Countdown To Footloose: Gifts At The Producers' Office - Part One

News   Countdown To Footloose: Gifts At The Producers' Office - Part One In the Dodger Productions' Special Events Office, the finalizations for opening night are taking place. There are changes in seating, gifts to be prepared and distributed, flowers for the cast and production staff to set out in dressing rooms and offices, and final party preparations to be made.
Top: Ron Bashford at the Dodger office; Bottom: The opening night seating chart
Top: Ron Bashford at the Dodger office; Bottom: The opening night seating chart Photo by Photo credit: Starla Smith

In the Dodger Productions' Special Events Office, the finalizations for opening night are taking place. There are changes in seating, gifts to be prepared and distributed, flowers for the cast and production staff to set out in dressing rooms and offices, and final party preparations to be made.

Up against a cabinet, the opening night seating chart stands, marked in a rainbow of colors. The Dodgers' John Haber explains that each color stands for a group. The Nederlanders (owners of the Richard Rodgers Theatre) get a certain amount of tickets -- they're green. Endemol, Dodger's Dutch partners, are red. The out-of-town presenters (many of whom are interested in Footloose as the show begins a tour in a little more than a month) are purple. The press and marketing pools are yellow.

The cast and crew reserve seats too -- Dee Hoty, Jeremy Kushnier and Jennifer Laura Thompson all have guests sitting in row A.

A few last minute changes are still coming in, and seats are being adjusted. Nederlander has given up two of its seats and so has Des McAnuff. This affords the opportunity to juggle the seats again and move important people into better locations.

Down one floor, the opening night gifts, wrapped in hot pink tissue paper, sit in dark blueish purple bags. A Footloose tag with the logo sprayed across it hangs from each bag. Beneath the hot pink lies a silver frame bearing 5 by 7 production photo of Jennifer Laura Thompson and Jeremy Kushnier dancing at the prom. Printed on the photo are the words from Ecclesiastes 3:1-4: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn.." Engraved on the actual frame is the finish of the fourth verse: "And a time to dance".

The top of the frame is engraved with the title of the show, "Broadway" and the opening night date, "10-22-98". The Dodgers are distributing 97 of these frames as gifts.

According to Haber, Dodgers considered a less serious gift -- a silver shopping cart, an example of which sits in the special events office. The shopping carts appear in the number "Somebody's Eyes" in the first act and would have made an in-joke for the cast and crew. But, Haber admits, "They didn't speak enough about the show."

With the gifts on their way to being organized and packed into boxes to be carried to the theatre, it's off to check on the flower delivery at the stage door and the progress of the special opening night dessert...

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