Production Manager Greg Kolack and Producer Dave Ogrin spent their morning visiting the Chopin Theatre, where Planet Wongo would soon emerge, to discuss some outstanding technical issues. Outside the theatre, the new Planet Wongo poster was on display and postcards were inside. It was nice to see them in place.
The Chopin was in the process of clearing out the space to get ready for the immersive production that Greg and Dave were about to bring in. Things were progressing nicely. It looked promising that the space might be ready a little earlier than expected and wiring for the light, video and sound system that was being created for Wongo by its design team could soon be brought in and mounted.
Greg and Dave then drove over to the Black Ensemble Theater where Nic Belanger, technical director for Wongo, was in the shop beginning work on building the set. They looked at a variety of props that had been ordered and delivered, including the infamous Cheesy Moon Crater Chips (the big taste treat of the space elite). Dave took a bag to share with the cast.
They then headed over to the Porchlight rehearsal space where rehearsals were in full swing. Part of a theatre producer’s job is to deal with emergencies and there had been one the day before. Unexpectedly, one of the cast suddenly had a conflict and had to bow out. It was a dilemma, but fortunately the creative team (Director David Rigano, Associate Choreographer Chelsea Ward and Musical Director Kyra Leigh) had kept resumes and headshots from the casting session from several months earlier. Emails went out to see who was available and within several hours a decision was made about a replacement actor. Crisis averted. Luckily, Chicago has a lot of very talented actors.
With the new actor (Sarah Bacinich) now in the rehearsal studio with everyone else, the cast and creative team went through several of the numbers from the show and it all started coming together beautifully. The understudies were given a chance to try out their roles. Everyone enjoyed the process of finally, several months after being cast, being able to bring the show to life together.
And before everyone left for the day, Dave opened the bag of Cheesy Moon Crater Chips and everyone got a taste. YUM!
Wild Women Of Planet Wongo opens June 8 at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago. Dance a little, laugh a little, sing a little … and enjoy some Cheesy Moon Crater Chips. Tickets on sale at www.planetwongo.com.