Opening Night at the End of the Tunnel.

I gotta tell you - one of the toughest things about this catching up business is just sorting through the photographs. With the blog software you can't just pic your photo and drag it into place... you have to find the file and go through a bunch of crap to load the picture in and blah blah. Yah, "suck it up Jo Jo" you say.... "It's not our problem you're this far behind". And you're right. I also have to send a big shout-out to the actors peeps. BECAUSE thanks to these youngsters obsession with things like facebook, generation next now takes more pictures per second than a group of paparazzi who just found Stedman making out with Tom Cruise in a bar called "The Sling". I was so bogged down with rehearsal that I didn't remember to take pictures as much as I should.. so thanks to them i have some documentation. Yay.

While we were kick-ball-changing our way through rehearsals, Rich was BURIED in ticket sales. With our original number of planned ticket sales he would have been strung out... but with DOUBLE the original numbers planned... it was nuts. A vast number of the sales were over the phone - and it rang literally from 8 am to 10 at night. He did nothing but answer phone calls... and his voice mail filled up faster than a Dixie cup at Old Faithful. In addition to the actual ticket orders Rich also had to deal with the ticket confirmations and meal orders. For some reason the ticket sale program that we were using online would allow people to choose their meals for single ticket orders. But it COULDN'T allow them to order meals for season tickets (because it only wanted to give you ONE choice PER transaction). Now considering that the kind of ticket selling software we REALLY needed cost about 11 billion dollars - this one was doing a nice job for us... but it was still creating a huge amount of extra work for the Pack Leader. He also had decided (before things got crazy) upon a system by which people would receive a confirmation postcard (there was no need for a paper 'ticket' - since it was basically an extension of a dinner reservation with assigned seating)...and the confirmation had a box for them to check the meal choice. Rich had to send out confirmations for 1,598 tickets. And then process the confirmations. And the payments. And track the meal orders for Jean Anne... ARGHGGHGGGHGH. He was kind of losing his mind. And there was no way anyone else could really help since he had to have all the info tracked in HIS giant brain.

THAT BITCH LIED AND TOLD HIM SHE COULD TYPE. awesome-po.JPG

In fact, we were kind of lucky when...

We got really crappy news. It was actually a huge blessing in disguise, but nonetheless at the time it was crappy. Despite the fact that we had put in our application with tons of lead in time, for some reason there was a delay in processing our paper work and our hearing for the liquor license wasn't going to take place until a week after we'd been open. We were NOT happy. First of all it meant that we would lose all the revenue from the bar sales - and we'd have less time for the bar to pay for itself over the summer. Second we had advertised as having a bar and we knew people were expecting that. Third, well, shows are always more entertaining when you're well-lubricated. At first I just kind of hyperventilated over the whole thing... and then we just tried to figure out a game plan. We decided the best thing to do was to serve complimentary soft beverages until we had the bar open as an apology. Of course, this meant that the lack of bar was now COSTING us money, rather than making money. It was made worse by the fact that the freakin' people from the soda fountain company still had delivered our soda fountain. Rich had called about this thing months ago... and they finally they came to take our order and they said it would take five weeks - but we still, now, still, now haven't heard from them. Apparently even if you WOULD like to give the world a Coke... they don't actually want you to. So anyway - that meant we had to use bottles of soda rather than a fountain - which, if you know anything about the restaurant business, is a much less fun expense figure.

The GOOD NEWS was that the Pack Leader didn't have to complete the bar by the time we opened (because the license was for a specific approved geographic location... and we couldn't just serve it from anywhere in the building if the bar wasn't ready. And in hindsight there was no way, no how, no chance that the bar could have been done by opening night on the second of July. I know, I shouldn't tell you dates - because you realize how behind i am and you want to hurt me... well i'm tryping as fast as I can peeps. So - at least that meant that Rich could concentrate on the other eight zillion things he had to take care of in anticipation of our opening.

