Run-throughs. Time, 2:15. Place, the Old Globe Theatre. O'Brien takes the cast and technical crew through two hours of repetitious scene rehearsals in which problems from the previous night are corrected and rewrites are inserted. Scenes are repeated again and again.
O'Brien doesn't like the curtain call and restages it, peps it up so that bows are made quickly to the beat of Bob James' recorded score.
O'Brien ends the rehearsal at 4:20.
Administrative tasks. Time, 4:22. Place, O'Brien's office. For 20 minutes O'Brien returns calls to New York and Houston. Associate Director David Hay comes in to say he has three concerns about Tuesday's preview performance of "Emily." O'Brien tells him two of the problems were resolved in rehearsal and takes the other under advisement.
By 5:30 O'Brien is chafing to get away. He, Hall and a reporter leave for dinner.
Precurtain director's visits. Time, 7:45, 15 minutes before curtain for the third preview of "Emily." Place, the labyrinth of dressing rooms beneath the Globe's stage. O'Brien makes the rounds speaking to those he passes in the hall. He looks in on his leading actors. "One of the things an artistic director has to do is coerce people to do things outside the normal thing. I pace myself throughout the week, so that I don't ask too many favors of people too quickly."
He says Madolyn Smith, Brian Bedford (playing the title role in "Richard II" and directing "Much Ado About Nothing") and Paxton Whitehead (playing the male leading role in "Much Ado," and directing "Beyond the Fringe") have agreed to take part in O'Brien's "extracurricular" membership programs put on for major contributors to the Globe.
Intermission conference. Time, 9:15. Place, O'Brien's office. O'Brien, Metcalfe and Hall huddle hastily in O'Brien's office. None of them like the way the show is going.
"There is a mean atmosphere in that theater that I haven't heard before," Metcalfe says.
"Well, we've got a klatch here tonight," Hall says.
Indeed, two groups on either side, at the rear of the auditorium, have raucously yucked it up at every funny line throughout the first half of the play.
"I don't know," O'Brien says. "Whoever they are, they came hearing that the show was hot and funny, and so they're going to show us how much they know. This happens."
"I think these people are intimidating the rest of the audience," Metcalfe says.
O'Brien agrees that they are being alienated: "And the harder they work to get them back, the tougher the evening comes."
"God I wouldn't want to be on that stage tonight," Hall says.
"I wouldn't want to be backstage right now," O'Brien adds.
Technical notes. Time, 10:30. Place, the Globe Theatre. O'Brien gives the stage manager, sound designer and technicians notes.
"Um, I want to try tomorrow without the first kiss cue," O'Brien says. "It's too cute. I think we should . . . let the lady act it. We're helping too much, and it gets what I call hard-edged, don't you think so?"
Heads nod. "General applause from my support team. I'm slow but I'm steady."
Twenty minutes later, after calling a five-hour rehearsal for Thursday, O'Brien is ready to leave the theater.
Late night script revisions. Time, 11. Place, the Book and Candle restaurant downtown. O'Brien, Hall and Metcalfe adjourn for beer and more script changes. It is 11:15, more than 12 hours since the Globe's artistic chief stepped into his office.
The reporter, who has been dogging O'Brien since 9:30 a.m., has had enough for one day, even if the Globe's artistic visionary is still going strong.