We've now performed twice, and I have to say I finally feel ready to do it for real. There were mistakes galore - although overall I think it was a fun show.
Poor Harold (who is marvelous by the way) psyched himself out by telling us before going on stage for the first time that if he forgets the words to 76 trombones ("I'm not going to, I'm just planning for disaster") no one should help him out but Marcellus. He doesn't want everyone calling out the words, so Marcellus is the only one who should. Well the poor guy went blank - worse than he's ever done in a rehearsal, and Marcellus was stuck in a corner where he couldn't get to him. The rest of us just stared at his pained face, helpless. The good news is that he recovered after the song and pulled off an excellent performance from there on out. And he nailed the song the second time around.
My big mistake was in getting myself and my son from the stage to the back of the theater between Iowa Stubborn and Trouble. First, my son forgot to bring his prop (he's the little guy with the dime novel) and had to run back for it. I didn't realize that there was absolutely no time to pause, I guess we'd always paused before that. I heard the music starting, and since I was in a dress with heels and have to enter from the back of the theater and be the third group on stage, I hollered to my son to come right now, and took off in a sprint. Well, wouldn't you know that back door was locked? Needless to say, we weren't the third group on stage. But we did get there in time for his bottom to be swatted.
The biggest foible of all was fortunately during the dress rehearsal. We had a brand-new footbridge to run over during the final moments, on our way to the picnic. First some townspeople, then the pick-a-littles (affectionately referred to as pickles) do their prancing, then the shapoopi kids (my daughter is one of those - more about that later).
So here's the thing about the footbridge. It is very steep, and very slippery. But none of us knew that until the moment we stepped on it. When it was my turn to step on it, I was greeted with a pick-a-little bunny ahead of me. (Note: whenever we turn our backs to the audience, the director calls out "I see bunnies!" Terms like "Move your bloomin bunny" and "I don't give a rat's bunny." Have been sprinkled liberally throughout the rehearsals)
This particular bunny was not moving, so I literally put my shoulder to it as I stepped on to the bridge, the treacheries of which I had yet to discover. The result was that I fell backward, was caught by the pickle behind me, who pushed on both of us as she attempted to step onto the footbridge.
We officially had what I believe can be called a Pickle Pileup. I decided then and there I was going to have to invest in some Depends if the footbridge didn't get fixed. (It did, by the way, double-sided tape - now our only problem is that we stick too well.)
One other favorite opening moment. As I came off the stage after the first act, a cute little girl stopped me and asked why people were in the audience. I told her it was because we were performing. "But it's not 2 o'clock!" she said. "Yes it is. We're doing the real show now!" I said. Then her face fell. "So why aren't there MORE people in the audience?"
Welcome to theater life, kid!