Letters to Holly

Monday, January 29

Day Thirty-Two: Cast Party

Victoria's still out, the younger boy is MIA, the middle girl is the walking dead, and we learn the oldest girl will be no longer available after today. We decide to take pictures of the happy-birthday scene with her in it to make up for her absence last weekend. But we will not have pictures will all the children. I feel a bit sicky myself, but the gunk I wake up with goes away after lunch. I carry DayQuil with me just in case but never use it.

The green room prop table has a bulletin board above it, and one of Mae's real daughters (also a crewmember) has started a stick-figure art gallery of scenes from the play. It's cute stuff. I show her my early sketches (which I posted in this thread), and she demands they go up as well. That leads to the kids wanting their own gallery space, and now the board is covered in backstage art.

It's a dandy crowd, even applauding for the new managing director comments. While she talks to them, I'm reading about the first Americans to orbit the planet. Once I hear my early cues to get ready (Maggie repeats the line "laws of silence don't work"), I put on my suit jacket even though the audience won't see me for another half-hour and move to stage-left for my Act I offstage lines. Ten minutes later, I'm reading again. The reverend and doctor still check their scripts to determine their Act I cues. The departing Gooper daughter has made notes for each of us. Mine says I was lucky to be in "Sound of Music." I don't get to tell her I was the bad guy. I'll be sad to see her go. She didn't misbehave backstage, and she hit her lines well.

Daddy conquers the audience in Act II. If his was a stand-up act, we wouldn't be willing to carry on once he leaves the stage. Act III feels good, and Gooper comes out a little angrier tonight. I like it, but I don't want to change up the character in mid-run. We'll see what happens in the subsequent shows; maybe natural flow and adjustment will allow him to show his temper more.

We have a cast party after the show at Susan's house, and the small turnout does nothing to diminish the fun. We have three types of soups -- Mexican, potato and a thick chili -- and assorted snack stuff. I learn that the Gooper Groupies tell Brick about Gooper directing the singing kids, something Brick never noticed. The crew noticed today that he looked and was cracking up at the sight. Big Mama sits right in front of Gooper at that moment, and I perform the moves for her as we sit and eat soup. We all joke about what we'd love to do on the last performance as on- and offstage pranks, things we would never actually do, you understand. We talk technical stuff about slightly off sound cues and small prop adjustments. It's like any other party among co-workers; we talk shop. And the women debate Hugh Jackman vs. Sean Connery. Also, there's still debate about Brick's sexuality (the character, not the actor).

Susan tells us that the director doesn't like to have last-week rehearsals to brush up our lines. A table vote is taken, and I say I'm comfortable without it. Brick is for it. Everyone else is agin it. I tell him, sincerely, that as I work so close to the theatre, I'll be there if he wants a run-through. We'll see. I suspect the absent Big Daddy won't need one, nor the absent Maggie. We've worked this play since November. We shouldn't need a line-through for the final three shows.

And for now, it's a welcome bit of rest and medicine to get ready for those final performances. Now its starting to sink in: This big project is almost over.

Previous entries:
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage
Day Twelve: Memory
Day Thirteen: The Quickie
Day Fourteen: The Lines
Day Fifteen: Act III Anxiety
Day Sixteen: Let's Just Get It Right
Day Seventeen: Molding the Gooper
Day Eighteen: Goopercalypse
Day Nineteen: There Is Not A Doctor In The House
Day Twenty: Back to Words
Day Twenty-One: Getting Technical
Day Twenty-Two: We're Ready When You Are
Day Twenty-Three: Socks
Day Twenty-Four: Our First Audience
Day Twenty-Five: Calamity
Day Twenty-Six: Opening Night
Day Twenty-Seven: Second Night
Day Twenty-Eight: The Show You Saw
Day Twenty-Nine: Brush-Up
Day Thirty: Back to Work
Day Thirty-One: A Spreading Plague

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