Not Yet. Please Not Yet…

Photo Courtesy of Edmond Kwong at Imagewurx
Photo Courtesy of Edmond Kwong at Imagewurx

If you are really lucky, you get the chance to be in productions where you wish it wouldn’t end. At least once.  I have been crazy for Crazy For You.

The reasons can be for anything; you love the role that you are playing, the show is going to Broadway, or like my case, the cast works so incredibly well together. We have celebrated birthdays for multiple people every single week of performances. We have laughed, been silly, stressed out, and danced ourselves sticky sweaty these last 10 weeks of rehearsals and performances.

It isn’t every show that I truly look forward to seeing every person every day.  I feel a wee bit sad that I won’t get to see them as much. Even though I have left the theatre at the end of the night sometimes with the need to soak in an ice bath or a tub of icy hot and bruised up, I have had a truly wonderful time working alongside such an outstanding group of people from every aspect of this production.

Every drop of sweat, every achy muscle, and every bit of glue has been well spent.  I think this little gem sparkles just right.  But just for two more performances.  Friday and Saturday…

I am going to be a sad mess on Saturday.

Maybe even Sunday.

I am not looking forward to this.

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And We Begin In Three Days…

just a dream

I have always wanted to try my hand at directing.  Partly for the experience, partly because it would be different, but mostly because I wanted to see if I could tell a story in a different way.

Almost exactly a year ago, I had asked the producer of “Sugar” about apprentice opportunities for directing and she said “I will put your name on our contacts list just in case something comes up.”  I was totally satisfied with that and happily continued the rehearsal when they were ready for me to pop back into the scene.  I had asked another company the same thing and got the same answer so it wasn’t unexpected.

Little did I know that three weeks later I would be asked to present an idea to sit IN the director’s seat of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Ever since I found out it was in the season, all I thought about was auditioning to play Judas one more time.  At first, I didn’t know what to say.  Do I jump at the chance knowing that I have never done anything like this and have no training for it?  I had a little dilemma. After taking a few days to think about it, I decided “Why not?”  Sure this could mean that if this goes horribly wrong, I may never get the chance to do this again.  But if it goes right…

Rehearsals are right around the corner, and to say that I am excited is an understatement.  I have been thinking about the show for the last 8 months! Regardless of my nerves, I really think that this is going to be the best learning experience of my life.  Not only is it a chance to try something new  and in the realm of theatre, but it will allow me to strengthen skills that I can use anywhere and in any job.

Listening:  I like to think that I do a pretty darn good job of listening to people.  In any theatrical endeavor, collaborating with everyone is essential, and that means listening to everyone’s concerns, ideas, and criticisms.

Problem Solving: Taking all that information and making it useful or addressing why the information can’t be used.

Decision Making:  I never knew how much planning and questions I would have to answer even BEFORE auditions.  I am usually a “feely” kind of decider.  So if something feels right or not is how I usually decide.  With a project like this, I had to learn to look ahead and see if the decision would affect anything else in the show.

Time Management:  Once the ball gets rolling, there isn’t much time to waste  getting all the ducks in a row.  I really need to be wary on how I use every minute of rehearsal time so that the actors aren’t sitting around. It’s not fair to them to make them spend their time waiting if I can help it.   Also, I have to make sure that all the pieces are put together well in advance of tech week.  My goal is to have the show running two weeks before tech.

I can bet that the management at the nursery will love this.  It’s amazing at how many skills one can acquire and/or develop in the Arts and yet the educational system deems them less than “academics.”  It’s a real damn shame.

Like I said, I never thought I would have this kind of chance this quickly, so I am nervous about this but once we get into the swing of things, I feel like it will be SUPER!!

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.

♥♥

On to the next…

It’s that time again…Yup, you guessed it, 110 shopping days til Christmas!  KIDDING! Kidding!  It’s time to start rehearsing for a new show!

Tonight is our first rehearsal.  I finally get to meet everyone.  There are some people in particular that I am SO excited to see in their roles.  For example, mistress to the big wig, Hedy Le Rue will be played by the adorable Amanda Garley.  She is a faboo performer and I think it was an awesome choice by the staff.

If you haven’t seen the show, a quick summary is an eager young man manipulates his way to the top of a large corporation in various ways. On that path, he must overcome a jealous rival, to be played by Brett Carlson (Yay!), deal with a love sick secretary, and best the other managers of the company.  Will he do it?  Can he do it?  Come and see the show to find out!  However, I don’t recommend the movie.  There’s a lot left out, BUT you should take a peek at the Bob Fosse (my hero) choreographed “Coffee Break”.  I tried to find it on Youtube really quickly, but I have to get to work.

Until next time…

FINALLY…Broadway hits TV!! Sort of…

In light of the phenomenon that Glee has become, NBC decided that it should strike back with it’s own non-reality singing TV show.

SMASH (I think the title is shite) is dramedy about what it takes to make a Broadway show.  It features some heavy hitters not only from television, but also from Broadway.  People like the amazing Debra Messing (Will and Grace), the adorable Christian Borle (Emmet from Legally Blonde), Brian d’Arcy James (Burrs from Lippa’s Wild Party as well as Shrek), the gorgeous Anjelica Huston, and Jack Davenport, who I’ve been a fan of since BBC’s Coupling!

