I had a fantastic rehearsal with Mabel and Frederic (aka Mary Elisabeth and Kenny) Tuesday night. We finished staging of all their duets in Act II and then went back to review their work together in “Poor Wand’ring One.”
It’s great to have this focused one-on-one time during what can be a rather hectic rehearsal process. We took the time to not only set staging, but to find the sense in it through character work, plot advancement and specific motivations. One of my favorite exercises of the evening was when I asked them to run the “Stay Frederic Stay” sequence as a spoken scene with no music. This not only helped to motivate and inform the staging, but I think it also opened the doors for a more nuanced connection to the music.
Our work on “Poor Wand’ring One” also involved character work and motivation. But we focused specifically on timing. Rather than have Mabel just stand on a rock and sing the song, we’ve added many layers of action. So now the song tells a story of a somewhat rocky courtship. It’s loads of fun.