The Livestream Before Christmas

Reflections on troubleshooting the Palace Theater’s first Livestreamed Concert

and the creation of an improvised holiday song

The Livestream Before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through Hilo,
A cast and crew are all busy, preparing a show.
This year things are different, unfortunately so:
Social distance procedures and masked Ho-ho-ho’s.
But the cheer is still present, good tidings still there,
Directors’ heads churning with ideas to share!
With Christmas trees trimmed, the Palace halls decked,
The sporting of those ugly sweaters, unchecked.
The cast takes position, musicians standby,
And since we can’t gather, a new thing we shall try!
A livestreamed performance!
A concert of cheer!
From our stage to your home, with loved ones perched near.

A pandemic can’t stop us, the show must go on,
The producer’s now shouting: “WE GO LIVE IN 3… 2… 1”

Wheels went into motion, music filled the air,
But the producer now noticed our big fear was here.
Trouble was brewing, something did not jive,
And soon we did realize: the stream never went live.

With feelings of panic, yelled “Cut!” And “Reset!”
A problem to fix, “Are we live?”
“not quite yet”
While hustle and bustle to troubleshoot the connection
The moment gave birth, to a song of perfection.
The cast sang together, with might and quick wit,
Improv tidings of love, sweet lyrics they spit.
The magic was present, and luck on our side,
The connection restored, and the show then went LIVE!

By Phillips Payson
Hilo Palace Theater Executive Director


Reflections from “Home for the HiloDays” Director:

I called, “Places!” Our cast and crew took the stage and excitedly prepared for our first live-stream concert, “Home for the Hilodays” to ‘go live.’ Well… that didn’t happen. We all nervously waited for the feed to come through. And we waited… and it still didn’t happen. No feed. As our live-stream Producers worked feverishly to get us up and running I worried our cast would lose their excitement, energy and momentum and our in-person audience would get restless… and then THIS happened. Our cast started to improvise this beautiful, inspirational freestyle song. Making it up as they went along… they created this uplifting moment that lifted our spirits and held us together until our producer yelled, “We are live!” Indeed, at that moment… we sure were. And then… Everyone got back to places. And we started the show. It was live theatre at its most challenging. And truly it’s most exciting and very best.
Larry Reitzer

Reflections from “Home for the HiloDays” Co-host & Producer:
As a lifelong performer, finding myself in an awkward and tense moment with a captive audience and a microphone is where I thrive. And keeping the in-house audience and cast excited and thinking positively is key. But after some dad jokes and nervous laughs weren’t enough, it was the juicy groove that the band had started playing that took things to another level. I started to sing something that felt nice over the top, and started to encourage our younger artists to join in the fun, and before we all knew it, we had built a whole love song out of nothing! We could hardly believe what had just happened. And, best of all, our nerves about the show had melted away. It was incredible.
Charles Bankhead Haines

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Relive the magic of the full “Home for the HiloDays” show on the Palace Theater’s YouTube channel: watch-now-button