I finally caught a tech rehearsal of My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Even though previews to paying audiences started last night, rehearsals – and changes, continue until opening night. Arriving a couple of hours after they start, the auditorium is dark, with big desks up straddling the chairs for Sean, stage manager, sound and lighting with cables running everywhere. Hard to believe that in a few hours all will be clear again for the second preview tonight. As I arrive Charissa is practicing the tap number. Christian, who besides writing the play is also the choreographer makes some suggestions. It all looks perfect to me, but as Charissa incorporates the changes – yes it is better.
Tech is darting around to work on different – and new, spots. Ed comes up with five new lines in one of the songs which Assistant Stage Manager Nicky scribbles down on the score for Charissa to sing through a couple of times – and it will be in the performance tonight.
After a couple of hours I leave with the song “Break Down New York by the Numbers” running through my head. Fortunately to all around I only sing it to myself. Tomorrow I will be back for the third preview and then opening night on Saturday. Once it opens and the reviews and word of mouth start to spread I am sure that it will end way up in the top ten of attendances for MRT.
–Tim Greenwood, Cohort
My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend runs through May 21.