About the same time we also had a killer party invitation for the actors. Over the summer, as I said, the Eckerts decide to entertain - and they decided at the same time to feed and water the actors. And by water, I mean...not water. And by feed I mean FEEEEED. George, Margaret's brother, the master o' concrete (he's about to work miracles as our story unforlds) was having a graduation party for his son. And we were invited. Because since there are 15,032 Eckerts (and by that I just mean immediate family) what's another couple of mouths to feed. Even if one of those mouths is Jordan. First of all, this food was AMAZING. Meatballs that I would kill to have the recipe for (no, that's not a hint Terri....not even a little HINT)... Texas sheet cake... cookies... the famous Eckert ham salad... it was insane. Sooo much food. I don't think I have ever consumed so many different kinds of cake in one sitting as I have at Eckert parties. It's like playing Supermarket Sweep in a bakery. Frankly it needs to be ilegal...and if I'm ever going to get skinny again I need to make sure I'm in another country during the month of July. Anyway - the party was so cool - I attempted to marry Colleen and Katie to George's sons - but they were taken. And then there was George's barn. Which he built. Himself. Like, ALLL himself. And this is not a barn, kids. I have to GO BACK and take pictures because you've got to see this place. But this barn is like something that it would have taken sixteen Imagineers at Dieneyworld to design for as the ulitmate theme restaurant in Frontier Land. It has everything but a talking moosehead. It's amazing - it's like perfectly new, and clean, and multiple stories and gorgeous...but it's all built out of reclaimed wood - so it LOOKS like it's been there for a hundred years. I would move into this thing in a heart beat. And the terrifying thing is that he didn't have any plans. It was all in his head. Amazing. It's like Pecos Bill built the Playboy Mansion.

About this time almost everything was staged and in a pretty decent 'sketch form'. Tim, despite his sleepless delerium, was managing to get a lot done - and the arrangements for the Bond Medley, Let the River Run and a bunch of other stuff were shaping up really well. Some things were shaping up really well - and some were more question marks for me. The show, we anticipated, was running too long...so from day-one the actors knew that eventually some stuff was going to have to be cut. We had to chose between the theme from Tootsie, or the theme from Arthur for Jordan - we all pretty much liked the Tootsie one best for him. The biggest question was still "Blame Canada". I REALLY had wanted to do this number from South Park. Because movie songs are often power ballads - there aren't a lot of funny movie theme songs. So the evening could use as much lightness as we could find. The Blame Canada thing was pure silliness - but Rich really didn't think that enough people in our audience would have seen the film - and if they HADN'T seen the movie, was the the number just going to seem...well...crass. We spent a lot of time on the staging of it - by far it was the most choreographed thing in the entire show... and we drilled it over and over - because I knew if it was going to earn it's place and be kept - it had to be really good. Rich was still not convinced - but we kept plugging away.

About this time Rich started dropping in on rehearsals and checking things out. It was actually really the only show he was able to do this for - because once we were up and running he was pretty much pretty all day for the evening performances. We were having real problems with Mrs. Robinson - partly because it's a very weird song to 'perform'. It's not really a song that is acted - so it's difficult to find the right tone. We also were having a really hard time trying to make it work with a live accompaniment... Rich pointed out that the most memorable thing about the song is the guitar pattern - so we finally decided that it had to be put on a track - rather than just playing it solely live.

JESUS JIM LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL KNOW rehaearsal.jpg

Oh - yah - i should explain this. Tim can play a maximum of four instruments at a time (layered on top of one another at adjusting levels) on his keyboard LIVE. But if we needed anything with rhythm, drums, or complicated multiple instruments - anything that was BIG - it had to be pre-orchestrated. Tim would always play live - but he would play OVER something he had already orchestrated. it's kind like working from what we call a click-track in the biz. As rehearsals went on we realized the GREAT thing about having some of this stuff pre-done was it meant we could rehearse sometimes without tim (so he could keep orchestrating) and still have enough of a musical structure to work and rehearse.

Rich had also started to build our stage. Which turned out to be nothing like we orignally talked about - it was way better. We bickered about how big it would be... because the smaller the stage, the more tables we could fit in prime location. But I kept insisting that with only four people - four stools - and twenty songs... and then the same people in TWO MORE shows... that I had to have some way to create visual interest and do some staging - however straightforward. This went back and forth in a game of inches...literally... and the Pack Leader finally agreed to give me a really nice sized space that jutted in between the center doors (where the actors would 'sit out' on their stools) and then extend forward about six feet. And it was eight feet wide which was not huge - but certainly the size of a normal cabaret stage. So anyway - he wanted this thing to be able to come apart and store...so he built it in two sections. Front and Back. Well one day he had the support 2x4's on the back platform and the front one was still just ply sitting on the carpet. I kind of looked at it for a minute and got a gilnit in my eye and he said "Oh crap. You want two levels". And I kind of smiled and he said "grrrrrr". And built my stage with two levels. And it was SOOOOO great. I mean it changed everything and made it so much more visually interesting.

