Monday, 13 May 2013
Laura Spencer, Understudy, Goes on in Jubilations' "The Big Boom Theory"
Our budding actress-daughter, Laura, has been employed as "adcast" by Jubilations Dinner Theatre in Calgary for about a year now. All of the wait staff wear costumes and appear in character during the show, and are a fun part of the entertainment. Laura has sung a solo during a food-break in the last two shows, and became the understudy for the Amy Farrah Fowler character for the current show, "The Big Boom Theory," which opened at the end of April.
Laura worked two extra shifts last Monday and Tuesday, and was taking Thursday off to allow maintenance to install a bathroom ceiling fan in her apartment when she got a text message from the Jubilations floor manager telling her that the actress who plays Amy was quite sick, and that Laura was on standby to go on for her the next night. On Friday morning at 10AM, Laura received a second message telling her that she was playing Amy that night, and to come to an emergency four-hour dress rehearsal at 1PM. Laura had had no previous rehearsals for the show, but had been learning the part by observing the play while she worked.
Even though the show was sold-out, the good people at Jubilations squeezed in another table-for-two for Reid and I, and we got to see Laura perform in the Friday night show. We were so proud of her. She had learned all of the lines, sang a solo and duets, and was in some of the dance numbers, too. She also had the Amy voice and mannerisms down pat. One particular moment I will always remember was when the villain, who was trying to seduce Amy, did some back flips across the stage during a musical number, and then waited for Laura to run at him full tilt and straddle-jump him! At the end of the show, Laura stepped forward for her bow, and the other cast members formed a half-circle around her and applauded. You could tell that Laura didn't expect them to do this and was visibly touched.
Saturday afternoon she attended a second extra rehearsal so that she could be added to the big "Ballroom Blitz" song and dance number, and Sunday she did a third rehearsal so that she could sing an extra solo during one of the meal breaks and appear in the dance combinations at the end of the show. This was Laura's first professional show, and she was a real pro through-out her "baptism-by-fire." Well done, Laura!