Friday, April 07, 2017

Catastrophic crash + glow tape = theater magic

So Follies preview night was a smashing success, despite the fact that even with all my meticulous costume presets I still managed to mis-preset a pair of pants and completely lose into never-to-be-found thin air the giant overcoat I'm supposed to wear in the opening number.

But! I also learned some kind-of awesome Paramount Theatre lore: There is a rather unfortunately located column just offstage right behind the first masking curtain. I don't know if it's load-bearing or if it contains can't-be-moved electrical or plumbing lines but it's a person-wide tower of concrete that stands exactly where a person would naturally exit from the front of the stage. Plus -- like every backstage surface at every theater in the universe and beyond -- it's painted black. The Paramount Theatre stage crew has helpfully marked the corners of the column with glow tape and posted signs to call attention to its presence so actors don't crash dramatically -- as if there were any other way they'd do it -- into it as they leave the stage. But from time to time it's bound to happen, right?

And guess what? Not only does it indeed happen from time to time, but look at the tally marks in this picture. The stage crew actually keeps track of the crashes. WITH GLOW TAPE. And even though I've never seen a crash of glow-tape-worthy severity -- and I certainly understand and empathize with the people in the rushed, in-total-darkness-situations where such crashes could unfortunately occur -- I nonetheless see this glow-tape crash tally as pants-splittingly funny. And I know a thing or two about splitting your pants on stage. And it's always funny
So anyway. We open tomorrow at 2:00. And by 5:00 Sunday our three shows will be over and we'll all disperse to wherever my overcoat went until the next show that some of us do together. And now that I've jinxed myself by laughing so callously at the 11 mysterious strangers who've earned glow-tape tally marks and may have broken bones or lost teeth in the process, I'll probably earn the 12th hash mark before our run ends. And I'll probably be wearing the wrong preset pants when I do it.

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