Ro and I both went to “How to Succeed” on Saturday night. She met up with six or seven of her alumni friends, and sat just above the walk-through with them. I was several rows up behind them.
Delightful production, acting-wise. The lead is very polished, and her old reliables are giving good solid performances. Several of the kids have improved greatly since last year. The young man with the wonderful voice who, in Les Mis, was instructed to ‘stand behind this barrel and don’t move”, has graduated to a real supporting role with funny bits of business. You can tell that the dance teacher labored long and hard to achieve the level of choreography this year. It’s all going very well.
First act ends, second act begins. Here comes the scene which introduces the pirates and the Treasure Hunt Give-away. But what is this pink and black one-shoulder dress she’s wearing? Where is her pirate costume? The next scene is the TV show. Everyone else is in black and pink, as well, with primary colored boas on their hats, which looks distinctly odd. What happened to all that multi-colored crepeback satin? I could literally hear the thought waves rising from Ro, rows in front: “What the hell? WHERE ARE OUR PIRATES?”
Finale, curtain calls, standing O, lights out. Ro and I collide in the walk-through.
“What happened? What was that they were wearing?”
“I have no idea! What do you think went wrong? Can you go find out?
(Because you can’t approach a director surrounded by happy congratulatory parents and old students and ask awkward questions, when there may be a simple explanation.)
“I’ll go backstage and ask Mrs. ______ and tell you when I get home.”
“Thank you! Oh, and Ro- be cool.”
An hour or so later she arrives with the skinny: the costumes were fine, fit great, looked cute, but when worn under the spotlight they used for that scene, they were too shiny, bright and distracting. They borrowed some outfits from the drill team instead. IOW, they “went another direction.”
Whew- their mistake, not mine. What a relief after awful speculation.
These things happen, and you have to do what works best for the production.
And I still get paid...