Next week is show time for "Sweet Charity" at New Canaan High School and the activity is at an all-time high.

There are cue to cue rehearsals which work on technical actions only, moving from one cue to the next, microphone checks to check the sound, and many other pieces of the production puzzle that must come together by the opening curtain, according to Patricia Oxman, press coordinator.

Every Saturday leading up to opening night is usually a tech day for cast and crew of the show. A visitor behind the scenes would see a great variety of back stage activity. Props are being made -- like the tray of hors d'oeuvres painstakingly modeled out of colored clay and ready to be served up on stage in the near future. Simultaneously, huge flats are being constructed for the scenery with students in protective gear sawing away on large power saws and others painting scenery for hours at a time.

In another room, racks of costumes are wheeled into a space where volunteers and students do everything from sewing on trim to creating a costume from scratch. One costume will often have work done by several people on different days and all the costumes are works in creation. If an actor can't move comfortably a dress may need a slit created or a hem let out and emergency repairs may have to be made even during the show.

Sometimes, as it was the case a few Saturdays ago, a make-up workshop takes place. Each student must learn their own make up for their particular character. A number of drama students put on their entire stage get up, which in the case of the 13 Fandango Girls in the show is very extreme. Elaborate wigs, large jewelry, costumes shimmering with sequins, high heels with jeweled embellishment, false eyelashes and more are part of their costume. As the girls headed out of the dressing rooms their own mothers did a double take with the transformation. After the make up for each actor is established, the students draw their makeup designs on a paper "face." That drawing, as well as a photo taken after the makeup is complete, are a reference for the performers for the entire show.

All the hard effort will pay off March 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the New Canaan High School Auditorium. Tickets will be on sale Monday through Friday of show week in the High School lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour prior to show times.

More Information

Fact box

Sponsors for the show include Garden Catering, Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan, Karl Chevrolet, Masonic Lodge of New Canaan, New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, The Studio, New Canaan Cleaners, Barbara Cleary Real Estate, Parker Ear, Nose and Throat; and Walter Stewart's Market.