While the stage was being constructed we were still working in the storefront. Another big challenge we had is that we couldn't afford wireless mics. A pretty good microphone costs about $150 bucks. A CRAPPY wireless microphone costs $500. We just couldn't afford it. No way. I was NOT thrilled to deal with this... every concert I'd ever done had wireless mics and it was a big adjustment. Because if you have people cross each other...or walk around...or do choreography the mic cords get TANGLED. And if the actors are always onstage - and the lights never really are off them - you can't spend ten minutes unraveling them and say 'just hold on folks". So we started rehearsing with mic stands and toilet paper tubes. With rope attached. So that when we were staging we could anticpate tangling issues and try and adjust them. At this point we still didn't know what order the songs were going to even be in - so we couldn't track which mic went where quite yet.

GIVE A MAN ENOUGH ROPE... dsc_0122.jpg

As you can see... Isaac was not a morning person.

Rich also started playing with all our fun lighting equipment that had arrived and start actually setting up both the lights and sound package. I had ordered a bunch of gel (the stuff that makes the light turn colors) and hoped it would arrive in time. We made an exodus to Guitar Center and picked up mic stands, the mics (which we had to special order cuz the ones we liked they were out of) and a bunch of other stuff. It wasn't a cheap day. I also picked up a little electronic metronome that was like the best purchase ever. Do you know what a metronome is? It's the thing that goes tap tap tap and tells you the tempo of a song. They used to be these wind up music box kind of things that had a slider on a pendulum to adjust the speed. Well NOW we've moved on baby - This thing is like a little pocket calculator - but it not only tells you a specific tempo when you type it in (often it tells you on sheet music how fast to go) - you can also use your thumb to tap a speed you like and it calculates the exact tempo marking. This was all really handy because Tim was having to play so many songs in a row that remembering the exact speed we wanted stuff was a challenge. So with this, in between songs, he could just check the right marking (and you can set it so that it only taps with a light flashing rather than a sound) and he was dead on tempo every time.

Anyhoo... we also picked up five stools at Menards. In the evenings Rich started playing with the lights and we discovered a big old snafoo. Originally we had planned on mounting almost all the lighting instruments from the two side staircases. Because most of our audience was at the side of the stage rather than the traditional front, it was important to make sure they were lit from the two sides - rather than just the front (like you would in a normal theatre setting). It was a great plan. Except when Rich rigged the lights all up we realized that we couldn't get the instruments high enough on the staircase that they weren't shining right into the audiences eyes. And BLINDING THEM. Blinding. If we tried to get them higher they would just throw a great big giant shadow over the stage from the ceiling fan. ARgghghg. This was not ideal. So - he had to completely rework his entire plan. We ended up experimenting with a pair of lighting scaffolds at each side of the outer lobby. Meaning for this summer, at least, we couldn't utilize the amazing hidden cable trough which they installed to run cable beneath the carpet. Crap. And there were only so many lights you could fit and wire to each scaffold... and we didn't have the square footage to put as many lights up as I wanted. Because when they were going to be hanging on the stairs - they didn't take up any table space....But on the floor in the lobby itself - they had to be in a position that could reach the stage...and if they could reach the stage it meant was a place where a table would have a good view. And that meant Rich needed the space because we were going to be very tight some nights. This was a very fun conversation. Very calm. Very reasoned. With only minimum bloodshed. Finally we found two positions that worked - but because of the logisics we were only able to use about half of the lights we had purchased (For Christmas we're going to install sexy permanent lighting pipes on the wall that will solve this problem perfectly.) So we had to get creative with the lighting. I was really concerned about the fact that the actors were only going to be lit from the front because it wouldn't give them a lot of depth or variation. Ideally you try and light people from the front, side and back - of course that can't happen in a cabaret setting with three lightbulbs and a nightlight. But when we saw how beautifully the light played off the gold paint around the stage, Rich had this BRILLLLLLIANT idea. We could place some lighting instruments facing up behind the stage, mask them behind a little box so they didn't glare (or set the girls dresses on fire) and light the wall behind them with different colors. LIke a cyclorama. This was ingenious. It looked so cool and suddenly (because we were able to mix three different colors behind) gave us infinitely more variation than we would have had from the back. I loved it whole heaps and bushels. And we were able to use really sexy saturated colors and pick different ones for each show so that it had a different feel.

