Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our First Review!

Our first review is out!

Another congrats to the cast and crew!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opening Weekend = A Huge Success!

Mad props and congratulations go out to every single member of the cast and crew for a FABULOUS opening weekend!!!!

I'm not going to lie, we had some rough rehearsals last week. But man, did you guys pull it all together for a great, great show.

I think the highlight of the weekend was during Sunday's performance (by the way, to anyone who saw the show Sunday evening, the whole cast mentioned what a great audience you were -- not that Friday and Saturday's audiences weren't great, but Sunday's crowd was incredibly responsive for it's size). During "911 Emergency!", one of the running crew came back into the dressing room, where I was patiently waiting to help Rikki Howie (Sister Chantelle) with her quick change, and said, "Where's Rikki's wig?"

Well, the last time I'd seen Rikki's wig, it had been on her head, and since she was onstage, I assumed it still was. So I went to the wings and peeked out onstage, and sure enough, Rikki's out there singing her heart out with a bare head.

There was a mad scramble as everyone backstage tried to locate the missing wig. Michael Shaaff (Alan) finally found it -- onstage, in the archway. Turns out, when Rikki went onstage, the beehive of her wig knocked against the set and it fell off -- but since she only had one hand free, she couldn't put it back on, so she just left it and continued with the scene.

No big deal -- it's live theatre, these things happen. I retreat to the hallway to wait for Rikki's quick change, and as the scene ends, I hear Rikki tell Carla Okouchi (Rory) and Janelle Delaney (Tanya) to "Come on, girls -- and grab my wig!"

Well, the audience thought it was hilarious, so no harm, no foul.

Once again, major congrats and a huge round of applause to everyone who's worked so hard on this show. If you haven't seen it yet, come see it. It's good. I promise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Depths of Alan

Michael Schaaff, who plays Alan in "bare", sent this to me yesterday, so I am giving you all a Thursday Update :)

Originally this was going to be a journal of sorts of Alan's thoughts throughout the show. It turned into more of an essay, but Mike says it really helped him with the character even this late in the game. I think every actor should do this for their characters about halfway through the rehearsal process -- it's amazing what you discover about the character, the show, and yourself.

When I was cast for this show, I was really excited about the concept. From what I had heard, it sounded great. Once I read the synopsis I was sold. I was playing the nerdy kid. Huh, I can play that cause that's what I was in high school. Long shot for me, I know. So we started up rehearsal. Initially I kinda just classified myself as ensemble and was content with just being moving scenery. As we were progressing along with rehearsals I started to wonder were Alan fit into this group who has known each other "since 7th grade". He had to be more than just moving scenery. Alan is considered the nerdy guy, counterpart to Diane. He's the standard smart, follow the rules, good student, which in high school is a nerd. He's the norm that the other guys are branched off of, making him seem plain. What makes this character special? One of the themes this show has is "hear my voice". It's about young people wanting acceptance and the way I see the Alan character, he wants to be accepted as more than just the nerd and maybe more than just a friend. Most "nerds", and anyone for that matter, can relate to the feeling of wanting to be with someone but going unnoticed. In Alan's case, it's Diane. She clearly likes Jason and Alan can't compete with that. So he remains content to be her friend, always hoping one day to be seen. When the Jason/Peter/Ivy stuff goes down, I feel that Alan is on the "intellectual" side of the responses to the situation. How would/should he respond? He's got scientific facts. There are all kinds of case studies and data showing that being gay is genetic with some influence from environment. It's the old nature vs. nurture question. Does he choose scientific fact over religion? An even more posing question is, does he choose religion over a friend? What's right? Does he go break free of the "rule-following obedient kid" mold? While he doesn't have the lines to express his feelings, as he is just an ensemble character, I feel that a friend to Alan is everything. As a nerd in high school you come to cherish your grades and your friends. High school is rough and you need support to make it through. I don't think Alan would be the kind of person to throw away a friendship. Social acceptance is vital to a "nerd". Have you ever really met a mean nerd? If you have they are very few and far between.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Show is Good, Come See It.

