For a show that was conceived, planned, produced, promoted, and executed all within a three weeks, I was slightly overwhelmed with how well Chuck Fayne and His Four Opening Acts went.
Five hours before the first show, it wasn’t at all clear that things were going to go that well at all. As per the live-tweeting we were doing to chronicle the lead-up:
Meanwhile [Anthony] has reached the venue and found a whole heap of furniture dumped in our room. More phone calls ensue. #chuckshow
(1 minute later)
And by “room” I mean semi-abandoned warehouse converted to theatre via collapsible stage and seats. #chuckshow
(20 minutes later)
Meanwhile we may have a door shortage at the venue. I.e: no door. I.e: need a curtain. I.e: need to detour to a fabric shop. #chuckshow
And that’s only a small snapshot of the unexpected issues that came up in the final 12 hours before show time. Luckily this wasn’t our first time to the barely-controlled-chaos-leading-up-to-a-hastily-planned-live-show rodeo.
Thanks to Anthony’s venue connections, Luke’s sound system, Ben’s lights, my backdrop, YC’s general levels of technical genius, Yao’s efficiency, Dave’s calm capability in the face of oblivion, and everybody’s experience with handling this kind of situation, in the space of five hours we manage to turn this…
Both nights sold out. The show, while definitely a little shaky on the production values, was solidly entertaining. Everyone we spoke to said they really enjoyed themselves, and even appreciated the run-down warehouse chic. We replied “yes, run-down warehouse chic is exactly what we were going for” and pretended to look nonchalant.
The fact that, despite very sub-optimal conditions, we still managed to pull off a solid show makes me optimistic. There are already plans for a second run of the show; a longer run and a more… conventional… venue, possibly in September when our schedules all line up again.
Whether or not it happens, I’m buzzed by the fact that we managed to pull off so much with so little. When we’re inevitably next staring down the barrel of another holy-crap-how-are-we-ever-going-to-pull-this-off situation, this experience will have left me significantly more optimistic.
(Photos, from top to bottom, by Anthony De Masi, myself, and YC Lo.)