The Sitzprobe…


Oh, gentle reader…

Last night, the cast of Jewel Theatre’s Guys and Dolls had our sitzprobe!!  Can I just say… don’t forget to buy your tickets!

For those who have never heard the term, it is a German word used in Opera and Musical Theatre which literally translates to “seated rehearsal.” When I first began to perform in musicals I could never remember this word so I called it by its less elegant street name, “Sit and sing” or “Sit/Sing.”

The sitzprobe is often the first time the cast gets the chance to hear the orchestra and vice versa.  Apparently, there used to be a beautiful tradition that went along with this wonderful night of the rehearsal process, which you can read about here. The way Opera singer, David Cangelosi, describes it makes me want to be in that community in those days because it just sounds so amazing.

This has always been my favorite moment of putting together a show.  Yes, even more than having an audience.  Even more than choreography rehearsals. Sorry to all my choreographer friends that I just got the side eye from.  Definitely more than auditions. Tee hee.

The orchestra brings so much fun and energy to a show, which is why I adore all those wonderful musicians that I have met while performing.  Not to mention, outside of the show, every one that I am lucky enough to call friend are kind and incredible folks.

Of course, the actors work hard at creating a world for the audience to lose themselves in. When you add that live music, though, it makes the dancers leap a little higher and the singers emote a little deeper.

That mighty little band of musicians really blew our socks off last night.

This show keeps getting closer and closer to opening and already I am feeling a bit of the sads knowing that in just a few short weeks we will all move on to the next project.

But for now, I am gonna love every minute of this process!


9 Days until Opening Night!!

Come and help us celebrate the opening of the Colligan Theater in the Tannery Arts Center, buy your tickets now!!!

2 Weeks Till Showtime!!

The Few, The Proud, The Early...

Today was our first opportunity to work with the orchestra before moving into the theatre.  The sitzprobe or “sit and sing” is the first meeting of the cast and orchestra to try and become one entity. One organism that creates a cohesive and exciting show.  Today’s rehearsal was a good start.  The cast was excited and I think it’s safe to say we had fun.  If I am wrong, I do hope someone would correct me on that. At least I had fun.  We met over at the Obi Studios in the south side of San Jose.  It’s a nice looking place.  In some past sitzprobes, or prova all’italiana as the Italians call it, the rooms were kind of cramped and usually get very warm very quickly. I wish we could sing here every time!

About this time in the rehearsal process, the tension begins to build because there’s only a very short amount of time to perfect everything that the staff has given us to work with.  The little bit of time that’s left is when I try and refine or tweak or even change some of my goals in the scenes or tactics that I use to try and get what I want.  It’s also really when I get the butterflies and the queasy stomach.  Then, at night, I lie awake thinking about the show and stressing even if I know that I’ve done a ton of work and am solid on everything.

Then, magically, Opening Night is a breeze. It’s like all the anxiety that I am supposed to feel at that time is what I dealt with weeks before, so now I am good to go.  Yay!  But first I have to deal with it.  And the sitzprobe is usually the point at which the slow tummy grumblings start to happen.

Now with only two weeks left to tighten and perfect this little gem of a show into performance level, all the people involved in the show must begin to put forth their focus. This is when we must utilize the suggestions and guidance that the staff have offered up for us to work with and sculpt and re-sculpt our characters until they are so much a part of us that a part of them lives in us even when we aren’t on stage.  We must deliver at each precious rehearsal that’s left so that we know we have this in the bag.  It’s okay to have fun, but when it’s time to work, we must be prepared.  We simply must.

This sense of urgency permeates the cast usually and things begin to fit into the mold our fearless director, Meg Fischer, has made.  So if I were to follow this analogy, I’d say that tonight was when we poured the show into the mold.  Now, we have to get it to set.  Woo to the Hoo!!!

With only two weeks left, the show is very nearly on the road…

And I suggest you get your tickets NOW!