Little Shop Opening Weekend

Ken AshfordLocal Interest, TheatreLeave a Comment

On the plus side: Pretty large houses and a decent review.

On the minus side:  Not as polished as we had hoped.

On opening night (Friday), we had a few minor bumps, attributable to opening night jitters I suppose.  We seemed to have gotten over them by Saturday night, when the first Act was (for me) the best, and everything seemed to click. 

Then came Act Two.


I was felt good about my Act Two (most of my heavy lifting, literally and figuratively, is in the first act).  I tweaked a line or two that hadn’t worked, and was happy with my individual performance for the most part.  But the group numbers — especially the closing — went severely off the rails, both from an onstage and technical perspective.

Now, there was some discussion as to whether the audience noticed anything or not.  Being onstage, it SEEMED like we were a bunch of deer staring into headlights.  Make that, a bunch of drunken deer staring into the headlights, trying to find where we were in the song, trying to hear the band, trying to listen to each other, while dancing around in cumbersome costumes and leaves and vines and whatever.  I’m told NONE of that came across to the audience, which is good…

But for most of us — including our director Jamie (who was contemplating suicide at that point) — whether the audience noticed or not was irrelevant.  We knew things had gone badly, that it wasn’t our best by far, and that’s all that mattered.  The frustrating part was trying to determine HOW things got so bulloxed up, and it was difficult to identify the cause.  Not knowing THAT made EVERYBODY nervous.

But Jamie pulled everyone together and did his General Patton routine.  We worked the rough spots on Sunday, and were rewarded with a standing ovation at the end of the Sunday matinee. 


Somewhat relieved, we were all able to enjoy a nice cast party at Jay’s (our lovely and talented ASM).

This is a hard show technically; Jamie said it was the most difficult show he’s done technically (and for Jamie to say that, you know it’s gotta be something).  The plant, oddly enough, has posed very little problems for us technically; it tends to be sound issue, what with the band being behind a wall behind us.  There are certain scenes where I literally cannot hear the person onstage with me, and I have to lipread to know when to say my line.

But we have it now, and we’re going to brush up this week just to be sure.  Despite our attempts to mess it up, the audiences are really enjoying it.  So next week’s show — I fully expect — will be as tight as a drum.  You should come if you’re in the area.