07 September 2014

A day off and a wedding

Today was our first day off since we've been here in Cluj. The week ended on a solid note, though it definitely had its ups and downs. We were briefly replaced with the need to replace our musician, which sent ripples of discomfort throughout all of us, but we were able to get that sorted out. Then, I had to go back to the drawing board, adding some music to some of the songs I had written. Plus, we had a number of absences in the cast this week, making it a little difficult to rehearse cohesively.

Thankfully, things seem to be going well. The show is in decent shape, and we're looking towards a much needed couple of days off.

Today, E and I were invited to the wedding of two of the members of the company. Both Dragos and Romina were in 'War of the Clowns' two years ago. Dragos is in the current show, but Romina couldn't make the commitment (she's got a baby on the way). Dragos was out for much of the week getting prepared for the wedding, and E and I were both delighted to join them on their special day.

The wedding wasn't actually a wedding. The civil ceremony happened three days ago, so today was just the reception & celebration. We traveled up a hill outside of Cluj to the Grand Hotel Italia, which was built a few years ago by an Italian developer with, according to the folks I talked to, mob ties. It's a huge building, with white marble and big open spaces. There were six different weddings happening at the same time while we were there.  A fancy joint.

The reception was lovely. As people wandered in, they were escorted to their tables (our tables were assigned, but our seats were not) and given a plate of appetizers (meats, cheeses, eggplant, caviar, bread).  E and I sat in the middle of a four table section that seemed to have been given over to the theatre.  As we ate and visited with some of the company members, the room filled, and the wedding party arrived.  D & R entered, raised a glass for the first toast, and then smashed the glasses in a box of rocks.  Then, we all sat down for the first course: ham-wrapped fish with rice. Yummy!

Soon, the music started. The music was a combination of American standards ('Fly Me To The Moon'), opera arias (some of the guests are company members with the opera company in town), and a handful of Romanian folk songs. I was hoping for more national flare, but as one of the other guests explained to me, filling the playlist with Romanian folk tunes is a great way to drive all of the young people away.

After the fish course, there was some dancing, mostly to American pop & rock.  E and I both had to escape the very loud room (89 dB, A-weighted) to the outside for a bit of quiet. Then, the main course: turkey and scalloped potatoes.  Then, more dancing:

As the night went on, the party kept going. Children were running around the dance floor and the lobby, a small fireworks display went off on the front steps (sponsored by one of the other wedding parties), I did a little dancing, and E spent some time talking to the son of one of the company members who wants to be a director when he grows up.

At around 9pm, we decided to call it quits.  The party, we were told, would go on another four hours or so, but we were both pooped, and I had work to do. We hopped a cab back into town.

Congratulations Romina & Dragos! Many wonderful years are ahead of you!

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