May 10, 2009

My Week “Off”

I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 10:11 pm

I feel like I hit a milestone in my career this weekend. It’s the first time I’ve been asked to call a show in performance without any rehearsal, based on having called a different production of the same show.  

Last summer you may recall I was PSM for a production of No, No Nanette starring Donna McKechnie. If not you can read about it in the August 2008 archives. Anyway this week we are laid off from The Acting Company, and my friend Brian is PSM for a production of Nanette for Amas, who in addition to producing Off-Broadway, also run a program for high school kids where they get to learn about theatre and at the end of the school year put on a full-length musical with a creative team and tech staff of working professionals. I have worked with Amas a lot, and worked as ASM on one of these shows a few years back.  So due to having the week off, I decided to support my friends and see what the kids were doing with Nanette.

Brian’s assistant couldn’t make a few hours of tech on Thursday, so I agreed to stop by to be a warm stage managerial body, and then stayed to watch the final dress. Which is a good thing. After the run, Brian found out the next night his other show, which his sub would be calling for the first time, would be welcoming the Times critic.  How could Brian call the show for the Times when he was supposed to be calling opening night of Nanette at the same time?  Unless of course there was someone who already had a working knowledge of calling Nanette and preferably had at least seen this production. The next morning at 9AM I got the confirmation that they wanted me to call. I finished reading through the script about ten minutes prior to the show, then listened to a couple bits of the original cast recording to remind myself of a couple bumps I didn’t remember and the end of the overture.

The show went fine and I didn’t have any major regrets upon actually seeing what the cues do. I came upon a couple funny situations due to the fact that the show was slightly cut down.  I had a restore cue and wasn’t sure if the tag at the end of the number was kept or if they would go straight on.  So I took the cue to be safe, and sure enough they did the tag.  A few bars before the end of “Hubby Gone Blues” I couldn’t quite tell from the markings if the entire boys’ section was cut or if the last bit was in, which greatly affected where the final cue went. So I had to ask on headset, “um, strange question, but do the boys come in in this number?” “No.” “Ok, so this is the end right here then.” “Yes.”  It was a fun time.