Today's blog comes to you from deep in the trenches of tech at the Music Box! For the past week and a half we have been hunkered down at the theater for extremely long hours every day doing everything we need to do to get this show ready for our first preview audiences this weekend. Tech is always pretty hectic, and our show - with so many extraordinary and complicated technical elements - is no exception.
By far our biggest challenge this tech process has been trying to fit the show on the new stage. The stage at the American Repertory Theater was several feet larger than the stage at the Music Box. Specifically we had several more feet of depth including an apron at the front of the stage that allowed much of the action to take place downstage of the set. It is a bit of a puzzle working out how to fit all the same dance numbers, set pieces, acrobatic tricks, etc. on a condensed surface. However, the ultimate effect will be fantastic for the audience; losing those feet of space brings the whole set closer to the audience and gives the entire show a more intimate feeling. Sitting in the audience now, you feel you are right in the middle of the action onstage - even from the last row of the mezzanine. It is really spectacular.
The backstage is much smaller here too. All week our amazing stage management team and our tireless crew have been playing an intricate game of Tetris trying to figure out how to make the most effective use of the very limited space. A lot happens backstage, and it has been challenging to say the least figuring out the best places to store our many enormous set pieces and props so that they are easily accessible when they are needed but are out of the way when they are not. We also have a lot of very quick costume changes in this show, which means there has to be room backstage for changing areas as well. Those areas must be large enough to fit several actors and dressers as well as all their costumes.
Finally for the Broadway transfer, Diane has added some new exciting concepts in certain key moments of our production. This of course means additional elements to tech. There are now new props and even costume pieces to contend with as well as new tricks and staging. We have been carefully working together as a team to incorporate these new elements as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
Tech is stressful and tedious, but it is also very exciting. Watching the show come to life with full sets, costumes, lights, orchestra, etc. is awe-inspiring and thrilling. One thing is for certain; this show is going to be something very special and something unlike anything else on Broadway. We are all very proud of the work we are doing and the amazing piece we have created. We can't wait to show it to our first audiences in just a few days! But we still have a lot of work to do before then, so if you'll please excuse me, I've got to get back to tech!
Tech at the Music Box
Tech at the Music Box
Patina Miller and Matthew James Thomas rehearse onstage
Matthew James Thomas in music rehearsal.