January 25, 2010


I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 9:39 am

Last night was road box spring cleaning day for Nick and I. We load out in exactly a week. We had put off doing an inventory of our first aid kits for almost two months, and finally on the last day it was practical to do so, we brought all the first aid boxes to the green room between shows and made a shopping list.

After that we threw out all the paperwork from last year that’s no longer useful (well I saved the calling script for the original, never-performed version of The Spy for my personal collection).

At some point before our time, there were two inflatable mattresses and pumps in the box. Last year one of them was no good, and didn’t have a working pump anyway, so we decided it was time to let it go. It had been kept rolled up in our valuables cabinet, which is a little cube-shaped cubby that can be separately padlocked to secure the actors’ valuables.

When the time came, we inspected the mattress to make sure it was the bad one, Nick encouraged me to get it the hell out of our lives, and I bent down and began trying to yank it out, while Nick went back to his ASM station to work on something else. The mattress was caught on something, and after much pulling and tugging, it began to unroll. What happened next was amazing.

The mattress unrolled and wrapped up in it, perfectly preserved like a long-forgotten buried treasure, was a giant unopened bottle of Ketel One vodka! I called out, “Nick! Nick! It’s treasure! Treasure!!”

I held up the bottle and he picked it up and cradled it in his arms and we both ran out to the upstage hallway to share our discovery with our deck crew, and to tell the rich history of this bottle of vodka.

The Leektini

Any understanding of this bottle’s origins begins with the leektini. When we were touring Henry V last year, we had a fresh leek in every performance, that had to be beaten over an actor’s head and then eaten. The leeks were purchased by our prop supervisor at any supermarket we could find in our travels, and lived in the fridge in the crew bus. Some people were particularly offended by the smell of the leek in our fridge. Having leeks in our lives every day for six months made them so pervasive in our consciousness that we began thinking strange things about leeks.

One of my favorite drinks is the appletini, and I’m not ashamed of it. The frequent sight of an appletini in my hand led the crew to speculate if one could make a leektini. We decided it would probably be absolutely disgusting, but it should be tried. There was also simultaneously a plan we had been discussing for a while to play a practical joke on the cast towards the end of the tour. We called it the “leeky bunk” — to leave one of the discarded leeks in somebody’s bunk so it would stink.

Eventually the two ideas combined, and instead of stinking up someone’s bunk, we decided that at one of the last venues, during the show some of the crew would sneak onto the cast bus, and make leektinis, which would be waiting for the actors when the show was over.

In order to accomplish this we needed copious amounts of vodka, among other things. When we were in Philly on a day off, we visited a liquor store, almost exclusively for the purpose of gathering supplies for the leektinis. One of the things we bought was the giant bottle of Ketel One. We then put it in the stage management road box until the appropriate time could be found to pull off our plan.

In the last week of the tour, one of the venues we visited was a high school. Realizing we had a giant bottle of vodka in our road box, in a high school, we wrapped it up in the inflatable mattress and put it in the valuables box where it would be cushioned and hidden until we found an appropriate place to use it. Things got complicated in the last couple cities, and the situation wasn’t conducive to pulling off the caper, and somehow we forgot about the bottle.

Until today, of course. Here Nick shows off our prize. I don’t know what we’re going to do with it, exactly, but I’m sure it will be mixed with something more appetizing than a leek!

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