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A unique look at "Charley's Aunt" through photos and diary, rehearsal by rehearsal, by character Lord Fancourt Babberly.

CHARLEY'S AUNT - Babb's rehearsal diary

2/20/86 With the first rehearsal read-through of Act I complete, character backgrounds written, and a single blocking rehearsal of the opening of Act I with Jack and Charley done the evening before, I arrive for MY first blocking rehearsal. The thrid floor of the odd fellows, complete with the newly finished set with all new flats - stands cold and ready. My mind already racing to speak my first few words as "Babbs," - my first role in a play, as opposed to the six musical productions as music director. It is different. Directors Jay Clark and Linda R. Young dress for the cold while Andy Pinard, his effervescent self, hangs around the piano. Brian Adams arrives and gets the small kerosene heaters going. I walk around the back of the set checking out entrances and in particular my first entrance - through the french windows. Act I begins with Jack and Charley and stops where the previous nights blocking ends. Together Brassett, Jack, Charley and Babbs continue blocking. Use of "marks" in the script, which I first failed to comprehend, but put them in anyway, point out major areas of concern for movement. Next, block on stage with scripts. Finally, to speak the line. Done. Not bad first time. Brian knows all my marks. About to exit out door, meet Jack and Charley, they push me back as I struggle for my response - can't beleive it, I am intimidated by Andy. Run through - fake the first fall, (my suggestion) and rug burn first thing on my left knee. Jim English points out I opened windows by putting my hands through where the glass should be. How embarassed! Pushed, turned, carried, chased, lines.....all wicked awkward. That's it in a word...awkward. We do it again, again, again and it becomes fun. People laugh now and then - look this way, make this face, say this slower, and its time to go home. I like it.

2/21/86 Second rehearsal, picked up from last night after sitting for the first half hour. Jack (Andy Pinard) is not here tonight and the pace seems to be slower. I feel more comfortable and at ease tonight. Lines are coming quicker and the blocking tonight does not seem as difficult. Turned the wrong way or something in one spot - I am not sure what is the problem as we let it go until later. Flipped a coin in the air and grabbed it one handed. Directors liked it and am now worried about being able to catch it regularly & during performance. Small details seem to keep one up nights. Continued up to line which is my first exit through arch and couldn't beleive the feeling of going from first entrance to first exit, and the strange feeling of looking at the back of the set. It was really neat. I will miss the next rwo rehearsals - a bit worried. [P.S. Missed only one. Got blocking from Diane over the phone, only 3 "marks" so I didn't miss much new stuff. Feel better. Still working on Act II lines and was thinking all night how to stretch my first entrance out.

2/25/86 Couldn't believe it - arrived today and the place was open! Began putting in a few "marks' with my entrance with Spettigue. This was preceeded with Charley carrying me from the window - poor fellow! Lines with Spettigue really rough and seemed much too fast. Working with David seemed difficult - particually in moving. Disappointed about lines though. End of Act I real confusing. Sir Francis and Spettigue so differnet from Jack and Charley in pacing and enthusiasm. Wasn't happy with it, but it was the first time with the two of them. Stage area is so small - the fall on the end is neat, but is rough on the 'buns.' Reviewing with Jack and Charley badly needed - needs work with the three of us. Run through from my first entrance to first exit quite satisfying. Still alot to block on Thursday. Tonight the first as "Charley's Aunt" and a bit uneasy, would have been easier to work into the sequence. Oh well, next time. {P.S. Jim English had a bad night - yelled at Linda R. Talked about props - long list. Enough said.

2/27/86 Good rehearsal - chartered some "unknown" territory. Amy didn't show, but got to work with Kitty a little as we didn't repeat the segement with us both in it (Babbs, Kitty and Amy). Ran from the beginning of Act I to my exit again - not bad, still a couple of moves I wasn't sure of. Jay liked some of the stuff at my entrance - first direct words of praise. Hurrah!! Jack and Charley (Andy and Brian) are super and so much fun to work with. Spettigue and I definitely need work, damn those lines! I think maybe I'm pushing. Was worried about entrance with the dress, done tonight for the first time. Not to worry-I think playing the old lady will be fun. Relieved a bit as I really had reservations. Jack still uses script - I got through without except for one section. He has so many lines. Got a new fall tonight as I spin out of the chair. The "parrot" lines went real good first time - I was really surprised and alot of fun. Got laughing and couldn't keep a straight face at one spot. Still one section when we are all at the table which we haven't done. Mayber tomorrow. Sunday should be outrageous - run through Act I. I can't wait. [P.S. Real cold out tongiht and Sir Francis was good in rehearsal.]

