behind the scenes of Beau Jest - Cite des Arts - Oct 11 to 14, 2012
stage set - Sarah Goldman's apartment
front stage of Cite des Arts
props tables for just the table settings...
the Seder Meal especially intricate -
so there's drawings taped up for the Seder Plate alone to set it right
view looking out from the kitchen entrance, over the dining room table to the seats/lights
there are 3 entrances on the stage set - front door, kitchen doorway...
Joel/Rudy - at his dressing table, awaiting his call to places
typical on his tablet, later he will drop it & still continue using it (only avoiding sliding his fingers over the cracked bits...)
the 'washing up' station - prev known as the 'gross sink' or the 'paint sink'
there are clean tubs in there & palmolive for hands/dishes right?! uh huh...
only the best for the 'shadow people'
from backstage to dressing room
backstage creep way
actors sit at their places there - under the blue lamp
notes taped to the wall
while way/Way back to the corner/wall is the 'shadow people' place
where all the props for the elaborate Jewish table settings await deliver,
thru the kitchen doorway to the table - that will be dressed up & down & the sideboard too
(I've never set a table so much, even at my own house - it's a holiday every night in here?!)
the other props table - with white butcher type paper taped over it
outlined for each item, with their name/scene (the lamp so we can see -
underneath all the leftover prop building/painting items)
closer view of the prop table
aw the memories
finding 2 empty tie boxes
3 casserole dishes - 1 that will have a 'faux' casserole of "Lukshenkugle"* (see below for the 'real' stuff) in it--because? the real stuff takes 3 hrs & a lot of ingredients, so we did it once before rehearsals...
or I did it once before & decided that was 'it' - like forever most likely...so then the 'faux' creation...
what you might ask? mac & cheese with raisins on top, then to fluff it up when it couldn't be viewed from the audience - we were told, us 'shadow people' - then there was popcorn added underneath to make it look thicker...what a smell?! & nobody had to eat the stuff, thank goodness!!
a daytime view of the other prop tables with the dining table settings
2 water glasses that will be used for 'faux' vodka (obviously we can't have the real stuff)
later the 1 water glass will be used again - so to save time running to the sink, there is a water pitcher
the dining room table will need to be set for cake, so...
a stack of plastic 5 small plates & 5 coffee mugs
along with 5 sets x 2 of the following...flatware & white linen napkins (that kept having to be spot cleaned)
& wine glasses with of course (again) 'faux' wine - that the stage manager brewed up at home
& dinner plates...
as it got old trying to wash 1 set, in the beginning there were trips to the bar area where there were 3 tiny bar sinks & we had to wash everything in there between rehearsal scenes (a 10 min intermission was not enough for that trip - so the washing up sink behind stage was set up...
Oh the things we 'shadow people' learned along the way, of many a mistake & time wasting in steps, etc...)
the Seder Meal & Seder Plate is a whole other story
Sarah/Hope's dressing area - behind the dining room table props tables
& just inside the bedroom entrance from the stage - 2 lights in the corner & still not enough light
at first she just had 4 folding chairs, until 'shadow people' came to the rescue with a table/mirror/tissue & on the wall opposite clothes hooks
the view from Sarah/Hope's dressing area
or what she liked to call 'the Hobbit Hole'
our cheat sheets for the Seder Plate
the 1 on the left is for children--which considering the 'shadow people' are not Jewish then it's a perfect guide
the 1 on the right drawn from the various plate layouts on Wiki
So what's on a Seder Plate you might wonder...
2) Salt water - both in a small dish that goes on top of the main big plate
3) a Shank - it says, but we were told a bone of a chicken would do (so we had to eat chicken leg, save bone, refrigerate bone, wash bone, antiseptic wipe bone--because dead things start to stink right?!)
4) hardboiled egg - after the dead bone there was no way a real HB egg was going to be saved (eggs stink like nothing else on earth I'm convinced) sooo...'shadow people' go shopping to Hobby Lobby to find perfect 'faux' eggs (no styro-foam eggs on the Seder Plate?!)
