Monday, March 12, 2007

The Night Before


We tech tonight. And tomorrow we open.

Here's the difference between tech rehearsals in the theatre and tech rehearsals in the dance world. In theatre, tech happens more than a day before you open and then you preview to work out the kinks; in dance, tech happens sometimes on the actual day you open. On Broadway, there is probably an hour to an hour and a half of tech for every minute of the play, minimum. On Broadway, they use infra-red cameras to choreograph scene changes in the dark. On Broadway they work it until they've got it right.

Broadway is for pussies.

First un-interrupted run with the costumes and lights and sound and everything? Probably tomorrow, with the gala audience.

I've watched dancers and been amazed by this a lot over the years. Sometimes it's like watching a scary movie and thinking, "Wow, no WAY I would do that."

I take it back.

2 Comments:

Blogger Colleen said...

hey, who you callin' a pussy?

and it's funny how we think there's infinite time and money available on broadway. i found that neither exist in reality, and bway directors still fight with producers over distribution of fund and freak out with stage managers over every available second of rehearsal. the more things change, the more they stay the same, etc.

3:14 AM  
Blogger Michael Arthur said...

You and yours, I guess. (Insert smiley-face icon here.)

All things are relative, and working in both dance and theatre as I do, it's strange to see how inverse the relationship is between prestige and financing. I know how cheap Broadway is and how it's a constant struggle for money and time, but I also know what a not-for-profit dance company could do with that overhead.

A friend of mine was recently talking about hanging out with a rich friend of his. Now this rich dude was loaded; he farted money. And my friend struggles with the basics. He's smart, works hard, is well paid, but the cash surplus just isn't there.

They've both been working on the same project, going out together afterwards for a drink or two. Now, my buddy says to me, "he's always complaining about how he's got to be careful about how much he spends--how money's tight--but the rest of us really are broke and it's a little annoying to hear him complain when we know he's rich and we're not."

Well, says I, the truth is we all want more than we have and we never have enough. And--although anything can be a metaphor for that--when money's the metaphor, we all just get pissed off, because, as a metaphor, money's too real. It's got legs, this symbol. It'll bitch-slap you. It's like the made-up monster that became real.

uhm . . . wait. What was I saying?

Oh, right: Dance wants Broadway's checkbook and Broadway would kill for Dance's prestige, but it's all illusion and that's show-biz.

5:38 PM  

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