This past week the cast and crew of the Missoula Community Theatre production of Monty Python's Spamalot entered into the last week before dress rehearsal, and the eventual opening night on November 8.
After a successful work day last Saturday, the cast and crew rehearsed on Sunday night to allow them to have a dark day on Halloween. Now that the set has been built (although a few pieces still need some final painting), and the flys have all been hung, it was time for the cast to become accustomed to the new scenery on the stage. Entering into this final phase of rehearsals brings a new kind of reality to the process, reminding the cast and crew of just how close opening night is.
After spending Sunday night with the entire cast, running through the show, Monday night was spent with a handful of cast members to hammer out some difficulties and polish the performances. The entire cast returned on Tuesday and Wednesday for additional run-throughs before taking Thursday night off.
Friday night we returned to the stage for another run through. Although the energy level was down during the first few numbers, it quickly ignited and the show continued to improve.
Saturday brought the beginning of Tech Hell aWeek, as the cast assembled for a multitude of assignments. First up we spent an hour doing some of the final painting jobs before stopping for the Dress Parade. This is when the cast changes into their costumes and parades them before the costume department and the director, in the order in which the costumes appear in the play. Once we were done with that, we all gathered together for a potluck lunch before assembling together for our first rehearsal with our orchestra. The experience was priceless. The entire prior rehearsal process has been with a single piano, so it was an audio extravaganza as we heard those same notes coming from a full orchestra.
Between the end of our orchestra rehearsal and tomorrow afternoon, the director and his tech crew will go through what is called "dry tech" where the director explains the effects he wants to the tech crew. Tomorrow we are scheduled for a "cue to cue" tech rehearsal. That means we will run the show long enough for the tech crew to get each cue before jumping to the next crew. At the conclusion of the cue to cue, we will run the whole show start to finish, incorporating all the elements - tech, set pieces and flys - in preparation for the first of three dress rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Next week I'll bring you profiles of our four lead characters - King Arthur, the Lady of the Lake, Patsy (Arthur's trusted companion) and the French Taunter. That will bring you up to time for opening the show. See you then.