Anyway - so we figured out the basic solution to the lighting... Larry happened to stop by the next morning and saw the four hundred wires and cords literally drapped across the foyer like christmas lights hung by a drunken orangutan (I just learned that orangutan doesn't have a 'g' at the end. Who knew?) and he nearly had a heart attack. "Are these wires gonna look like this? Do you understand this is like you having to listen to sixteen people singing flat?" I actually had been harboring the same concern was too afraid of the Pack Leader to ask....turns out it was just rigged for him to test them out - he was going to have all the wires properly run from inside the ceiling and concealed.

ON the Monday before the show we worked in the Lobby and started putting things together for Rich to see. He had to see the stuff to decided if we needed to cut anything...to tell me I was doing a crummy job or not...AND most importantly to TIME the show. Because the pack leader had told everyone that they would be out of the theatre by nine-thirty (a lot of people asked apparently), he was INSISTENT that the show run no more than an hour and fifteen minutes. Can we say 'grrrrrrrrr'. Anyway... So considering that I was still toiling away at night on my script... we figured we needed the actual songs to run about an hour. So - that Monday we did every number, without stopping (ha!) and timed them with a stop watch. Seriously. This became a dreaded rehearsal tradition the monday before each opening. So - the show did run a LITTLE long. So we had to make some decisions. The first thing to go was "I Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. Poor Tim had spent like a zillion hours orchestrating it - and the orchestration was great...but the actual number was... well, less than great. The real problem, I think is that it's a VERY long song (I mean...verrrrrry long) and it's difficult to trim AND it's something that we always associate with fifty people dancing during and being all sexy-like. With just two people singing onstage it's kind of...to quote Jordan.... "lame sauce". So that was the first casualty. Dirty Dancing was cut.

Now the bummer about this was that it kind of screwed Katie. Originally when we had planned out the movie show it looked like it "al-Katie-all-the-time", but then as things progressed she actually had less to do than Colleen did (because Colleen sang a lot of solo stuff during medleys). And now, losing the Dirty Dancing thing...she actually wasn't really getting as much as she deserved. Cuz she's awesome. So now there was that problem. At the same time Colleen was actually struggling to connect to "To Sir With Love". She sounded pretty - but it's really an alto, grittier song...not meant for a soprano. And Colleen is not really a power-belter. We had spent a lot of time trying to work the song - and she was really improving - but it just wasn't HER. So, Rich suggested that maybe we could give that song to Katie instead (since Colleen already had a ton of material). I spoke to her about it the next morning - and she was totally cool - because she didn't love the song, but Katie DID - so she was happy to give it to her. It was a perfect fit - and like in fifteen minutes we picked a key and Katie rocked the casbah with the thing. Yay. Two birds killed with one stone.

Blame Canada was still a big debate. We agreed to look at it again - but I had a feeling that it was not gonna make the cut. Which bummed me out a lot. I also had to start seriously figuring out the show order - and getting my script FINISHED. When I had been in Bermuda I had done almost all the research for the movie show - but I hadn't actually started transforming that research into a script. It took a lot of work - particularly the first time around because i was still trying to figure out what the HECK my role was going to really be. This was all really Janice's fault... I had never intended on being a part of the shows, but she so enjoyed the concerts i worked at at Town Hall that were hosted by my boss, Scott Siegel, and thought the trivia was so interesting that she thought people here might really like it. Rich and I were a little concerned that it could go both ways - and very possiblity turn into "Shut up and let the people sing already!". So it was a fine line. I finally got the thing put together in a first draft form and two days before we opened I read through the script for Rich and the actors. During which, after I had finished every introduction, Jordan would say...

"OH MY GODDDDD....THAT WAS SOOOOOOO LONNGGGGGG."

He's lucky he's fluffy. But he was right - my first draft was sort of like "Charlton Heston reads the Bible unabridged'". It was too scholarly - to academic - to long - too too too. The actors were incredibly, unbelievably helpful because despite the fact that they had their OWN crap to worry about - they really helped me a lot. They actually were kind of excited about this new element and thought it was valuable - as long as it wasn't too LONNGGG. So. I cut. And cut. And trimmed. And they would say "That's boring"...or "That's interesting but still too long" and I just started paring it down every spare second I had. I ended up cutting about ten pages out of the thing by the time we opened...and even then adjusted a little bit as we learned what the audience liked and didn't like.

