When I was a freshman in college, I was cast in an operetta. Not as a singer, as a dancer. A male dancer. You see, when the music department had cast the show, they hadn’t bothered to cast any men for the big cancan scene. By the time they asked the dance department for a few boys, there were no boys left to be had. So, being a girl with broad shoulders, I was cast as a male dancer in my first college show. It was also the first time I ever performed on stage with my husband.
A lot of the story isn’t interesting. I had to learn to do coffee grinders and a half-a-hand stand. I wore a bow and slicked my hair back.
No. The interesting part was the conductor. It was a university, so most of the pit were music majors. But the conductor played the piano. It was a fine arrangement that you see in a lot of regional theatres that can’t afford to have a person just to use the baton.
The problem was that this conductor was a raging alcoholic. (more…)