January 4, 2009

5 Days to Previews

It's Sunday - our first day of technical rehearsals and five days until our first preview.

The morning started with a visit to the rehearsal hall to pick up the props and rehearsal costumes, and then getting the stage ready for a noon start. Lighting worked on last minute focus notes and trouble shooting, Scenery put in some railings and cleaned up, Sound continued to make noise and check communication systems, and props set the furniture and organized the hand props backstage.

Noon came and we welcomed Nicky back to the BU Theatre and the actors got a tour of the set and learned how the doors worked, tried the stairs, found the changing booths and cue lights, and explored how to get from one side of the stage to the other. We then stepped through the transitions in the show - the beginnings and ends of each of the three acts - and set the lighting, adjusted the furniture, changed some blocking, and rehearsed the changes over and over again. In relatively record time we made it through the entire show before our dinner break.

After dinner we started over again and began to fill in all of the lighting cues, adjusted the furniture some more, took notes on props and scenery. Sound familiar? This is what we'll keep doing for the next day and a half of rehearsal or so - then we'll add the costumes, and then we'll start to run the show, making fewer stops and adjustments as we approach the preview on Friday.

I had a few minutes and caught up on a few notes and email. One of the email was to our friends at The 39 Steps. The production closes tonight at the Cort in preparation for it's move to the Helen Hayes. This will be the third NY Theatre that our production has performed at. Just keeps on tickin'....

It's almost as if the show is finally going home. The Hayes was the theatre of choice for the artistic team and it's producers, and the set was designed to fit there. Then this plucky little cult musical named Xanadu moved in and stayed longer than most people expected. So we moved The 39 Steps to the Roundabout's American Airlines Theatre, and then to the Cort. The Hayes is a smaller theatre, about 600, and it's a better location with more foot traffic - all of which will be good for the longevity of the show. It's been running in London since 2006.

The Corn is Green
Sound designer Drew Levy is leaving us tomorrow for the Helen Hayes. The 39 Steps sound designer Mic Pool has not been able to make it from the UK for the US productions so Drew has been moving the show around NY. Did I mention that Drew is a BU alumni?

There is another Corn connection to 39 Steps - dialect coach Stephen Gabis is playing Old Tom here in Boston - and helping us with the Welsh - while continuing dialect duties with The 39 Steps. He's been working with Sean Mahon, who will take over the role of Richard Hannay when it opens at the Helen Hayes. Stephen was profiled in the NY Times today. Click to read the article.

Another of our family was profiled in the paper today too... click here to read about Nancy E. Carroll as she prepares for the one woman show The Year of Magical Thinking at Lyric Stage.

Nancy - I'm truly sorry about Binx (the goat). I learned just last week that Binxy is still alive and so is his career. He's been working as a Celebrity Salvation Army goat. No kidd-ing. And I'm sure he's leaving gifts for all donors. (you have to read the Globe article if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Back to New York - The Atheist, with Campbell Scott, finishes it's NY run today. Streamers, which has enjoyed critical acclaim, closes at the Roundabout's Laura Pels next weekend. Congrats to everyone involved. It's got to be a record for us - sending three shows to the city in one season.

It's now 10:22 PM. In theory we have another hour and a half. But, as often happens at this hour, everyone is getting a little punchy and a bit silly. It's great to hear Nicky's familiar laugh ring out in the theatre - but I have a feeling we'll be going home early tonight.

More tomorrow.... warning though... there is no rehearsal on Monday... so you'll probably learn fun stuff like how slow our computer network has been this week, maybe how to seal a stage floor, or perhaps a little something about Miracle at Naples or Pirates. Both of which I probably should have given a little attention today.

Photos: Kate Burton in The Corn is Green - photo by Joan Marcus. Nancy E. Carroll - photo by John Bohn / Globe Staff. Campbell Scott in The Atheist - photo by T. Charles Erickson

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of The Corn is Green, by Emlyn Williams, playing January 9 through February 8, 2009 at the Huntington's mainstage, the B.U. Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA. Buy tickets online or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800

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