Show on the Road: Friday 8/1

Dear Constant Reader,

On Friday Brigitte, Stella, Scratch, and I hit the road for our latest touring venture. It was with a little trepidation, since our final stop was Pittsburgh and we had an interesting (in the Chinese curse sense) trip home from that city last year.

First things first, the annual picture of me looking like I’ve been run over while attaching the cargo carrier. We all met at the studio to load up and head off for our first destination: The Courtyard Theatre in Sellinsgrove, PA.

It was a little fussy loading up the car with all our crap. Although the plan was to have all 3 pink boxes (that’s one of them to the right) that we use in “Factory Girls” (and contain all our costumes) in the car, our Tetris failed and one had to ride on the cargo carrier. And my rice-paper silhouette screen got wrapped in a tarp and rode on the roof. (The reason I mention all these dull details will become clear later). The packing logistics plus some ugly traffic on 93 made for us being a bit behind schedule to start off.

The drive was fairly uneventful for a while and we even made up a little lost time. Then we hit the inevitable Pennsylvania roadwork… and traffic came to a dead stop. Now sooner did we finally start moving than the clouds began gathering and the skies opened up. Torrential rain! Like, Scratch stepped outside for about 75 seconds and was soaked to the skin. That kind of rain.

Remember the pink box and the screen on the outside of the car? I don’t know about anyone else in the car but I was now stressing about being way behind schedule and potentially having ruined a box of costumes (and the box itself) and my major set piece. I could see, when we stopped, that the wind had peeled the end of the tarp on the screen back.

We finally arrived at the theatre. Which is in a mall. Like, turn left at the JC Penney’s to get to the stage door, in a mall.

Two hours late, we began frantically racing to get set up. Fearing for the worst, we unpacked. The bottom of Stella’s trunk had gotten wet and a few items were damp, but nothing too bad. Whew! My screen on the other hand, looked pretty sad. Fortunately, a little packing tape (plus a little pastie tape) got everything back into usable condition.

It’s a pretty nice theatre: large stage, decent lighting, helpful staff, good dressing room with clothing racks, big well-lit mirrors, and a bathroom. And no microphones. We travel with a vintage-style microphone and had requested a stand and cables in our tech rider, but they had none of that. That is, not at the theatre. Someone had the audio equipment at home and forgot to bring it.

It’s not a big theatre and someone with a big voice could easily be heard in the back without amplification, but Stella really needed that microphone for her song. And Scratch had been sick for most of the week and was on the verge of losing his voice. Nothing to do but power through it and hope for the best.

Our special guest performer, Private Tails, arrived, as did Isaac and two kittens from Billtown Burlesque who were helping us out. And we all got ready to go on.

I wish I had thought to take some backstage pictures, but we were in such a rush from the minute we got in the door. The house was packed and the merch was selling fast before the show even started! The acts were all very well received. Stella solved her volume problem by wandering into the audience during the song and then dancing with one particular gentleman. They ate it up.

We got so many nice compliments afterwards. Much of the audience had never seen burlesque before and were just delighted by the show. Yay! That’s what we like to hear. Some of the more amusing comments we got included someone asking if Stella & Brigitte were twins and the fellow who chatted me up for a while about my perfect Irish looks.

Here’s a post-show shot of the cast and some of the folks from the Courtyard theatre on stage:

While packing up, the venue kindly gave us several large trash bags and some packing tape. We bagged & taped up the pink boxes and securely lashed all 3 to the cargo carrier (where they fit very nicely), then swaddled my screen and rewrapped the tarp in a more secure configuration.

Too tired to join the rest of the cast at Applebee’s, we drove down the street to our lovely hotel and passed the heck out.


Published in: on 11 August 2014 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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