I always enjoy the first sing-through with a new cast — and I find it extremely helpful.
One great luxury of this first night, for me, is that Alan is running things — this night is all about the music. I am able to sit back and to really look at the cast and, of course, to listen to them. No matter how much thought and planning we’ve put into the production, there is something about looking at these faces and hearing this combination of voices (and personalities) singing this score together for the first time that really sets things in motion. I allow myself to re-think everything. And, indeed, everything changes. All persprectives shift somehow and an exciting new realm of possibilities becomes just that much more accessible.
Invariably, and this is what I think is part of the magic of theater, the cast will surprise me in some way. It just isn’t the same to read the score nor to listen to a recording of some other production. It takes human beings, living, breathing and thinking right there in front of you, to make great theater. And, for me, that human element of surprise is a big part of the equation.
We have a Production Meeting scheduled for next week and it will be the first time all the designers will meet together in one room. Again, perspectives will shift and the process of making the abstract into reality will continue. I think we’ll be breathing there too.