Tonight’s task for the cast was to present Act I as if it were opening night and they were performing in front of an audience. Sometimes we can get a little bogged down in the tedium of rehearsals and forget that we’re here to tell a story and to entertain. So I think it’s good to get into the mindset of performing a little early on.
It’s also a great way for me to see exactly where the problems lie. Without stopping and starting to correct mistakes, I can experience the story as it unfolds and pinpoint problem areas where the story isn’t clearly being told. This usually boils down to flaws in my own directing –where I’ve either misguided the cast, or neglected needed emphasis, or just plain fallen down on the job. It’s wonderful to be able to find these mistakes early on and to make the necessary corrections.
It’s also a great time to reinterpret what we’ve already set in stone. It never ceases to amaze me that a simple clarification of intent (without altering any of the staging) can completely change the feel of a scene or a song. Or that building backstory, adding emotional layers, or making the tiniest of adjustments to the staging can suddenly bring everything else more strongly into place.
So we’ve taken a look at what we’ve done so far. We’ve set a few new goals for ourselves. And now it’s time to get back to work.
Tonight we staged Aline’s first solo, which is also her entrance number. She sings of courtship and eventual marriage — which is appropriate since she’s arrived to make her engagement to Alexis legally binding.
With our Downton Abbey twist, she’s singing to the Ploverliegh estate’s female servants, who have just welcomed her. In keeping with the upstairs/downstairs separation, she’s actually singing mostly to herself. And the servants are in a bit of a quandary as to whether she’s attempting to be intimate and friendly, or just showboating and therefore to be treated with formal reserve.
It’s a fun contradiciton of her romantic self-absorption and their scrambling subservience. And the staging involves some of my favorites: walking backwards, emotional shifts, and the always effective Conveyor Belt.
As of now, Act I is finally and officially fully staged and choreographed!
We’re well over one month into rehearsals for “The Sorcerer” and things are going splendidly — despite some setbacks and recalculations.
While we have an excellent cast lined up, we have had to deal with schedule conflicts, family emergencies, health issues and such. As a result we’ve juggled the cast around a bit on several occasions, moving actors from one role to another and bringing in additional actors when a few cast members unfortunately had to drop out of the show altogether.
But the show is in excellent shape to be this far from opening night. And we have some fun surprises in store for you! While remaining true to the original score and libretto, we’ve included some visual flourishes and movement styles which we like to call “Downton Abbey meets The Walking Dead.”
Stay tuned for more information as Opening Night approaches.
Our second review is by Emma Miller of The Independent Weekly.
Celebrating “50 Years of Frollicking Fun!” Here’s a link to our first review, by Kate Dobbs Ariail of The Five Points Star.
We had a fantastic Preview Performance last night! With a large enthusiastic crowd and focused/tight/exuberant performances all around. We were able to clean up many small issues in our final tech rehearsals and were more than ready for the injection of energy and adrenaline which a live audience can bring.
Official Opening Night is tonight and then we have two weekends of performances ahead of us. Please join us if you can.