I hope you had the most fabulous of weekends! I really do. It was Global Pride Weekend! I have been on an emotional upswing this week, mostly. There were a few moments of sadness, but they didn’t last for long. Physically, I am still trying to adjust to the movements of the acting class I am taking. It is so different from my experience with Meisner and Stanislavski method classes. This one has a focus on Laban Movement which is really fascinating. I love learning all of these different techniques. I think it will be crazy fun to “build” characters combining all the various methods/styles, and I can’t wait to try it. Whenever that may be.
But, before I get bummed out dwelling on this, Gentle Reader, let’s move on…
Yesterday during a “Brunch For 2” breakfast, we decided to watch Bridge Theatre’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream thanks to National Theatre At Home on Youtube. For the record, I do enjoy watching Shakespeare contrary to what some may have heard. (But we aren’t focusing on that right now. LOL!) I even enjoy learning monologues and soliloquies from his works, but I have never wanted to audition for a Shakespeare show. The honest to goodness reason, selfish as it is, is because most of the places in this area are Shakespeare in the Park type of companies and have the bulk of their performances in the summer months. I don’t do summer. I hate being overheated unless I am exercising, in a dance class or performing. As most of these places do the bulk of their rehearsals and performances outside, I steer clear. I will go see the shows since it is only about 3 hours of a day. I can handle that. Only once a month though! LOL!
Kindest Reader, watching that production was breathtaking. I was full of humor and heightened tension and brilliant releases of energy that shock the audience out of the expected in the best possible ways. There were beautiful stage pictures nearly everywhere you looked. Everything about the production was lush and vibrant. Even the beds looked great! LOL!
And it made me realize what my soul has been missing.
While I loved being in the shows that I have been lucky enough to participate in, the one thing that I have been longing for is something that is an extravagant reimagining of a classic or an immersive world creation. I felt like the latter was going to be what the original idea behind my summer project with Dragon Theatre was supposed to be. Then, COVID-19 put a stop to that. I trust that some day I will get the chance to be a part of something as incredible as this production. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, Dear Reader, I highly recommend it.
Check it out while you still can. It is the best 2.5 hours in any day. The actors playing PUCK and BOTTOM steal the show, in my opinion, but there are no weak links in the cast. I hope you check it out and let the magic of the show color the rest of your day.
Enjoy your Monday, Gentle Reader! Stay safe and alert and open to learning. I adore you.
A few posts back, I spoke about needing to get over my resistance to this new trend of video chatting, live streaming and zoom classes. Basically, everything being done in front of a camera. The place that I am the most hesitant to be. 😔
If this were a Youtube video, I would insert a clip of a husky whining, which always makes me laugh because 1. it is friggin adorable when they “talk back” and 2. they do it so well!😂
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been taking part of an acting class at A.C.T. 👍and working on my next contracted project. ❤️ I still don’t quite understand it, but I am going along for the ride.
While I haven’t had any 🔪psycho killers being spotted behind me in the calls (so far)😳, I have enjoyed being in the remote company of other people. Some that I know from past shows, as is the case with the contract project, and some that are total strangers. With that being said, I still don’t think this is a way that I want to communicate with people. I find I exert a lot of energy trying to maintain focus while tangible things are trying to pull my attention away. For example, while we are in class, I find myself staring at the titles of the books that are all over in the room. It was supposed to be a craft room/library, but that has kind of gotten sidelined as craft projects and books have exploded EVERYWHERE in the apartment. Bookshelves full of books and stacks of books and book stuck in between book shelves that aren’t flush together. Not to mention that since it is the furthest room from the wi-fi router, sometimes the signal gets a little weak and the screen becomes this robotic, slo-mo sounding remix of life. Even when the signal is great, there is a lag time so I see the actions and a second or two later comes my classmate’s line. It makes it hard to genuinely stay in the moment because in that split second between the action and line becoming audible, I notice the lag. It pulls me out of the scene and there is nothing that I dislike more than being pulled out of a scene. I am a little frustrated by it, and I can’t do anything but accept it. (It’s gonna bother me so much.)
The contract gig is cool. It has a very heavy poetry base and we aren’t really acting out any specific scenes, so it is very different than class. Also, we don’t have to use the camera if we aren’t feeling up to it. That, Dear Reader, is my favorite thing about it. LOL! It takes the pressure off of the visual, so you can focus on only one aspect and then sometimes you come up with something that you weren’t expecting. As we get closer to performing this gig, I will be sure to let you know more about it, as it will begin to take a clearer shape to me so I can explain it better.
