Thursday, July 15, 2010

35 Reasons That I'm Excited To Get Back To Putting On This Show This Weekend

1- The dancing ensemble. The overture dancing, Great Big Stuff, and The More We Dance all feature awesome work, some of the most interesting stuff I've seen Marc put on stage. And the execution is awesome. And in addition to the ensemble stuff, there's also some opportunity for the lead dancers to sparkle extra.

2- The boy dancing. Oklahoma features a male dancing ensemble and any time you can get a group of men dancing together on stage, it's a hoot. No exception here.

3- Terri Gilmore. Terri takes a feature role and makes it awesome, striking all the right notes. She commands the stage when it's time, and she lets herself be a hilarious foil/butt of the joke when it's time. Not all leading ladies have the grace, confidence and generosity to pull off a role like this.

4- Andrew Ritsig. Why is there a German bellboy in a French hotel? Who cares-- this small but pivotal moment makes a big scene work.

5- Jacob Krupitzer. His absolutely most hilarious and expressive five seconds on stage are in this show. I can't remember the last time I saw someone steal a scene without a word. And that's in addition to the super song and dance.

6- Chris Marshall's master class on supporting character work. His international sailor is a study in how to completely commit to a moment, but later he will show you how to buck for a Tony with just one word.

7- Aaron Ritsig. He gets one line to shift a scene into a completely different tone from the rest of the entire show, and he carefully and thoughtfully does it.

8- A clown car full of hussies. I love female vocal harmony. I love this moment.

9- A small flock o' nuns. How many women does it take to make that gorgeous alleluia? You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

10- Jodi Hoover. Skipped part of family vacation to do this role. While also producing and doing props. This has not been an easy character to draw a bead on, but Jodi makes her believable and touching and hilarious all at once.

11- Alan Anderson. Every show has a lucky find, a cast member who appears from the woodwork. We have been so fortunate to borrow this gifted performer from Mercer and environs. The best, smoothest, warmest, most fully convincing outrageous French accent ever.

12- The Songs. One of my favorite scores ever. Every single song in this show is an earworm. Usually by now a director is playing other loud music at home to clear the show tunes out of his head, but I look forward to hearing them again. Poppy and bright and jazzy and fun. I love each one.

13- Suzi Beach. Suzi has a remarkably difficult role to play, and she nails Christine so well. And I could listen to her rendition of "Nothing Is Too Wonderful..." over and over and over.

14- Love Is My Legs. I know I said I love the whole score, but this is the most hilarious piece of music I've ever heard-- so smart and funny and gorgeous and funny all at once.

15- Nick Mitchell. This is such a tricky role. Unlike the typical musical-comedy lead, Lawrence is a complicated character who reveals many layers that even he didn't know he had. From his crash-and-burn date with Jolene to the moment when he sings the one serious song in the show, Nick manages to hit all the marks in this guy.

16- Ben Bodamer. There is nothing this guy can't do on stage, from dancing to singing to creating a complete character with just a few lines of dialogue, a look, and some movement. Sooner or later, you will see him in a leading role.

17- Samantha Caiarelli. A really gifted dancer who was willing to join us despite the fact that there was also singing involved. But her moves add so much to the look of the show.

18- Caitlin Glenn. A really gifted singer who stayed with us even though six weeks in a big casty boot thing kept her on the dancing sidelines. But her vocals add so much to the ensemble sound.

19- Janelle Chambers. Always a bright spot of sunshine on stage. I believe she actually sparkles. And such a big voice out of such a little woman.

20- The Orchestra. This might be the best-sounding pit I've ever worked with. From the oboe that sounds like a musical instrument to Nate Frye playing a zillion instruments, every bit of the sound is just super.

21- Brett Sloan. Brett's utter lack of shame guarantees that Freddy will be hilarious, and his acting chops guarantee that Freddy won't be just a ridiculous mugging clown.

22- Jacki Fike- She's a superb dancer and her moment on the train is fun (even if she is not a graduate of the Chris Marshall Mystery Accent School).