2/28/86 Alas - no physical bruises tonight, but the ego took a bit of a beating. The diary got read in full tonight and seems to be interesting to the cast - but first, rehearsal. Worked first with Charley and Jack and then also added Sir Francis. When the rest of the cast arrived (all present except for Brassett) we started with the entrance of Amy and Kitty and proceeding to the end of Act I. This sets up a full run through of Act II on Sunday. Wore a skirt and hat during rehearsal tongiht...pretty funny. Managed all night with no script, except for backstage cues. Didn't have to change much tonight, so I guess that is good. Again I felt pretty comfortable despite the skirt, except for the part with Spettigues entrance - but slowing it down and adding some suggestions from Dave Brown helped it. I think it will be fine after one more session with it. After rehearsal the entire cast was given praise for their work to date from Directors Jay Clark and Linda R. Young. It was well deserved, but came with a caution not to let it go to our heads. This was followed by some places that need work, including a spot with Jack, Kitty and myself. Finally, I was singled out for remarks for entrance into today's diary, have two words of having done something well, one after 7:35, the other after rehearsal. To the directors I can only quote Babbs - "Yes, I thought you'd be pleased with me, ta ta."

3-2-86 Ran through Act I today with many stops trying to improve on smaller details. How to redo my entrance for lack of excitement. What a difference the second time. It is amazing how one person can slow down or speed up the pacing. Still confused on which way to turn sometimes, but some of the blocking changes added today should help. I would like to get the use of more props in some places which would help with the timing in certain spots. A few were used when Brassett was at rehearsal, like my box of clothes. Jack and Charley were wicked funny in a couple spots today, and at one time after I appear in my dress I thought I saw Linda R. (co-director) on the floor. That scene of panic when the girls are about to arrive went so fast and was so funny I couldn't keep from laughing. Hope I can get control of it. I need to work on it. Dave was fine today, and it is I who needs the work. It was good to have the entire cast involved today, including Amy, Kitty and Sir Francis. Spent the last hour doing a read through of Act II and added the last two cast members, Donna Lucia and Ela. I don't have alot to do in this act, for me it is the "sleeper". Stayed a little late to work a spot with Amy and Jack. Rehearsal was stopped for a few words abouth the tech crew. I really don't think any of us had to hear it as we do understand and really do appreciate their efforts. Tuesday is Act I again and we will start on Act II Thursday - the set will be switched on Wednesday. I am anxious to see the difference. Special pictures for the newspaper will be taken on Tuesday night prior to rehearsal. Well, on it goes - Oh, one more thing, my first fall in Act l drew blood tonight. Didn't know it until I got home. Maybe I shoud take out a special insurance policy with Lloyd's of London!

3/4/86 Began tonight with some publicity pictures, each cast member and some small group shots. Finished a little after 7:30. Cast not real anxious to get moving tonight, and there was NO kerosene. Started on page 34 again tonight, with one, and sometimes no director. I wonder how much got missed, it was like playing before an empty house. No regular prompter tonight for lines. Repeated the same thing again and it went pretty well. Jack missed more lines tonight than usual. The section with Spettigue and Babbs (me) finally went well tonight - Linda R. was pleased and so, therefoer was I. Ready to leave at 9:00, I wanted to run the beginning. It was better, but all my exits don't feel natural yet. I hope that time can be found to do them. I think I'll try to get Jack and Charley together to run it a few times. What appeared to be an "off" night actually went pretty well. I'll give the cast credit for tonight's accomplishments. Set crew switches to Act II for Thursday's rehearsal - anxious to see it.

