If you read the most recent post in Tianna's tour Blog (the Traveling red Dress), she talks about how she did a show where no backdrops were used, just black curtains. Now I know that last year there were many discussions about how the tour sometimes left out pieces of furniture, but isn't it quite odd that at the Warbucks mansion there was no painting to refer to because it wasn't there? (as it is painted on a backdrop). I guess my question is: Why did they not use backdrops for this certain show? Aren't backdrops one of the easiest things to transport and set up?
When I saw the show in NJ, my friend in the cast warned me that some of the backdrops were missing, because while the theatre had a huge house (audience), the backstage space was very crowded. They couldn't even fit the grand staircase in, although the orphans DID have beds. I imagine they try to use all of the set pieces all the time, but if the space won't allow it, they'd rather do the show with some sets left out, than not perform there at all.
In one city on the Sound of Music tour, we were in an absolutely gorgeous theatre with NO backstage wing space! We had to cut the staircase in the von Trapp villa as well as the "mountain" staircase that we climbed at the end. While they would have fit onstage, there was no place to put them offstage, so we couldn't use them at all.