Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chewbacca Wake-up Call

12 Days to go!
6 Days until our first dress rehearsal with audience!
4 Days until our first full dress rehearsal!

It is a beautiful day in Adler and Sochi.  There is an aquarium near my resort.  I sleep with the balcony door open on the tenth floor and I wake to the most awful dolphin bark every morning.  They don't sound like Flipper, they sound like Chewbacca.  Four days of monsoon-like conditions on the coast left several feet of snow in the mountains.  Today, we could vividly see the entire Fischt mountains which are part of the Caucasus range, the tallest in Europe - even taller than the Alps!  The tallest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus, is only a few hundred kilometers away.

Sochi's strange climate sometimes causes very warm conditions on the mountain as well.  In case this happens during the Olympic Games, the Russian government has stockpiled snow.  And if this fails, they have many snow making machines.  Last year at several test events, the temperature climbed into the mid-40s F.  Oddly enough, the only events that this hindered were the bobsled and luge runs as the ice track began to melt in the heat.

In the views below, you can see the Olympic Stadium (Fischt Stadium) in the foreground, the Fischt Mountains in the background, and the coastline.  Auspiciously, there is a metal "palm tree" with antennae next to the stadium.  I'm quite certain it sneaks around on its tippee-toes following me.  The weather here at the coast is warm - in the 60-70s F in the sun - and only a short train ride away is the peak of the mountains well below freezing.  The super G and downhill runs actually begin at the mountain's peak.

Next week we begin to put together all the elements of the production.  Full runs begin very soon, and last minute changes - sometimes significant changes - will continue until we create the perfect show on opening night.  There are some incredible things that I wish I could share, but I must wait several more days until Opening Night.  But until then, here are some of the highlights of the rehearsal tent village:

Funny bathroom sign

Rehearsal smoke break

Tent Canyon

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