3/6/86 Tonight re-shot some pictures before rehearsal. Kittly was late and Donna and Brassett were not present. Began to add "marks" to scripts for Act II. Completed all the "marks" about 8:45. The set was turned for Act II and is pretty complicated behind, at least as compared to Act I. Blocking started with Jack, Charley, Kitty and Amy, as Kitty will not be available the next two rehearsals. Best part tonight can only be described as Kitty meets Wolfman Jack. The first kissing scene. Kitty's first report was that it was like kissing a wall. Not to be outdone by a wall, and not knowing what Kitty expected, Jack delivered his second shot, more convincing perhaps.....this plot still to develop. Linda R. was in hysterics! I know she likes havin gthe shoe, I mean Andy, on the other foot. More blocking tomorrow. Director's apologized for Tuesday night. Enough said. [P.S. Brian offered to help mount pictures of the cast. That's great.]

3/7/86 Without a doubt the coldest night for rehearsal so far. Expected an easy night as I don't have as much in Act two as one, but I was wrong. Pushed, shoved, dragged and chased. Got a good jump on Act II blocking with Jack, Charley, Amy, Sir Francis, Spettigue and "Babbs." Some of it si extremely amusing: Sir Francis proposing and his 'asides' to the audience; the cahse scene in and out of the garden with Jack, Charley and "Babbs" - and of course the dress removal section. Tried to simulate that for the fun of it - like I said, it was cold. Everyone seemed pleased with the accomplishments of the night and I went home tired. This was the night the window in the downstairs door broke due to the high winds banging the door open and shut. This night the weather was indeed "beastly." Next rehearsal on Sunday - no Jakc, no Kitty, no Brasset and no Spettigue - burt welcome to our stage for the first time Donna and Ela!

3/9/86 I'm exhausted! Worked up a good sweat in that cold place to the point my hair was wet. Did the chase scene (and removing of clothes) several times today. Jack and Charley love it, and I was pooped! Anyway, Donna and Ela made their debuts today. Both knew their lines and did well. Added Sir Francis to them. He had his share of problems today. I worked a scene with him during the break, and another from Act I with Jack and Charley. Still a few unblocked spots in this act, and thought I was not on the schedule for Tuesday, they want me to attend. If we can finish the blocking we might be able to run it. I have about half of the lines to learn in this act, all from the part we haven't blocked. Made the big decision today, the moustache comes off next week. Yuk, I don't like not having it, but I'll feel more comfortable without for the show, as I think it makes "Babbs" more believeable. I still am really enjoying the whole experience, and the thought of performance makes me nervous. I have all of Act III to memorize, and it is considerable. Spettigue and Kitty not here this afternoon. Jack was late, which was good as he thought he would not make it at all. His presence enabled us to get more done than we thought. All around good day and good rehearsal.

3/11/86 Tonight one of those things happened that I won't forget. I'll set it up. Working on the end of Act II as Spettigue (Dave Brown) wasn't there when we blocked it earlier. Toward the end of the scene Donna lucia announces that she had brought her ward Ela with her, and as she is my (Babbs) old girlfriend, and I am dressed as sthe old lady, am am most surprised. Spettigue invites her to attend the dinner at his house, and I decide I don't want to go. Traveling backwards, I bump into Ela who thinks she recognizes my voice. Upon seeing me dressed up she has second thoughts as she runs back to Donna Lucia. I, stunned for a second, also back up and pull my dress up over my head, faint, and fall backwards. Spettigue is supposed to catch me, but it dons on me as I am falling that David probably doesn't know that, so I yelled "catch me!" as I began to fall. Well, it was too late and to no avail, I landed flat on my _____. I didn't get hurt, but there was a lot of laughter and tear-filled eyes, not to mention the surprise to Spettigue. Later Linda R. was again on the floor during the proposal scence between Babbs and Sir Francis. There was also some funny places added to the chase scene which continues to wear me out. On the whole it was a poor night. ANdy (Jack) was in wierd mood and still is slow on some lines. Sir Francis was a bit frustrated not knowning his. Spettigue is still a little behind in this act, but has some really funny moments. Amy, Charley, Donna and Ela have their Act II lines down pretty well. I feel pretty good about mine and am going to get a head start on Act III as I have a lot of them to learn. Did not do any blocking that might have been started in Act II that was missed the last two rehearsals. Kitty was missing tongith and put us back a bit. She was sick and is "iffy" for Thursday. Still no Brassett. Two more rehearsals to go before I have to miss one on Sunday. I will miss one other but that should be all. One final not, one more oo-oo and I'll go nuts.

