Baba’s twilight zone

by Sirje

Yesterday I think the show went pretty well, but not without a few slight mishaps. We don’t have a props master… but that’s not really been a problem because it’s a small theater and everyone is able to handle their own props just fine. Until yesterday.

Spoiler alert: In our world, Toby is actually UNDER the séance table, moving the candles and lights and things. He’s covered completely by a large black velvet tablecloth, which I have to spread over the table during the scene preceding the séance, in which we prepare the tricks and set up for our fake ghosts. When the customers of the séance arrive, they don’t see our plump little cherubic Toby stuffed there under the very plain table for all to see. But hm! The tablecloth wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Ooookay…. No matter. I kept singing and acting. I had a short list of a couple other places I thought it could be on stage so I worked in a little scan of the theater to everything else I was doing. It’s a very active staging so this fit in just fine. And I’d had a few other small things go missing the night before, though I was sure I’d put them in the right place, and found them right away.

But oops! It wasn’t on the chair. Or behind the curtain. Or behind the other curtain. Or -omg- anywhere. Where was the tablecloth????? And the customers for the séance were about to arrive in about 4 measures. It was a pretty important piece of cloth, without which the entire rest of the opera would be…. let’s say “more comical” than intended. Nena, the mezzo portraying Baba, and I exchanged looks of dread. Without moving her lips she hissed “Go backstage!! find it!!”

I darted backstage. By some stroke of luck I was drawn directly to the spot where that stupid tablecloth was sitting innocently (WHO the heck would have put it THERE?), sprang back onstage, and spread it just in time as Toby squeezed underneath the table and the customers rang the bell. So it all worked out.

Not so much with the CD player, which seems to have a life of its own and shoots the gunshot CD at times not necessarily at times during with an actor is supposedly shooting a gun. This happens whether or not someone is up in the sound booth………