Posts Tagged ‘Sunnyvale Community Players’

I am not sure what it is about Sunnyvale Community Players, but for each of the shows I’ve done there have been super important, maybe even life altering events.

Little Mary Sunshine

The first show I had ever done with the Sunnyvale Players was this campy little show called “Little Mary Sunshine.”   It was directed by Ben Canter and it was kind of a free for all.  At least that’s how it seemed to me.  It was fun and funny, but the cast was madness.  The significant thing for that show was that’s where I met my munster! Looking back to those 17 years ago and being in the parking lot of Braley Park after rehearsal with the whole cast leaving just the two of us to meet them at Jakes was so shady, but I am forever thankful that it happened.

jesus-christ-superstar

The second show I was lucky enough to take part in was one of my three favorite shows of all time. Jesus Christ Superstar.  Not being a religious person, it was mostly the story and music that made me love this show.  It was also the very first musical that I was exposed to once I was old enough to understand what a musical was.  My best friend at the time had showed it to me one night during  a sleepover and I became obsessed with it.  We would sing the songs when we hung out so it only seemed right to dedicate my performance as Judas to her.  That is for sure, my absolute favorite role to perform.

And now we come to 2013.

Bob Fosse has been a source of inspiration for me for over the past two decades.

My friend, Rachel, used to say, with a roll of the eyes, “he’s only the best choreographer in this life and the next.”

As a man, yeah, he left a little to be desired.  He abused drugs and was a womanizer.  As a creator, he, I believe, was amazing.  He took everything that was a weakness, like his bowed legs and pigeon toes, and created a style! The shows that he’s created have amazing characters that I would one day LOVE to play.

And now I have the chance!

My third show with Sunnyvale is going to be PIPPIN!!  Part 2 of my trio of favorites!!!

Bet you can’t guess who!!!

Rehearsals start in July and I want it to be here NOW!!!

So excited that I cannot even properly express in words.

The cast of Sunnyvale Community Players’ production of Cabaret was posted late last week.  Some of my personal favorites didn’t get cast, and they are very, very good.  With that being said, I now have higher expectations for the show.  I am very excited to see it.  Director and choreographer Lee Ann Payne, I am sure will have them turning it out for this production.  So let’s see the cast:

Cast List

Emcee Paul Araquistain

Sally Bowles Emily Bliss

Cliff Bradshaw Sven Schutz

Fraulein Schneider Linda Piccone

Herr Schultz Matt Tipton

Fraulein Kost Cindy Powell

Ernst Ludwig David Mister

Kit Kat Klub Girls Michelle Beyda-Scott, Denise Lum, Veronika Olah, Melissa Palmieri, Kaeli Quick, Cheryl Ringman, Lea Simon, Valerie Valenzuela

Kit Kat Klub Boys/Patrons Brett Carlson,Daniel Hurst, Lukas Sarnow, Peter Schuurmans, Karl Schweitzer, Braden Taylor, Aaron Weisberg

 

I TOTALLY love the cast of Bless Me, Ultima!

Boy, oh boy, Saturday was a blast.  The day started with a welcome by our director Ms. Elisa, then followed by the exciting news that Bless Me has actually just wrapped up filming as a feature length movie!!

Next up were the sound, lighting, and set design presentations.  The set designer said that the stage will be raked, or slanted.  The plan is to keep the show minimalistic to keep the momentum as swift as possible.  There are mini-scenes inside larger scenes, and if there was a need to pause, even the slightest one, for each shift, we could be in trouble of losing the audience’s attention.  In keeping with the less is best idea, the raked stage is supposed to have images of the landscape on it.  I am curious how this will work.  Will the images be projected from behind the platform, or from above? If it’s from above, isn’t the image going to show up on the actors as well?  We shall see…

One element I am really impressed with is that there will be a massive attempt at using as much live music as possible.  Hooray!  I can’t seem to do a show without having to sing.  Haha! Even in the last play I did with Teatro, Hero,  I sang the line: High School…High School Musical 2!

After the presentations, we all introduced ourselves to each other. We took a short break, and then dug into the script.  Things have been changed and reassignments were adjusted, and the train began to move forward.  At first as we began to read, things felt a little tense to me. Not for any particular reason.  It could be that sometimes it’s uncomfortable to read aloud.  It could be that the cold in the room was a little distracting.  It could be that some of the people were missing parts of their script.  After we got about six scenes into the read thru, Elisa stopped us and asked about the themes that we’d come across so far and how we feel about them.  People brought up religion, good v. evil, and duality just to name a few.

