As part of my job at A.R.T., I assist the Company/Front of House Manager. While he and most of the theater’s staff were across the pond in Scotland with our production of Orpheus X, it was my job to take his place and handle any company managerial needs. This was convenient since I was already spending every day with the company of Figaro and Don Juan Giovanni and they were the only ones around that would require my services.
After a week of rehearsing both Figaro and Don Juan Giovanni he cast of the two shows were asked to perform at The Beehivein Boston’s South End. As the acting Company manager it was my task to assure that everyone arrived safely to the venue and on time for a sound check. If anyone is familiar with the South End, you’ll know that there is very little affordable parking, so it was decided that cabs were the easiest way to get everyone there. Because we were traveling in a group of 15, I was nervous that one of the cabs might get lost, or that we would be late ipso facto. Thankfully, everyone arrived without event!
The Beehive is a really funky bar in what used to be the boiler room of the BostonCenterfor the Arts. The décor was really neat with various chandeliers and a small stage that you could actually see from both floors of the restaurant. The fabric they had draped around the proscenium of the stage was exquisite. The whole place had a very artsy-shabby-chic feel without being too pretentious. Perfect for a group like us.
When we got there, we all sat down and ordered food until it was time for the actors to perform. The food was really good and it was nice to sit down with everyone in a more relaxed environment. It was nice to have time to joke around with each other and even give one another a hard time. Soon it was time for the performance, and they sang a selection of songs from both shows. Steve Epp and Dominique Serrand did intros for the songs and the actors did their best to convey what the songs added to the plot (they sang in Italian with no subtitles, so not an easy task!). It was weird seeing them sing the songs I’ve watched them rehearse all week with a glass of wine in hand or with playful over the top gestures. I really enjoyed it.
I am constantly shocked and amazed at the voices these actors/singers have. Having no experience with opera, I always picture large women with horned helmets in brightly colored wench costumes! That would not describe these performers at all! They are all gorgeous! I think some of the patrons in the club were surprised that such big voices came out of such small people. It was funny to see the shocked faces of some of them.
The set was about half an hour long and everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely. Immediately after the set, most of us went back to our tables to have a drink and left soon after. Everyone returned to Cambridge<, some having waited a little while for a cab to pick us up. My cabby ended up getting into a little argument with a driver from a Boston cab company who thought our driver was stealing curbside fare. Oh, jeepers. Just a little drama to end the evening!
All in all, the event went well and I was glad to have some “bonding time” with the Jeune Leune Company. I kind of wish they were always here. They’re fun to hang out with. I’m really looking forward to our “Opening” party!