Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan Opera’

“Anything less than 87% is Fraud-way”

July 14, 2010

by Amy McLeod
July 13, 2010

I love Broadway.  I don’t (or should I say, didn’t) know a thing about it, but I love it.  It is a magical thing to watch a plain, wooden stage transformed into a story and I can’t help but let myself fall into it.

Costumes, lighting, actors, props, music, etc.  The show cannot exist without each of these elements.  No matter how minuscule one may seem, they are all crucial aspects and add something that the show needs.

I didn’t realize how true this was until our visits on Monday.  From seeing the intricate detail that goes into every stage of the costuming process at William Ivey Long‘s studio to hearing about the daily preparation and repairs that our panelists spoke about to seeing the stories and stories of practice space, workshops and costume storage that exist at the Metropolitan Opera.

I would have never suggested that putting together a Broadway production was any small task, but I could have never imagined just how much goes into each and every performance.  One thing that was consistent with all of those we spoke with was their love for it.

It’s hard work and long hours. It requires going on the road for weeks at a time.  There are hours of rehearsal and shows on holidays.  It isn’t always secure work or the extremely lucrative.  But, when the curtain rises and the show begins, it makes all the work well worth it.

All of those who work on the shows understand the importance of each other.  While the actors on stage get most of the glory as they are the faces of the show, they are supportive of the crew that works backstage.  When IATSE, the union for professional stagehands, motion pictures technicians and allied crafts went on strikes, the actors were holding signs and protesting with them.  The show won’t succeed without all of these people, so they must work together and support each other.

We were able to go backstage after seeing Wicked and speak with Lindsay K. Northern who has a role in the ensemble as well as the understudy for Glinda.  She said “anything less that 87 percent is Fraud-way.”  If those working on the show aren’t able to give at least that much, they are detracting from the performance.  But, luckily for us viewers, most of the time, these people are happy to give 110 percent and we get to see an amazing show.

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