Load-In Begins at Uihlein for Phantom
Insurgent Theatre leaves town shortly to go on tour with Ulyssesâ€™ Crewmen. The Missoula Oblongata comes to town next week with its touring show . . . the wonderful thing about a touring DIY-level show is its relatively small carbon footprint. A casual observer rifling through the artifacts of the Insurgentsâ€™ traveling show would find a fake gun and holster, a gag and a bunch of rope among other things (could make for an interesting conversation if police decide to search their bags at any point in their journey,) but they wouldnâ€™t have to search a vast trailer for such things.
Anyone who has passed by the Marcus Center these past couple of days has seen the Phantom trailer . . .yes . .Â . the marketing machine is in full swing for the Phantom of the Operaâ€™s month-long occupancy at the Marcus Centerâ€™s Uihlein Hall. People will come into town from all over to see the fifteen-year-old traveling production, bringing with them all kinds of tourist revenue. Before all that can happen, a massive load-in has to be completed. It starts this morning. I was invited to come and see it as a member of the press, but will be unable to due to prior commitments.
Not far from the river this morning, a crew of electricians and other techies will be laying down deck and cabling for a show that Stage Manager Amy Marisco calls, â€śenormous.â€ť Itâ€™s a show so big that load-in has to start two weeks before opening night. Before long, there will be a crew of people hoisting a 2-ton chandelier above the stage. (An odd note about thatâ€”I spent something like a half hour correcting two words in next weekâ€™s theatre preview . . . evidently the Marcus Centerâ€™s M&I Chandelier (yes, the chandelierÂ Â has its own corporate sponsor, or did as of a 1996 writing, anyway) weighs a little over half a ton less than the infamous chandelier in the set of Phantom. It is substantially heavier. The Phantom's chandelier isÂ 2 tons to the Marcus Centerâ€™s 2,800-pound lighting fixture. The Marcus Centerâ€™s chandelier has it beat on size, though with some 9,000 bulbs. Precisely why any of this is significant to me is anybodyâ€™s guess. I seem to have forgotten.)
The Phantom of the Opera opens next week. A preview runs in next weekâ€™s Shepherd. Some of the details in this blog can be found in a really interesting online text on load-in for touring Broadway shows. Here's a link to the text for anyone who would find that sort of thing interesting. (I'm not the only one, right? . . . right? . . .)