We are nearing the end. Just two more weeks of rehearsals before “put-together”… then, the following weekend is the show. Here are a few random details from last night’s practice session.
At one point during Act I, Clara’s brother Fritz breaks her nutcracker doll. It was at this very moment during rehearsal that Mr. Tembo — who was standing beside me upstage — decided to turn directly to me. Wide-eyed and open-mouthed and in his deep English-accented tone, he blurted out in complete and utter disbelief, “Oh, the humanity!!!”
This made me laugh out loud… in part because we’re not even supposed to be actually talking to each other at all — just miming things (such as my “husband’s” own favorite acting word: Watermelon). And yet, such an outburst from Mr. Tembo.
Have I mentioned already that we’ve been told explicitly by the artistic director NOT to make each other laugh?
Anyway, speaking of my “husband”. Last night, I discovered that he was flirting with another man’s “wife” across the stage. I glanced over at him at one point and said, “Umm… what do you think you’re doing?” He said, “I’m taking her with me after the party.” To which I replied, “Well… when you return home in the morning, all of your items will be waiting for you on the front lawn.” To which he replied, “I’ve already packed up the horse and buggy, baby. And I’m taking that with me, too!” To which I replied, “As long as I get to keep the house…. Our three daughters need a place to sleep, you know.” To which he replied, “Have fun walking home thirty miles in the snow tonight.” To which I replied, “Oh, I won’t be walking. I’ll be hitching a ride with the handsome toy soldier.” To which he replied, “Make sure you take his little wind-up thingy with you.” To which I replied, “Oh, I’m taking his wind-up thingy. Don’t you worry.” To which he replied, “Would you like another drink?”
There was also a moment when the artistic director asked the young party girls to do their “reverance” with more grace. (“Reverance” is one of those words you have to say with an air of drama.) She told the girls it was looking a little messy. To my “husband”, I quietly noted, “What she meant to say is that it looks like an ir-reverance.” To which he replied, “Hey, that could be our name: Mr. and Mrs. Irreverance.”
I don’t know why that was funny… but… it was hilarious. I was suddenly picturing us as this couple.
The only other things of note that happened last night were my “husband” stepping on my foot in the middle of a dance (not on purpose… or so he says)…. I also dared him to grab a gift off the giant Christmas tree for me in the middle of the show… at which point he dropped down to one knee and pretended to ask me to marry him (ignoring that we already have three kids and are, therefore, doing this a little “backwards” according to Victorian societal convention). I responded to his proposal by miming something like this… only feigning a little more happiness, less mockery.
In summary… it was just like every other week of rehearsal. Basically.