5) parsley - real, washed, plucked off parsley sprigs (that also go on every little plate that goes on top of all the 5 main plates at each setting, with a dollop of horseradish on the side...the horseradish for this Seder Meal has to be colored with red beet juice to make it 'look' like the real/proper horseradish - which we never found at any store, ever...)
6) an apple dish that will be made by the Jewish couple that know what they're doing - plus after 1 'shadow people' is making a cake or faux horseradish/wine everynight, the other is buying Challah bread & bringing in all the greens
& Oh yeah...
7) making fresh/hot coffee too - that will be used in the cake scene & then in a later scene there is tea -- so besides the tea pot, there will be watered down coffee to look like tea (or again 'faux' tea...Oh the illusions going on behind stage?!)
view from the 2nd props table past the 'faux' wallpaper (aka badly sticking vertical 'contact paper')
of the 'faux' kitchen to the stage, where right after the doorway there is the phone table - which will ring, with the help of the sound/light booth man (the actual front doorbell tho will be a bell installed behind the door for the actors to ring - ding dong, your family is calling...again & again & Again?! I was told somewheres along the way, that this playwrite likes to use a lot of doorbells to interupt the scenes I guess...)
view from stepping out of the 'faux' kitchen entrance into the dining/living room & beyond in daylight the seats where there will be audience, that the 'shadow people' will never ever see (unless peeking thru the cracks in the set wall, which there are only 1 & it's from waist level down to the floor - other than that it's peek out the kitchen entrance to see folks walk thru the theater doors?!)
another view from the 'faux' kitchen looking out past the sideboard to the dining room table where the 5 will be seated & waited on numerous times each night & beyond that the entrance to the 'faux' bedroom...on the wall there to the left of the door are 3 framed works of kid art, finger paintings - that are actually Sarah/Hope's kids hands (since Sarah is a school teacher in the play...)
Opened is one of the theater doors letting the sunlight in, that looks nearly heaven sent (after all the time as 'shadow people' in dark 'Hobbit Holes' that starts to become real important - also all the evening rehearsals & shows at night too start to add up
(note: not as badly as it did while living in Norway, but fresh air/daylight are gaining importance by the minute?!)
more stage/Sarah Goldman's apt views - after painting & pictures (with no glass in them mind you - as that's not safe...it was all we could do to convince that on the table we needed real place settings... only the small cake plates were clear & plastic - all else was not 'faux' - cheap maybe, but not 'faux'?!)
the 5 seat family dining table with sideboard behind
I have never set a table I think as many times as this one with a holiday meal
because in essence the Seder Meal is a Passover Meal so think Easter Supper
(everything but the main dishes came out--thank goodness for small favors?!)
Oh & yes--the candles will be lit, twice...so there were matches to begin in the drawer - then someone else had to bring in a lighter (as this 'shadow person' has none of that...)
stage views as you'd walk in from the theater doors
this backstage 'shadow person' had nothing to do with the setting of the furniture
there is 1 fake plant in a yellow pot up on the curio cabinet & a number of paintings/art on the wall - but I would of had nothing to do with the ugliest sofa in town (possibly the 2nd ugliest) or the 2 chairs on either side...
there was talk that the actors had to carry that weight away from that furniture - I think they did well, but then I never saw the whole thing from the other side...only a few rehearsals - then it was to look at the table to see how the family's clothes looked on them?!
the poster in the lobby for Beau Jest
I love the 'Create' over top of it...
(if you look closely the photos were taken way early, during rehearsals - when nobody had their wardrobe/costumes ready yet & also with the backdrop of an earlier play that I think was photo shopped out maybe - would have to look closer...)
doorways to the Dressing Rooms
I'd never ever before been behind these doors
now as 'shadow people' can run thru them to backstage where get to set up in the hallway between backstage & dressing room or in the washing room or next to the "Hobbit Hole" (aka dressing area) in the dim lights (or...you guessed it--the 'shadows')
thru the Dressing Room door entrance into the Dressing room of Beau Jest
posters on the walls are from previous shows - must remember to go hang up Beau Jest next?!
