It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally time to blog about our school musical, “Anything Goes.” I’m a member of the pit orchestra, playing alto sax and clarinet. We’ve had the music for about a month but only had, I believe, 5 practices before our first dress rehearsal. Let’s talk about dem dress rehearsals a sec, shall we? The pit orchestra is back stage and hidden from the audience, so all rehearsals seem like performances and vice versa.
The rehearsals started on Monday of last week. The first was at 5:00 and lasted until 10:00. 5 hours, a really looooong five hours. The next was Tuesday, from 6:00 to 10:00. 4 hours, a looooong four hours. Wednesday. . . wow Wednesday. On Wednesday there was an All City rehearsal at 3:30 that lasted until 5:00. Then there was musical rehearsal across town at 5:45. . . that lasted until 10:00. 6 and a half hours of practice. . . .a FREAKING LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG SIX HOURS! But, the 6 hours had an interesting ending! Anything Goes is set on a cruise ship and at one point one of the characters yells “All ashore a’goin’ ashore!” Connor (tenor sax) and I (alto sax) felt that that scene needed the ship to blow its horn in warning, but there was no ship horn! Well, guess what a low Bb sounds like on a saxophone? Fog Horn! Plus, when the tenor and alto both play a low Bb, it sounds a fourth and sounds exactly like a fog horn/ship’s horn! We asked the play director after the last dress rehearsal and she said “Sure, go for it!”
Then Thursday, opening night! We were all dressed in black and excited! Overall the performance went very well for the pit orchestra. The actors had some technical difficulties, but it all went decently. One of my favorite parts was definitely when they yelled “All ashore!” and we belted out the fog horn. Not one actor knew it was coming and everybody backstage whipped their heads around in shock, lot’s of “wtf?” looks, but it was great. The performance went pretty well.
Highlights from other performances include
- our drummer/band director using a rimshot as a shotgun sound effect and scaring the actors backstage so badly that they screamed.
- the pit orchestra memorizing everybody’s lines and performing brilliant monologues backstage and acting out scenes
- Jake, our trombone player, melting his pencil to his stand light. . .twice.
- Realizing that my space heater acted like a dimmer for all the music stand lights and dimming everybody’s lights a bunch.
- Our line! The band actually had a line in the play. It was towards the end, here’s how it goes. Somebody on stage loses their dog, and somebody else comes on stage having found the dog. Dialogue on stage: “Where did you find him?!” “The swimming pool” “What was he doing in the swimming pool?” Band: “THE DOGPADDLE!!!!!!!” It was great, we screamed it as loud as we could. We were happy.
- There’s a wedding scene and so when the piano is playing the wedding music, the whole orchestra stood up and saluted. Remember, the audience can’t see us, so we were just doing it to be stupid. It was fun though!
The play continued throughout its duration and in the end, it all turned out really nicely. It devoured our time, but I think it was worth it, we had a good time. It was a hilarious play, so that helped. Here are some pictures of us having a good time:
Kevin, with a trombone mute in a flugelhorn
Our drummer/band director going crazy!
Conner, our seductive tenor sax player
Aw, three happy pit peoples
Jake busting out some trombone
Jake found a plunger!
Truman, messing with his hair of course
Kevin got bored and climbed into the catwalk stair cage