Move Over, Mrs. Markham has been our life for 59 days. I say ours, referring to the cast, but the director and the rest of the production team have been living with the Markhams for as long as a year now - take especial pity on Peter Hyde, who is not only making his stage debut in this show, and is also a producer. Two months feels like forever to work on a few hours of entertainment, that is, of course, until you're barreling into opening night and wondering where the time went. Soon, the Markhams will have an audience whether we like it or not.
There is so much to tell you about these last few rehearsals. How a pair of oversized shoes caused the show to very nearly be rated R, or how a distracting nightie resulted in five pages of script being accidentally "cut", or how Alan Wray, our sound designer, tore a pair of silk pajama pants to shreds with only a sound effect. But every one of those stories would give you some hint at the surprises in store for you in the show itself. And as hilarious as it would be to tell you about the night that our director, Albert Coia, played nearly every female part in the show, I'd much rather you see our talented actresses in the roles. So perhaps, for the moment, I'll keep these tales to myself. Save them for post-show blog, perhaps.
Albert likes to remind us that if you have fun doing the show, it'll carry out into the audience. That's harder advice to take than you'd think. We are a crew of perfectionists, the kind of people who turn their hobbies into work because if you're going to do something why not do it right? But every time we manage to make some jaded member of the technical crew laugh - people who've seen the show a dozen times and are as worried about lights, sound, costumes, and sets as we are about lines, blocking, jokes, and accents - the gleeful look on our faces shows that we can stay perfectionists and still have the time of our lives.
We open in three days. Tomorrow we have the first of two sneak preview audiences. Sleep is for the weak.
See you Saturday night.
Buy tickets for LTA's Move Over Mrs Markham
PS: There is one story I can tell you without ruining anything... remind me to tell you about the time we had three surprise birthday parties for the same person happen simultaneously...