We had an exciting ride yesterday. All was calmly proceeding according to plan and then - ouch! - the pit elevator in the Harris Theater seized up and came to immovable rest neither up nor down. This in itself was a manageable problem. But worse to come? Yes, the pit was declared unsafe to carry the load of the orchestra. This was finally determined around 6 pm......just 90 minutes before curtain up.
What then proceeded was a miracle of calm confident improvisation as the orchestra, and all its bits and peices, were moved with speed and precision by the immensely competent Harris staff - to where? To the stage, upstage of the set which, as you know from the photographs you have seen here, including the one above, consists of two large pieces of scaffolding. Imagine the orchestra positioned behind them - discretely lit and there you have it.
Anyway it worked brilliantly which is testament to the immaculate preparation in all departments. And the show was a huge success with a large audience totally engaged and getting it, and giving a standing and noisy ovation at the end. We were all pretty thrilled.......
The performance was preceded by a charming and amusing explanation to the public by our brilliant Director of Artistic Operations, Jerry Tietz, who seems to be able to turn his head and hand to everything he encounters and accomplish it all with aplomb. And our Production Manager, Brad Vernatter, who had to deal with the unfolding drama, displayed a calm, confident and decisive demeanor, handling himself and the situation with remarkable maturity. The ability of these two young people is scary! COT is truly blessed to have this strong team.
It was a late night and I have been trying to emerge all morning. I think I am there!
It is a hot day in Chicago, going up to 80 apparently. I will be at Teseo orchestra alone and Sitzprobe for a time later this afternoon and early evening. Otherwise I am taking it gently!