Yet another Wayside Theatre blogger makes his blog debut. Carl Randolph is a wonderful actor and great friend, who just completed a brilliant performance as Joshua Chamberlain in The Killer Angels. Check out Carl's Corner, I will.
Today marks the end of the run for The Killer Angels here at Wayside Theatre. It has been an exciting and challenging one. While we haven't performed to the numbers we would have liked (gas prices and some really stupidly written reviews contributed to that) the folks who have seen the show have been truly appreciative and vocal about their thoughts.
My favorite recollection of a conversation happened last weekend. We had a group, The West Point Society of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, in attendance. All former West Pointers and mostly retired. During intermission one of the gentelmen approached me and said he was really moved by the show. He said he had spent the entire first act sitting between two former classmates and brother officers and when the act broke, they all had the same thought. How difficult it would be to contemplate making war against each other.
It's comments like that that keep me in this crazy business.
As we move on to murder mystery land with Sleuth I want to extend a hearty thank you to Carl, Paul, Eric, Larry, Jim, Jamie, Peter, David and Devon. Nine wonderful actors and men who fought the battle six times a week. I'd take any of them to war with me, anytime.
Reviews are beginning to come in for The Killer Angels. The score so far two decent reviews and one lousy. Unfortunately, two of the papers don't publish their content on-line or I'd link to all three of them just to give anyone reading this an idea of how differently three individuals could respond to the same performance of the same play.
We'll we're open. Last night was a magical night in the theatre. Great crowd. Lots of anticipation about the show. The cast looked ready to go after our short afternoon rehearsal. We made some nice adjustments technically and then It's Show Time.
Whew! We headed into the wind today and I think we came out ahead. Still digesting it. Two preview performances, two entirely different audiences. The first show received a rousing standing ovation. The second show was better overall but the audience seemed a bit more remote towards it.
Ok, today is the day we find out what we have here. We have two preview performances. Previews are performances prior to the offical opening night, which is tomorrow. This is what this process is all about. Putting the show in front of strangers who pay money and assessing their reactions.
Ok, tech day is kind of a misnomer as for many shows here at Wayside Theatre it is actually more like tech week. We push hard to add elements so by the time we get to the Thursday of tech week we can focus mainly on light and sound cues. This show has a bunch, the most this team has handled since they arrived in May. I have to say they've done a great job and we are about 80% there. We'll try to close that 20% today. First audience tomorrow.
Tonight was our first rehearsal on the stage. This is always a big night with equal parts eager anticipation and equal parts dred by everyone. We've been working for two weeks in a rehearsal space that approximates the stage but not quite, using substitute rehearsal props instead of the real thing. Typically I call this night "fuss & fit" as we spend time fussing around with props and fitting the action to the real scenery.