Monday, September 16, 2019

Memo from the RTC: Hell Week - for Sept 20 WAVE



Memo from the RTC:  Hell Week
By Norm Scott

Monday evening, the beginning of Hell Week when a show goes full blown every evening until opening night, the most intensive and difficult time for every show where people don’t get out until 11 PM or later. After this Thursday’s dress rehearsal the actual performances are a snap, Only three days work a week instead of seven.

So I stop by The Rockaway Theatre Company to catch a bit of the rehearsal, the first I’ve been too. There are kinks to work out, especially the lighting and sound cues. This will be a looong rehearsal. From the opening seconds the atmosphere is tense. Issues of gender, race, white supremacy turn up very quickly. Did that stuff go on a century ago? I thought it was all due to facebook and twitter. Some stuff is going to happen on stage tonight that may stay with us for a while. Perfect for these times.

The stage looks gorgeous – like a giant double picture frame – no props are visible. They are stashed in various places, ready to pop up on stage, as if my magic. There are a lot of actors, some of whom I haven’t seen before at the RTC. Wait a minute – how did director Frank Caiati get Mia Farrow looking 40 years younger out to Rockaway to play Daisy? And all those other gorgeous women dressed in 1920s garb? And those handsome guys looking like they were dropped out of a time machine right onto the RTC stage? I want to take some photos but Franky won’t let me. He wants to save the delicious surprises and allow for the magic of transportation back a century for  the audiences who come out for the nine performances beginning this Friday September 20 and running for three weekends. (Tickets - https://www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org/2019)

I can’t stay long and I don’t want to miss the excitement of watching the play unfold on opening night. And I have to get home to watch the Jets get slaughtered by Cleveland and the Mets continue what may turn out to be a heroic but futile try for the playoffs. Yankees are off tonight – thank goodness or I would be going nuts. (Hint: my tablet has the Fios APP and I can watch TV and I can watch the debacle of both games.) So I leave after 10 minutes and come home to find the Jets lose their backup quarterback early on and are on third string and losing 16-3 at halftime. And Mets’ pitcher Steven Matz loses a 4-1 lead by giving up 6 runs in the 4th inning. Think I’ll find a movie – maybe one of the three versions of The Great Gatsby from 1949 or 1974 or 2013  – or maybe go searching to see if I didn’t lose my college copy of the book in the hurricane. Come to think of it, Gatsby, given the outcome, could have fit right in with the Mets or Jets, who should have signed Nick Carroway to play quarterback.

Norm posts all his RTC and School Scope articles on his blog, ednotesonline.com.

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