Sunday, August 24, 2008

Can we not get a break- please?

Yesterday, the weather was perfect. A little hot, sure, because there seemed to be almost no wind, but that was such a nice change after the wet and cold of a few days ago.

So we got to Stanley Park, all ready to do our show, three days in and so feeling a bit more confident about how things should go, weather in a holding pattern of slightly overcast but still hot as anything, every prop, puppet and instrument set in its place, waiting...

And then Blue Rodeo began their concert at Malkin Bowl, only a few acres away from us, and we were plunged into sonic hell. Ever tried to do a show about the Holocaust and mental illness while through the trees a Canadian country-rock band with a giant sound system is belting out hits like "'Til I am Myself Again" and "5 Days in May"? It quickly became clear that it would be impossible to perform our South Africa show, because the set was far too close to the concert and watching the intimate and painful disintegration of one man's mind would be pretty hard when Jim Cuddy and co. were wailing away in the background. But the Lithuania play, which mostly takes place (BTW, I just tried to type the word "place" too fast and it became the word "polka"- is that random or what?) anyway, the Lithuania play takes place in the woods a bit further away from the Concert Zone, so it was still a go.

Now the concept of these shows is that they start as one, then about 20 minutes in the audience is split into 2 groups- the ones who leave with Lazarus to emigrate to South Africa, and the ones who stay in the Lithuanian shtetl with the rest of his family. Then at the end, the two shows reunite as one in the South Africa location. So last night, the actors and musician (me) who do the South Africa show just got to ride the miniature train and watch the Lithuania play, while strains of Blue Rodeo wafted through the trees in a thoroughly distracting manner. (Jonas: ""You have defiled my house, my life..." Frozen tableau of the errant wife, the furious husband and the gun-wielding lover, as a gorgeous but totally inappropriate guitar solo floats by.)

Anyway, one could just chalk that night up to experience and a great anecdote and carry on- except that the Blue Rodeo boys are back at Malkin Bowl tonight. AND it's pissing down rain.
No show tonight? Half a show? Stay tuned...

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