Closer view - Now Playing - Beau Jest (the poster)
Cite des Arts - the entrance doors with the current play poster for Beau Jest & then the next/Next play events (something to do with vampires & Cabaret...) along with the next downtown event - the Boudin Festival
out front of Cite des Arts on Vine Street - the Marquee
with Beau Jest for it's w/e show run of the 11th to the 14th of Oct
for the last show - the lighting on stage, tho a matinee & sunny outdoors - here it looks subdued & night time...
Oh the wall paint? Tuscan Sun - or I think that's what I was told... a certain 'shadow people' painted for a good - or is that bad - 2 days, in yellow walls & also some large sections of black floor too...Oh what a ladder & extended paint roller handle will do, when your short 'shadow people'?!
my frame from home, a mat leftover from Wolves in the Wall (another set/another time--but not a 'shadow people,' only a prop shop/gather people that play) & inside a fav very old print by Bolero of a family...so how perfect this extra large family portrait for this soon to enter extra larger than life Jewish Family on stage - a funny inside joke I'm guessing (like the Chicago Cubs hoodie--who will notice?!)
Bruce the Director - Jack the Stage Manager (or is he the Producer? shows you what I know--I'm only the 'shadow people'?!) Really the next shot after this that wasn't taken was the best, as they were pretending to punch/strangle/act silly basically rather than pose...
and after years & years (did he say 9 yrs during the opening introduction to the audience?) is Jack who read the play & asked Bruce to direct it - standing under the Beau Jest Marquee/sign at Cite des Arts - for the last show, the matinee on Sunday at 2pm
Bob/Scott or Dr. David
he has 3 names, I will never remember his 'real' name after this is all over
plus he had to dye his hair black & it took a week to calm down - so there was makeup involved (or he would of looked ghostly...)
and speaking of makeup--there is Gia, doing hair & makeup for all dress rehearsals & all shows - here Miriam/Patricia in the chair & waiting up next Sarah/Hope (out of her 'Hobbit Hole' & into the dressing room lights?!)
under the backstage blue lights - sitting in their places
Miriam/Patricia & Abe/Bob - the Jewish mother/father (of course...& nobody could of been more perfect than these two--if you could hear them, but there is a video I think...will have to find that to put at the bottom of this 'shadow people' album...)
Also while I'm taking these photos--Miriam/Patricia says: "she's taking pictures" if you could just hear her accent, it's so spot on you would swear the woman is Jewish...but she's not, her husband 'is' but she's not - she channel's it so well, she could fool a lot of folks I'm guessing?!)
Chris/Todras - Mr Business Man who doesn't wear a tie?! It was all we could do to get him in a button up shirt & coat, hah...he's also the boyfriend that is 'not' Jewish - behind him is the foodie bench, or that's what it ended up being...
fruit on the one end, chicken strips/nuggets on the other - 1 night there will be Gelfelta Fish, spelled incorrectly but that's what it sounds like...only 1 person will open it/eat a piece with horseradish--that would be Abe/Bob...
this boy (I can call him that--I'm old & he was the youngest member of the cast) was 'always' hungry--so a good thing there was food or the audience would of been in danger in the front row from the growing of his stomach...lol...
Joel/Rudy at his place, then stepping back into the light - where he is wearing that sweater his Mom (Miriam) will hate on stage & a jacket, as it's springtime in Chicago for this play (you should of seen the long list of details for all the wardrobe/costumes for everybody--luckily there were 2 trench coats in the wardrobe & 1 more was found at the thrift store...by none other than the 'shadow people' yeehah?!)
behind stage, hanging out in the blue light during the 10 min set change - it's a wonder the 'shadow people' can snap photos...
Sarah/Hope in the fluffy bathrobe will have to change clothes more than anyone else, or look as if she's changing clothes - because under her bathrobe are clothes, that she has to pretend she's going back & forth from her bedroom getting ready in the next scene...
also on her detail list for wardrobe was a "Georgette Dress" - that we ended up finding a nearly "Georgette Top" (or the 'shadow people' did after going thru many a thrift store, after also going thru many a Google Images view to even know what it looked like...best definition was: think When Sally Meets Harry - but I didn't have time to watch that movie either, it'd been a long time since I first watched that right?!)
