Our "Gala Premiere" was on the 11th in Hannover.. How this differs in the producers minds from "opening night" I'm not really sure, except that they threw us a slightly more elaborate party and we had better Hors D'oureves. The producers' other show THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (It's interesting that that's their cash cow, and 42nd Street is the risky artistic move...go figure) had recently started rehearsals, and they graced us with a few numbers from their show.
As for the show..I think that the light board man is smoking crack..or if he isn't, maybe he should be. Since the light and sound were contracted out to AMPTOWN (a german company) they insist on calling all of their own cues, and will not take light cues from the stage manager. However, the light board operator does not speak english, cannot read the script, nor understand the lines onstage and when a mistake of his is mentioned goes into a screaming rage..as a result, we play a large number of scenes in complete darkness (as opposed to the mere murkiness of the actual light design) and usually only the set changes are done in full light, which dissappears as soon as the next line from the script is said. This would be understandable for the first few days, but a week in..this is no longer amusing or interesting. Especially since when he tries to fix things, he doesn't know how to re-program the light board after the light designer left..and when he tries, all we get something that looks like a disco during a dramatic ballad. At least the onstage smoke has now receeded to an acceptable level..and is only used during certain scenes.
Anyhow, after our two days in Hannover, we started the "real" part of the tour. We left the hotel we had been staying at and headed off for our first city, Hamburg.
Hamburg is Germany's second largest city, and if Berlin Feels like New York, Hamburg feels very much like Boston. The city is situated between the Elbe River and the Alster Lakes and the two are connected by a series of Canals that run right through the heart of the old city. The port and the shipping industry still is the dominant industry here, and the city seems to have two very distinct personalities -- there is the old city with its historic buildings, canals, and office buildings, and the much seedier St. Pauli district, which feels like 8th Avenue (circa 1988), but in German. Guess which one we were booked into...
Next: A night on the Reeperbahn!