On the evening before the Red Chair Affair, I went in to the Bob Carr to watch and sketch the rehearsal. John DiDonna, the director of this production, welcomed me warmly and showed me around backstage. The very first person he introduced me to was Boomer Bardo who is in charge of all the sound for the show. Finding a spot backstage to set up was a challenge. I sat down and discovered I was blocking a doorway. Then I scooted over to find myself next to boxes and boxes of programs. The rehearsal was absolute pandemonium at the start. Homer would call out sound cues in his headset and then walk on stage probably to signal to the folks up in the booth at the back of the theater.
The Red Chair Project is a community service designed to increase participation in Central Florida’s arts and culture. As a collaborative campaign involving more than 300 arts and cultural organizations, it promotes and grows the arts in the region through RedChairProject.com , a website with arts and cultural events, discounted tickets, classes/workshops, and getaways. The 6th annual Red Chair Affair would kick off the 2010-2011 Central Florida arts and cultural season.
As I sketched Boomer, a large group of Orlando Repertory Theater Power Chords youth singers stood in line in front of me. They each had stunningly bright colored outfits on. They waited for their coordinator to shout out their number and then they slipped the waistband mini-microphone into a hanging shoe holder. Several of the exuberant youths bumped into me and apologized. Their performance had been high energy and spectacular. They had performed a hip upbeat version of "Lean On Me" that was a joy to listen to. Boomer asked one of the soloists from the group to stand next to him at the soundboard and he adjusted the dials as she sang.
I had one other concert I wanted to sketch this night so once I finished sketching Boomer, I packed up and headed out the stage door hoping to get to "A Time Warp" up at the Unity Church. I was running late. As I was leaving, Tod Caviness said to me, "I don't know how you keep your hands from cramping up with all the sketching you are doing."