3/13/86 A damp and wet weather day but I was ready to get going. The directors had a meeting that lasted until 10 of eight, so the cast went ahead and did some trouble spots. Al (Sir Francis) had some of us put our lines on a tape for him to practice with, and we were only too happy to help out. Blocked the remainder of Act II tonight and willl be able to run the whole act on Friday night. Donna and Amy were the only ones missing, except for Brassett who remains out for a while. Sorry I have to miss Sunday. The end of rehearsal was a plea for props which we badly need. Not sure when the next act gets started, but I have begun work on the lilnes and it is slow going. The board with the cast on it is almost done as Brian has worked on some lettering. Doesn't look like anything but cast will fit on it and a second one will be needed for the entire production crew. Cast seemed a bit tired tonight,, and I know I was. Hopefully tomorrow will be real productive.

3/14/86 Tonight opened with "cast's choice" - that is we picked some trouble spots we wanted to work on. I was concerned with Amy's blocking toward the end of Act II with Babbs and Kitty. The argument scene, and of course the dreaded chase sequence. After these the run through of Act II. We left out the parts with Sir Francis as he was not present. A lot of stops tonight, but that was good. Attention to details. Biggest problems - too fast, poor diction and not loud enough. Some of that due to several cast members using their scripts. Ela and I can not make the next rehearsal on Sunday, so there will be no diary entry. I feel pretty secure with with Act II, more so than with Act I, but I think that is because I am getting use to rehearsals and placement. One more rehearsal on Act II on Tuesday then the set crew will make the change to Act III. I will miss the initial readthrough on Sunday and I still have many lines to learn for the final act. Productive rehearsal and Spettigue looks good. Cast in good humor tonight, almost too much so.

3/18/86 ZINGED. It seemed the moment everyone was waiting for. The time was right, the run through of Act II completed with the directors giving us their comments. To me it was some lost words - poor diction. The solution, slower, enounciate, like OK-LA-HO-MA..... well, I guess I had it coming. Brassett was the only person missing as we ran Act II twice. One section pretty weak with Spettigue and Sir Francis. Sir Francis and his scene with me was much improved. A new twist added to it - I spew water when he pops the question - oh joy. "Mark" Act III Thursday. Weather near 60 today - first no-coat rehearsal. To turn back to the teens for next rehearsal. New overhead lighting is great. Still lines to learn, feel behind a bit. Brought camereda, no film. Sorry 'bout that. Next diary entry please....

3/20/86 Cold weather returned, but on we went. "Marks" all in for Act III, Donna and Brassett not present. Began the blocking, and it looks pretty good. Set looks good for this act. Ran through the first part of the act with the blocking, then ran it again. Will run the rest tomorrow. I have to hum the "Blue Bells of Scotland." I hate that song. It is pretty funny, and Linda R. found it obnoxious. I don't have the lines down yet, but I WILL by SUnday. New player for Brassett - Diane Johnson will start tomorrow. It is gonna' be cold. All three acts on Sunday. Should warm up.

3/21/86 I couldn't believe they said it - those dreaded words - Acts I, II, III, no scripts....and I don't know Act III for beans. Well, there goes Saturday night. Tonights rehearsal - didn't quite finish the blocking for Act III, but only a few pages left. I wanted to yell "hooray" when I got to my exit in Act III as I'm on stage almost the whole time - but when I go off I get to change into normal clothes again. How I've longed for that moment. For the second time the folding chair gave way beneath me, no big deal this time. Scene with Spettigue proposing is a positive riot - He'll do that part real well. Its strange not having Jack and Charley on so much in this act. Blcoking as a rule has been a bit more difficult due to the restriction in stage size, but I think it will work out fine. Ela's long speech to me is boring and so long. Brassett is now here, welcome Diane! All in all another good night - Sunday will be a real test, and I'm going to miss the rehearsal after. Should be the last I miss. Two weeks and we'll be at the theatre....the time draws near. What about costumes, props etc. ????????