As we were trying to get the show ready - Rich was working balls to the wall (is that a rude phrase... I don't even know... what balls? why would you put your balls against a wall?) to actually turn the lobby into...well a theatre. The stage was now assembled (I loved it) - And he had built a cool scaffold thing so that he could be perched up with the light and sound equipment up on the side stairs (again - floor real estate was too valuable - we had to put all the equipment somewhere where a dining table COULDN'T go). The plan had been to put Tim with his keyboard up on the opposite set of stairs - but just as the Pack Leader was about to start building it - he realized the KEYBOARD WAS TOO WIDE. It wouldn't fit on the stairs. Disaster. So we had to find a place to relocate Tim. The obvious answer was to put him right in front of the stage against the center arch... but that used up valuable table real estate too. Finally, at the last minute, we decided he would have to go about six hundred miles away by the men's room. But he had a clear view of the stage, his own monitor so he could hear perfectly - and we made it work.

Where I was going to be was a whollllleeee other story. Again - we had issues wth table real-estate. There wasn't really any room for me to sit ON the stage - and I didn't want to be that PRESENT through the whole show. Cuz frankly, my poker face isn't THAT good if things go awry :) I had always thought I would just sort of be sitting on a stool at the side of the stage with a music stand and then stand - deliver my crap - and then sit down again. This plan did not work. I was apparently taking up valuable table real-estate... We didn't have enough lighting instruments to really dedicate one just for me... Because most of the audience was seated at the side, wherever I was, either I blocked the actors or the actors blocked me. It was not going well. Rich was peeved because he had just wanted me to memorize my script. Which I had always said I wasn't going to do - I get too severe of stage fright nowadays to not have the words in front of me...and it's just too much too learn for three shows in a row and do everything else. And I was scared. Did I mention I was scared. I also really wanted to be able to stand behind a podium... which I couldn't have...but AT LEAST a music stand because my hands shake when I'm nervous and I wanted something to hold on to. AND if I was holding a microphone I couldn't turn pages.

I had no choice. After a lengthy EXTREMELY CALM (not) discussion, the only real solution was for me to have to step onto the stage and deliver the stuff. So I had to hold my script. Hand shaking and all. This mean that my cuts not only had to make the show shorter - every section also had to fit on a single page because I couldn't hold a microphone and turn a page. So I figured I could deal with that. So I sucked it up and adjusted. I worked through that night making my script user-friendly in a binder and hoped I'd cope. The next morning when we tried it out I couldn't see a THING. Because we weren't able to have any lights from above and behind us, there was no light on my script - and a bunch of lights shining right into my eyes. I was completely blinded. ARk. So I had to start experimenting with booklights. Which was ridiculous. I mean i was going to walk onstage with an itty bitty booklight. Luckily over the years I have develo0ped a fondness for these things (since I read at night and Rich falls asleep way before I do). It turned out that out of like the six booklights I own, only ONE of them was bright enough, could sit and the right angle, AND was sturdy enough to stay in place. And of course... it's batteries were almost dead. And, the day before the show, with nothing else to worry about... I had to travel all over town trying to find the specific model of stupid watch battery that this stupid thing took. But let me tell you - after this little guy got me through the shows - I am VERY attached to this booklight. If I ever lose that thing I'm gonna cry - cuz it's saved my life. And, in the process of the summer, I went through twenty batteries in it. And - now that I was unhappily separated from my music stand - it was determined I could sit right in front of the stage between tables and step up onto the deck to speak. Which meant I was staring at the actors, and they were staring at me the whole time. Lucky them. Colleen actually never looked at me ONCE all summer during a performance because she knew we would just start to giggle.

So that logistical problem was solved - but we had another one to tackle. Water. The actors were stuck onstage for an hour and half with no break. They had to be have access to water - but there wasn't anywhere to put it. If they had it on the floor they'd have to reach down super-awkwardly to the floor and draw way too much attention and look clumsy. Hmm. I then managed to create the greatest invention in theatrical history since the Miss Saigon helicopter. I know present to you... THE HYDRA-STOOL!!!!!

PITY THE FOOL THAT AIN'T GOT THIS COOL STOOL stool-cool.JPG

See, what I did - in one of my few lifetime strikes of complete genius - was to get four water-bottle holders for bikes... I got these really nice black ones that had adjustable straps - and then I screwed them to stool in the back corner (so they weren't in the audience's view). Tha actor's LOVED them, and they worked like a charm. This is officially patented as the ultimate cabaret stool and i intend to make gazillions.

