Back from the day off for one day of work. Tomorrow’s is All Saints Day in Italy, the official and original version of Halloween, so the country closes down. The cast are being very amenable in introducing us to the city – Anto and Simone took us out for dinner to the Navigli area on Saturday night – it’s a collection of cafes and bars on one of the remaining canals in Milan. Apparently Milan used to be surrounded by canals that followed the circle of the city, and it was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Mid-century they were filled in with cement, I guess for efficiency and traffic? Having said that, I can’t find any pictures of these canals, so I wonder if this is true. In any case we had Napolitan pizza and then joined many of the cast at L’Elephant, a gay bar that may have been overvisited by us already.
Today was paintbrush day. We started off with the Aria – Mirko has to be the first Adam to find lip-syncing to La Traviata the easiest part of the show. It must be so strange to be singing in English for most of the show, then suddenly be mouthing along to an Australian soprano singing in your native language. We broke down, we panicked, we made phone calls and then pulled out the paintbrushes.
An interesting note – the Italian word for paintbrush, pennello, is also slang here for “penis”. The cast were apparently laughing every time we asked for the pennelle to do something. So we played with it, saying how it was Adam’s dream to be surrounded by a cast of “molto grande pennelle”. Nice to know one of the few moments in Priscilla that doesn’t involve a genitalia joke has now picked it up in this country.
We had the usual poi troubles (the Maori ritual dance we added in Auckland) but because we didn’t linger on it the cast took initiative and quickly taught themselves how to do it. With the usual hitting themselves in the face with paintbrushes.
Then we completed the scene into “I Will Survive” with Mirko mastering the Nick Adams trademark walkover-into-jump-split. Tomorrow we stage the final number for Act One and then we’re halfway there.