23- Bill and Peg Hennessy. I didn't even know what to do with the random French accordion player until Bill and Peg showed up to audition. At that point I knew I needed them to be the visible example of the couple ideal that all the other characters pursue.

24- Amanda Rose. One of the most beautiful voices in Venangoland, not to mention my inspiration for many moments in the staging. Her resolution to bust loose alwasy makes me laugh.

25- Carissa McClintock. I believe she can do anything at all on stage. One of several lead-calibre actors in the show who add such heft and richness to the ensemble. In just "Your grace" she gets a world of character into a cameo role.

26- Stephen Teig. The indispensible go-to player for more shows than I can count. He always provides exactly what is needed, and creates a great character for the hotel manager out of nothing at all.

27- David Aites. Makes every single moment on stage count, even if he's just examining the art in the abbey.

28- Grayce Burwell. I don't think anybody would guess that she's the youngest member of the cast. She sells it every minute she's out there.

29- Hundreds of little things. A big pencil. Bacon and sex. Just the brass section. It's mutual. Is the balcony moving? Isn't that cute. Toblerone? Detroit. How about four?

30- Lights R Us. The cute little shrinking spotlight. The perfect timing.

31- Sound that works. A show you can hear!

32- Kristen's cameo, and her method acting to prepare. Fifteen minutes of ushering to set it up, and sixty seconds to sing.

33- The awesomely magical set changes.

34- This show makes me laugh so much, even now, and yet it makes my heart all happy, too. It manages to be relentless hilarious, even while the characters are real and true and we get to see something really true and beautiful about the human spirit. I'll tell you-- I am more uplifted and renewed by a show like this than a hundred Sound of Musics. And I laugh harder.

35- Everything else. There are so many good moments in this show, so much vocal coolness to savor, so much electricity flying back and forth between the people on stage, so much cool and funny stuff going on, I don't know how anyone can only watch this show once. I am sad that I will only get to see it three more times.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brush Up

We will convene Thursday night at 6:00 in the air conditioned main theater in order to do a quick run-through of set/scene changes for the show.

In the meantime, don't let these off days go by without doing whatever you need to do to keep your parts fresh (no! not that! you know what i mean). Review lines, review dance, go through the show in your head, but do whatever it takes to insure that you don't lose pieces of your performance!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pictures Up And Temperature Down

If you haven't heard already, the AC is now functioning. Tell everyone they have no excuse to miss the upcoming performances.

I will post more tomorrow, but right now here's the link to the photos from dress

Saturday, July 10, 2010


A big bowl of awesomesauce with awesomeberry topping and some awesome chip cookies on the side. What a great opening night and what a great show. I think we should do it again!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dress Rehearsal Tonight!

Great run last night! Every time through the changes get smoother, the characters become more real, and the music and dancing are sharper. After all these months I am still excited about this show.

Folks have been asking about a brush-up next week. There won't be one. Instead, we'll be coming in a little earlier on Friday to recap and do a talk through.

Keep plugging the show, and cross your fingers and toes for the air conditioning!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


This is it! This is it! THIS IS IT!!!

This week we take everything we've done, made, sewn, played, sung and committed to memory and make a show out of it. I expect awesomeness.

Cast report tonight for 6:30. Principals, if you can be a hair earlier for mic wrangling purposes, that would be sweet. Orchestra will be there ready to start the run at 7:00. We will take care of our other business before then.

This is going to be so much fun!! Pass the word so folks don't miss it-- they'll be sorry if they do. And remember-- your hands will be appreciated during the day at the theater.

ALSO- CONGRATS to the staff and creative team for the award-winning float, which took second place in its division Saturday. Go team!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Home Stretch

Much detail work to do and edges to smooth out over the weekend so that we can have a four good runs before opening.


Saturday 10AM we'll have a curtain party. Please be there to help if you can. Saturday night, bodies for the float would also be sweet (line-up on lower Liberty at 5:00)