It's hard to believe we only have three days left until we open (sorry to all cast members who read that and had a heart attack).

Everyone is working really, really hard on this show. This cast is so dedicated, and the crew is working their tails off to put the cast in the best light possible. Metaphorical light, I mean. Literal light too, as well as props, costumes, hair, and all that, but really, I meant the crew is working hard to make the cast look as good as they are.

I would like to give a special shout-out to our assistant director, Keith Ryder, to thank him for the sinfully delicious margarita truffles last night. And, you know, for all his hard work, but seriously, those truffles were possibly the most incredible thing I have ever eaten -- and that's saying a lot, because I really like food.

In the coming weeks we will probably have journals from some of the characters, as written by the actors playing them. I'm hoping to do this; we'll see if the cast is too burned out from performing 3 nights a week to chronicle their adventures for me (can't really blame them if they are, especially given how hard they've been working up to this point, but since they're the ones who suggested these journals to me, I'm assuming they will write them).

I feel like this isn't really a very exciting post. I would like to share some pictures, but I don't have any (too bad, too, those are always good for making the post look longer!). At this point we've all been at the theatre until so late that I think everyone is on auto-pilot, including me, so it's hard to make my brain think of anything to say besides "the show is good, come see it."


The show is good.

Come see it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On a more serious note ...

Up till now these posts have been full of jokes and witticisms, but I want to stop and take a moment to be a little more serious.

We open in (according to Leah's Facebook status) 10 days. Wow.

From what I've seen of rehearsals so far, this cast is amazing. So strong, so dedicated. I'm really proud to be a part of this show. You guys are awesome. Even in the face of health crises, exhaustion, and family emergencies, you're still giving it your all and rocking it out every night.

To the crew: You guys rock just as hard. The set looks amazing; Molly Hicks has done an incredible job turning Styrofoam into stone; Kevin King and Rick Wilson have constructed a truly awesome set with all sorts of moving pieces; Theresa Bender has thrown herself into props to the point of driving all the way from Herndon to Rockville at 9 AM to acquire free silk rose petals; Colleen Stock is hands-down the most cheerful and dedicated stage manager I've ever had the pleasure of working with ... the list goes on and on.

I haven't heard the band yet, but I know they're going to be fantastic as well; they always are.

And to ramp it back up a notch to my usual irreverence, the penis piñata is dead. I believe it went down something like this:

Scene: Onstage, during a rehearsal. Cast members are attacking each other with the penis piñata.

Voice from the house: Guys! Stop beating each other with the penis!

The cast member holding the penis piñata drops it on the floor. It cracks. The head now dangles lifelessly from the shaft.

We will be duct-taping it back together for rehearsals and making a new one for the shows, but still, this is a sad day. Let's all please take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of this beloved new cast member.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Piñata Party

So I promised you all a Thursday post if Asher sent me the pictures Michael told me he was going to send. Well, he didn't, but Brittany did, so Brittany is today's official Blog Superhero, and she gets extra superhero points for being as nerdy as me to the point of Googling the word "piñata" so that she could paste it into an email and have the proper accent on it. I thought I was the only one that anal retentive -- good to know I'm not!

Okay, so this post is about the piñata-making party a few of our cast members had earlier this week. During the show, there is a birthday party, and at this birthday party is a piñata shaped like a penis. Now, this is not an easy thing to acquire, nor is it cheap, so the cast decided to make their own penis piñata. Below, find pictures from this endeavor, courtesy of Brittany Washington (who says the piñata is apparently pretty heavy, so we're going to hope she doesn't take out and cast/audience members while she swings it around onstage!).

Early on in the process (pre-papier-mâché [see, I can Google for accents too!]). Michael concentrates very hard. I'm fairly certain he's trying to create the head, but I really don't know.

