lighting for the show. Lance’s entrance was to be splashed with brilliance … full lighting and spots were to overpower the stage and bedazzle Lance. The scene just before my entrance was with Arthur and Guinevere in Arthur’s dimly lit study. When that scene ends, I am positioned down center stage, poised and ready to burst into my “CAMELOT” introductory lyric. But when the lights came up on this very first lighting tech, I was blinded. I put my hands up to shield my eyes and Lee yelled “CUT! Jerry, what are you doing?” “Lee, I can’t see. The lights blind me.” Lee said “Jerry, you are Lancelot. We want Lance to really shine.” OKaaay!
Mirrors in MAN OF LA MANCHA. My appearance as the Knight was to be another brilliant entrance reminiscent of Lancelot in CAMELOT. I was to appear from up stage center, stepping onto the stage from atop a parapet. This was a raked stage, so the up stage section was about 7 ft high including the parapet. At this point up stage was a ladder to enable entrances from this up stage center area of the rake. I didn’t like the idea of the Knight of the Mirrors having to climb up a ladder. I wanted to just suddenly appear. Lee said “Jerry, we can’t do miracles.” But then Bill said “Lee, I think I can help Jer here.” Bill always called me ‘Jer’. He mounted some grips on the 4 corners of a forklift pallet. Then four hefty cast members would be positioned one on each corner and when ready, with me crouched down on the pallet, they would all lift in unison and I would step off onto the parapet giving the appearance of “suddenly materializing.” Well that was how it was supposed to work.
BORN YESTERDAY directed by Aubrey Moore and starring, besides Aubrey and myself, BJ Hopper, Bob Love and Janice Mayeux who delivered a perfect Billy Dawn character This production was met with great public acceptance and rave reviews and marked the beginning of a dinner theater odyssey that would endure over 10 years.
I too assumed BJ would be Hajj. But lo and behold Henry asked me to do Hajj. I was floored. And scared. Hajj had 9 production numbers and would also dance. Yeah, ME dancing. I spent 24/7 working on this show. I took leave from my job. I took voice lessons from Terry Patrick (or was it Catherine O’Neill?)… I worked tirelessly and feverishly on that role … more than any role I had ever done. I am proud to say it came off without a hitch and was a big success. I was saddened when it closed.
blog archive June 2014
Back to HOME page and TABLE OF CONTENTS