Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Do you see what we are dealing with? By this time next week (at least here's the plan) we will have everything finished- stage floor done, curtains clean, all this put back together and the auditorium cleaned ready for the music department shows on Tuesday and Thursday as well as Christmas in My Hometown on Saturday through Monday. Some may scoff, but hey as I've been told many times, where would be the fun in it all if it were easy? Once I'd like to see if it is as fun...
The painting of the snow backdrop began today. The costumes are, for the most part, roughly made- no hems or decorations. The set is in pieces waiting to be created, painted and assembled. I am tired and hungry. It's the time of a show where we should be scrambling to do things, but with the refurbishment of the FAB, we can't. All we can do is sit and wait and prepare. If we make appropriate preperations, we should be fine for the load in Friday after next. We get about ten hours to do what we would normally do in two weeks. Alas, we can accomplish! We also only get one tech rehearsal and one dress rehearsal. On top of all of that, I still need to memorize my songs. The show is still getting trimmed- last night we did a great deal of trimming and I think the audience will appreciate us for it. Not that the numbers we lost were bad, something had to go in order to create a tighter show with a good pace. We also did quite a bit of dancing- new dancing, which I hope we will remember tonight. Act two is fine length wise, we just need to clean it up a bit. We have reached that point in rehearsal where we get no time off. We do get this coming Saturday but that is it. I'm glad I like these people.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
I saw Aida this weekend- not the Broadway version, but a professional touring production. It was terrible. Maybe had I not seen the Broadway production, twice, I would have enjoyed this version if for nothing else but the music. The singers were good, but that is all they were- singers. A show such as Aida has to have an emotional arch- without out it, you really don't care about the ending (I won't be specific in case you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you). I think what disturbed me most was the actual physical production. The set was this large metal looking box with a balcony across the top and a door below the balcony. The costumes were even worse. Servants wore strange looking green feed sacks and Aida wore the same thing from the moment we first saw her until the end. They really screwed up the style of the show, I don't think they had a clear concept of where they were going. The Pharoah wore a traditional and historically correct Egyptian robe while his soldiers wore green army coats and carried machine guns. It is ok to set a show in a different period- just be consistant. I imagine they were trying to be "artsy". Some charters wore blue jeans and modern looking hats while standing beside someone dressed in an Egyptian Chiton. Really irritating. They also took some scenes out of context. One scene that is supposed to be performed as women waching laundry on the river bank became a group of servants polishing the floors of the palace complete with yellow mop buckets with "caution wet floor" written on the side- like you see being used in the cafeteria. That is just one example of many- don't even get me started with the "Another Pyramid" number. I'm still trying to figure that one out. The relationship between Aida and Radames was so horribly done that you didn't even believe they came close to loving one another. It was if they were saying each other was scum and the very next moment how much they loved one another. You may argue that often people who are in love fight with one another in order to resist those feelings. Not in this play. The audience has to see the gradual connection or it doesn't support the songs. All in all, I am happy to have experienced the real Aida. If I hadn't I might not like this show very much right now. I often go to things in order to get ideas, to see what we can steal adn do with some cradboard and duct tape. This time I got nothing, but I did enjoy getting away from being bombarded with people. Every now and then you need to get away from the toils of knowing and seeing everyone on the street around you and be surrounded by strangers.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I am so ready for holiday time. The decorations are up at the mall, stores along the street are beginning to put out their displays and Christmas commercials have started running on tv. A lot of people say where is Thanksgiving? I've begun to link the two together. You start Christmas preperations and such long before Thanksgiving and then you officially begin to celebrate when Santa comes down the street at the Macy's parade. So for me, Christmas begins a 11:50 am each Thanksgiving day. If you don't already know (and how would you, the "Frustrations" post disappeared- it was there one day and gone the next and I didn't delete it, but who cares- spilt milk) we have completely re-tooled the Christmas show. It now runs almost two hours with and intermission and lots of different and fun songs. We turned complete songs into medleys and deleted or exchanged other songs. I think we will have a very fun, entertaining, exciting show that will touch and move people. That also changed the who clothing aspect of the show. We all have different costumes. My mom and Camila's mom have been sewing their fingers off, making each of the girls a Christmas skirt, panatloons and a cape- the guys only get vests... well, you know what I mean. Act One is set in a traditional country cabin- fireplace, stockings, snowball fights, family and celebrations. In Act Two we honor the Christmas story and present the birth of Jesus through scripture and song. Great fun, great people, great times and lots of fabric.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
One of my top favorite shows is opneing tomorrow for a limited run of six months on Broadway. I've seen Les Mis three times, but would happily see it three times more. It is a great and powerful piece of theatre. The picture above is one of my favorite scenes and a tragically ironic moment in the show. There are more photos in the broadway.com show blog. You may have to scroll down a bit to see them- but there are other interesting things as well and a very disturbing poster for the forth coming production of Equis staring Harry Potter.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
So last night I got to meet Terrence Mann at Western. It was a very fun experience- my plan was to slip in, say "hi, I enjoy your work" and move on. I waited patiently as others circled him and then told them their life story and everything they had perfromed since first grade. Luckily, I know the head of the theatre department pretty well and she gave me a formal introduction to him rather than me just going up and saying I'm this and that. I had no plans to mention Beauty and the Beast from this summer, mainly because you know everyone that does that show tells him about it, however, he found out. He was very gracious about it and even asked a few questions about our production including if I had played the Beast. Very timidly I told him "yes" and then went on to discuss my students (see I don't have the ego that all of you claim). He might even get to come over sometime and talk with them and us, the players. He spoke briefly at the beginning of the evening and he said two things that stuck with me. The most important was about teaching and how when you are out in the world of performance, you are always going to find people just as talented or even more so, but the difference is they me be a jerk and you don't have to be. Why be the jerk? Good point, I think I'm going to like this Mann. The other was this philosophy about performance, which I won't bore you with, but all in all it was a very simple evening and a very small conversation, but a great time. Next time, we'll compare "Beast" notes- ha!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Grinch has arrived on Broadway! That must mean that Christmas is around the corner. Halloween is over, the decorations are starting to go up at the mall and we have begun rehearsals for Christmas in My Hometown. Last year, I let Christmas go by without really celebrating and I promise to not let that happen again. I am in a very Christmas mood- already! Maybe it is from listening to so much music get ready for the Christmas show, maybe it is I love from Halloween to January 25 (if you people don't know what day that is, you are cut), maybe it is because I get to hang out with Mickey and the gang during Christmas and New Years, maybe I am just having a good time at life in general right now. Don't know, don't care- I'm just going to enjoy it.