November 14, 2006

Opening Night - Rabbit Hole

I'm late, I know, sorry.

I enjoyed the long Holiday weekend and then got a little swamped back at work on Monday. I've been pestered by perhaps 6 people thus far for the next post, so someone is reading. Glad to hear it. Hannah Cohen, was that your comment on the last post? Hannah was a Stage Management student at BU who helped us out as a Production Assistant on several productions, including What the Butler Saw, one of my favorites. She is now in NY doing what, Hannah?

Opening Night was a lot of fun. There are a lot of little opening night traditions and festivities around here, so I thought I'd share a few of them with you. I didn't have my camera, so no photos.

In our costume shop the gang stops work at around 4 PM to have their usual tea... however the opening night spread is not usual. This time around there was a birthday (Jeffery's) and a baby shower (Rachel's) to celebrate too so the room was crowded with folks, gifts, and pie. So much pie. There are always yummy nibbles here, as well as good company, so I try to drop in before I head out to the pre-show dinner.

Company management does a wonderful job of presenting the cast and crew with a cast picture taken at photo call, as well as a framed show poster. I think I've managed to avoid the cast photo for 14 years, though I'll challenge anyone to prove me wrong. The green room is usually overflowing with flowers sent from well wishers and baskets of candy and food. So is the run room (where the crew hangs out). Enough sugar already! And where's my poster??

Huntington Board Members and special guests attend a pre-show reception and dinner. There's usually at least one staff person per table and tonight I was one of them. We were at the Colonnade, just down the street, and approximately 90 guests braved the rain. I was seated with Huntington Trustees Ken Colburn and Jim Dillon, and Overseer Katherine Kane and their guests.

Seated next to me was a friend of Jim's, author Andy Savitz, who has some interesting views on corporate responsibility. Here's a quote from his latest book"The Triple Bottom Line", of which he is (or was) currently out on book tour."The truly sustainable company," Savitz concludes, "would have no need to write checks to charity or 'give back' to the local community, because the company's daily operations would not deprive the community, but would enrich it."

He said as much in our conversation and I didn't quite comprehend where he was going from our short dinner conversation. I'm thinking I'll have to read it. We also had a fascinating chat about how the Huntington, or companies like us, measure success. It's a very interesting question. I think the answer could be very different depending on who's answering the question. Do you perceive us as successful? Why and on what basis?

I'm rambling.

After dinner came the show... it was a nice big slightly soggy crowd and all seemed to have a good time. I have to confess I didn't watch (just listened from my office). We've received a lot of nice reviews and here's a sample from The Boston Globe, The Phoenix, and Edge Boston.

Post-show the cast, crew and staff went up to the rehearsal hall for THE opening night party. Complete with DJ and food catered by Bob's Southern Bistro the place was soon thumping and shaking... first ones out on the dance floor were director Joey Tillinger and his cast. Nice! And the cast of Mauritius stopped by for some fun too. I saw a bunch of cell phone photos being taken, but my sources have yet to provide me with anything juicy... come on, kids!?!

It was a well deserved night of celebration. We've now opened three out of seven, all in the first three months of our 10 month season, so that's a definite relief. Now it's on to Nick Martin's first show of the season, The Cherry Orchard. Rehearsal start December 5th so it's just a breath away.

One more item to share for those who saw Mauritius. I think there may be a sequel here, Teresa!

And Congrats to Rachel on the birth this morning of little Ava Marie... may she follow in Mom's footsteps and lead the next generation of theatre pro's!

Photo (above) Izzy (Geneva Carr, l.), Becca (Donna Bullock, c.) and Nat (Maureen Anderman) cut Izzy's birthday cake in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire, running through Dec. 3 at the Boston University Theatre. Photo: Eric Antoniou.

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