News from the front & back
Three shows in the front of Manny yesterday, each before an audience of around 8000
Then, after most of the cast & crew had left, I enacted the 2hrs of repairs & maintenance to the puppets, that is fairly standard after a three show day
But there is a resource available that gives me lots of oomph
Since the bringing together of Ice Age Live… 2plus years, 2plus million audience, 2plus continents… today, for the first time, I got to see the show (I’ve watched rehearsals & runs-thru, but that’s not the same)
Thanks to another being freshly available to take my place, I was able to join the audience for today’s third show… here in Russia, it’s one made up largely of families; mums & dads and grandparents & aunties, bringing children, mostly well under ten… this does feel like the right demographic for our offering.
Moscow Olympic Arena on the right
At the five, I head out and look for a seat… there’s a space a few rows back in the stage left seating.
I see, that many of the children have their faces painted and many have brought stuffed toy animals.
They are expectant and excited.
House lights down…
Squeals from little ones who point out Scrat looking for his acorn at the top of the video wall.
Laughter as he falls.
Then boom goes the music and out in quick succession come the characters they all know, Peaches, Manny, Sid, Diego, Ellie and we’re off.
As the scenes progress, I watch the audience as much as I do the action.
Little kids with mouths open, sitting on their hands, because they’ve been told to keep still, but rocking with the beat.
Some standing wrapt.
Others on parents lap.
– Skater girl Icicles get ooohs,
– Full costume Birds pecking at the audience is appropriately unsettling,
– The pretty of the Snowflakes in Ellie’s lullaby gets applause,
– Some are in tears as Peaches is stolen away,
– Sid is shouted at – when he doesn’t see that Ellie’s hurt,
– Manny’s “Let’s go” gets clapped,
‘I Promise’ causes goosebumps
– The sly foxes could come from anywhere… they’re predatory and everywhere, it works,
– Little boys stand and pretend to be Diego Kung Fu fighting,
– They clap along with Reunited’s nonsense song,
– Laugh at silly Sid’s Grandma,
– Surreal Jellyfish provide a respite,
-Spotlit Father & daughter moment gets an ‘Awww’,
– Hooray! It’s Buck & his dancing bears
Time for a toilet break.
– Scratte’s sexy tease of Scrat gets laughter
– As does Buck’s teasing of Manny,
– Little lost Peaches is star of the show,
– The Tango is a real winner here in Russia… they understand triples,
– Manny’s attempt at the lullaby is appreciated,
– Shadow’s solo gets cheered… something else for the grownups,
– There are screams when the boulders tumble,
– But now the moment… on they troop, in their PJ’s,
Sid & friends
I’d always thought that Fire King was a winner, now I get to see for myself… the 4yr old little girl, with disproportionately huge pigtails and thick lensed, non designer specs, two rows ahead – who’s been insisting on standing despite being told to sit down several times – can’t help herself she’s up and dancing to Sid’s command… but mum doesn’t notice, she’s caught up in the silliness of it too.
There are flames, Minisloths in the audience and, Possums (this season, they’re achieving full naughtiness).
– Conclusive final confrontation, the baddie gets away and the wild birds are forgiven,
– Sadness turns to joy with the cathartic reunion of waiting mother and lost child,
– Finale, and now everyone’s part of the herd,
The Ice Age Herd
And despite the best efforts of the ushers, hundreds of children have pushed to the headers, wanting to get close to their Ice Age friends… pretty chaotic, but quite wonderful.
– Boom goes the final chord, Lights out, Cheering, and it’s over.
There’s lots of chatter from the audience as they make to leave, I head discreetly for backstage, but I wasn’t totally invisible sitting there… the Ice Age jacket I’m wearing has been noted – the older man sitting by himself must be connected. Three generations of a family: grandma, mum and daughter try to tell me in Russian how much they enjoyed… they realise that I don’t speak the language, so they all hold their thumbs up and say “Zuper show!”
Three show days again from tomorrow… I hope I can hack it and that the repairs are quick & simple, or else I’ll be quickly using up all the oomph the audience gave me.
Ticket sales in Moscow… well over 180,000, many of whom are children.
Wishing you a marvellously Mammoth year