3/23/86 Successfully went through all three acts this afternoon, although Act III was real rough. Finished the blocking on the end of three as we went about a half hour later than ususal. Seems anti-climatic at the end, not the usual big musical finish like I'm used to. Several cast members used scripts in Act III today, though they weren't supposed to. Spettigue and Sir Francis had some better moments today, but Spettigue really needs to learn lines, so does Kitty in Act III. I felt pretty good overall - and I think the entire cast feels good about things. Directors comments were nothing major as they are pleased with the progress. Saw the tech crew change the set around. Should look neat wnem painted. Jack and Charley were good today - and I only messed them up once when I went to exit the wrong way, oh well. I'll miss my third rehearsal on Tuesday. Don't feel so hot, hope it will pass.

3/25/86 This is the rehearsal I was to miss, but I was here, not feeling well, but here. Entire cast available tonight and work continued on Act III. I personally have three sections where I have trouble with the lines. One is with Spettigue, the others are after I return as the real Babbs. Blocking the end of the show is still not right. It just doesn't make it. Somehow I am sure it will turn out right. Looking for more props and set changes as we are getting close to moving (to the theatre). Should have my costume on Thrusday. I'll feel better once I know it will work. Things went well, and not a lot to talk about. Alot of action this week was behind the scenes.

3/27/86 Really frustrated with myself tonight. Couldn't remember some really basic lines. The entire cast just lacked vigor this night.. Spettigue was in a real fog all night. Heather didn't bring my costume like she said, needs about another hours work. Ran through Act III twice. It was somewhat better the second time. Finally, the directors came forward after their notes and worked with us "close-up." About time, as this is the type of rehearsal we need now. It stimulated things and will make a big difference. Quite a few tech crew in again tonight, and plans call for a big tech day on Saturday. Added a kneel on my love-sick lines to Ela, and teh letter passing was a little bit better. One more night on III and then its fine-tune the entire play bit by bit. Really worried about tech end. If I had the time I'd help, oh well. Got a lot of little things to change from the Director's comments tongiht, lots of little things, so on it goes.

3/28/86 Cast much more lively tonight as we did Act III twice. It took until 9:45 with a lot of stops, but well worth it. Got much done. Spring is coming and Jack's hormones went into high gear. Never realized what went on behind the flats, and in fairness to those who have never done a show, I will not disclose it. Got to use a new prop. I never knew how funny a cigar could be, and I don't think anybody else did either. Picked up the tempo in the beginning of the act, and the section with Ela and myslef was a little more tolerable tonight 'cause she began to get the hang of it. Finally got my lines tonight which I'm sure made Faye (prompter) happy - at least I'm happy. Spettigue appears to be the only one behind in Act III. It's Easter break, so no rehearsal until Tuesday - back to Act I with finishing touches. Set work for Saturday. Got my dress and hope to get the rest of it for use on Tuesday.

4/1/86 Review of Act I after not doing it at all for almost two weeks. What an awful feeling. It was dead. My entrance changed as far as character goes from everything I had done since. Jack's character attitude has to be changed also. That isn't easy, I wish they had mentioned it before. It seems Babbs is a little more confident than I had him portrayed. Jack is not as mean, and I suppose Charley is fine. It will take some time, and there is not a lot left, we'll be in the theatre in a few days. Didn't get to Act II at all, set crew not around to make the change. Still much work to do. More props now in use, and I have my full costume for the old aunt look. Not bad to get in and out of behind the scenes, we'll see how it goes on stage during the next rehearsal. Jay not well. Everyone else present and O.K. Thanks to Jack for the hankershief. Rug burn on the back of my hand got a little messy. Didn't go home feeling at all well about rehearsal. May they only get better from here on out. Hope Spettigue learns his lines. It's like he just started with us. I know he will be good as soon as he gets them as he has the character. Until next time.

