In yesterday’s story, I wrote about the lead-up to and the actual performance of our first two shows of the Secret Panto Society production of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ As promised/warned, here’s part two:
- “It Takes a Village.” To make a village, the village of Windy Bottom, a lot of work was required. Early on, our Artistic Director, Steve, asked for volunteers to paint the scenery. As long as all I’m asked to do is cover a surface, I’m an excellent painter. So I showed up a few times and laid down base coats on sheets of plywood. On his winter break, J the Elder even came along and we painted the Giant’s table. Luckily for everyone, SPS has an outstanding group of people who can actually paint fancy stuff. Here are a couple of photos of the cottages belonging to the Dame and to Granny:
To see more photos of the stage and the theater, click here: http://sdrv.ms/UXa6Qt.
- “It Takes a Village, Part Deux.” All told, we had about 40 people on stage at different times. But behind the scenes, we that number of folks and then some. You know when you watch the end credits of a movie (you do stay for the credits, right?), you see listings for key grip, dolly grip and Poli-Grip. In theater, you have plenty of support staff as well. We had the hair gang, the make-up gang, the men in black, lighting crew, music and sound effects guy, the pyro and flash-bang guys, we even had caterers for our two Saturday performances. And then there are the front of house staff and publicity folks and costumers and I don’t know what else. All I can say is thank goodness SPS has such a wide range of talents to draw on. Here are a few shots of the hair and make-up gangs. I tried taking shots of the men in black (the scenery movers) but, for some reason, you can’t see anything.
To see more make-up and hair shots, click here: http://sdrv.ms/XiyWcp.
- “Cold and Flu Season.” My greatest worry (other than the salsa I wrote about yesterday) was getting sick. See, we don’t have understudies – although rumor had it that Director Kate and Producer Dave were hoping that someone wouldn’t be able to make it and they would then swoop in to save the day. The week before our first performances – and just one day before we did our dress rehearsal – our Granny got the flu. A real trooper (trouper?), she made it to – and through – the dress rehearsal. Then, midway through our performance week, our baddie, Slimeball, and our Singing Harp got the flu. And then Mrs. Mopp started losing her voice. Even the Dame started coming down with a cold the last weekend. Fortunately, every one was made of tough stuff and pulled off some great performances.
- “Don’t Get Cocky Kid!” Wednesday night, after we had already given our first three performances, and I’m feeling pretty cool about this gig. After all, I hit my lines in the first three shows and I even survived the dancing. Just before we went on stage, Sandy asked me how I was doing. I said, “I know my lines. I know my cues. I almost feel bored.” Then, karma struck. In scene 5, Sandy and I exchange innuendo-laden remarks. I have a three-line soliloquy and as I’m delivering the last line, I realize I’ve forgotten to deliver the second line. So I just plow on through with the last line. As we get backstage, I say to Sandy, “I completely skipped a line.” She says, “And you called me the wrong name.” I hadn’t even realized I’d done that. From then on, I had an ‘edge,’ and I worked to get each and every line – and word – right. All I can say is with live theater, you never see the same show twice.
- “Red Carpet Season.” At the cast party after our last performance, Kate handed out awards for various achievements. There were awards for the ‘Best Coping With a Last-Minute Change,’ ‘Best Improv,’ and ‘Best Delivery of Innuendo,’ which was won by Sandy, aka Mrs. Humbug, my love interest. Even I won an award:
You’ll notice it says ‘Best Amateur Dance Effort,’ not ‘Best Dance.’ What can I say, I tried. Damn that salsa!
In conclusion, I had a blast.We gave seven performances, six of which were nearly or completely sold out, and our show was seen by more than 2,300 people. The feedback we got from them, truly inspired us to do our best.
Now I can’t wait for auditions for the 2014 SPS production. It’ll be the 30th anniversary and to celebrate, they’re doing a show they’ve never done before. It’s called… Well, you’ll just have to wait and see.