It features American Idol’s Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty as the two girls who are up for the role of playing the Icon Marilyn Monroe.  I haven’t watched AI truly since the very first season, but I heard a lot of things about McPhee and some of them weren’t so good, but it seems that in this role she is going to shine.  I was really impressed with the trailer and gleefully clapped my hands as I recognized the people mentioned above.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the downer:  This is supposed to be a midseason replacement, sooooooo there’s going to be a big wait until this actually hits the small screen.  HOWEVER, I do hope that all of you theatre buffs and Gleeks support this show with the same fervor that you reserve for watching Glee.  It’s important to show the big networks that our community should be represented on television.

Have a fabulous day!!!

Revenge of the 5th…Goodbye to a legend

It’s a sad, sad day on Broadway and the in the theatre community.

The Tony Award winning director and writer, the legend Arthur Laurents has passed away at 93 years young at heart.  He died while sleeping.

He is the author of such great works as Gypsy and West Side Story.  In light of his revival of WSS still selling great houses, he is featured in  a magazine interview.  Just over a year ago, Out Magazine had an interview with this amazing man and you can read it HERE.  He is brutally honest, and actually quite funny in that honesty.

I was so happy when his latest production of “Gypsy” took home so many Tony’s especially when it came to the actors.

I was stunned to know that he was as old as he was.  He was incredibly active and was still producing some fantastic work.

Dear Mr. Laurents,

In a world that is plagued by hatred and greed and corporations and bad politics, you were able to be yourself for nearly the 100 years you’ve walked the Earth.  You were incredibly blessed that you found love, true love in a time when it was forbidden.  I only hope that I will be able to stay in love for 52 years like you and Mr. Hatcher.  I am so relieved that somewhere in the world two men were able to hold their home together for so long while the world went on.

Forever your fan,

Jery.

Courtesy of Out.com via A. Laurents

Just Announced…The 2011 Tony Award Nominations!!

Book of Mormon leads the nominations with 14!!

Okay everyone, this is one of the events that I wait for every year!  Here is the full list of the nominees.  If you just want a breakdown of how many each show got, just scroll to the end of the post.

The Tony Awards will be aired on June 12 @ 8:00 PM from their new home in the Beacon Theatre. Drumroll please….

Best Play

Good People
Author: David Lindsay-Abaire

Jerusalem
Author: Jez Butterworth

The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Author: Stephen Adly Guirgis

War Horse
Author: Nick Stafford

Best Musical

The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
The Scottsboro Boys
Sister Act

Best Book of a Musical

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Alex Timbers

The Book of Mormon
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone

The Scottsboro Boys
David Thompson

Sister Act
Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The Book of Mormon
Music & Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone

The Scottsboro Boys
Music & Lyrics: John Kander and Fred Ebb

Sister Act
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Glenn Slater

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Best Revival of a Play

Arcadia
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical

Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand, Good People
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland, Brief Encounter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry, The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It’s You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mackenzie Crook, Jerusalem
Billy Crudup, Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light, Lombardi
Joanna Lumley, La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Colman Domingo, The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley, Anything Goes
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon, The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O’Malley, The Book of Mormon

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Todd Rosenthal, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Rae Smith, War Horse
Ultz, Jerusalem
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Beowulf Boritt, The Scottsboro Boys
Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon
Donyale Werle, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein, The Merchant of Venice
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Mark Thompson, La Bête
Catherine Zuber, Born Yesterday

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, War Horse
David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Kenneth Posner, The Merchant of Venice
Mimi Jordan Sherin, Jerusalem

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Ken Billington, The Scottsboro Boys
Howell Binkley, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Peter Kaczorowski, Anything Goes
Brian MacDevitt, The Book of Mormon

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Simon Baker, Brief Encounter
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Jerusalem
Christopher Shutt, War Horse

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, The Scottsboro Boys
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Catch Me If You Can
Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
Joel Grey & George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Anna D. Shapiro, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice

Best Direction of a Musical
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Larry Hochman, The Scottsboro Boys
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank, Catch Me If You Can
Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Athol Fugard
Philip J. Smith

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, Ill.)

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Eve Ensler

Special Tony Award
Handspring Puppet Company

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
William Berloni
The Drama Book Shop
Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Tony Nominations by Production
The Book of Mormon – 14
The Scottsboro Boys – 12
Anything Goes – 9
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – 8
The Merchant of Venice – 7
Jerusalem – 6
The Motherf**ker with the Hat – 6
The Normal Heart – 5
Sister Act – 5
War Horse – 5
Catch Me If You Can – 4
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo – 3
The Importance of Being Earnest – 3
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – 3
Arcadia – 2
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson – 2
Born Yesterday – 2
Brief Encounter – 2
Good People – 2
La Bête – 2
Priscilla Queen of the Desert – 2
Baby It’s You! – 1
Driving Miss Daisy – 1
The House of Blue Leaves – 1
Lombardi – 1
The People in the Picture – 1

 Did any of these shock you?  Were you surprised that anyone wasn’t on this list?  Were you surprised they were?  Let me hear ya!