Our Preview Performance is one week from tonight.
We’re about to graduate from rehearsing in conference rooms and rehearsal halls to performing on the magnificent stage at the Carolina Theatre with costumes, props, make-up, sets, lights, and a full orchestra. And we’re ready for the upgrade!
Tonight we ran the show in a cramped room under fluorescent lights. We ran everything, beginning to end. The simple truth is that we could open tomorrow if we had to. I’m not saying we were perfect tonight. But we have a show, with music and choreography, that tells a story and entertains.
Our job over the next week is to not only add all the theatrical trappings, but to cut the fat and eliminate all the little mistakes from our performance. Pace could be more brisk. Volume and energy could be enhanced. Confidence could be boosted. There are a few remaining moments of confusion which need to be ironed out. All these things and more are on our “to do” list for the coming days.
Here’s a brief synopsis of what will happen in the upcoming whirlwind week before we meet our first audience.
Friday night we’ll have a final run-through of the show in a rehearsal hall. I have some small staging issues to work out, but it will otherwise be a beginning-to-end performance of the show.
Saturday is the final workday in the warehouse — during which the set will be completed, deconstructed, and prepared for packing and transporting to the theater.
Sunday is sitz-probe. The cast will sing through the entire score with the orchestra. No staging, no scenes, no choreography. Just music.
Sunday evening the set will be packed into the truck.
Monday morning the set will be transported to the theater, unloaded, and reconstructed on the stage. Lights will also be hung and focused and all sorts of other technical aspects of the show will begin to come together.
Monday night we’ll run the show on the set with no costumes and only piano accompaniment. During this run-through I’ll begin to establish lighting cues and levels with the lighting designer and stage manager.
Tuesday night is when it really starts to look like a show! Costumes and make-up will be added. And we’ll run the show with a full orchestra. Meanwhile, we’ll contine to refine lighting levels and cues.
Wednesday night is Final Dress Rehearsal. This should be just like a performance — and it’s our last opportunity to solve any remaining issues.
Thursday night is a Preview Performance. We will have an audience! Tickets are discounted because it is a “preview.” Technically it’s still a rehearsal and there’s always the chance that we’ll stop the show to resolve an issue if necessary. Chances of stopping are slim, but it’s a possibility. The other big point of tonight is that we’ll begin to get the feel for how the show plays in front of an audience. We’re hoping for a large crowd so please join us if you can!
All that happens in one week. And then…
Friday is our offical Opening Night!
Saturday is our second performance. Please note that Saturday’s showtime is 7 PM (as opposed to 8 PM on Thursday and Friday).
Sunday is a 2 PM matinee — and our final performance. Immediately after the show we’ll deconstruct the set, gather up the costumes and props, and pack everything into a truck to return to the warehouse.
That’s ten days in total. In a mere ten days we’ll pull it all together, put it out there for all to see, and then pack it all up again.
Theater is a fleeting thing. Don’t let it pass you by!