Well, here we are, an honest-to-goodness day’s work in The Chicago Theater/Theatre. It’s a fairly small place, a little like Oakland, but not as difficult to set up in. The stage itself is a little bigger, allowing a tad more breathing space and the loading door is at the end of a very small incline as opposed to the mountainous gradient of the Paramount.
The wardrobe cases are hoisted into the upper strata by means of a clever pulley system far too complicated for words.
It was damn cold between Regina and here! We use a few little guitar humidifiers (you know, to humidify guitars) and when we opened the cases, noticed the gadgets had frozen solid. I guess they can’t perform their functions unless somehow they can magically sublimate water. At any rate, the guitars were ok, given they’ve spent much of their time in a darkened, frigid void of a truck since Victoria seven days ago.
It’s a little slow today, but we muddled through and set up with enough time for a tea before Leonard arrived to do his soundcheck.
The flu bug suffered by so many must be a particularly feisty strain; it would appear not everyone is entirely over it yet. Soldiering through the soundcheck, the zombified infantry battled through some set staples as well as Banjo, Night Comes On, and La Manic.
When the show started, the O stood — the crowd leapt to their feet at the entrance of the man whose name bedecks the tickets. After the opener, Dance Me, Leonard shared his thoughts on what a ‘real privilege’ it is ‘to be working this great old theatre.’ The first set goes as planned with no surprises, and in the penultimate slot sits the poem A Thousand Kisses Deep. I admit, I don’t understand why people laugh at the lines :
“You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You’d have to be a man to know
How good that feels, how sweet.”
Audiences all over (especially English speaking ones) laugh or chuckle at that. I wonder what’s going on? Do they know it’s a poem, or do they think it’s an ad-lib monologue? Perhaps they really don’t know how good it feels. Hmph. Having said that, there seems to be a version of the poem that reads ‘live alone,’ instead of ‘be a man,’ so I wonder if then, die-hard fans are keenly aware of some shift in consciousness and perhaps I’m the one in the dark.
The second set accords mostly with the script; Heart With No Companion is struck off. During a musical break in Anyhow, with his Collings I-35 Deluxe, Mitch dabbled with a quick duo of sliding runs, perhaps the musical equivalent of confusion, perfectly accompanying the theme of the song in which a man tries, through some twisted male logic, of figuring out how to win back the ‘love’ of someone he’s pushed away. The lightning-quick scale seems to catch Leonard by surprise and he laughs to himself — indeed I don’t think we’ve heard this musical phrase before and it’s a nice surprise. The show continued at a quick pace through the encores, Leonard omitting a few tunes to get us finishing on time.
The load-out is a fairly slow procedure due to the layout and size of the theatre. The Winning Team hung around after our gear was packed in the truck — we attempted to be useful, but there’s only so much standing around and pushing the same box ten feet closer to a goal one can manage before one thinks, I’m not actually helping much, and is dismissed for the greater good — selfish entertainment.
After a dismal game from yours truly, Dan closed the overall zombie gap some — in a game where weapons are randomly doled out, sometimes you get a raw deal, sometimes you get the HAMR. Grrr…