It’s a busy time as we move ever closer to opening night.
Several cast and production team members, along with the full orchestra, are featured in a video segment which will air on UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Weekend” this coming Thursday. The show’s Julia Carpenter conducted several interviews and shot footage of a staging rehearsal as well as an orchestral rehearsal. That adds up to about 4 hours of footage which she’ll have to whittle down to four minutes. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.
And I’ve just seen the results of the publicity photo shoot from last week. Photographer Joe Cohn did a fantastic job, the actors were great, and the costumes look incredible. It was a tough decision to choose just a few photos from the 170 or so which were shot, but Producer Karen Guidry and I have chosen a few which we think convey the fun and the flair of our production. Featured in the photos are: Stuart Albert as Major General Stanley; Mary Elisabeth Hirsch as Mabel; Kenny Cruz as Frederic; Elizabeth A. Clark as Ruth; and Jim Burnette, Jr. as Pirate King.
Speaking of costumes, the photo shoot was my first glimpse of the fantastic work Costume Designer Diane Woodard has done on the the costumes. We’d agreed on some general concepts in early production meetings and have been in touch often to discuss new ideas and fabric selections. But finally seeing it all come together is a real thrill. The layers, and colors and textures are gorgeous; and each costume perfectly suits the character. I can’t wait to see the rest.
And, of course, we’ve been rehearsing. Stage Manager Donna Cavallo, Asst. Stage Manager Lyle Bass and Asst. Choreographer Pam Guidry-Vollers, along with Music Director Alan Riley Jones, led a rehearsal on Friday night which focused on cleaning up spacing issues and formations. Special thanks to Set Designer Richard Dideriksen for taping out the groundplan for the set in the rehearsal room. This was immensely helpful in fine-tuning the staging and making certain the blocking and choreography work on the set the way I’d envisioned. We had a great run-through of the entire show on Sunday afternoon. We did stop and start a bit to address remaining issues and to review material. But, overall, the production is in lovely shape. There are some persistant mistakes which need to be erased and a few unsolved problems to address, but we still have over a week of rehearsals, and we will put that time to good use. The fact that we are now polishing material and even adding new elements indicates that we are right where we need to be. We’ll keep working. And we’ll be ready to share our work with audiences March 14-24 at the Carolina Theater in downtown Durham.