Sunday, July 17, 2011


Readers Please NOTE:
A postscript appears at the bottom of today's BLOG. Added at 1400 Monday July 18, 2011

This has got to be a short Rob Blog.
I need my rest.
It's been a busy few days.
Rehearsals for “Looking” the Norm Foster comedy- of which I am a part, opens Tuesday at the Gravenhurst Opera House.
It's the same cast we had back in February in Orillia. Patti Scott, Phyllis Johnson, Jim Dwyer and little ole me. Three of the same backstage folks- Tom Ruechel (Stage Manager), Lisa McKinzey (ASM) and Shimera Dione (Hair and Makeup) are there to make the show so great too! We are joined by a couple of Group Theatre Folks- including Emily, plus there's Shane from the Town of Gravenhurst. He's also a Casino Rama. Boy! The lighting for this show is absolutely top-notch. Not to mention the set design done by one of the Group Theatre's Producers- namely Jim Dwyer (Yes he's an actor in the show too!)
We have had several rehearsals and a very long Tech Day which continued into the following day- there's that much to do! Now we approach the Dress Rehearsal which for you lay folks means we run the entire show from top to bottom- costumes, makeup, lights and sound. Everything but an audience in the house.Sometimes an individual or two are invited by cast, crew or producers. It helps when you get a chuckle or two before the “real” audiences come pouring in.
We really hope the audiences come pouring into the marvellous Gravenhurst Opera House located right on Gravenhurst's picturesque Main Street- right next to the Norman Bethune Statue. It's a wonerful old building with a bunch of up-to-date touches- especially where the stage, lighting and facilities are concerned. The main house seats about 300. Downstairs is a bar and another large area where a dinner theatre will take place following our show.
It's less than a half hour drive to the theatre from Orillia.
No, really!
L-R: Me and Jim
Norm Foster is one of Canada's best- and funniest, playwrights and this show upholds him that title. The cast and many of the crew have been working on this show since late last fall.
We ran for two weeks in December at the Studio Theatre at the Orillia Opera House under the banner of MAT and direction of Dave Graham. Now Group Theatre Productions in association with the Gravenhurst Opera House has invited- read “hired”, us to repeat the show as part of their Summer Season 2011.
It is going to be a “fun” run.
Come on out for the laughs.
So, several folks have asked- “How come you're not doing the show for the Summer Crowd at the Opera House in Orillia?
I dunno.
Well, I do, really. We weren't asked.
Anyway, local summer theatre in Orillia means bringing in actors who live- for the most part out of town.
Big City folk, I guess.
I could be wrong but I don't believe local auditions were held this year.
L-R: Patti & Phyllis
Now, in Gravenhurst I suppose Muskoka Folks could ask the same question- why aren't more local people involved.
The answer is- many are.
I understand the Gravenhurst Opera House has made it a policy to use local actors and professional production companies who live and work locally.
What a hell of a good idea!

There's also not the same stack of rules and regulations in Gravenhurst- at least there doesn't seem to be, as one finds in Orillia.
No one stands over you pointing or shaking fingers.
Don't do this!
Don't do that!
Stop smiling.
Don't go here. Don't go there! Ever!
Don't put that there- although sometimes things have to be switched around just a bit. It's all in teh way it's handled.
We are there to work and help each other.

Now, the Gravenhurst Opera House is not without regulations for fire and safety, it just doesn't seem to hang over the Actor's and Backstage Crew's collective heads like the Orillia Opera House. Staff I have met are just downright friendlier as well. (see Postscript below)
The job gets done.
Reminders are just that- reminders.
Nobody nags at you!

Anyway- apples and oranges.

Just come to our lovely, friendly, humorous Norm Foster comedy called “Looking”. Hey, we'll all hang around after the show and sign your programmes too. The show runs on various dates from July 19 through 28.
Check for the availability.
Info and tickets at
The Box Office is 705.687.5550.
We'll be “Looking” for you!!


So, Ladies and Gentlemen after a full day on Sunday of putting the set together, doing lights and a cue-to-cue the Manager of the Gravenhurst Opera House waltzes down Monday morning to tell the Lighting Technician, the Stage Manager and the Assistant Stage Manager that the set would have to come down after Monday Night's Dress Rehearsal because he has a local "group" using the theatre Tuesday Morning and they need the stage.

Actually- from what I understand, he pretty much forgot that the "Looking" Show was booked in this week and next- even though the Marquee out front shows it is on stage. He sent the original lighting technician elsewhere on Sunday. The very day the Prodcution needed him.
Yes he gets paid by the Town of Gravenhurst for his work.
Apparently he doesn't like answering his phone if someone takes issue with what he has done and yes, he did get us another lighting technician- a very good technician but just the same...

We must give him that.
Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff!

So, now, I take back some of my comments, eat my words or just simply tell you that that Manager at the OP is .....~ahem~
Well, you fill in the blanks.
I am TOO much of a "lady" to say...

You gotta love the theatre.
Never a dull moment.
Just  a few knives that need sharpening!