We got a show order settled on and the actors started working things through in order. I was astounded how well they managed to remember who moved what where, when and which mic they should be holding for each song. It was a LOT to remember without being able to get offstage and check a cheat sheet... and they did beautifully. I don't know how they did it on the first show, because if I hadn't had the next thing in front me to know what to say, I would have no idea what song was next. We also did ye olde theatre trick and put colored tape on the microphones so that they actors knew which one they should be holding AND if something went wrong and they were holding the wrong mic, Rich would be able to tell which one they accidentally ended up with. Because the black cords, against a black stage could get very confusing (it was hard to tell sometimes if your cord was trapped underneath another one) we also put colored tape about every foot running down the mic cord along the floor - which saved a lot of potential hazards. Isaac still struggled with the mic cords like he was being attacked by a sea-serpant in 20,000 leagues under the sea. The other guys seemed to jump around them like champion double-dutchers, but the big fella wasn't quite so adept. He had to do some extra-curricular mic practice or he was gonna end up lynching himself.

Now keep in mind all this is still happening in like the same 24 hour period. Madness. Janice and Rich during the days were also working like crazy people to get the women's room in a more finished state. The night before the first performance I actually stayed up almost all night fighting with molding in there. Even with Larry's mega pneumatic nail monster - the brad nails just WOULD NOT sink into the concrete - they just bend like someone trying to stab Superman with a plastic fork. Finally the L-Man rescued me and taught me how to shoot the nails UP into the ceiling rather than into the wall - and kind of suspend-attach the crown molding. Which, of course, worked brilliantly. It was still a sucky job - but by the time the first patrons walked in, the bathroom was pretty much done. We still (even now) have some finishing touches... and those old giant stall doors gave Rich and Janice a heck of a time - and have to be readjusted. But, it was functional and looked soooo much better than that bathroom had in at least four decades. The ladies seemed very pleased. But they want those other stalls... pronto :) We're workin' on it. Promise.

You may have noticed we still don't have a bar-room. No kidding. When do we open, you ask? Oh yeah, in one day's time. Like I said before - we didn't have to have the bar finished because customers were never going to enter that room DURING the supper club run anyway. I mean - it would be nice... but it had to function as a bar, not LOOK like one for this summer. And, we didn't have to have it even functional for the first week of shows because our liquor license was delayed. So what's the worry, you ask? Welllll - the excise police have to INSPECT your bar area before they allow you to start purchasing liquor. So we had to have the storefront connected TO the lobby by the time the shows opened. Erk. Guess who comes to the rescue.

An Eckert. Big shock, right? What do you want... a freakin' prize.

George had scheduled with Rich to come make a giant hole in our lobby wall connecting the storefront to the lobby. The day before we opened. Now, I do not have the wisdom of the pack leader. But let's just say I thought this was Nucking Futs, as they say. i thought he was the mayor of looney town. I thought he was Captain Cuckoo. But - this was convinced that this was the best way to schedule it. And I'm sure he was right.

(shhhh.. don't tell him. He was crazy. Crraaaaaazy. Just between you and me).

So. George and his two strapping handsome Eckert sons come along to rip down the building. Keep in mind he was having to cut an archway through like a FOOT of god-knows-what. Concrete...brick...we had no idea. We knew there was going to be dust and rubble and crap EVERYWHERE. Janice had said we shouldn't even try to wipe down the ceiling diamonds (which had become dull and dusty during the bathroom construction, and were making me sad cuz they looked really blah) until after it was done. George had Rich prop up some plywood on the lobby side to try and contain the rubble and went to work. And Lo, Another Eckert miracle. This man made NO mess. NONE. There was no dust in the lobby. No ruined carpet. No gravel. Like maybe a microscopic amount of powder that was vaccuumed in five seconds. It was INSANE.

From the storefront side, as each piece of brick and cement crumbled - it went right into the truck:

wall-into-truck.JPG

NO TROUBLE WITH RUBBLE george-wall.JPG

And, so, in about an hour... we had a bar. With a giant gaping hole for a doorway - but hey. We knew that. :) It was absolutely incredible - and Rich and Janice ended up with a few extra precious hours because they didn't have to spend time doing clean-up. For the first few performances (while the license was pending) Janice made a large black curtain which draped across the archway to camaflauge the cavern perfectly.

It was kind of a unique experience for me. Because I'm really used to getting a show ready in a theate. I'm not used to BUILDING the performance space AND getting the show ready at the same time. So all these issues that normally have been solved long before you arrive had to be sorted out. But, now, whether we were ready or not... it was time to tech the show.

xo jojo.