Then it got a little weird.  I understand what was meant, but I think it’s a bit trivial as far as the issue went.  What happened was someone said they didn’t like the fact that the word “magic” was used to describe the things that Ultima could do.  The reason was that the term “magic”  made them think of pulling a rabbit out of a hat or something along that line,  or that “magic” was only used for evil things.

I am a little torn that there is talk about changing a word that is the supposed school of altering things either by supernatural means or through knowledge of natural laws unacknowledged by science. It goes back as far as alchemy does. Magic was used long before the likes of Harry Houdini and others had began to create tricks and illusions for entertainment.  What I wonder about is was that something that offended the person who purposed the change due to their religious beliefs or was it because it truly reminded her of parlor tricks?  If its the former, isn’t that why we are here to do this play?  If it’s the latter, do we really have the power to change the words of the playwright if a wording change diminishes the power of the script?

It also made me wonder why no one had problems says “miracles.” Aren’t those just magic?  The difference that was told to me was that one is religious based while the other was more of a hedonist term.  WTH?  This lead me to believe that this group was more religious that I thought and that’s where the whole Magic debate stemmed from.  That makes me a little sad.

When I read the book, what I came away with is that you should question religion.  It’s not something that is only contained inside of four walls.  There’s a lot of back and forth for the main character, Tony, about the belief in the churchy god and the energy that’s everywhere that just is.  That church god and cosmic energy are one and the same.  It’s okay if you wanna believe in both! Now, I don’t mind either way what anyone believes.  That’s what makes the word go ’round.  However, with the church being all greedy and stuff, it acts like a child.  If you were to compare the two, Magic is much older than most religions.  Just sayin’! Churches say, you can’t do this or that.  You can only worship in a confined space surrounded by others as witnesses to make sure you are doing what you’re supposed to.  With the energy, there’s just possibility.  There’s no one saying you can’t.  You must follow your own moral compass and decide if what you do will hurt someone else.

It was a great conversation, sometimes it did go off track, but THIS is why I love working with Teatro Vision.  I don’t get anything like it with WVLO, or Sunnyvale Players, and Saratoga Drama Group.  The people in this cast are all fun loving and easy to laugh with.  It’s going to be a happy, happy experience working with these folks.

Also, for those of you interested in another fellow theatre blogger, my cast mate Jess is the author behind Theatreg33k.blogspot.com.  I am thinking a podcast with her will be a blast!  I’ll keep you posted on that.

I have been trying to figure out what the likely-hood of doing two show, nearly simltaneously, would entail, and it JUST dawned on me.  DE-nied!!! There isn’t any possible way that it could happen.  I would be missing the first three weeks of rehearsals if I were cast in Cabaret with Sunnyvale, and getting from the rehearsal space for Bless Me, Ultima to the rehearsal space for Cabaret on Sundays would be a mess.  Super sad that the possibility of doing both is now dead.  I won’t say impossible, because I am sure that if they are willing to overlook all those conflicts I am willing to give it a go. I’m just sayin’ that the positivity rate is looking pretty low right about now!

Not related to the above paragraph, did you know that Seattle will be the home for the creation of the  new “Aladdin” musical?  It will have all the songs from the film and reinsert the missing songs that were cut from the Disney film!!  Hooray!  It will be awesome for “Proud Of Your Boy” to be heard by the masses.  It’s an amazing song that always makes me get a little misty eyed.  The company that is the lucky duck is Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.  This is the same company that premiered “A Christmas Story: The Musical!” this past holiday season.  Yes, it’s based off of the beloved movie that shares it’s name!  “You’ll shoot your eye out!”  This company attracts such an amazing caliber of talent that one can only expect sheer amazing fantasticalness that will the the staged production of “Aladdin.”  Here are some ACS clips that I’ve found on the tube!

This boy, Clarke Hallum,  is gonna be a force on Broadway one day!!  And these guys are utterly brilliant!!!  Check out this song writing team!!!  Oh muh gawd!! Benj Pasek and Justin Paul!!!

I finally have an Episode 4!

I realized that I really did ramble on and on and on.  So I took the extra time to edit out all the excessive stuff and did my best to keep it concise.  Show notes will be added very very shortly as I am working on them right now!  Also, I have added a new photo album to my Facebook page with some pics of the Breaking Up cast.

Without further, adieu  I present Episode 4

Thanks for taking a listen.

Next week, I’ll have a contest for a cute little character named “Carl”!