Dear Constant Reader,
I didn’t expect to be writing to you for I didn’t think there would be anything noteworthy. I hoped the show last night would be uneventful. Today I expected to be recovering from weeks of hard work by sleeping in, relaxing, and perhaps taking care of some of the little things that have been falling by the wayside during the Wrathskellar build.
Last night things were completely uneventful, for me anyway, until half an hour before the end of the show. I went into my dressing room to discover that Pearl was helping one of the maids (aka stage hands) pick out pasties. This is how I discovered that Brigitte had had a family emergency* and left early in the show. Other cast members had been filing in during her numbers as best they could all night. I had been so involved in my own thing that I never realized. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t know until so late in the show, which reduced the freaking out, but gave me enough time to prepare myself for the finale being short a person.
That over with, I was looking forward to greeting some folks I knew in the bar and then going home for some cat snuggling and greatly-needed sleep.
That’s when Scratch told me the streets were flooded. We were in a basement. There was water pouring into the kitchen area. Like, broken pipe levels of water.
After cutting the bar entertainments short and sending the patrons on their way, the cast and crew mobilized. We frantically began moving everything out of the kitchen area, but the water kept coming. The water filled the bar and started running down the left-hand hallway into the performance space. We started clearing set dressing as fast as possible from the path of the water. The water kept coming. Running into The Sewing Room, then The Lost Girl’s Garret, into the Left Luggage Office. It started pouring into the back dressing room, and into The Contessa’s Seraglio.
Contrast this picture with the one from opening night.
Thanks to herculean effort from everyone, cast, crew, staff, and a couple of volunteers, we got everything, including the draperies that create the spaces, up off the floor. We had a ton of electronics that needed to be moved to safety. I don’t know how, but even the piano got moved out of the flood area and up onto blocks.
After everything was safe, the water removal kicked into high gear. Most of the cast was released at this point. Heroic effort was made by those who remained: Scratch, Hunter, Mr. Cleave (one of the performers in the bar), Marek (a frequent volunteer) & his dad, Matt (our occasional trumpet player) who had just come to enjoy the show, and Betty. I am so grateful to all of them for their hard work.
We had an industrial shop-vac and the water was deep enough in some places that it could be bailed with improvised buckets. Scratch uncovered what we hoped was a drain, but turned out to be an old sump pit. Marek drove Betty to her house to get her sump pump (I miss the days when Home Depot was open 24 hours…), which Hunter got up and running.
Around 1:30am when Scratch, Hunter, Betty, and I called it quits, the water was noticeably lower.
I’m told that there’s a plumbing crew in there now, doing arcane flood prevention and water draining things. In a few hours we’ll go over, assess the damage, and hopefully clean up, wash the floors, repaint where necessary, and reset all the spaces.
You know what they say about the show going on…
* She’s fine. Everybody involved is fine. She’ll be back tonight.