. . . Or how a disastrously late principal actor allowed me to solve an unforeseen percussion calamity.
The production was Side Show, a show with contemporary-style music, reliant on solid traditional drum kit to anchor the pit. Mind you, the pit was only four or five players total. My drummer had engaged a sub for one performance, which I was comfortable with. However, he hadn’t told me that he would be taking his cymbals with him for his night off. I learned then that this was not unheard of, and many drummers bring their cymbals with them, given the high value drummers place on fine cymbals. But, he hadn’t told me. The sub showed up, and he was clearly not in the category of cymbal protectors, surprised and dismayed to see a nice drum kit with empty cymbal stands.
That night, one of our principal actors was driving back from an out-of-state trip and ran into a delay. We literally could not start the show without him. While the producer explained the situation to the audience (and opened up the bar!), I remembered that a childhood friend of my sons, an accomplished drummer then in high school, lived five minutes away. I called his parents and arranged to borrow his cymbals. After a 45-minute delay the actor arrived, and we were able to start the show. The audience was none the wiser and definitely in a forgiving mood, thanks to the extra bar time!