4/3/86 Tonight we ran through Act II, and pretty well I might add. Made many stops to work on various sections - the proposal scenes between Jack and Kitty as well as Sir Francis and Babbs as the aunt. Behind the stage in little rooms here and there, other cast members worked with Linda R. on other sections. Sir Francis and I were asked to stay a little later to work on a scene. Getting into the dress on stage isn't as bad when Jack and Charlie help, if they didn't I think I would be there all night. The wig comes off when the dress does, and I am back to the audience just before the chase which I don't think is quite right. Fixed a few things on the chase - Spettigue was absent tonight. Tomorrow back to III and I.

4/4/86 Began tonight with the run through of Act III which went pretty smooth. Ran through a scene with Sir Francis before starting as the set needed tobe changed. Cast has been pretty loose as of late, but once in the theatre I surmise they will settle down. The run through went pretty well with a few stops. The stuff with the cigar is much harder with this hat and costume, but I might be able to work it out so it is improved. I feel pretty good about lines. After Act III the set was changed again to Act I with an outburst from the Tech Director as some of the cast attempted to point some relevant things out - it was confusing as they set up Act one from the top and we started on page 34. Oh well, I can imagine what will transpire at the Scenic. So much for comradery with the Tech Crew, you can't talk to them. Spettigue was a little better tonight, and the section of Act I we worked on also improved. Next rehearsal at the theatre. I am looking forward to it as it will be a new experience for me. Big moving day on Saturday, then Sunday's rehearsal. Time draws near, in two weeks it will be over.

4/6/86 It is Sunday, our first rehearsal in the theatre. Set crew moved into the theatre yesterday and it took them a fair amount of time to set for Act I as nothing was in order from the move. Started with Act I which went real well at the beginning. I felt uncomfortable with my entrance, and I forgot some blocking. Embarrassed. Changed the set to Act II. That ran smooth, although it took forever to get in and out of the dress. Did not use it in Act I because the stage was dirty. Did not get to Act III. Jay and Linda R. pleased with our first attempts in the theatre. More room backstage than I anticipated. The set crew has a real incredible task. My hat's off to them if they can pull it off. Still much finish work to do. Been warned not to help or get in their way.

4/8/86 Culture shock! After working individuals last night we ran the whole three acts back at the odd fellows - no props and no set. A lot of work in the off rooms as we plugged through the whole thing ending after 10:00 pm, but the casst and the directors wanted the complete show run. I really blanked in part of Act III - Donna Lucia changed some lines, but I was just out of it. Some of the stuff in Act I that we worked on the night before went better, and Spettigue is beginning to shire. All in all it wasn't bad and its back to the Scenic tomorrow.

4/9/86 Back at the theatre - How sweet it is. Had a good night. Still feel a bit uneasy with a small part of Act I, but a special session is planned for Saturday to help it along. Dress change still real hard, but FUNNY. Need ad lib lines. I remembered all of Act III and all my off stage cues. People tired, cast taking a few ZZZZ's backstage. I didn't think one could get out of it and just come back on. I was amazed. Set is much improved as sthe finish work starts to make it come alive. Jim E. offered some spiritual uplifting. Hopefully costumes will be here soon. I think everyone in the cast did real well, and were really pleased. Set changes still over 30 minutes. Another shot at it tomorrow and then the next couple days off out of the theatre except for Saturday help session. One week to dress rehearsal!

4/10/86 Second night in a row at the Scenic. Tech a little quicker after Act I, much quicker after Act II. According to the distinguished dirrectors, Act I was not bad, Act II was slow. I don't remember the verdict on Act III. I do remember I screwed up royally when a prop was missing. I was pissed. Backstage is real interesting and complicated, but I am confident it will improve. The bruise of the night was a scrape on my hand which bled the whole first act. A boo-boo paper made it OK the rest of the night. All in all I guess things were not bad. Sir Francis had trouble proposing, and Spettigue was weak in Act III. Off day tomorrow, special session Saturday afternoon, next full rehearsal (with make-up and cosstumes) on Sunday. That should be fun!

