Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Opening Night

Two semis have backed up to the loading dock and dozens of stagehands are busy assembling the sets, adjusting the lights, and checking the sound. Cases of wine, beer, and water are being delivered. Boxes of show programs are placed before each entrance to the auditorium. Vacuums are humming and window glass is squeaking. Members of Fiddler's merchandise crew assemble the stand where they will hawk t-shirts, hats, and other commemorative memorabilia. The box office phones are ringing incessantly with those looking to scoop up last minute tickets for the engagement. It's opening night, and the Theatre is almost ready.
One last change- the company manager for Troika, the touring group, insists that the Orpheum is contractually obligated to add "Topol in" to the "Fiddler on the Roof" currently on the electronic marquee. A few clicks of the mouse and that problem is solved.

Later on after everything on stage is set, the musicians go down in the orchestra pit and sound check. All of the stagehands and a few of the musicians are locals.

In the late afternoon, the principal actors may do a short run through of a few scenes, or understudies may receive additional rehearsal time.

After five, the Friends of the Orpheum ushers will arrive and get in position to greet patrons and escort them to their seats. The bartenders will enter the Theatre and make sure they are well stocked for the evening. Tonight, Donna, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Administration will man the concierge desk across from the Fiddler merch to answer any questions patrons may have. At 6:30, the doors open and patrons flood the lobby. An hour later, they will be transported to Anatevka circa 1905.

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