The Hills Are Alive Once Again!

It’s around 6:45pm on July 1st, here in lovely Harbin, China.  Our cast has been thrilled to finally get back to work doing what we love–perform daily in our fantastic production of The Sound of Music!

Today was our first rehearsal back in the theatre space–we’ve spent the past two days in a rehearsal room in downtown Harbin, brushing up on scenework. Our theatre is attached to our hotel, which is absolutely lovely.  Rolling out of bed, walking downstairs and across a walkway to work sure beats the morning commute in Dallas!

For those of you who don’t know the theatre process, we begin working in each new theatre venue with a sound check. Every actor sings and speaks a few phrases thru their microphones so our audio engineer can create a suitable sounding ‘mix’ of the show. He also sets levels for the orchestra. In the picture below, you can see the size of our orchestra, as well as the actors and technicians/crew working on stage.

I especially like the picture above,because you have a full view of the stage and the marquis for the Harbin Summer Music Festival. Apparently, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world!) opened the festival. (We hadn’t arrived yet-how I would’ve loved to have heard them!). We are the closing show of the festival.

The rest of pics above are fun candids of the cast.  We also had a birthday in the cast today! Zachary, who plays one of the Von Trapp children, Kurt–turned 12! We had a cake and a song after rehearsal.  I like the candid picture of Michael–our Captain Von Trapp–hangin’ at the kiddie table, and ‘the boys’ Jonathan (who plays my husband Baron Elberfeld), James (Von Schreiber and a smattering of other characters, and Greg (Rolf) on a sugar high after the aforementioned cake. There’s also a pic of the horn/reed section of the orchestra–including the awesome Ukrainian boys-Oleg, Pasha, Sergei, Dima, as well as Amy, the lead trumpet player, and Tanzie–the amazing flautist who has played with Jennifer Holliday and Mahalia Jackson! I tell ya, the talent on our tour is off-the-charts amazing!)

Oh yes, and how could I forget an explanation of my favorite “sign of the day” (because there always seems to be one in China). The first picture is a sign that was literally posted on our dressing room door, and throughout the backstage area–and trust me folks, the sad thing is, it’s needed! Apparently, its completely and somewhat socially appropriate for stage crew to spit on the floor when working backstage! (My question is why does their need to be so many Chinese characters for 2 little words?)

And with that little tidbit, I’m off now to get ready to go the theatre for our final dress rehearsal tonight before our opening here in the Harbin theatre tomorrow! As your waking up for the day, I’ll be going back to work!

Till next time!

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