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Monday, November 22, 2010

Running Towards Dickens

On the final weekend before Dickens, I sent Erik to Mikado rehearsal at 9 a.m., made myself some breakfast, made some food for the week, made rice crispy treats, sorted through the Things box, cleaned the kitchen, took the trash out, and got bundled up for the Cow Palace. At 1:30, I ran out the door, headed for the Palais de Boeuf. On the way I encountered pouring rain so heavy in Redwood City that the windshield wipers on high were just barely managing to make the road visible. By the time I got to Burlingame, I had to get my sunglasses out because the sun was blazing and the sky was blue. Go figure.

Our floor was installed at Dickens, and most of our major furnishing were in place, but all was not well. The lighting was all bulloxed up, regardless that we've been at this for 11 years and regardless of the lighting diagram they had. The rain was coming back and dripping through the roof if all sorts of inconvenient places. We also have no chairs, so that was odd. Our backstage was set up, but lacked it's usual hasp for a lock.

But a good rehearsal was had. We practiced the Belle/Ebenezer scene with Martin and worked on Stagecoach, as well as lots of dancing. We went through the Shakespeare's Sister questions and dancing was nearly drowned out by the sound of hail hitting the room.

The rainstorm I'd driven through earlier was hitting harder by 4 o'clock. At 4:30, the hail was pea-sized and came down in short bursts over the course of the next hour. It was also dumping buckets of rain. Those of us not dancing ran out front to see the hail bouncing off of cars and roofs and such. It's been a good long time since we've had that sort of storm around here, but I suspect it's mostly for the best. The Cow Palace wasn't quite up to the challenge though. The roof was leaking in several places. The deferred maintenance building up is showing now, and unfortunately, one of the leaks is right over our dance floor. We taped it off, put a trash can to catch it, and reported our leaks to management.

Elizabeth mentioned going out to dinner for Sean's birthday. Alexandria was also longing for a steak, so they decided to come along. I asked if it'd be alright if we joined too. Before we knew it, dinner was a table for 10! It was perfect. I'd wanted to do something for Sean's birthday, but had lost the thread earlier in the week. It was such a joy to spend that last evening before Dickens sharing good food with some of my favorite people.

The drive out there was a little less than perfect, but everyone made it safely. Driving home, the rain had returned to a normal sort of rain, falling consistently, but not threatening to swamp us all on the freeway. We tumbled into bed with full bellies, knowing full well the alarm would come too early: our first day of 10 a.m., dressed.

We heard that the roof leaks likely won't be fixed for next weekend (if at all), so we're hoping for no rain on Saturdays and Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That should be do-able right?

The usual lunch options around the Cow Palace are pretty dismal: McDonalds, KFC, or Taco Bell. There's a bakery that does sandwiches, but they're closed on Sundays. A new Chinese restaurant opened last year, so I decided to try it on the good recommendation of a friend, and I can report being very pleased with the result. Fantastic string beans, very good chow mein, and mediocre sweet and sour. I may end up living on string beans throughout the run. They were delicious.

We made it through the day with a lot of hitches and bumps. It was a rockier dress rehearsal than I've seen in years, but we've got a lot of enthusiastic new folks in the cast who look to be a lot of help. By 5:40, we were singing the Hallelujah chorus and running a few Christmas carols before heading home. Home by 7, I felt as exhausted as I usually do after a full day of fair. A couple of episodes of Doctor Who while being relentlessly snuggled by Pixel and Leeloo, and we were off to bed. I can't believe it's really here and we've got the killer 3-day weekend of Dickens starting Friday.


  • The Dr Who christmas Special this year will be based on A Christmas Carol and written by Steven Moffet. I expect it to be awesome.

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 1:29 PM  

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