WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Assembling an on-stage musical production has never been a simple feat. Casting, scheduling rehearsals and readings, and coordinating blocking and choreography for actors before opening night takes immense work and communication. How much more complicated is this venture during a pandemic?
Max Wilson, part of the ensemble cast of “Come Together, a Beatles Revue” at Crown Uptown Theatre, said that though it’s been difficult the last few months, venues have been able to keep talent and the audience safe.
“The beauty of The Crown is that there is at least 20-feet between the stage and the first tables. Because it’s such a massive space there’s plenty of room to distance people and still get a decent crowd in here,” Wilson told KSN. “So, I feel really safe as an actor because we only kind of deal with one another. We are really safe outside of rehearsals and then we don’t even come into contact with any of the audience members.”
The actor says that the 6-piece vocal ensemble and the 7-piece band all rehearse in face masks to keep themselves safe, many of whom have been recently tested for COVID-19 for extra precaution.
The production features 32 of the hundreds of classic Beatles tunes spanning their chart-topping 10-year recording career, all rearranged by show bassist Andy Bauer. “He kind of took all of our voices and wrote these arrangements perfectly for the six of us with totally different vocal styles ranges. I’m so thrilled with him,” Wilson said.
“Come Together,” which opened August 28, is rounding out its final weekend at The Crown Uptown, has been running the show at a reduced capacity to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The audience reception has been ultimately positive, according to Wilson. What he notices most, he says, are peoples eagerness to get out but still feel safe.
“I think people are just ready to get out of their homes and do it safely,” chimed Wilson. “We’ve had really great crowds and I think that’s part of the reason they’ve been so positive too. They have wanted to get out now they’re coming to see a rock concert for the first time and who knows how long.”
Most tables are more than 6-feet apart, and show-goers are asked to wear masks if they leave their designated area. All this, done in the name of safety. So the show can go on and talent like Wilson and his castmates can give the room their all, keeping their art alive and putting a little money in their pockets during such a difficult time.
Max Wilson will complete his turn in “Come Together for three more shows Sep 4 – 6 before returning to the stage September 17 at Roxy’s Downtown to reprise his role as the lead in the rock n’ roll musical comedy-drama, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
Tickets for “Come Together, A Beatles Revue” are available by calling the Crown Uptown Theatre box office or their website.