To the Barricades, Vol. 22
"Four and a half hours in hot costumes only to finish the first couple of scenes in Act One," posted one cast member, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek, on Facebook. Welcome to cue-to-cue!
Hurry up and wait, becomes the flavour of the day as stage manager Steph Link works through technical details with sound, lights, flies, effects, assistant stage managers, music director, mic technician and others. To be fair, the cast, for the most part, seemed to embrace the notion of PKU (patience, kindness and understanding) and waited patiently in place last night for the next set of instructions. They quietly chatted amongst themselves, trying to pass the time without interrupting the process. The calls to "QUIET DOWN" were minimal, which reflects the collective desire to get 'er done, and get 'er done great.
For those members of the show reading this and going through a cue-to-cue for the first time, this is completely normal. Invariably, things happen that slow down the process, delay start times, and make it feel like you're walking through molasses. Never has there been a more important time to trust the process.
By the time we emerge on the other side of this phase of rehearsals - hopefully some time late on Sunday afternoon - not only with the technical team and running crew have things pretty much figured out, the cast will have had a great chance to work out complicated scene and costume changes, and the band will have become that much more familiar with how everything fits together. We will be ready to run.
I enjoyed sitting out in the audience watching a couple of the scenes. They looked amazing, especially the transitions from one location to another. The combination of moving set pieces, the lighting shift, projections and music is intoxicating.
It was particularly enjoyable watching Jenny Price belt out "I Dreamed a Dream". Playing the role of Fantine has been a dream come true for Jenny, and she's hitting it out of the park.
Today, we will break bread together, as everyone is contributing to what is going to be a massive potluck lunch. Normally, adult members of the cast dart out of the building to visit one of the neighbourhood fast food joints to order, gobble down their food, and attempt to make it back before the hour is up. This should be much better, giving people a hearty meal and a chance to visit with each other.