Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th.  Now, we have five black cats in the family, so as you can imagine, superstitions are not so much my thing.  

These are not my cats. My cats would kill me if i tried to put red bows on them.

And yet.... yesterday went sort of like this:  due to bad weather, I didn't go to Tel Aviv, missing what my friend reported was an excellent opera production.  My porcelain tea-pot-in-a-cosy dropped and shattered.  Worst of all, one of my cats [not a black one] died after a short illness.

Wait for me at the Bridge, sweet one

So all in all, not a great day, and that got me thinking about superstition in general, and in the theater in particular.  

One of the best known superstitions is that you never, ever wish a performer 'good luck' before a performance.  This is why, before a show, we tell each other to "Break a leg".  We don't mean it literally - at least, not most of us and not most of the time - and it is also considered inappropriate to ask "whose?".  This is theater, after all, not championship ice skating (that one's for you, Tonya).  

Another superstition involves "the Scottish play" by Shakespeare, which, in theater circles, is never mentioned by name inside a theater. Or in a theater blog, according to an old custom i just invented. (Clue: it's sort of like MacDonalds, but with a girl's name instead of Donald.)    If the name is uttered aloud, the offender must leave the theater and perform a 'cleansing ritual' before being allowed to return.  This may be the real origin of "Singin' in the Rain".

You can't come back in until you turn around three times and recite a line from a different Shakespeare play, dude

A third superstition is the belief that the dress reheasal must go badly in order for the opening night performance to go well.  Fortunately, this is not difficult to arrange.  LOGON dress rehearsals have an honored tradition of starting hours late, being plagued by technical glitches, having more mistakes than your average blooper reel, and - in the final analysis - preceding successful opening nights. Phoo phoo phoo.

Speaking of opening nights, tickets to Man of La Mancha will be going on sale soon!  Contact your favorite dealer, or check out the LOGON site.