrived without the Book Review section. (Am I on a list, Tanenhaus?) Nevertheless, when the play is over, we’ll keep Tanenhaus Watch alive until Sam shows that he can do better. These are the stats that dreams are made of.
The play: Last night, we had our tech run and, aside from a few technical glitches that we’ll be fixing this week, it went well. Kirk White, our designated techie, was very quick and helpful in giving us the lighting moods we were happy with. Kirk was very patient with the apparent “scale” of technical elements and “large cast” of four that we had included. In fact, Saturday night was the only time the stage manager and I raised our voices during our entire production run. “What the hell is going on?” I shouted when our opening music played through the first three minutes of the play (instead of the first minute) and when our curtain call drowned out the last line. Yes, these things happen. Fortunately, we found a solution by scaling down our sound FX a tad.
The actors all lit up like unexpected kilowatts coming back from the late 90’s California power crisis — this, I might add, after two full runthroughs that day. (Our play has no scene changes and has a good deal of physical comedy and crazed timing.) I was actually very surprised to see that the extra depth at the Exit at Taylor (compared to our rehearsal space, at least) really enhanced our blocking. It helped tremendously that we kept our rehearsal space to about 80% of the actual dimensions of the theatre. Our rehearsal space, however, was on a slight dais. I was very worried about this, because we had blocked a lot of action behind the desk. I figured it would show up alright, but I couldn’t always see the behind-desk action it at our rehearsal space. Fortunately, the Exit at Taylor’s theatre is set at a fixed level, it ended up working out.
The alligator painting arrived at the eleventh hour. We finally added it to the set yesterday afternoon and it really helped to sell some of our jokes and the chiaroschuro aesthetic subtext we attempted.
The show has turned out to be incredible. For all of the hardships, the lack of sleep, the depleting funds, and what have you, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I feel as if I’ve given birth to something. When I told our key stagehand during some unknown post-midnight hour, he replied, “What have you given birth to?” He’s right, of course. At this point, I’m horribly biased in favor of the play. We’ll see what happens when the audience reviews start trickling in.
(And, yes, Bondgirl, there are several James Bond references in the play.)