Tonight, the cast of "Miracle on 34th Street" steps before its first official audience. It's been gratifying to me, and to them, I think, to have the few spectators who have wandered through tech week actually laughing at the jokes and appreciating the moments we have worked so hard to create. For those of you who don't know, "tech week" is extremely difficult for everyone. The designers and technicians are doing a lot of tough work in an extremely limited amount of time. The crews are adjusting to corrections being thrown at them constantly. The stage manager is removed from his seat right up front and put in a dark, lonely booth, connected only by a head set to the rest of the action.
And the actors. Poor things. They're trying to remember everything we've worked so hard on for the last four or five weeks, plus seeing lights, hearing sound effects, moving furniture pieces, and wearing costumes for the first time. Every time I direct a show, I marvel at how well everyone adjusts to tech week. I always secretly wonder if I do as good a job when I'm acting as the people I'm seeing in front of me. I doubt it.
The nights have been late, the tensions have been high, and the challenges have been escalating.
All those things only make me admire the thirty-two people you're going to see in "Miracle on 34th Street." They're telling this rich, warm story in a spare style that emphasizes the humanity and simple charm. They're working so hard and making it look so easy.