Ohmigod, Ohmigod You Guys!!!!!!!!

 

Little more than a week ago, I had a meeting that I was prepping for.  I was so nervous that I think I led them on a maze to get to the point.  The meeting was for a directing/choreography gig.

I put a little presentation together showing that I had thought about all aspects of the show to some degree.  I talked about ideas for set design, costumes, the show, the music and the auditions.  I had ideas that I don’t even know where they came from but that I have never seen, even though I scoured youtube for hours and HOURS during my prep time.

I spoke about my concern that this is was a controversial show when it first opened. I don’t know if it still is.  I am sure that someone out there will be upset that it’s seeing the light of day once again.  People picketed and if I recall correctly there was even a movie house that was burned down.

I love that one of the producers said “We were just going to come in here and bombard you with a ton of questions.  I didn’t know we were getting a presentation!”

After 9 very long days, I finally got the word…AY!!

So I have my first project of 2014!!!!  I will be directing and choreographing Jesus Christ Superstar for WVLO Music Theatre!!!!  

This news will make the loss of “Sugar” and “Promises” and “Knickers” easier to take.

jesus-christ-superstar

 

Loving the “Sugar” High, The Crash Is Gonna Hurt…

Silly Cast Photo for Sugar

In the past, I have always had a period of time in between shows.  I’ve never been this busy with shows. Ever.

I seem to have a pattern.  For approximately the two weeks after closing a show, I tend to fall into a slight depression from the sadness of not seeing  this make shift “family” we’ve created over the past few months.  We spend a lot of our time rehearsing and, as of late, getting together outside of theatre and hanging out.  I truly regret not spending this much time with the amazing and incredible cast of “Promises, Promises.”

Well, these last few months have been so tied together that I haven’t had any time to mourn the finale of not only “Promises” but also “Knickers.”  Once “Sugar” gets dissolved on Easter Sunday, I have several weeks before I begin working on “9-5” that I am dreading because it’s gonna hit me all at once.  The sadness of knowing that there are some people you may never get the chance to work with again.  That feeling of “it’s okay if you are totally bonkers, we like you anyway” gets pushed aside for the real world that frowns on anything other than the social norms.  Some of your inside jokes won’t get shared anymore.  And some of those amazing people won’t be there with hugs or smiles or laughs or all three when you’ve had a bad day. And speaking of bad days, there is no place for you to run away to for just a few hours to forget that day so you can think about it with a clearer head later on.

I’ve become friends with at least 60 new people over these last few months and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with at least 20 more.  In the age of social media, there is nothing better than meeting wonderful people  in person rather than on a website.  I find there is something so invaluable when it comes to that personal interaction because it lightly ties you emotionally together through memory.

There has been a beautiful Maya Angelou quote floating around on the old F B:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

And I feel so blessed and grateful for meeting every single one of them.

I am honored that I get to call them Friends.

If you don’t hear from me after Easter for a while, now you know why…

Be well and do good, friends.

Medieval Times + Funny = Gold…

Once Upon A Mattress

I don’t know if anyone did funny medieval better than Monte Python but, Stage 1 Theatre in Newark is offering up a very funny version of Once Upon A Mattress.

It’s a royally funny tale of an overbearing queen trying to keep the prince from marrying anything other than a “true princess” and the most unlikely of princesses who comes from the swamps to win his hand.

The first time I heard the cast recording, I have to confess, I did not like it.  But then I figured I was being unfair and should maybe watch it to see if I like the show better if I knew the script and the songs.  Alas, watching didn’t help.  I left thinking that I would never watch this show again, let alone listen to it.

Then I find out a dear friend is in the show at Stage 1.  I have been trying to get out to see my friends perform some more.  Not only that, I can check out this theatre and see what the drive is like since someday, I would like to audition for Stage 1.  Luckily, several of my fellow Sugar Babies went as well.

I thought I was lost and pulled into a parking lot and I stopped a couple to ask if I was in the right area.  Oddly, it was Carissa De Mesa (she’s got an amazing photography book by the way), whom I haven’t seen since we did West Side Story years ago, and as it turns out, I was in the right place!  With 8 minutes to spare, I purchased my ticket and found my seat.  The theatre is very nice.  The seats are pretty comfortable, the stage is a standard proscenium, and the orchestra is set up directly in front of the stage.  I wish I was able to take a tour of the backstage area.  I wonder what the wing and fly space is like.