As I try and get acclimated performing at home instead of on a stage, I am trying to control my controllables. Things like staying hydrated and humming vocal warm ups so I sound clear when I am speaking. I can’t go all out and sing the vocal warm ups since the neighbors might get cranky. I stretch and try to stay limber. I have a new fear of throwing out my back in the middle of class and being stuck on the floor or in pain while the rest of the class watches. *The Horror!!😱* I try, TRY to get some good sleep to get rid of the luggage under my peepers cuz I gots bag for days!!!! All those years of not sleeping are finally going to have their moment for all to see. Curse you, sleeplessness!!! *shakes fist at sky*
Kind Reader, how does one turn the tables on next season’s fashion line of eye-baggage? How does one erase the mocking under-eye laugh lines of insomnia? I have tried it all: cold spoons, cucumbers, eye masks, eye gels, coffee grounds, Preparation H, concealer… None of these have been warrior worthy foes to them. I am open to suggestions, however crazy they may seem.
Ok, Gentle Reader, I have ranted enough for the day. Thank you for shining so brightly and letting me once again, bend your ear. Stay safe and alert.
I hope you are well and being able to enjoy some time to energize/heal your self. I know that I wrote that in two words. I meant it any way you want to use it. You can heal your spiritual self, your personal demons, your emotional health or physical, It has been a massive 2 weeks and a lot has been shown to the world. I know that it has brought up some inner things that I didn’t realize I was refusing to face. So I hope you are having a chance to find a little peace for you.
One of the things that I wanted to talk about today was a show that is forthcoming to Broadway next season, Some Like It Hot.
A few days ago, in my favorite fails, I mentioned a show called Sugar, which is basically the musical version of the movie Some Like It Hot. Can you see where I am heading?
While there are some small differences between the musical and the movie, the script for the musical has most of the dialogue lifted directly from the movie. This begs the question, Dear Reader, why make this musical?
Well, one of the big “gets” is that the songwriting pair of Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman will be a part of the creative team. These are the men behind some great Broadway music from Hairspray (One of my personal favorites.), Catch Me If You Can, and Smash. So there will be a massive update in the sound of the music. The music from Sugar which is by Jule Stine (Gypsy) and Bob Merrill (Funny Girl) and is, in my opinion, really cute but has room for deeper emotional payoff. I know Sugar is a comedy, but adding heart never diminished comedy. I think Wittman and Shaiman can offer this.
As far as the book, which will be penned by award winning playwright, Matthew Lopez, I hope they make Joe similar to the character that was made for the show, Sugar. He is always looking out for himself, but he is at least charming and funny. In the movie, he is a legit bully with threats of violence which I found completely dislikable and was hoping he wouldn’t make it to the end of the film. Mr. Lopez easily has the skill to deepen the lives of the characters in this show.
In the story, one thing I would like to see more of is the “villain”, Spats. I feel like the threat he posed in Sugar was not as heightened as could have been and the way the show ties up his story feels so quick and generic to the times and style of the piece that it really makes it seem like his whole character arc is an afterthought; the catalyst to get Joe to Sugar, and that is all. I know all of this stuff is ridiculous to be hopeful of to stuff into a show that should run about 2 hours and 30 minutes, but it can be done. I fully believe that it can if some scenes were run in a split stage style and a few other stylized directions.
I hope that when Broadway finally does reopen, it can thrive and Some Like It Hot gets the chance to show the world how hot some people really like it. With the pedigree of the people involved, I am REALLY excited for this show to open. I am incredibly intrigued to see what’s changed, what’s been left the same, and what has been flushed out more. I am also going to make a guess that while the basic plot of the story is the same, all the dialogue will be much different. I am just giddy with anticipation!!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Kind Reader, I am going to go and listen to the Hairspray cast recording.
Until next time, stay safe, alert, and willing to listen and learn.
Four years ago at the Tony Awards, Lin Manuel Miranda uttered these words that brought me to tears. It was in response to the tragic massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. A tragedy that probably could have been avoided if gun laws were stricter. Just so we don’t forget those victims:
One of the things I learned while watching the Oprah led discussion “Where Do We Go Now?” is that every thing is so intricately intertwined. My own ignorance refused to learn just how much the game is rigged because I wanted to believe that someone could come and fix it. I wish. There is no easy solution. However, one of the big things you can do, Gentle Reader, is to vote. But you knew that already, right? Cast a vote for EVERYTHING, not just who our new president is going to be. Vote on the local and state stuff too. Those things are so important! They influence who the court judges are, who the district attorney will be, state and city laws that get passed where you live. Make sure you are registered to vote NOW!! And if you aren’t, REGISTER!!! Vote to ensure equality abounds in what can truly be a great country and not just a nation founded on murder and racism. You might feel like your vote doesn’t count, but you still MUST do it! Do it for those who are victims of voter suppression. Do it for those whose lives were cut short and can’t do it themselves. Now is the time to add your voice to the others that demand change and equality for all.
