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June 8, 2017:

TECHNICOLOR TECH

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we survived our second day of tech. It moved a little more quickly than the first day and we did finish, so that was good.

I got just under eight hours of sleep, answered e-mails and had telephonic calls, then I headed over to the theater. I first stopped next door at AMP, a musician’s rehearsal space, where our band was rehearsing. I heard a couple of numbers and they sound fantastic – especially the fiddle player. Good stuff.

Then I went to the theater, but the general manager and I left to go bring some lunch back. We went to that Chinese chain – what’s it called? Oh, yes, Panda Express or Panda Something. I know everyone likes it a lot, but I had some beef dish and some chicken dish and thought it very below average. I don’t think I need to have it ever again.

The actors arrived at one and we picked up from where we’d left off, halfway through the show. We tended to go cue to cue except where there were several internal cues within scenes – those we tended to run in full. We finished, everyone took their break, and at about 5:15 we actually managed to begin a run-through (one actor missing) in costumes and thankfully other than it being a little low energy, it went fairly smoothly for a first time through without stopping. We made it all the way up to the final scene, so that was good. I ran to the actors and just privately gave a few small notes. They’re still playing and filling in lights but it’s looking very nice. The costumes look nice, too. I’ve adjusted a few things, mostly spacing and positioning, and I’m happy with the way it all flows.

I also gave some small suggestions to both lighting and sound. Sound people do sound weirdly these days, at least for me it’s weird. If there’s more than one person onstage, especially if there are groups – they bring up each person’s mic only when they speak. I think that’s a very dangerous game because invariably you miss the first word or two while the sound is coming up. I asked for them not to do that as much as possible – it’s too weird hearing the volume come up to its proper level.

After, I stopped at Gelson’s and got a little pasta with meat sauce from the hot food bar – just about four ounces of it, then I came home and ate that whilst catching up on e-mails and messages as well as messages and e-mails. I did the event page for the Kritzerland show, which always takes quite a bit of time, all the while listening to Mr. Stravinsky’s music and music making. I nuke the stuff I know I won’t return to and keep the stuff that I know I’d like to listen to again. Then it was time to write these here notes.

Today, it’s more of the same. I’ll stop at the mail place to see if anything came in, then I’ll mosey on over to the theater around eleven-thirty or so, picking up something to eat, probably a sandwich or something, so I can have some food prior to the cast arriving. From ten to one the band will be playing through everything, mostly for sound purposes. It’s kind of a sitzprobe sans actors because we don’t have that ninety minutes to spare. Then the actors arrive at one and immediately get into costumes and mics – then we’ll sing through the opening for sound levels, and then we’re doing a full-on dress rehearsal without stops. I know the sound portion will be rough and I’m sure the cast will be adjusting as they go along, in terms of hearing the band for the first time.

After that, we’ll break, and then we’ll run stuff with the band and singers that was troublesome. The band leaves at five and at five-fifteen we’ll begin another run-through, with just piano, but mostly to let the cast get through it again and to give lights and sound an additional time through – and it helps the stage manager, too, as his cue calls are extremely important. So, a long day. I may or may not stop by the Group Rep to spend a bit of time there, but probably not.

Tomorrow we have a full dress in the afternoon, then we have our invited dress rehearsal. I don’t think we have more than about fifty people coming to that, but it will be helpful to have the cast have people to play to. Saturday is our first performance – we have about 230 people coming so far and I suspect there will be lots more than that – the theater seats 350. Sunday we play our matinee and final performance for this iteration of the show – we have over 200 people coming to that one. Then we’ll have our Annual Tony Awards Bash. Monday is our first Kritzerland rehearsal and the start of another endlessly busy week.

Well, dear reader, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hopefully pick up packages, hear a bit of the sitzprobe, eat a sandwich, and then we’ll have our full dress rehearsal, followed by a break and second run-through. Today’s topic of discussion: What is the most beautiful production you’ve ever seen on stage? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have survived the second day of tech in glorious Technicolor.

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