One interesting thing that I've noticed lately is, doing a show so many times allows you the opportunity to view the show from different perspectives. Because no two theaters are the same and we go from one to the next usually daily, it keeps cast and crew on their toes. Constant adjustments have to be made for space, as in backstage, onstage, over the stage with lights, drops and scenery. Even dressing room space becomes an issue, as I mentioned in a previous installment, we've had a theater where the dressing rooms were three flights up...not exactly convenient. So there are many things everyone has to think about and adjust to in each theater or else not so nice things can start to happen.
But it can be a real treat in some of these theaters to watch the show in the wings from different vantage points. As I have also confessed before, I am a huge theater geek so even when I'm not onstage I'm usually watching from the wings, observing the actors going thru their scenes and listening to the audience's reaction. This is the aspect I love about doing theater. And while most of the time we are all cramped together in the wings, trying to keep out of each other's way, sometimes we're treated to a lot of backstage space so we can see the show from different angles, and that's fun. We even had one theater where you could stand on the top of the stairs, about two flights up, and look directly down to the stage. Kinda like being in the mezzanine only directly stage left. Wished I had remembered my camera that day.
Well...with Texas happily in the rearview mirror, we headed to Virginia but first we had a stopover in Nashville. Yet another city that I wished we could've stayed for a couple of days. Took a nice long walk and took a few pictures but really didn't see as much as I should have.
Next stop was the Roanoke Civic Center, happily another caverous theater, about 2000 seats give or take, and one of those gem stops where we could use most of our stuff, always fun when we can do that. Then it was on the Charlottesville VA., home of the University of Virginia. The downtown area is very pleasant and vibrant, being a college town and all, and the Paramount Theater, located right on the main street, is one of those old houses from the twenties better suited to music than musicals. But still, even though the stage was tiny, we had a good show there.
We probably could've done without our next stop in Yanceyville NC, for a couple of reasons. One was the hotel that they ( the presenters, not our company ) put us up in. From the looks of the rest of the town it was probably their only option, being in the middle of nowhere. But it was a shabby, dirty mess of a place. One red flag that went up almost immediately was that fact you couldn't get cellphone service. And I don't mean it was bad or spotty...I mean it was freakin' non-existent!!! I guess AT&T and Sprint took one look at the town and decided "Screw it! We'll go around 'em" So bad were the vibes about the place that we decided at the last minute not to stay over but to leave at 1:00 o'clock in the morning and go to the next place. And the show was about as bad. A tiny theater with no fly-space and no audience response...bad combination.
So we all piled in the bus at one and drove all night to Marion OH, don't ask, I still don't know where it is. We were staying in a ( thank goodness ) Holiday Inn Express...translation...Comfy, clean rooms with "free" breakfast, my kinda place. I was able to get a little sleep on the bus, but not . nearly enough. But thankfully the hotel was able to have all our rooms ready at 10:00 o'clock, nice of them to do that. And I basically spent the whole day sleeping....nice.
In Marion we played the Palace Theater, one of a chain built back in the twenties. One of those places that came perilously close to demolition, saved at the last moment by some savy, ambitious locals. It's a very quirky place with lots of ornate decoration and plants and such...even a parrot in a cage ( not a real one ) Another challenge as far as space on stage was concerned but we had a great time and the audience was wonderful, a nic way to go into our Easter break.
And speaking of which, I am writing this blog entry from the 10th floor of the Essex hotel in Chicago, with a Great Lake in one direction out my window and the Sears Tower in the other. I'm going to check out as much as I can while I'm here. And there is also a get together with the cast and crew at one of the clubs tonight. And since we have no show tomorrow night it's party time!! Well, within reason of course, I mean, I'm not twenty years old anymore...I think I've already established that.
Be back soon