I am also doing my best to learn about the history they DON’T teach in school, or that they conveniently leave out because “history is written by the winners.” It is never truly objective and I used to think “this is too depressing to learn about.” I would hide from it. No more hiding. I can’t promise I will remember everything, but I am going to try anyway. Of course, this video of Kimberly Jones that I saw on Madonna’s IG page is what really helped me to push away that idea of hiding. Yeah, I said Madonna. Don’t judge. LOL!
With the current worldwide situation with violence against people of color and other minorities, I find this sonnet of Miranda’s even more hopeful. I always try to be optimistic and am drawn to positivity and the inspirational. I allow my raw emotions to guide me and I seem to find something that can help me in my saddest moments. I hope you are lifted by his beautiful words and know that even though times look bleak now, if we can stand together, the future should be brighter. But we have to stand together.
My wife’s the reason anything gets done. She nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one, our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they’re finished songs and start to play. When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day. This show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers. Remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story Now fill the world with music love and pride. -Lin-Manuel Miranda
Until next time, Kind Reader, stay safe, alert and willing to listen and learn.
I hope you are safe and heathy. I wanted to complete this Fabulous Fails series because I can use a laugh. Also, it will lead me into my next planned post.
When I think about this fail, I actually laugh out loud. I laugh because there was a string of things that happened in that performance.
Also, let me just make sure to say this little announcement before I continue: While I am saying I wish someone recorded these performances, I know that it is illegal to record performances due to copyright laws.
Anyway, let’s get on with the story!
The year was 2013.
The role: Jerry/Daphne
The show was the very funny Sugar.
If you haven’t heard of the show, Sugar is the musical version of the Billy Wilder movie Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. The story centers around 2 down and out musicians that witness a mob hit and find themselves on the run and join an all-female band to hide. Even though, Tony Curtis is technically billed before Lemmon, his character is a big ass bully in this that I listed them by respect. LOL.
At the start of the night, in my very first costume as Daphne, the persona Jerry takes whilst hiding in the band, I put on a string of pearls. As I start to leave the dressing room to run around to the opposite side of the stage for my entrance, the necklace catches on the corner of the makeup table and breaks. Ugh! Luckily it was only in the dressing room. No big.
At this point of the fail in the show, the mob hit has been witnessed, Daphne and Josephine become pat of the all-female band, the two meet Sugar (played beautifully by the charming Jessica Ellithorpe), Josephine/Joe, falls in love with her, there is a party in Daphne’s bunk in the overnight train to Florida *cheese fight*, Sugar confides to Josephine about falling for saxophone players (which Josephine plays) and is going to Florida to marry a millionaire, Daphne is pursued by a retired handsy, real millionaire, Osgood, Joe takes advantage of the situation to woo Sugar, Osgood invites Daphne to dinner on the yacht but Joe hijacks the invite for himself and Sugar…
So here we are. I am ready for my big date with Osgood. I am in this shimmery white dress, which I hate, because I hate wearing that color. I know, I know, white is the absence of color. My blonde wig, looks meh, which is because it doesn’t work with my skin tone so that kinda makes the buying I am a lady a bit funnier. I mean, CLEARLY there is something wrong there. LOL! In the second scene in Act 2, I walk into the scene as Sugar is finishing her conversation with the band manager, fixing my wig and straightening my dress making sure I look lovely.
Sugar: … You must have some hot date tonight! (she walks up to me)
Daphne: Yeah. Hot. (i do a little twirl to let her see the dress)
Sugar: Me, too! With Junior. (I remember inhaling and was excited for her “big date” I think I covered my mouth or clapped my hands and as I did, the bracelet of diamonds or pearls I was given snapped! I know my hands were at least up because as I heard all these little gems fall to the floor in a sound that seemed like they landed EVERYWHERE, I felt a few fall inside the sleeves of the dress. The audience was surprised and laughed, but I think it was more of a nervous laughter. My big eyes must have popped out of my head!! I recall Jessica and I both looked down at the floor and trying not to laugh. I felt like Gaga in the Bad Romance video where she has all the gems around her… just, I wasn’t so fancy…
(Jessica totally soldiered on:)
Sugar: He called and asked me to meet him at the dock right after the show. (I feel like I was still checking the floor because I literally said “Oh no” after the line. I hear the audience laugh but not due to nervousness. I knew I needed to do a little bit of dancing in a few moments, and I had dropped character slightly right then. I think I threw her off with that, so I added, “That’s exciting!” Which I immediately know was not helpful, so I tried to jump a little bit in the script. I take a step to Jessica and I hear more jewels fall. Just a couple. The audience is laughing again. Now it’s actually funny.)Hey what’s wrong with Josephine? She didn’t even say good-night — she just took off, running like a jack-rabbit.