4/13/86 Arrived early today as costumes and some make-up were to be the order of the day. Rehearsal at the theatre, and the set is about 90% complete, a few pieces and props not yet ready, some paint and so on. Ladies' costumes look great, most of the men's didn't fit or were not complete. The gals got make-up, but the guys went without. Ran through all three acts with some stops. Stuff worked on at the special 'help' session yesterday proved well worth the time. I remembered themoves but lost about 6 lines in the process. Broke a bottle of fizz and the fan. No real or fake water to drink and pour as we thought.. Only got a few pictures, and did nor get the cast portrait either. I had no place to change during Act III as sthe dressing room was blocked. Could not make my Act III entrance with Amy as we could not fit by the flat. U guess things weren't bad, but Jack and I both left angry. Jay and Linda R. did not talk to the cast after rehearsal, but sat in Linda's car across sthe street. Tomorrow another rehearsal/run-through. Hope things fall into place.

4/14/86 This is the week of the show - Monday. Tonight experienced the 'grease paint' for the first time. Full costumes. Worked on selected sections, many which did not involve me. Got a chance to see Sir Francis sip a little vinegar - enjoyed a nice salad for lunch - got to spray water when Sir Francis proposed - poured tea into Spettigue's hat - drank 'coffee-water' when toasting Miss Delahay in Act I - and surprised Ela with a birthday card in the bushes in Act II. We took the cast portrait before working on the end of Act III. Music added a new dimension, and keeping track of costumes before and after is a real drag. Felt real productive, and I think the cast feels confident. Kitty is not well, Spettigue is still rough on some lines. Full dress tomorrow. Dress rehearsal with audience on Wedensday, then SHOWTIME.

4/15/86 Full rehearsal tonight. Prompter still handing out a few lines. I lost some lines in Act II and have some ad lib to do in Act I while I pack the bottles. Faye, the prompter has done a great job. Got a hug from Linda R. after the first act, and even I thought it went rather well. The entire cast had a good night. I am nervous, but not as bad as I thought I might be, as I rather enjoy the whole ordeal. Event he tech stuff fell together, and some of the lighting effects opening scenes are grand. Make up is weird, especially trhe powder. Tomorrow dress rehearsal - the real test.

4/16/86 Dress Rehearsal tonight - the full production as it will go the next three nights. About 30 people to watch this evening. My goal not to make any noticable mistakes - I did it! Jack slipped me a line, and I forgot one in Act III, but I made it up. Will have to ad lib every night when packing the bottles - poor Freddy Peel. A few minor things went wrong, but all in all it was great. Linda R. and Jay went uncontrollable in Act III when I slowly wrentch up my dress while Ela is talking. I guess it caught them by surprise. Jim English told a cure story, at the end of the play before Babbs enters as himself finally, and calls to come in off stage in the old lady's voice, is denounced first by Spettigue. Babbs makes his entrance and was met with "that's him, that's him" by two elderly ladies in the audience. Guess we did just fine as they followed the story with no problem. I thought that was real neat.

Opening night is tomorrow. I am sure it will go fine. The cast is confident. As this is it, and no pictures will be taken during the shows, this becomes the last diary entry. My hat is off to the tech crew - it looks great and it all really makes the show complete. To Jay and Linda my thanks for the opportunity. It was much more fun then I ever expected, and I appreciate your guidance. To the cast - hard for words here. Not one argument, no disagreements, total cooperation, hard working, dedicated. It couldn't have been better. You are all very special people, and I enjoyed everyone, particually Jack and Charley, and I forgive you for all the black and blues, bruises and bumps. It was a pleasure. The show opens tomorrow. It will be fine and I know it will be a great experience. The laughter will make it only that much more fun and I look forward to playing it up. That you can't rehearse, but we are all ready. So long to all of you, good-bye 'Charley's Aunt" and a hello to "Cinderella." God bless you all and thanks ever so much.

Pictured top of page: Jack Chesney, Andy Pinard; Lord Fancourt Babberley (as Charley's "aunt", T.J. Rand: Charley Wykeham, Brian E. Adams; Brassett, Diane Johnson; Colonel Sir Francis Chesney, Al Solberg; Kitty Verdun, Meg Carson; Ela Delahay, Lena Puliafico.Amy Spettigue, Pam Manhanna; Stephen Spettigue, David Brown; Donna Lucia D'Alvadorez, Sandra Ross;