Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jingle Opening

Howdy all

Thanks for all your good wishes for the opening of Jingle Spree this past Friday. We had a pretty decent opening night; not a full house, but a respectable-sized audience that was very responsive. It was pretty gratifying to finally do the show for people who weren’t familiar with it, especially since the past week has been a major endurance challenge.

We were at the theatre until at least midnight every night leading up to opening. That was bad enough… but 'round about Wednesday I started to succumb to a cold that Trish has been suffering from for the past couple weeks. I’d been doing a fairly good job of fighting it off until this past week… the long hours and short nights’ sleep conspired to lower my defenses, and by opening night I was sneezing and coughing a deep, rattling cough.

That didn’t dampen the excitement of Opening Night too much, though. As we gathered on the stage before the inaugural show with our director Tony Sonera, there was an electricity in the air that we could all feel. Tony has a little ritual he performs whenever a show he directs opens: he creates a special scent for that show (a small bottle of perfume… don’t know how he does it or where he gets the components), and he anoints everyone in the cast and crew with it. Then, he appoints one person in the cast the custodian of the scent (Bill Barry got that honor this time around); it’s that person’s job to distribute a dab of the scent to everyone in the company every performance. It’s a nice little ritual… one that brings us all together and reminds us that the captain of our ship may not be in the house every performance, but he's there with us in spirit.

The electricity of opening night has dispersed a bit, however, as the weekend has progressed. Unfortunately, publicity for the show has been a bit lacking. We didn’t appear in the Willamette Week’s performance listings, and the Oregonian didn’t put us in the "Openings" section of their weekly "A&E" Arts and Entertainment Insert. Consequently, our audiences have been small. We almost had to cancel today’s show (the general rule is that if the actors on stage outnumber the audience, you call off the show and invite the audience members to come back another night – usually comped.) That would have been a pity, too... today was probably our best show yet. Everyone in the cast is putting out %110 on stage. Those who have seen the show have raved about it; they find Dan’s script to be fresh and interesting, and they absolutely love Deanna Wells and Eric Ried’s work.

We’re hoping that word-of-mouth is going to spread over the course of next week… we should also have a review in the Oregonian sometime next week (hopefully good). Hopefully audiences will improve next week; it’d really be a shame for people to miss this show.

I guess only time will tell… Hope you’re all doing well.