Firstly, my apologies for getting this blog entry up later than normal, but it has been quite a big week, as tech periods always are! But, we are finally in the wonderful Lyric Theatre!
Now, teching a big blockbuster musical is no simple feat. All departments come together after weeks, or months, and even years of work and pre planning to put all the elements involved in the show together on the stage and into the theatre.
Tech week started with the entire cast becoming familiar with the theatre, the dressing rooms, backstage areas and an orientation on stage. After all, this is where it will all happen each day and our home for the next few months! Personally it was so lovely stepping back on stage at the Lyric as I had not been there since closing Miss Saigon several years ago.
[pull_left]We all settled into our dressing rooms and Rob quickly established his as the “party room” filling it with mountains of lollies and the X Box[/pull_left]
We all settled into our dressing rooms and Rob quickly established his as the “party room” filling it with mountains of lollies and the X Box. The Principal dressing rooms, affectionately named Diva Row, has become the “go-to” place for a sugar fix or a jam with several guitars floating around. The great guys at the Lyric even painted Lucy’s dressing room bright pink for the season! Even stage door could not escape pinkification and has had an Elle Woods makeover, covered in bright pink paint!
Staging-wise, Legally Blonde has a “trap” centre stage where a lot of set pieces appear and disappear from stage. It’s basically a huge hole which opens and closes throughout the show to aid in seamless scene changes. It is also Elle’s first entrance at the top of the show. A lot of the Teching time is focused on the safe and perfect operation of this trap and all other set pieces that fly in, slide on or pop up. Teching a slow process and one that no one ever really looks forward to as it is slow and makes for very long days for everyone, but it’s a necessity to get the show ready for audiences.
All departments set up work stations in the auditorium including the saviours of the show, our wonderful Swings who have to know every step, lyric, vocal harmony, entrances and exits of all the cast so that they can be thrown on in any of the roles they cover at any given time through the season. On Legally Blonde our swings are Ryan, Adele, Darren and Michelle (Michelle has been eagerly awaiting a mention in this blog – even resorting to bribing me with dark chocolate covered bullets – well, chocolate always works on me). Swings and understudies, I think, are the life blood of a production. They keep the show on and the curtain up when sickness or injury hit and hence I will always have immense respect for these valuable cast members. They are also very good for a lolly hit and our team always has a stash on hand!
We all got to see everyone in their costumes for the first time too and there are some great ones! Helen Dallimore tops the list with her Paulette stuff. Poor old Emmett gets ratty corduroy, but does get a nice shark skin suit!
We also got to meet and hear for the first time our brilliant Legally Blonde band! They sound HOT!!! We had what is called a Wandelprobe where we work with the band for the first time. Some of you may be familiar with the process of a Sitzprobe (band and actors in the same room rehearsing), but a wandelprobe is where the band or orchestra is in the pit and actors are on stage doing similar blocking as per the show during the session. It was a great end to the week and we now finally had the pieces of the jigsaw put together! It was just a matter of running the show now before our first audiences.
Next week will be extremely exciting as we will finally be previewing our big pink show to Sydney! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!! I hope you have your tickets already!!
Visit legallyblonde.com.au to book tickets! Legally Blonde officially opens on Thursday October 4