Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tour de Todd

As  Sweeney Todd winds down, we are all thankful for a good run and appreciate all who attended. The houses all appeared to be full and things have been going incredibly smoothly. One thing that concerned me before the run was this unsettling instability in the pit floor, but the orchestra pit seems to have evolved some over the years. Time was, about once or twice per show at the CBT, (I’m remembering this from the late 1987 when they produced West Side Story) there would be a small earthquake (pitquake?) as the lift system for the pit would “burp” and you wondered whether you should file calmly out.

After Tuesday night’s performance, the orchestra members were treated to a tour of the set. We got a chance to see “the chair,” and our minds boggled as we learned that it took two months to construct. You see, this is no ordinary chair. The back of the chair tilts backwards, and the barber’s job of disposing of customers is simplified by CBT’s amazing carpenters. Here is tympanist Mike Combs taking a test-drive.

One charming detail of the scenic design is this general jumble of fake body parts underneath the body drop. I mean, I guess they're fake; I know that the body farm is nearby....

Speaking of body drop, we got a chance to see the whole shebang, and some of us even tried it out. It's tight quarters up there where bodies enter the tube to slide down, requiring no small amount of agility. It reminded me of some of the tree forts we built as kids; we made the entrances treacherous so that intruders would not be able to take over our fort. Here harpist Cindy Hicks takes a slide. I tried it too, head-first on my back. It was cool, man!

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