Miriam/Patricia in her bestest Seder Outfit - with her bestest thrift store fine of cheap/Cheap silver flower jewelery too, the brooch & earrings (this is why you buy this junk & save it--ya' never know when you'll need the 'costume' or 'prop' for a play right?!)
Scott/Bob/Dr David, Jack & Sarah/Hope backstage before stage
Miriam/Patricia (or Mom Goldman) & Sarah/Hope (her stage daughter)
Sarah/Hope (stage daughter) & Parents - Abe/Bob & Miriam/Patricia - all dressed for the Seder Meal
End of 'shadow people' backstage photo album
more articles/videos about the play & more writing about the experience - as in once in a lifetime, because this 'shadow people' is done/Done & will fade into the shadows, never to come out backstage again...
Link to Advertiser article:
Title: Real-life couple play parents in "Beau Jest"
Quote from the article:
"The play is a fabulous comedy," said director Bruce Coen, himself a Jew who married outside his faith, although his mom approved of the match. "But what makes it really special is the fact that Sarah's parents are real life couple Bob and Patricia Sidman. They are so natural together on stage, and it makes the play that much more hilarious."
Link to Cite des Arts - Facebook - timeline - Beau Jest - October 2012
or go here...
(note: in that pic, they are on their stage set sofa--but that is not what the rest of the stage will look like, they had to take pics early/fast to get on flyers/posters...so that's the previous Promises play stage props behind)
found on Patricia's Facebook page, finally...the link to...
"Beau Jest" has a segment in today's Access Acadiana, online at The Advertiser.
(note: aw...they are such the perfect couple & the 2 girls that do this show are cuties & clever & great for coming to interview Patricia/Bob from the Beau Jest cast at Cite des Arts too - or make that an interview with Miriam/Abe, as in The Goldmans?!)
*as promised, above, here is the/my Lukshenkugel...
OK--so not 'my' recipe, I did have (a lot) help from The Joy of Cooking!
Ingredients all mixed together except the topping...
first round of baking to commence...
2nd round of baking done, 3 plus hours later, some cooling, then cutting or is it scooping...
it reminds me of bread pudding a lot only with egg noodles...
when it was chilled & then just eaten or heated/eaten as leftovers--it tasted even more like bread pudding to me
Wow, how much work this was (& I'm not just talking about the 3 plus hours of Lukshenkugel making either?!)--compares to work/Work & a job/Job (for what you might ask? like everyone else on stage/backstage--for the 'love' of it, because nobody got paid nothing...something else that totally shocked me--the theater rent is paid for, the script is paid for, the light/sound guy got paid for his hours (prob Union,) but all else was 'out of pocket' for somebody...I don't know how they do that & sometimes for not just 1 play & this 1 play went for not just 1 night, but 1 weekend & a Sunday matinee...not to mention all the rehearsals beforehand--weeks & weeks I'm guessing, crazy grass roots local theater people?!
so now after sharing this I can say not only do the 'shadow people' know, but for this 1 play--you do too?!
and I have to say I have a great big new appreciation for said 'shadow people' backstage everywhere - along with another big helping of great big new appreciation for 'bus' waiter persons at restaurants (to think I didn't even serve dinner either, but to set & reset a table & do a Seder plate/table quickly during first a few minutes lights down to 2 more 10 min intermissions - was all I ever want to do from a kitchen to a table again?!)
But I got paid in 'love' - hugs & thank you's & a rose & I was even mentioned in the program...prob a good thing tho they don't let 'shadow people' take bows - another theater person told me they liked the being creative behind the scenes part...hmmm...Well, maybe if I'd just shopped or played with props & costumes--but that being a 'shadow person' setting & unsetting the table on stage was more than I ever wanted (I'll do a lot of things once--this was one of them?!)
Quoth the 'shadow people' Nevermore!!!