"...and I hate your @$$ costumes!"*
No, of course I don't- we're just both so tired we don't know which end is up. Doing this is a little
like having a baby or wallpapering a room by yourself- you get into the big middle of it and wonder why you ever thought that was a good idea. But the results are so worthwhile that a type of amnesia sets in until you find yourself doing it all again.
This was my To-do list yesterday:
Sew remaining buttons of Bumble's coat
Baste cape to Bumble's coat
Change a button on Dodger's vest
Top-stitch the front facings of Dodger's coat
Baste false hair into two workhouse caps.
Add a hook and eye to a necktie as he can't get it over his head with his make-up on
Add ribbon ties to a hat (and I did the wrong one, because I didn't write it down, so Joan repaired it.)
Run elastic through the waist of two skirts, try them on the actress and stitch them down.
Sew buttons of the front of the Sword Swallower's vest and attach a braid closure
Let down the hem in one pair of rental pants and take up the hem in ditto
Add some ragged, flimsy fabric to the hem of Fagin's coat, so that it looks as though the lining is coming out
Put a pocket inside one of the gang vests
Distress orphan costumes. This involved laying them out on the drive outside, spraying them with grey spray paint and then dry-brushing them with brown paint, turning them over and repeating the process. I only did half of them, because I wanted to see the effect under the lights (they need a darker brown, it turns out) and because it was too darn hot out there.
Collect all costume pieces we rejected for Fagin's Gang and hang them on the spare rack.
Ditto for Women's Chorus.
Move petticoats from dressing room to the wonderful dressing area Joan and her husband rigged up in the Green Room for the women with those plastic latch strips, a curtain rod and rings and an old knit sheet.
And that was before the rehearsal began...
If you're wondering why all those things hadn't been done earlier in the process, some problems just don't show up until you see a costume under the lights or an actor rehearses in them. We just can't keep the actions of forty-one people in mind at all times and need the actor to let us know what little fiddles the costume needs. And, when we see the whole ensemble on stage, we often have to fill in items: this grouping is too pale, he needs a different neckercheif, she needs something on her head or off her head, a color looks weird under the lights, an actress needs her skirt taken up because she has to climb stairs with her hands full of props- things like that.
My To-Do for today:
Spend the morning with Bubs not thinking about theater at all.
Take up pants hem
Tack other pants hem to legs
Tighten elastic in an underdress sleeve
Make a workhouse top
Start Good Show notes
Order flowers for volunteer moms
So, not so bad.
And the feedback we're getting is very gratifying. One of our Mr. Brownlow's said to me last night "I want to be Fagin, just so I can wear that costume."
* paraphrased from Waiting for Guffman, the best community theater movie there is.