In the Making

Archive for June, 2011

Theatre 2-a-Days

Posted by cjaxon on June 24, 2011

I meant to post something earlier this week about opening night, but this is literally the first time I’ve been able to sit and write. The first show went off without a hitch. The party afterward was at a Chinese restaurant, with free sushi! And then Wednesday morning we started Hairspray, and hit the ground running. Instead of beginning with music rehearsals like most shows, we staged all of “Good Morning Baltimore,” the dance at the gym (“The Madison”), and the first part of “Nicest Kids in Town” – three very intricate numbers. Then we scarfed down dinner and went back to the Civic Center to perform Oliver again. From my point of view Wednesday night felt even better than Tuesday, although we were more tired.

Here I’ve got to give a shout out to my father who drove all the way up on Wednesday to see it and drove back on Thursday morning. Mom and Sarah stayed home because Sarah’s getting ready to leave for a mission trip for about a week and a half. Missed them, but I totally understand.

At some point soon I’m going to write down all the crazy stories from these kids in the gang, or “squids” as some of us refer to them, semi-affectionately. You just never know what you’re going to get. Most of the time they’re harmless, but they’re always interesting. Like when we’ve told them to react to what going on in the scene, and they keep their adlibs fresh, but then they start waiting until everyone else has finished speaking and then say their adlibs in the dramatic silence before the next line. Or like when they start ranting backstage about Patti LuPone being “a hag,” because she’s so short, or she’s so tall, or whatever she is. They admit they have no idea who she is, but she’s must be a hag. Or when they accidentally knock over a bench at the beginning of the scene without realizing it and then three of them sit down but fall over backwards.


But back to Hairspray.

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Posted by cjaxon on June 18, 2011

So we’re two weeks in to rehearsals now. Which means we’re two-thirds done with this first show!! I’ve never worked on a full-blown production at this pace, and I’m loving it. We had it all blocked and choreographed, a 2 and half hour show, within the first week. And it’s gonna be BIG. We’re doing Oliver! first. The set is HUGE. There are two bridges going across the stage, up to 20 feet in the air. There are giant pieces that roll on and off for different scenes. And we even have actors going up and down from the orchestra pit, as well as a pasarelle (fancy word for walkway) going around in front of it. We literally fill the stage, front to back, side to side, from below to way above.

Rehearsals have been going well. They told us in the beginning that this is an easy  ensemble show. It’s basically divided into two groups – adults and “the gang.” (I’m in the gang.) And it’s divided in a way that both groups don’t usually work at the same time. So for the first few days, I wouldn’t have to go in until later in the day, or I’d get released a few hours early. Technically, I’m in the “ensemble,” but I do have a featured bit or two as Charlie Bates, the leader of The Gang. (Or at least, that’s the role I’ve created for Charlie 😉 I’ve had fun even with a small role like this, because since it’s not a major part, there’s a lot of creative freedom. I can do almost anything I want within the world of the show, as long as it makes sense for the character, and doesn’t draw away from the scene.

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