March 13, 2010

R&J Turns 50

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 1:57 am

Yesterday we celebrated our 50th performance of R&J. This was our official 50th performance, not counting three previews and an invited dress.

As our run is something like 80-ish performances (we keep canceling and adding and it’s driving me crazy as the database is currently built to have performance numbers manually associated with dates — that is changing!) But as we are only doing 80-something performances, 50 is really the only milestone we hit.

The last time I had to deal with something like this was a few months ago, right before I left to start rehearsals, when I was asked if a curtain speech should say “9,000 performances” or “performance number 9,000.” (I said “performance number 9,000,” which I later read in the press is what was said.)

Anyway, milestones and anniversaries have been a common occurrence in my career, so I tend to see them and plan to celebrate them out of habit.

Last year we were doing a sit-down in Phoenix when we hit #50, and I had a little sign on the callboard saying “Happy 50th” and that was about it.

This year as I saw the numbers creeping up from 40, I counted ahead and at the start of the week said, “Our 50th is going to be in Hartford [Wisconsin], we should get a little something for the cast.”

I didn’t do the best job at remembering to pick stuff up on the one occasion I was in a store, but I did get some little candies, and it so happens the venue’s hospitality had a nice candy jar, so I combined them to make a cornucopia of candy, under my sign that I had prepared during some downtime earlier in the week.

I also took a page from Phantom‘s publicists, who are fond of including fun facts (usually spelled phun phacts) along with anniversary press releases (like “Phantom has used 43,520 pounds of dry ice” and stuff like that.) So since my sign was looking a little empty, I decided to compile a few facts that would still be interesting even with only 50 performances to work with. Since I was planning this a few days in advance, I threw together a layout in the database that would keep some of these stats updated so I didn’t have to do any math on the day of the event.

  • Total time in performance to date: 129 hours, 37 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Seen by 26,762 people!
  • “Banished” spoken 1,431 times!
  • Someone called “Ho” 530 times!
  • Animal life encountered [backstage or onstage]: bat, bird, mouse, beetles

Everybody seemed very happy with the candy, and intrigued by our fun facts (which are calculated up to the performance before the 50th, and include previews and the invited dress).