Daphne: What she needs is a bicycle.
Sugar: Is anything wrong?
Daphne: No, no — she’s just late getting down to the naval base– ( I don’t even think I say this line right. Each step I take, a few more gems fall out of my dress and the audience is giggling with each one. Jessica starts to laugh but is holding it in. I remember seeing her shoulders bounce and that is totally enough for me to break character and I laugh a little too. Which makes the audience laugh even more. I talked about being late, but for some reason, I think I kept saying he instead of she because we were supposed to be talking about Josephine but the last bit of conversation was about Junior who was Joe’s name for the fake millionaire. Ugh!)
Sugar: Naval base — Josephine?
Daphne: Oh yes, (At this point, I think “surely there can’t be any more to fall.” HA!) every night (*drop… drop.. drop..*) she stands at the gate, (*drop… drop..*) waiting for the sailors to come out. But never mind her (*drop.. drop.. drop…*) — tell me about your date. (bursts of laughter)
Sugar: Gosh, can you imagine? Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio, actually having supper on a millionaire’s yacht — just like Joan Crawford in “Untamed,” Gee, if my mother could only see me know! (She exits during the last part of the line and she is giggling while she says it, which make me giggle too. But just a tiny one.)
Osgood: Yoo hoo — Daphne!
Daphne: I hope my mother never sees me. ( I use this as a chance to focus back in so I shake off the moment before and wouldn’t you know it?! *drop*) LOL.
Then Osgood sings this lovely song called “Beautiful Through and Through.” In this number, I have to do a grapevine over the broken bracelet, which is on stage left, and back to the other side of the stage. No accident! YAY!! Then we have this sort of waltz and the actor playing Osgood didn’t really dance, so he is stepping in the same direction as I waltz and we have to go into danger zone. Again, we are safe and cross back to the right side of the stage and I dance around him a little more. Next he is supposed to “fling” me toward stage left and the jewels so I can do 4 chainè turns and remarkably, I am okay! Counting my lucky stars for sure at this point! We make it through the number and into the safety of the wings. Whew! Crisis averted! The next scene is just Junior and Sugar, but Osgood and I come on at the end in a reprise of “Beautiful…” and that leads into Scene 4. At this point, I am thinking the worst is past. there isn’t going to be anymore funny business.
And that’s my favorite fail, Dear Reader! Now, it may not have been as funny as the bean bag pop or the mustache mishap. This is my fave because when I think about it to this day, I still laugh. Now, here’s a little bonus and what starts me off laughing about the whole run of this show.
Scene 4 starts with me singing “Magic Nights” and announcing to Joe, once he arrives that I am engaged! There is a little bit of dialogue and during that little bit of chatter, I grab these maracas that are conveniently on the dresser and begin to sing again. Well it just so happens that Joe (played by one funny dude, Leslie Lamke) is sitting on the bed. I never considered myself to have a very long reach, and I am very good with my spacial awareness. It’s just that I didn’t factor in what my reach would be like holding maracas. So I am singing my song and at the end of a phrase, I reach out and feel my maraca meet with resistance whilst hearing a LOUD hollow thunk! I had smacked poor Les in the head! I tried not to think about it and continue on. Sing, sing sing and strike a po…THUNK!! I hit him again!!! LOL! In my head, right now, I can hear that hollow wooden smack clear as day and I laugh!! I felt SO SO bad when it happened and made sure to apologize to Les as soon as we were in the dressing room. But it still makes me laugh! Hahaha. I think there was one other night that i hit him. Poor fella. He is a great guy and didn’t hold it against me. I didn’t dare look at him, because 1. there wasn’t time since it was a song and 2. it would have pulled me out of the scene.
Because of this bonus fail, the whole bunch of mini fails during Sugar makes this my favorite fail.
I hope, Gentle Reader, that this gave you a smile or a laugh. I met some truly magnificent people in this show and love when I have the chance to share the stage with them. I do hope that the chance comes again very soon.
I hope you are enjoying your days and treating yourself well. Until next time, Lovely Reader…