Monday, December 01, 2008

Creepy/Cratchit/Christmas Carol

Greetings, Blogging World.

I have been long absent from you, and for that, I apologize. (Unless you don't really care that I've been absent, in which case I do NOT apologize.)

I'm enjoying a rare evening at home; an evening with no rehearsal to race to or lines to memorize (Christmas Carol is currently in previews, and opens this Saturday!), so I've been pondering what I could share with you on this first eve of December. And I've decided there really is no deciding, for it's fairly obvious that I must tell you about the Creepy Prop Baby.

Early in the rehearsal process last month, it was determined that a prop baby was needed for one of the scenes. In my prior prop baby experience, I've observed that most are merely bundles of fabric formed into a baby-like shape. Either that, or they are fairly cute, innocuous looking dolls such as this one, held by a rather anemic looking Mary Fielding on the set of the Joseph Smith film:

**Photo courtesy of the famous C Jane's Chup, who loses a stick-pulling contest to Joseph Smith in the film. (It was totally rigged.)
**Doll later replaced with actual live baby.

Anyway, because of my fairly pleasant past experience with prop babies, I was in no way prepared for what appeared on the prop table several weeks ago. This particular baby, with its wispy, toupée-like hair, meaty hands, one eye slightly larger than the other, and overall unpleasant demeanor; this baby we had no other choice but to dub the Creepy Prop Baby.

Soon, Creepy Prop Baby began to have a life all his own. Sometimes, when I wasn't looking, a cast member would perch it on the edge of the prop table with its legs crossed and hands outstretched, thus frightening the next unsuspecting passerby. (Me.) Sometimes a cigarette would mysteriously appear in its mouth. Other times, it would be wearing Tiny Tim's hat. And sometimes, it would be writing with Bob Cratchit's pen:




What's that you say? You don't really think it looks all that creepy? Maybe you just have to experience it in person. Either that, or see what it looks like backstage:





Want to know what else is creepy? The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come hanging from a hook on the other side of the stage.



The side view:


The puppet is worn on the shoulders of an actor, and stands over 10 feet tall. It's delightfully creepy.

Things are decidedly less creepy downstairs, where all the actors get ready for the show. For instance, here are my wigs all lined up in a row (but is that pile of hair-filled bobby pins creepy?)



And here I am as Mrs. Cratchit; a photo snapped in haste as I was running upstairs after my fourth quick costume change of the evening:



And, finally, another photo I snapped before racing to the stage after my eighth and final costume change:



Okay, so maybe it's a little creepy that I'm such a bad photographer. But not nearly as creepy as Creepy Prop Baby.