It was a tough week. As I suspected. A few all nighters. The smell of glue guns, paint, hairspray and sewing machines. The sound of saws, drills, laughter and tears. Sawdust, feathers, sequins, wig hair, paint cans, brushes, screws and nails everywhere. We worked right up to an hour before the house opened. AH, the life in the “theatah”. One of these days we are going to follow the process with a video camera. I think that the world would be a better place if people could see what can happen with the dedication and commitment of a group of people all working towards the same goal. Theater is a great example of this. Of course, it’s not just here at Ballet of the Dolls that this occurs. It’s in every theater around the world. I am assuming :) However, dancers are a rare breed. Not only do they have to go through all the struggles of tech week but then they have to put their makeup and costume on and “hit the boards” as if it all was a breeze. LOVE dancers!!!! I am constantly reminded of the scene in “All That Jazz” with the Bob Fosse character looking in the mirror at himself and saying “it’s showtime”. For me personally it was an interesting time. I was in the house directing and teching the show, painting the set, recording the music, changing the choreography, re-working the scenes and hiding wood, paint cans, trash and tools from the audience house right up to an hour before the show. Then, going backstage and getting dressed (my pants had no zipper so the safety pins had to come into play), style my wig, paint my face and look over the list I had made the night before at 3 a.m. of my shift duties and hit the deck. I watched the show from the wings when I had time and my heart was so full. There we were….dancing….a show! AMAZING artists here at The Dolls. There was no way the audience could have (or should have) known what the previous 8 days involved. All the artists looked so beautiful, calm, graceful and elegant. Those are the moments I live for. Here is an excerpt from one critics take on the evening:
“Fans of the show should rejoice and be merry: the production’s subversive spirit is intact, as well as many of its favorite characters. Binky Wood — in a hilarious, over-the-top “Mommie Dearest”-esque turn as Clara’s mother Flo — makes a gloriously hammy return to the stage, as do the Barbie and Ken dolls come-to-life (played by Heather Brockman and Peter Spitsnogle), who perform some of the most inventive dances in the show. Stephanie Fellner, one of the Dolls’ best and most dynamic dancers, stars as Clara, capturing her innocence and inner turmoil with grace and passion.
The show serves as a fantastic showcase for the Dolls’ quirky choreography (by Dolls founder and artistic director Myron Johnson) and eye-popping costumes (put together by stylist and Dolls dancer Grant Whittaker). Throughout the show, the Dolls go through various costume changes and various styles of dance, from the “Rhythm Nation”-esque choreography of the rat pack-inspired gang of toughs to the more traditional ballet dances of the Sugar Plum Fairy-esque Ice Queen (Valerie Torres) and the Rockette-like moves of Mrs. Santa (Lisa Conlin).”
Happy Holidays if you don’t hear from me again until the New Year!!! Thank you to all of you that read this post….