February 26, 2009

New York, NY

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 8:26 am

Here we are, running at the New Victory in New York. I’m having a really great time here. Much has been made of the fact that it’s “on Broadway,” but I have learned in my career that the address of your theatre has no correlation to the level of professionalism, quality of production, or size of your paycheck, so I really wasn’t buying into that hype. But I’ve been pleased to discover it actually feels something like a Broadway show. The theatre is beautiful, which I knew, but it is pretty well-appointed like a Broadway house, has a Local 1 crew, and in general feels kind of like a shrunk-down Broadway show. And by shrunk-down, I mean like 80%, not like 50%, assuming we are talking about a play here.

A few cities before we arrived I talked with the staff by phone and they gave me the option of calling from stage left or from the booth, which I was warned was “miles away.” I’ve called from miles away before, but I figured this may be the only venue where I have the option to call from backstage, due to the fact that our set is a full 180-degree wraparound wall, and calling from backstage would offer zero visibility without color and infrared monitors, which we don’t travel with, and which most of our venues don’t have. The Guthrie had a rather nice camera setup, although I also had a very oddly-placed window to see most things in real life if I needed to. This is my first time calling without any real view of the stage, but it’s working fine since I spent the first month of the run calling off monitors at the Guthrie. It’s a lot of fun to be backstage among everyone else, and it’s so much easier to get around without having to trek back and forth from a booth. We even have paging at the calling desk and in our office (we have an office!). It really does feel like Broadway! So I’m having a good time, and I’m missing home a little less.

Speaking of home, I stopped by Phantom for about an hour before their show last night, after our student matinee and tech rehearsal. All is well, there’s new carpet in the stage management office and SR quickchange room, and other than that things seem the same. The in/out sheet had at least 10 understudies on it, so it was a fairly normal day. At some point before we leave town I’m going to do a couple shows there, even if I have to do them for free. The stage managers offered to trade shows with me for the next two weeks, which I gladly accepted, but they rescinded their offer when I described calling Henry as “calling the rooftop scene for two hours and 40 minutes, and then the last 20 minutes is like calling ‘Wishing’.” It makes sense if you know the show. I think “recoiled in horror” is a better way to describe their reaction.

OK, people keep coming in and asking me questions. See ya!

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