It’s a pretty unusual way to keep busy on Labor Day: Singing at a storm drain

More than 50 performers and friends and family of local theatre artist Laurie Hoch performed in a small staging of her 2000 Tony-nominated musical, “Spamalot,” in the rowhouse on 14th Street East where she…

It’s a pretty unusual way to keep busy on Labor Day: Singing at a storm drain

More than 50 performers and friends and family of local theatre artist Laurie Hoch performed in a small staging of her 2000 Tony-nominated musical, “Spamalot,” in the rowhouse on 14th Street East where she lived as a child.

It was the first time she’d performed the piece with any of her adult bandmates — which Hoch said was a little frightening.

Sitting under a large crack between two open windows, the performers played up the high-pitched sound of birds and the loud whoosh of rain into the flat, chilly air.

But the morning earlier was a little different. It was 6:45 a.m. And Hoch, of Smith Falls, Md., was curled up in bed, feverish, cold and in a lot of pain. Hoch’s husband, Mark, had been in a car accident on Route 7 in Marlow and was on his way to the hospital. He, too, performed in a small staging of “Spamalot” the evening before.

“It was a good time for the two of us,” Hoch said, calling her marriage a “golden” time in her life. She was ready for a little rest and relaxation.

From the crack in the roof to the mist of water, to falling from scaffolding, to soaking in sweat and falling on concrete — through rain and sleet — the rehearsals and performances weren’t unlike a real-life day on the job, but with a few added elements.

“What’s amazing is that she can be so sarcastic, and yet at the same time direct the ball out of there,” said Martin Fluger, Hoch’s longtime drummer. “Holly’s almost making her own funky lyrics out of the blips of the beginning and middle of the song.”

It was a songwriter’s dream, and fluger’s bright yellow light slinking across the stage suggested a sartorial whim as much as a sonic mission statement.

Sting was Hoch’s inspiration for the song he played when the truck driver won the Monty Python style contest.

As the light faded, Hoch’s voice wafted over the crowd: “They want your best, they won’t take no for an answer,” she sang.

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Associated Press writer Stacey Plaisance contributed to this report.

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