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June 10, 2017:

THE INVITED FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had our final dress/tech and then our one and only final dress rehearsal with invited audience. You never know how these things will go, and yesterday was no exception.

I did get nine hours of sleep, got to catch up on a few things before leaving for the theater – I stopped on the way to pick up some packages. I arrived at the theater a bit after two and we began our final dress/tech around three-fifteen. The cast was in excellent form and sound and lighting all came together beautifully with only a few things to address. The whole thing ran very smoothly and right on time. Kay and I gave our notes and then we toddled off to the Eclectic Café for dinner with our producer and our two writers, my first time meeting the other half of the book writing team – she couldn’t have been lovelier. I had my penne Bolognese, which was excellent, and my small Caesar, also excellent. It was fun and we all had a good time.

Then we went back to the theater. We ended up with about fifty people, including our very own Grant Geissman and his ever-lovin’ Lydia, Barry Pearl and his ever-lovin’ Cindy and Barry’s best friend, Kenny, plus several others. At seven-thirty I went up and gave the usual pre-curtain dress rehearsal spiel and then the show began. The energy was great on the first number so we got off to a good start for sure. We got through the post first number scene fine and the second song went great. Then we had our first scene in a special needs classroom. One of the Asperger’s kids (one of the leading characters) does a show, a video show. In the script you never actually see a TV, just the camera. I decided right away I wanted a TV and live feed, so they got that and I blocked it so that certain parts of his show are really funny because of how they play in the close ups. Well, because one of our actors who brings the camera on and off occasionally gets the attached wire caught under the wheels of the video cart, the cart has been repeatedly running over that cord and last night it breathed its final breath before the show started. So we were without a key component in three scenes, which was a shame. They finally found a replacement cord before the fourth and final scene, so we had it for that so the audience at least knew what they’d missed in the earlier scenes. We had some line fumfers due, I’m sure, to nerves, but I thought the whole thing ran very smoothly. The male half of our writing team has been with us for a week but his wife was seeing what we’ve done for the first time. She was very sweet to me after – she said it was a shock finally seeing it come to life and I do think she thought we’d solved a lot of problems along the way, which made me very happy. The producer seemed pleased, too. I told them about the TV thing so they’ll be looking forward to seeing that tonight. The audience seemed responsive, especially given the difficulty of the early scenes (a character dies early on, and a lot of “issues” are presented along the way, issues various characters face) – I was just pleased to have given the story clarity and gotten rid of the melodramatic stuff for the most part, and parsed out the issues throughout the show rather than having them all lumped in in the first scene, which is the way it was originally. Thankfully the glitches happened at the invited dress and they can all be completely fixed for tonight – fixed and tested.

After that, I joined Barry and some folks at Little Toni’s but I was still way too full from dinner to eat anything other than having a bit of bread. We hung out for about an hour then I came home.

Today, I can sleep in, then I have some thank you notes to write for the cast, I’ll probably have a bite to eat, something small, then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, then I’ll relax until it’s time to go to the theater. I’ll probably get there at six or thereabouts. Then we play our opening night – I think the theater will be fairly full and I have lots of pals coming, so I’ll probably go out after for a bite somewhere. I will, of course, have a full report and perhaps even some photographs.

Tomorrow, we play our matinee and that ends this part of this journey, although I’m told the show will probably be coming back maybe even by the end of the year. Then we’ll have our Annual Tony Awards Bash right here at haineshisway.com.

Monday we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal, Tuesday we’re back with Dial ‘M’ for Murder, then we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal, then our stumble-through, then sound check and show. There are also many meetings and meals during the week.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, maybe have a small bite to eat, hopefully pick up some packages, then attend our opening night performance. Today’s topic of discussion: What are some of the technical mishaps you’ve witnessed in seeing shows? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had one excellent dress/tech and one pretty good invited dress. And on we go to opening night.

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