Vocal rehearsal last night…

Last night the cast had a vocal clean up rehearsal.  Keeping to my promise of working numbers out over the course of the week, I got there at 5:30.  We went over Brass Band, not as many times as I wanted, but more than we have had the chance to do in a single rehearsal.  On Tuesday, I had taken video of the run through and showed the cast how close they are to getting the dances down.  I think they need to see for themselves that the steps are in their heads, they just have to stop over analyzing.  The great thing about a Bob Fosse show is that he uses musical cues for so many of the steps that when creating something in this style you have the music to help guide you through.  In most productions, I’m A Brass Band is done as a tap number (in the movie Fosse didn’t have them tap nor in the Broadway version), with huge chunks of music edited out for not only time, but for ease of creating a piece.  The steps in my version are simple, but the fact that they are interchangeable create a barrier in the mind that you have a choice as to which step comes next.  Luckily, we have muscle memory, and I emailed detailed notes to everyone after the dances are complete.

At 7:00, when Rachel, our music and vocal director came in, we switched gears and began singing.  Listen to me say “we”.  I didn’t sing.  They sang, and they sound great.  Rachel is concerned about the breath because after the dances, you can hear that they are low on air.  However, I fully believe that since they didn’t sing while they rehearsed the dances, that is the cause of the problem.  With practice, they will get it, and as we head in to “Hell Week” they are going to have plenty of time to practice this.  I planned on heading home once Rachel got there, but she said that she wanted to fix a couple of things and have the people run the dances.  I went home to grab a bite to eat and when back at 8:00 like she asked.

Rachel Michelberg (Musical DIrector) works with Ian Teter on Cry at Weddings.

The cast ran through Rhythm of Life.  Looks pretty good.  I will make some small adjustments.  SMALL.

Brass Band: Once they get the trumpets for the jazzy part the ladies can really put the hurt with that body swing and contraction step.  Then the percussion will be a huge help for the section that it’s ONLY percussion that’s playing.  Will change one step for the ladies.  At the end, have to get that jete on 7-8.

Cry at Weddings: Just have to get Herman to address all of the cast at the beginning.

Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.

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Costumes…

Well, the costume fittings were MADNESS!  Madness, I say.  On Wednesday, the cast tried on the costumes for the show.  Huge thanks to Carol Clever.  She took what is thought to be a deceptively minimal look show, and gave it a realistic type of look. What’s difficult is that most productions  just want the sparkle  because it looks great.  My thoughts are that we would have a better connection with the audience and the text if we go for a more realistic look.  It will have a bigger emotional impact in the second act as well if you are truly listening to what is being said.  It was such a challenge to imagine what these things would look like on stage with colored lights and the stage set and dressing, I’ll have to admit.   What I found the most amazing was how much input that I, little ol’ me, had in this whole process.  Incredibly, the director, Bill Starr, and I have the same vision for the show.  Yay!!  I am excited that my thought process, even in spite of my limited training, runs along the same track as this intense man that I have learned several things from.  Now just to let you know, that when I say limited training, I mean actual school training, I am always reading books and learning the theatre craft. Back to the outfits.

Some of the looks needed to be tweaked.  All of the looks need alterations though.  I feel horrible because it’s a lot of work for our costume designer, and so I and several other cast members like Victoria and Beth Ann (by way of Brett) have offered our help to make the show look as good as it can.

My fav is the Frug outfits.  Still working on the hair.  The wigs were fresh out of the box and just plopped on the ladies heads.

Melinda puts 'tude in her go-go boots!

Patty Reinhart is dangerous in her go-go outfit!
Patty Reinhart is dangerous in Frug outfit

These are going to be made shorter to give you more leg.  Hot. HOT! I tell ya.  For the men, there are some things being fixed.  They will be wearing a tux shirt and pants with a bow tie and  flounce accents on their sleeves.  Here’s what my trio is wearing.  I think that the vinyl vest for the men is so sleek.

Valerie is rocking the Union Jack!!
Valerie is aloof and rocking the Union Jack!!!

Act 1 opens in the park with varying degrees of 60’s looks.  Here are just a couple

Heather Schweitzer vogues in her 60’s look
Andrea looks like she’s ready for school.
Ben makes a tiny tribute to another Bob Fosse show.  Can you name it?

For Rhythm of Life, there wasn’t a lot to look at on Wednesday.  We had several tops, but not completed outfits.  So I can’t quite bring you a true look for that number but it should be colorful.  But I’m A Brass Band will be faboo!

Always immersed in the role, Ian Teter models the Brass Band outfit

I am leaving the Big Spender costumes out because there’s gotta be something to surprise you when you see the show.  I just wanted to give you a little sneak peak before the show.  You may think that these looks are plain, but keep in mind the lights, and all the stuff that’s going to be on stage to add colors.  I can’t wait for the day we set foot on that stage with the sets in the theatre.  I think that’s when everything is going to click, and I can have a refreshed perspective of the show.