Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three Times Before the Tree Grows

I know it's been a while since I last posted; I've had a couple of blog posts rattling around in my brain, but haven't had the time to write them down!

Last weekend was a four-performance weekend. Friday night I worked backstage at B's Nutcracker performance. On Saturday, I left the house at 9:50 am, returned for five minutes at lunchtime, then headed out for another Nutcracker. "Dinner" was 15 minutes at home, spent packing up my stuff, e-mailing and calling carpool members to sort out who was driving, then driving into SF for the S&P concert. With the post-concert reception and the drive home, I didn't get home until 11:30. Sunday afternoon was the first Voci concert (one more this weekend).

On Tuesday, I worked backstage for two outreach performances of the Nutcracker (Act I only), and on Wednesday night I worked the first half of the dress rehearsal before leaving for a Voci dress rehearsal.

Which brings me to the actual topic of this post: Nutcracker music. Although I took ballet as a kid, I never got to perform in a Nutcracker. In college, my women's chorus served as the Boston Ballet's chorus for their Nutcracker production, so every year we would get on the T and ride downtown to the Wang Center. We put on choir robes, picked up our battery-operated candles, and waited backstage for our cue, which was the growing Christmas tree. I still know the musical cues for that--the music grows three times, and the big event happens at the end of the third crescendo. That's when we filed out onto the risers, holding our little candles. Two decades later, I'm still listening for the same cues, because that's when the stage crew has to stumble onto the stage in the dark and remove the furniture (couch, table, and chair), while trying not to collide with the mice frantically throwing gifts and the Nutcracker doll off stage. Next time you watch the Nutcracker, look around during that scene and see what's going on in the dark!

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