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Road to Opening Week 14: Matt Armet on 1 Weeks to A CHORUS LINE at Stratford

1 weeks until Opening Night

How did we get here already? I'm exhausted! But it's the best kind of exhaustion. I wouldn't have it any other way. We've been having a very busy week. Between A Chorus Line and the other shows we are crossed into, we've all had a preview or dress rehearsal plus a four hour rehearsal call every day this week. We can see the finish line of Opening Week. We are so close!

We were very busy this week doing a lot of dance cleaning rehearsals onstage with our amazing assistant choreographer/dance captain Steve Cota, who also plays Larry. At this stage in the process, cleaning rehearsals get very particular. We go over every little detail of choreography to make sure we are all doing the exact same thing, especially in sections where we are supposed to look identical. Traffic patterns and formations are double checked in an effort to make sure that the dance captain, stage managers and understudies all have the correct notes.

For months now, on the Stratford Festival website, there has been a "95 shows" total next to our headshots on the A Chorus Line production page. While visiting this page today, I noticed that they have added a few other "fun facts". So, this week I thought I'd give you a list of other "FUN FACTS" about our production of A Chorus Line.

  1. If we have a 2pm show, most of us will be at the theatre by noon or at least 12:30pm. We start with a 30 min physical warm up (led by Steve Cota), followed by a 10 min vocal warm up (led by one of the ladies from our musical direction team). Then we start getting ready, with a 10 min window to get onstage and try anything we want to on stage before the audience is allowed into the theatre.

  2. Because our bodysuits and tights are quite revealing, some of us don't use the traditional clear medical tape to hold the microphone chords to the back of our necks. Instead someone from the wig department uses this cool glue to stick the chord to our neck and down our backs.

  3. The fastest quick change into the finale costumes is 38 seconds. The longest is about a minute. We have a team of only six dressers helping all of us change into our gold costumes that have roughly 50,400 crystals glued to them.

  4. Every character in the show starts their monologue after having stood on the line for a while. Chad McFadden (Don) is the only one who gets to drink water offstage right before he runs on for his monologue. (He pointed this out to me yesterday while helping me come up with ideas for this section. lol)

  5. While "Music and the Mirror" and Paul's monologue are happening on stage, our understudies (who dance the Opening Number and then sing backup vocals backstage) go to a rehearsal hall and do what they've named, "COVER CAMP." They set up a circuit training event to do for 20 mins to stay warm and ready in case they get put on at any moment in the show.

  6. Our crew: one props, one carpenter, one automation, three sound (front of house, booth and LX), four follow-spot operators, one booth LX. That's a total of 11 crew members (very small for a main stage musical).

  7. I wanted to find out the total amount of bulbs in the truss for the finale, but no one had the number for me. So if anyone is up to the challenge of staying after the show and counting them, that would be great! Ha!

Quote of the Week: This one comes from Galen Johnson (Frank) once again. He's always keeping us entertained pre-show in the dressing room. To quote him, "don't tell anyone your scene goals or they won't come true." If you see him at the stage door, make sure his ego is in check. It might be pretty big after having his "bits" quoted twice in my blog. LOL

Photo credit:

From left: Ayrin Mackie as Sheila, Matthew Armet as Greg, Dayna Tietzen as Cassie, Chad McFadden as Don and Alexandra Herzog as Kristine. Photo by David Hou.

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