Henry and I had a realization today. For a few moments in scene 5, GRACELAND morphs into a French farce... in the best possible way! Unexpected visitors, compromising positions, doors slamming, props and punches flying... Although this mayhem only takes about a minute in real-time on stage, this is the type of highly choreographed "business" that can occupy hours of rehearsal time. Each unexpected entrance must be timed perfectly, lines must overlap in just the right way so as to appear completely spontaneous and yet not be so unpredictable that the actors run the risk of getting lost, and fight choreography must carefully executed to maintain safety at all times.
However, we discovered today that we may need to add an addendum to the old adage about working with animals and children on stage. It seems that Fruit Baskets are also an unpredictable bunch. I assure you, the audience will be safe at all times, but I fear young David may have to deal with fruit flying in a different way every night of the run... ah, the joys of live theater!
Jenny Mercein is the Assistant Director for Graceland.