Author Topic: The Night the Lights Went Out in Chi-Town  (Read 5855 times)

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The Night the Lights Went Out in Chi-Town
« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »

I've finally gotten far away enough from this one to tell the tale...So, the
theatre that I currently work in (yes, currently!) is housed in a City College
building.  Which is all well and good, except that we don't control the
facilities folks.  Normally an okay thing, but on one particular afternoon
last July, on the closing performance of a major musical, the thunderstorms came
rolling in about a third of the way into Act II.  The crew was gabbing over
headset about how loud the rain sounded on the roof.  One of the leads was
in the middle of a solo dance number...and then the spot op yelped.  That
was all I heard, because the headsets then went dead.  Then the lights went
dead.  Lightning zap straight to the transformers of the building, with 45
minutes left in our closing show!  No chance of calling in the
rent-a-custodian from the Government-hired staff.  Fortunately, it was a


We piled the audience out into the lobby, still well lit in that eerie,
thunderstorm yellow kind of way.  The house staff poured the wine, intended
for our post show party, into the sturdy few house members who decided to
stay.  We scrambled around in the pitch black hall for a few minutes trying
to figure out what we're supposed to do.  I finally come up with a plan--we
do the rest of the show as a staged reading, a cappella, in the
lobby.  There is some debate, but the cool head prevails.  We all
troop upstairs to the lobby.  The Managing Director, already flipping out
over the whole little power outage thing, accosts me and asks what the plan
is.  I say we've got it under control, and start calling the actors to
"places."  It was at this moment that the debate erupts-- an
alternate plan, proposed by our diva as we were heading up the stairs has
confused the cast.  The Managing Director hears this, blows a fuse at me
for lying to him and saying things were under control, and fires me on the spot.


The two main actors muscle up to the Managing Director and step in the
way.  "We'll do it Kay's way, thanks."  After the show, one
of the actors confessed that he was to blame for the whole snafu.  (He
wasn't really--I love that man!)  I find it truly amusing that six months
later, I'm still Resident Stage Manager of the company and the Managing Director
has quit.


Oh yeah, and the shrieking spot op?  His unit arced at him as the power
blew.  Heckuva day.


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