THIS FAT OLD LADY’S THEATER TUESDAY – BEWARE OF VELCRO

I know many costumers swear by Velcro.

And, indeed, it is a blessing when it comes to quick changes.

HOWEVER, Velcro has a bad habit of coming undone at inopportune moments.

This is the voice of experience.

Using Velcro to secure the closing of a garment at the waist is generally not a great idea.

When a singer (who breathes properly – from the diaphragm) takes a good deep breath, their waist expands.

It expands quickly and is backed by all that singer-muscle.

In my experience, Velcro just isn’t equipped to deal with that.

The first time it happened, I was onstage with the Fischer Troupe in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Took a deep breath, and felt the Velcro at my skirt’s waist let go.

Fuck.

My elbows come down, to keep my skirt from hitting the ground.

So far so good.

I reach behind me, casually, because, you know, I’m still singing, and try to reclose the Velcro.

EXCEPT.

I’m wearing lace gloves.

Velcro is the natural enemy of lace gloves.

I rip my gloves from where they were firmly attached to the Velcro, and then start removing my gloves.

I am now holding my skirt up with my elbows, and holding a pair of black lace gloves, while I attempt to reclose the Velcro.

Oh, and I’m also still singing.

But I got that damn Velcro closed.

Lesson learned.

I had a big ass hook put in to keep the skirt closed.

Years later, I’m in A Winter’s Tale (A Dickens of a Musical), playing Mrs. Fezziwig.

Under my lovely lavender gown (replete with hoop skirt), I am wearing bloomers.

The waist of the bloomers is closed with – you guessed it – my old nemesis – Velcro.

Why, oh why, oh why-o, did I not realize this was a recipe for yet another costume disaster?

In the middle of my big number (One Day of the Year), having just finished my part of the big dance number (and yes, I was expected to sing my solo after dancing my fat ass around the stage), I took a deep breath …

And ….

The Velcro let go.

Now, it is not possible to grab your falling undergarment through a gown and hoop skirt.

So I am now walking around with a pair of bloomers pooled around my feet.

For fuck’s sake.

As soon as I could get unobtrusively closer to the side of the stage, I stepped out of the bloomers and kicked them offstage.

The good news was that this happened AFTER the part of the dance where I flipped my skirt up and presented my be-bloomered hinder to the audience.  (I always thought I should have embroidered the bottom of my bloomers to say “Kiss Me I’m Irish” – sadly, I never got around to it.)

I now NEVER trust Velcro alone when the result may mean we should have charged a whole lot more for tickets.  Even for fast changes – get those big cloth covered hooks.

They are easy to hook and unhook and may keep you from oversharing.

Opera Haus

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