A Weathered Transition


The snow just keeps coming but the show must go on.  Guess that means “there’s no business like snow business.”  Trying to get our audiences to brave the weather and into the seats to see 4000 Miles was like trying to bathe your dog in a tidal wave.  We even carpeted the sidewalk to keep guests from slipping as they got out of their cars at the Main Street entrance.  The conditions forced us to cancel three performances, something we rarely do.  During the run of any single show, the most we have lost (in our 20 plus years) has been one.  That’s right, one performance.  And that happened twice.  So here we have more than doubled the amount of cancelled performances in just one production.


So now we transition into the second show of the 2014 Season, Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), by striking the set of 4000 Miles, and building the new set.  Three days ago I was able to sweep up sawdust from the back parking lot that was left over from construction of 4000 Miles.  Note that any cutting of wood materials is done outside to prevent saw dust from getting on just about everything in our Main Stage arena and making its way into the HVAC duct work.  You get the picture.  Only cut lumber outside so we keep the inside clean.   Anyway, the sawdust had not been swept up in 4 weeks because we had completed construction in a snow storm.  True.  We had our miter and table saws all tucked under the back canopy with snow swirling around the entire time.  Sawdust would fly and the snow would simply cover it up.  So for a month I had been waiting for the snow to melt hoping that the sawdust would melt with it.  Well, that didn’t happen.


We started striking the 4000 Miles set with Set Designer Guenter Wesch coming in the Monday after closing and removing the built-in bookshelves.  He bought them for the set out of his own pocket knowing we would have gone over budget had we made them ourselves.  He tied them to the roof of his VW and headed home less than half a mile away.  The car looked like a Morris Mini with a refrigerator strapped on top.  Ridiculous.  Then my dear friend Paul Beck came in Wednesday to start tearing down the doors, the moldings, the walls and all the extraneous bracing.  Between the two of us, we got most of it down by Thursday morning.  Joining the team we have Jeff Maxwell and Eric Verhasselt who are high-quality, volunteer carpenters.  They’ll be working under the direction of Rege McKenzie, one of our Board members who is serving as the interim Technical Director, filling in for our resident TD, Cameron Purdy.


Show Business.  Snow Business.   We’re going to build no matter what…… thinking……..


So the weather outside is frightful,

But the theater’s so delightful.

And as long as we’ve got a show,

Let it snow.  Let it snow.  Let it snow.


Tom Quinn Artistic Director, Montgomery Theater

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