The less said the better about Saturday’s first act. The orchestra, conducted by Anthony Quartuccio, was riddled with poor intonation, scratchy string tone and blooped notes, and was often out of sync with the singers onstage. The chorus was ragged. Two of the leads — tenor Alexander Boyer and baritone Evan Brummel — strained to stay on pitch. And another thing: Was someone grilling steaks in the theater’s basement? I’m being serious — it smelled like it.
I can’t (won’t!/shouldn’t!) comment on what he says about me and the rest of my colleagues: I don’t believe in letting my readers know if I agree or disagree, and I certainly won’t explain why something may have been awry if it was, indeed, awry, but let me assure you that sometimes I strongly agree and sometimes I strongly disagree!
But … I can tell Mr. Scheinin that I’ve always assumed that the smell is from a nearby restaurant. (I’m guessing Original Joe’s, but I don’t know for sure.) This is the first time I’ve heard of an audience member catching the scent of meat cooking, but I’ve dealt with this ever since the hall opened. We get the “steak smell” from a nearby restaurant and we get the baking cookies smell that goes on out in the lobby. I found it all quite annoying when we moved into the hall but at this point I’ve learned to deal and nearly ignore the smells.
I’ve yet to learn to deal with the strong perfume some audience members bathe in before the come into the hall, but oh well — I want to focus on their attendance instead. I truly am thankful they are there!