Well, the winner seems to be BUS STOP so that’s what it will be for now I may change back to DonnaBlogs if I really feel like it’s too much of a switch. But we’ll audition the name and see. So Bus Stop will be the blogs about Priscilla while in Toronto.
Just wanted to talk about our first day on stage which was yesterday. On my, y’all, when you have a show this technically intense, the tech days go so slowly. We were in the theatre working for 7 1/2 hours in total (plus a 1 1/2 hour dinner break) and we got through the first 15 minutes of the show. We didn’t even get to the bus coming out. Let me give you a picture of what tech days are like – for you wonderful civilians who come to see us do what we do. Every aspect of the show is teched (all technical aspects are gone through with a fine tooth comb). Every light that comes on, changes, goes off, or moves has to be plotted and gone through – is it bright enough, is it covering the right area – if not, do we move the light or move the actor, what creates the best picture, how long should that fade out or fade up be, etc. Same with the set – should that curtain be slower when it comes in or opens, should the runway come out quicker? It’s also when we figure out how long scenes changes actually take. It’s when you realize it takes longer to move a set out of the way when it goes back stage, so the cast can’t preset themselves behind a curtain in time to be revealed there when the curtain rises. And on and on. Every detail must be worked out and when it’s not right, you go back and do it again and again until it’s right.
This show is so technical, we have to do things over and over again to figure out the right role of events to make things as smooth as possible. Plus there are a bunch of flying moments – yes, flying as in people – so we have to tech things around them, then go back and put the flying folks in because they can’t be hanging around in the air for long periods of time. Now I know you may think that’s just because of the height but no . . . oh no, my friends. The ladies who play the Divas in the show have to wear harnesses that go around their waists and have “stirrups” that go between their legs. So basically their weight, once in the air, is suspended by their . . . um . . . tenderest area. Well after doing a number even once, they can’t really feel their legs, not to mention their . . . well, that’s a lot of pressure in a place that shouldn’t have that much pressure on it. Those people who think that what we do is all glamour should try being sexually assaulted by a leather strap for an hour every day. Yeesh!
But I have to say, seeing the sets is so amazing. Before we began the rehearsal, they gave us a show and tell of the bus. They showed us all the tricks – the colours changes the bus makes, the way it comes toward the audience, how it spins around, how the one side opens up completely. It’s amazing. Then we stared the technical rehearsal. For a chunk of the first couple of scenes, there is a “curtain” of lights and what the creative team keeps calling flitter (sort of black, shiny, 40-feet long tinsel) that is like another character in the show. What this curtain does with lights that change colour, follow each other, create shapes, etc, is astonishing. A couple of cast members and I were marvelling at that fact that our brilliant designers came up with and programmed this into the show and, more specifically, this curtain. The pictures and shapes it creates, I have never seen before. It’s mind blowing. And so incredibly smart from a design point of view. Everyone is going to be waiting for the bus but what the team has given the public while they wait is the ultimate distraction. You don’t even think about where the bus is because you have this incredible scenic magic that actually lets you think about and watch the story and not worry about the bus until it appears. I’ve been constantly amazed by how clever this group is. All this to say, the audience is going to get their money’s worth and then some.
What was also really fun yesterday is they were unpacking all of the costumes downstairs and a bunch of us were walking around looking at them. There are barely words. It’s such a free for all of fabulousness. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of some of the head dresses. I wanted you guys to have a look and get as excited about it as we are.
Just a little something to whet the appetite. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, my people. Get your tickets!