It’s beginning to look a lot like … well, you know. And it’s beginning to feel a lot like Dickensian London at the Fine Arts Center. Sometimes dark and dank. Sometimes cheery and festive. Sometimes energized, sometimes downtrodden by heavy skies. And I’m just talking about the cast and crew of “A Christmas Carol.” Weeks of work, rehearsing, building and perfecting set pieces, gathering props, sewing and altering costumes, creating sound and physical effects, are all coming together in a wonderful confluence of … well, creative energies. The show feels BIG,
bigger than any I have ever been a part of.
It must be said that last night’s rehearsal, which was halted at an early 11:15, was a difficult one, and there are still a good number of kinks to be worked out. (Hell Week, the final week before opening, is aptly named.) Things need to run like a well-oiled machine — for reasons of safety and quality — and the machine is a bit more of an industrial-era behemoth at the moment. Ah! But not for long. The only way to get things right is for them to go wrong at first, and then we try it again.
And again. And then again. And then — aha! — it works. This can apply to choreography, songs, stage machinery and set pieces, set changes… It is, indeed, a mystery how it all comes together.
We three ghosts were on the radio this morning plugging the show. Appropriately, it was a legendary / classic rock station. Classics set me thinking about traditions, and how they provide security for us, an underpinning in times of uncertainty. We come back to our long-established traditions, familiar patterns, to remind us what counts, and that there are, indeed, things in life that remain constant, reliable, steady. And that bring us real joy. Like an old Beatles song you’ve heard hundreds, even thousands, of times, that never loses its appeal.
Who knows, maybe the FAC’s “A Christmas Carol” will become part of your yearly holiday tradition! An old familiar like you’ve never seen it!
So, we plunge headlong back into Hell Week tonight, with one more rehearsal to go until Preview. With luck and a lot of sweat, maybe we will get some of the kinks out of the machine.
Regards from GXP*
*Ghost of Xmas Past