So, no, I’m not going to be doing one every day. But I thought I had to at least drop a note about the first day of rehearsals. It was pretty laid back. There was an equity meeting to start the day that involved so much information, I actually felt my brain turn to a slurry, leak out of my ear and slither out of the room. I’m still not sure what it was all about. That’s a lot of stuff, people. But then we did the ‘meet and greet’ which is where you get to meet the team, the producers, etc. Just casually at first then the head producer and director will usually make speeches which is what happened and they were both hilarious. They had some costume sketches up on the wall, and some shots of some of the scenes to give us an idea of how the major scenes will look. Unreal. They actually have a mock up of the bus in the rehearsal hall. More the floor plan than the full, you know, full . . . cabin cruiser motor home deal – ie. no walls. It’s more for the boys to work on spacially. But it is HUGE. It’s most of the room. But clearly when the bus is on stage, it is another character.
Time for a word about our musical supervisor and musical director. The musical supervisor is “Spud” who did all of the original arrangements and has changed some things for the Toronto/Broadway show. This is his musical baby. He is a crazy, wonderful, funny, specific artist/man. I really love him. What I mean when I say specific is the fact that he hasn’t just arranged these numbers to be fun and kooky and fluffy. He would talk about why the vocal does something or why it has to be sung stylistically a certain way to tell the story. For instance, the number, I Love The Nightlife, which could just be a number about those ‘zany gays’ that will simply give homophobes more fodder to not look at the human beings behind the costumes, but Spud gave us a wonderful plea to give humanity to the intolerant locals in the number who, through their understanding through the number, can lead the intolerable in the audience to some understanding of their own. That sounds a bit high-falutin’ (is there such a thing as low-falutin’? And what exactly is falutin’ and why can it never have a “g” at the end?) but it was so wonderful and thought-ful. He had me at hello.
Now our musical director/conductor, Jeff, is such a great guy. Relaxed but professional. Warm, funny. He keeps things light but we get things done and he’s thorough and has such a great ear for what’s happening with the group. It’s going to be a joy to work with him on the show and specifically on the understudy stuff.
It seems like a great cast. A lot of them knew each other so it was fun to watch their short-hand with each other. What a beautiful group of people. Good lord. And I became so aware of how small a group it is. It’s a cast of 25 people (and eventually a couple of kids – one on at a time) and 5 of those people are swings which means there are only ever 20 people on stage at during the show. But there are soooo many characters. Craziness. So many costumes. There are about 320/340 costumes worn in the show – not counting any understudy stuff. Do THAT math.
Today we just did music and we’ll do the same tomorrow, aiming for a read/sing-through on Friday. It will be so good to hear the show out loud. I can’t wait.
And on another note. I discovered the most amazing market about a block from where I’m living. Natural foods, health foods, but huge. They have pre-made foods so if I don’t feel like cooking, I can just go grab something. Fresh organic vegetables, eggs, grains. I may be living there. Gorgeous gourmet cheeses, dips, home-made pastas (pumpkin ravioli – what?) My God.
I am so ready to live this, you guys. I look forward to discovering this city, for real. It’s going to be a bit crazy. It’s looks like we now go for the next 10 days without a break. And for the next 4 days we are doing 9-hour days. But then we have 2 days off in a row (at the end of the 11 consecutive days). I’m not sure that is a true consolation but hey, we’ll live. Whoever said show biz was all glamour needs their asses kicked. LOL