Now for the show itself.  Carissa pointed out that according to the program, the 21st wasn’t a scheduled performance so I don’t know if tonight was a brush up or if was an after thought performance.  I have to wonder if tonight was a little looser because of this.  Would the weekend shows be as free as this performance?

I am still not a fan of the story itself, but the life that these actors put into the show made me like it better than I had.  And I had completely written off the show.

I was immediately impressed.  The orchestra conducted by Ken Nadler was fabulous! They didn’t overpower the actors and they were so clean.  It reminded me of a Dan Singletary orchestra, and that guy is AWESOME!  Then a minstrel enters and sets up the show for us. Barry Bailey’s singing was outstanding.  His voice was clear, strong, and perfectly understandable.  As we begin to meet the characters, the stage is filled with so many funny bits and moments that I don’t know if I caught them all.  Brandon Fouch as Prince Dauntless was goofy but absolutely endearing.  You can’t help but to cheer for him. Princess Winnifred, Christi Marie Wallace, is a beast!! Her comedic timing is flawless.  She has got some pipes on her, too! My favorite song was “Happily Ever After.” Sven Shutz and Jennifer Gregoire as Sir Harry and Lady Larkin were hilarious whether in lovey-dovey moments or when having a tiff.  Great chemistry between those two.

This show is over the top as far as the story goes IMHO, but the cast rose to the challenge and brought forth many laughs from the audience. If you have already seen WVLO’s production of Sugar, then I highly recommend you continue the laughter with Stage 1’s Once Upon A Mattress.   The show runs weekends until the end of the March (no show on Easter).  Click on the links to get tickets to either show.

Congrats to the cast for a very funny show.  Nice work.

What Is THIS Feeling?…

With David Lampke, Amanda Vogel, Andrea Furtado, Samantha Stidham,  and Andi Kline
With David Lamcke, Amanda Vogel, Andrea Furtado, Samantha Stidham, and Andi Kline

With “Sugar” now officially open, I have this slight sense of sorrow.

For the last six months, I have been bouncing from one show to the next.  I’ve met so many amazing and fantastic people that have made me laugh, given me the creeps (they were supposed to), or terrified me, and I have enjoyed each moment.  There wasn’t a day were I thought “I don’t want to be here.”  Even on the really REALLY tough days.  I just thought “how can I make it better”

Last night, when I got home from the theatre, I kept walking to random parts of the apartment.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  For the rest of the night the only thing that ran through my head was: What do I do now?

My friends and I am sure my job would say take a break.  But my head and my heart are saying FIND SOMETHING!!  No, it’s more like they are screaming it! It’s been a blast just letting loose and throwing every idea I have in this last role.  It’s like I’ve been given free reign to do anything that I can think of (within character, of course) to bring life to my version of Daphne.  But now that the rehearsal period is over, I don’t have a new persona to “create” and I am feeling a little saddened by this.  Finding my good boy cop for “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” and my inner lecher for “Promises, Promises” and my cocky masculinity that turns to kind-hearted lady for “Sugar” let me explore my brain and feelings.  It was like exercise for those things.  The things that get missed because they aren’t used the same way our bodies are for dancing or brains for doing crossword puzzles.  I got to play pretend on my quiet by myself times and I saw such great things.

I think the best thing that someone said to me last night, even though I can’t say I agree, was “there were times that I forgot you were a guy!”

That is all thanks to the scenarios I got to play with in my head.  I had to think and feel things like what’s it like to be swept off your feet by someone you just met? Or how do you break the news you need to break without hurting anyone? Or how do you feel happy for your friend that’s happy but jealous and upset with your best friend for that same reason?  All of these from a female and a male perspective.  I hope that some of it comes through in this show and I don’t know for sure if it does because everything is so gosh darn funny.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that this show is FUNNY!!! So ya gotta keep on top of that too!

And I think that’s what made these last six months so incredible… it kept me on my toes emotionally and mentally.  Now I have this fear; what if it doesn’t happen again?

So we’ll see…

I hope you get the chance to see “Sugar” which is “Some Like It Hot” in musical form.  You can get tickets at WVLO.org or by calling 408-268-3777 and leaving a message on the voicemail.  It allows you to actually pic the best seats available this way.

In the meantime, since I have some to spare, I will be out and about looking for mischief and updating the blog a lot more.

Thanks for your patience during these busy but SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME few months.

♥♥