I joined the show during Holliday In Paris as Technical director. My "audition" was at Ft. Bragg when a few of us left the Playhouse to go over to the service club in old division. The show was already into the finale but I filled out an application anyway. A few week later I was to go with the Ft. Bragg Theatre to an entertainment contest 3 days TDY which was turned down. Went to see my Company Commander. while I was waiting in the hall he came out of his office. "no time to see you now, but forget about that 3 month TDY we have movement orders!
3 days? he said "3 months" I told my section chief a Army Master Seargent, He checked on it and found a thermo fax copy of my orders for "Showmobile" "let me make some calls" I had done him a favor of working over at the The John F. Kennedy" Special Warfare College Theater to fix up the lights some General raised hell about. He pulled in a favor or two and I cleared base by 5 pm. the same day to get down to Ft. McPherson.
My first day Gill said "Put up the set" He left! I was face to face with 25 or so "friendly" (NOT) faces of the experienced cast who were wondering who in the H is this guy? and why would we listen to him? Nobody moved. As I said earlier I only saw a few minutes of the show at Ft. Bragg and now the set is in pieces lying all over the rehersal hall. "OK, I know there was a screen, You, You and You set it up and you you and you.......etc.
After an awkward start one by one came to me and said " I know how to do that..." The set got put up.
One of the first revivals of Holiday in Paris was at a TV studio in downtown Atlanta the songs went well but someone had the idea to do the icecream commercial live. Norvid Roos played the part of a bartender and part of the set was a bar. His costume included a vest and derby hat and his make-up included a big handlebar mustache. It was hot in the studio and his facial hair soon got anointed with white icecream. Every one lost it! Very non professional but very funny! By the way Gill would pass out a sheet "what is a profesional?" He expected every one act "professional" at all times especially on stage.
We were booked at the Lake Side Fairgrounds for a week. We borrowed enough construction scaffolding to elevate the lights and spotlight above the heads of the mulitude. the trucks were angled as back stage masking and changing areas, the bus blocked in the rest of the backstage.
I was always trying new things and for the flats that we built to mask the light towers were to be painted as twin Eiffel towers and an old time style "tonight at 8PM" sign. I had always made our paint in traditional stage craft tradition from animal glue size and raw pigment, this time I tried rabbit glue. looked OK but that night it rained and our paint job was gone. We got Sherwin Williams Exterior Laytex paint and repainted everything in one afternoon.
I was up on the spotlight platform when the show was about to begin I noticed someone walking along the side concorse wearing a brown lether smoking jacket just like the one I just spent a months PFC pay on. I felt like blasting him with 2,500,000 lumins of blinding Arc light and yelling "STOP THIEF" but I was afraid that would'nt be professional. After the show I checked the front seat of the Warsaw. my jacket was gone.