Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why I Smiled, Laughed and Laughed Again

Traviata #4 was this evening.

As I was wending my way through the halls and passageways to the dressing room, the stage manager pulled me aside. "I want to talk to you," he said.

Uh oh, what did I do now?

"I wanted to let you know that... [dramatic pause] we've put weights in the bottoms of the glasses to help keep them from tipping."

Whew, is that all?

He said we were all doing a great job. That's nice to hear. I mean, what we do isn't very difficult (except for the spillage issue) but still, it was nice of him to say that. Thanks, Stage Manager!

Mild drama pre-curtain: No one had seen one of the singers, someone who has a part, which, coincidentally, is the only part in the opera that has no cover. (A cover is an understudy, someone who learns the part just in case the singer can't sing a performance.) So there was a little excitement there for about 3 minutes, until someone confirmed that this singer was, indeed, in the theater.

Whew again.

So here's why I smiled:

Pre-curtain, we were all in our places, which means everyone backstage except Liz (Violetta), who is laying (lying?) on the table. Before the curtain rose, Michael (Alfredo) ran out and kissed her. Isn't that sweet? It was an awwwwww moment.

Here's why I laughed:

So the chorus and supers come slowly onto the stage. Then during a rest in the music the chorus starts slowly moving to a count of 8. Some fast music starts in the middle of that but they ignore it... they freeze, there's another rest in the music, then the lights come on and they move normally and start chatting, laughing, etc - you know, party noise. That's when the supers move forward and set the table. So today, just as they went from silent to partying, one of the guys in front of me sneezed. I don't know how he held it in, but he did. He waited until the very moment that the orchestra began playing loudly, and then..... AahhhhCHOO! So as I moved forward with the flowers I laughed. The entire chorus is on stage laughing and partying so it didn't matter, but after half a second I was like, "Wipe that grin off your face and look serious!"

I laughed again after the drink serving because we had no spills! Although I did learn that one of the prop people lost a trayfull backstage when they were setting them up for us. But that doesn't count!!!

Liz sounded fabulous tonight. I know, I sound like a broken record. All you young'uns out there, think of "broken record" as a skipping CD that plays the same bit over and over... get the idea? I wish I could've stayed for the 3rd act but the pizza I had for dinner wasn't sitting well in my stomach so I decided not to hang around.

Everyone looks tired. You'd never know it from their performances, but as soon as they leave the stage they droop with fatigue. It reminds me of those first few months of parenthood. At least they have the opportunity for several hours of sleep in a row.

Next and final performance: Saturday afternoon. And my Internet Friend will be there!!! Today while I was standing there sweating on stage at the end of Act 2 I realized that I can see the people in the standing room section, where my friend will be. I thought about what it's going to be like next week - I'll be scanning the crowd for him and then scrambling up there to find him during intermission. I'm really looking forward to meeting him!

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