I'm starting to enjoy the tradition of Premiere dinner, with its ice sculptures and roses decorating the real tablecloths, and despite the ultra-gourmet food which I find impossible to eat. The ambience feels special, and it's always a reunion of sorts for all the family members. So it was tonight.
The show itself - it's been a while since I've seen it, so I was excited when the lights when down and the music came up. All familiar - except that, in the first act alone there were three onstage problems. First, Fabio missed the bar on his last solo trick in Carapace, and landed on his rear on the trampoline. Second, one of the unicycle girls fell off her unicycle, when the wheel hit a bowl on the floor. She ran offstage, and the whole act fell apart, the other girls didn't know what to do. A long minute or two passed before she rejoined them onstage, to thunderous applause and standing ovations. Third was in Fisherman, when Micha pulled in his fishing line and there was nothing hooked to it! He had to reach down to find the grocery bag.
None of these things was show-stopping, of course - just noticeable, mistakes I'd never seen happen onstage before.
Later in the evening I was mostly reflecting on absences - the people who are missing from the tour here in SF. There is a wife, lost to a marital separation, an artist rehabbing an injury, and another inexplicably gone. I realize, 18 months into the life of this show, it is probably just the beginning, as many more people change, leave, arrive. I talked to a technician about this today, who is leaving for a 1-year sabbatical soon. He credits the constant change to an organization that makes these things possible, that embraces its employees' need for growth and movement.