As with every show, this is the busiest time for me. Saturday, we had our all-day cue-to-cue rehearsal, where we slowly move from one lighting cue to the next. It went very smoothly -- but it usually does with our awesome resident lighting designer Ken Zinkl...
Then Sunday, we had our "sitzprobe" rehearsal, the first time the cast sings with the band. That's usually the hardest rehearsal (by far) on me personally. I have to teach the band all the little nuances and subtleties that we've brought to the score over the last two months -- and I have to do it with the entire score in about four hours. And there are, like, forty songs in this crazy show! It's grueling for me. But again, this time it went pretty smoothly. Our band sounds amazing -- wait till you hear them!
This is also the time during which I have to get all the last-minute details done -- getting change for the box office, picking up the programs from the printer, printing (at Kinko's) copies of my analysis chapter for the lobby, picking up tickets, and lots more. All those things nobody even notices that I do to get a show open... And for this show, I also have to go pick up live daisies every Weds. of the run, for the Tribe to give to the audience as they enter the house. Meanwhile, Ann (house manager) and Vicki (box office manager) are both preparing things as well.
Last night was the first time we ran the whole show with lights, costumes, props, the band, microphones, and everything else. This can be hard on the actors, after so long working in rehearsal without all those distractions. But this cast was ready for it, and last night went really well. I had lots of nitpicky notes for them afterward, but there were really no big problems. So tonight and tomorrow night, it's just about me fine-tuning what I can and then turning it over to the theatre gods. We preview Thursday, and then open Friday. I can't wait!
Also last night we had our first Tribal Council. Our old box office manager Steve, who passed away a few years ago, gave me an Indian talking stick the last time we did Hair. (The idea is that at a council, only the person holding the talking stick is allowed to talk.)
This show is unlike any other show in about forty different ways. But one of those ways is our pre-show rituals, which we started last night. We warm up vocally, then we have the ceremonial Folding of the Tarp (this big stage covering we use at the end of Act I), we do our "Salute the Sun" ritual, then we sit down in a big circle and have a Tribal Council. Each night, one of the Tribe gets to talk, and says whatever they want, about the show, about themselves, about this experience, whatever...
It wasn't until last week, when I really got to see the show up and running, that I was reminded just how unusual this show is. I've gotten so used to Hair over time that I forget how weird it is, and what a wild experience it is for audiences. Nothing about it functions like a regular musical. Or even a regular piece of theatre. It really is its own thing. Come see for yourself -- but get your tickets early!
Lots to do, but I had to check in with my blogosphere buddies...
On with the Groovy Revolution!