Working out of sequence, as it seems we must always do because of scheduling issues, we’d started earlier in the week with sections from Act II.
Last night we went back to Act I to set those initial numbers at the top of the show: “Search Throughout the Panorama,” “Now Harken to my Strict Command,” and the reprise of “Search” which introduces the Sons of Gama. We got a lot accomplished in our fleeting two hours of rehearsal time. I must say, it bodes well for our production that the cast was prompt, prepared, and focused. They quickly learned the material for all three musical numbers and one scene. And we even had time to go back and run through everything at the end of the evening.
As is often the case, some of the choreography was changed in the process. Sometimes what seems to work in my imagination simply doesn’t work onstage. This is to be expected and is part of the process — so we stop and fix it. I tackled a few of these problem spots last night and have a few more in mind to address at a later date.
We also had some fun imagining some special effects. I’d spent quite some time in conversation with our lighting designer, Chris Berneir, to be certain I understood how the effect would best be achieved. It’s a complicated collaboration between staging, lighting, sound, and costumes to make this sort of thing work. But I think we’re all on the same page, and that it will work beautifully. However, it’s yet another one of those things which cannot be tested until we are in the theater the week before performances and can see all the elements come into play at once.