Last night was a great, if not downright strange at times, evening in the theater.
We have a group of about 60 college kids in attendance in a very full theater. About as close as it gets without being sold out. It’s great to start our weekend with a packed, appreciative house.
We walk a line with this show, in theater in general, of having older crowds who may not be as vocal during a show to a younger crowd not at all shy to offer oohs and ahhs and no-you-didn’ts to performers.
At times – both sets can be too much – you want something and you’re not getting anything or no matter what you do they’re going to laugh and laugh and laugh – and we’ve officially now had the extremes of both of those sides. It was somewhere between A Night at the Apollo and a State Thespian Festival event.
Don’t get us wrong – we LOVED having them and we LOVED the energy and response. We just haven’t had an audience like that yet during this run. To be honest I think a lot of us would be fine with going out with three more audiences like that before we close – it was just a drastic shift from last weekend’s relatively sleepy audiences.
Our only pet peeves – and these pet peeves remain consistent whether we’re doing Kitefliers, an (abridged) show or King Freaking Lear:
TURN OFF YOUR MOTHERHUMPING PHONES
In a theater as small as ours – we can pretty much hear every word spoken in the room – even when folks whisper. If you’re having a chat with a neighbor – it becomes horribly distracting. Keep in mind the front few rows are usually in full spitting distance and halfway in the light. Here’s a good rule: If you can hear us, we can hear you.
The phone thing just takes the cake. It’s on a sign by the door when you come in. It’s in the program. The director comes out a third time and asks you to turn off your crap before the show. Why is there almost always at least one person with a phone blowing up in the show?
Another hint: If you’re so popular or important that you have to make a call or check voicemail at intermission – make sure you turn it back off before re-entering the theater.
Oh, what the hell, I’m full of advice: If your phone goes off don’t try to act like it’s not your phone ringing by ignoring it, and don’t answer the phone!
Alright, I’m down off the soapbox.
Speaking of things blowing up – we had a Murphy’s Law performance in regards to technical matters last night (which we can lump the talkers and phone in with as well), though it didn’t effect the actual performance. Exploding pyros backstage, a skipping CD at a really inopportune time – you name it.
Thankfully, it being the third week of the run and us having such an awesome audience just made it all slide right off our backs. I’m surprised we all had such a good sense of humor about it – but that’s just a testament to the power of a rocking-good audience and the groove you get into when you’ve been running a show for a while.
It’s probably the fastest to their feet an audience has ever been at the end. In addition to the students, we also all had a fair amount of friends in the audience. In particular I had three friends in the front row who I’m really glad made it. They seemed to be really glad, too. What an odd, beautiful misture of tears and laughter at the end.
I’m very sad to see this thing go.