Thursday, December 20, 2007

the house of no

during our 1st preview (thus 1st audience) an actor was recorking the glass decanter and the bottle's neck+body separated- she was holding the neck and the stopper, and the bottom just fell out, spilling the "liquor" all over the "living room". she had to invent lines and others had to grab towels and clean up during the scene- i spend a chunk of the show barefoot and there was broken glass cleverly disguised by shiny slippery puddles onstage.
then there was the no-warning last-minute addition of dried macaroni to a costume piece that's been shedding onstage every night since. i found out (literally) the hard way when i walked barefoot (painfully) on hard-as-rocks macaroni elbows onstage during the show, then and almost every night since.
but the house of yes opening last week went pretty well, up until the final scene. we got mostly through our no-intermission 90minute play, major emotional breakdowns peppered with (hopefully) comic timing and shitload of actor business, i entered for the confrontation+climax, started the fight which my "fiance" tried to diffuse with nursery rhyme as scripted, he said his "hey diddle diddle" and asked about the involvement of silverware in said rhyme, and then nobody entered to bring the conversation back to the issues @ hand or get the other character still onstage off so me+"fiance" could have it out.
i'm told the whole thing, from unexpected pause to "fiance" covering with more nursery rhyming to overhearing another actor in the wings debate entering unscripted so things'd get rolling to trying to determine what lines i could deliver with an unexpected character onstage while not ruining the climax, took 20-25seconds. not that long in the larger scheme of things, but onstage with shit fucked up, it was the longest half-minute of my life, not counting the last of waiting for medical test results.
it was opening night; we knew we had press in the house. we hemmed+hawed and repeated ourselves, saying a lot of nothing so we wouldn't give shit away too early (while i tried to maintain my character's upset rather than my own) until the anticipated entrance happened and things could proceed as planned. terrifying in the moment, but after, all i could think was that reviews would say i went up on lines, not realising it wasn't me since "fiance" spoke and i didn't answer immediately- vanity, i know. but i knew the show'd been good and was devastated that it might look like i fucked it up for everybody. i mean, i was the one who suggested this show to the company a year ago in the 1st place, if that gives any idea of my personal investment in this production...i almost went to the lobby for the reception in tears.
anyway, i've only seen 2reviews- 1 very positive, 1 that clearly didn't get it (dislikes the premise of the script to start with so production+performances are irrelevant)- neither mentioned the hiccup, so i'm over it, except as a theatre-horror-story. and keeping with that theme, here i share 2 best theatre-horrors witnessed by theatre professionals i trust enough to repeat:
westside story- a friend was in the audience when the gun accidentally went off in the final scene while pointed @ maria (who doesn't get shot in the show)- he said he watched the actor realise (horrified) what happened and consciously make the choice to 'keep it real' and drop dead, script+finale be damned!
and wizard of oz stupidly decided to use a live dog where possible although they hadn't in rehearsal, and blocked dorothy to enter with toto via the audience centre-aisle; dorothy and her new live toto were having some trouble and she had to yank+drag him by the leash for the 1st part of her entrance. she got to the edge of the stage wondering why the audience was reacting strangely then realised she'd yanked the leash too vigourously and broken toto's neck, and had just dragged a dead dog behind her the last few feet up the of the show...and if i'm not getting old stories mixed up, later in the run with the fake dog the flying monkeys accidentally dropped(+killed?), this production gets extra horror points for fucking up a creature feature- the mental scarring of those students...
makes me feel better about the house of yes- even with good review, that half-minute-memory still scares the shit outta me. as if i needed any more to be scared about (see previously-linked-post) @ curtain each night...
walk good.


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