Now that the head is attached to the shaft, Brian begins to cover it in papier-mâché.
Yes, this is slightly out of order, but it would take a really long time to delete this picture and go back and left-justify it, because I'd also have to delete all the others and re-justify them, because my computer is being really slow. At any rate, this is Michael, peering at us through the penis. A little weird, that.

Asher blow-dries the papier-mâché once the penis is assembled.
These next few photos are actually from set building on Sunday, but I figured I would include them as well.
Our lovely set -- that's me on the left, laden down with bags of costuming paraphernalia, then Brittany, Michael, and Kevin's dad Mike.
Michael and Theresa being craaaaazzzzzyyyyy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

2 Weeks Out!!!

We are almost 2 weeks out from opening night, ladies and gentlemen. Who's ready?

It's a scary time for a theatre group, to be 2 weeks away from opening. Kevin King (our technical director) and I were talking last night, and he said "I feel like we're behind, but if you think about it, in the old theatre we wouldn't have even been in the space yet, so I guess we're actually ahead!"
It's true. When 2nd Flight was just 2nd Flight, and we performed at the Cramer Center in Manassas, we wouldn't even move into the space until 2 weeks before the show went up (which would be this coming weekend). We'd build stuff ahead of time, but we wouldn't be able to really put it together until we were in the space.

And I have to say, this set is going to kick butt. Right now it's not painted or anything, it's just the skeleton, but it's awesome. Mad props to Kevin and Rick Wilson (our other technical director) and all the others who helped work on it so far (Theresa Bender, Brittany Washington, Asher Miller, Michael Schaaff, Kevin's dad Mike, and I'm sure there are others but these are the people I have actually seen working on it).

On another tech-related note, if you ever need cheap fabic, go to Wal*Mart. Their dollar-a-yard racks have costumed more shows for me than I can count. Go in with an open mind regarding color and weight of the fabric, and you're bound to find something that will work really well. Don't go in planning to be picky; you'll never find exactly what you want. Looking for something specific in the dollar-a-yard rack is like looking for a vintage Versace evening gown at the Sterling Goodwill. Not gonna happen.

That's about all I've got for today, but I have it on good authority that I may have some fodder for a Thursday update coming my way. I won't make promises, since it's not within my control whether or not the photos I've been told of appear in my inbox, but if they do, there will be an exciting story about the making of a certain special prop.

In the meantime, here are a couple more rehearsal photos, courtesy of Traci J. Brooks.

I actually watched this in rehearsal, and in person, it was even funnier than this picture. Poor Tara and Dan were trying to sing lovingly to each other, paper in hand, while Dan grabs Tara's butt to keep her from falling. Without the paper, she'll be able to hold on better, so he won't have to grip so hard, so it won't look as funny. But in rehearsal, it made me laugh.

This is one of two classic Ryan onstage poses. The other pose looks like Superman posing on top of a building with his cape billowing in the wind (though usually there's no billowing cape, for Ryan). When I go to see Ryan onstage, I always look for these poses -- I don't think it's on purpose that he does them, it's just that the roles I've seen him in lend themselves well to these "I'm singing very passionately out ot the audience" types of poses. I'm not making fun of you, Ryan. You know I love you.

A rare tender moment between Ivy and Nadia. I'm not entirely sure if this is actually Ivy and Nadia, or Juliet and the Nurse, but regardless, it's one of the few times Brittany's character isn't calling Tara's character a ho-face.

And finally, we have a not-so-tender moment between Ivy and Jason. Ivy looks like she's about to stab him in the face, then laugh about it. I'm not 100% sure what's actually going on here, but I can tell you that Ivy does not actually stab Jason in the face. Unless Debbie took some interesting directorial liberties that I'm not aware of. Which I don't think she did.
That's all for this particular update Tuesday! Come back on thursday and see if Asher sent me what he was supposed to (and if he didn't, you'll know it's his fault you don't have a story, not mine!).