As Mr. Batali might say. We're gettin' mighty close. We've been busy little beavers getting ready for the opening of the Italian show which is only a few days away now. It seems to have gone so fast - but I have to say having few more days than normal (ESPECIALLY after the whirlwind seven day lunacy of the Judy/Mickey show) really helps things feel less nutty. The cast is doing sooo well. They are really focused, really fast, and all sound just terrific. In fact I have a little preview for ya, if you're interested... I actually took this the first day that we finalized the big ending of the Sinatra medley...and since then it's been cut in half. So the version you're seeing is like a 'dvd extra features 'director's cut' version. It's rough in spots cuz they were just learning it - but you can sure tell how great they are...REHEARSAL OF 'MY WAY'
Thank goodness we have Jordan and his Italian language skills - cuz I didn't even REALIZE how much actual Italian is in this show... so many of those great Dean Martin songs etc. have big chunks of italian in them. And apparently half the time Dean isn't even singing correct Italian! So it ain't easy. And sometimes, when we are doing songs that don't have printed sheet music (and Tim has to chart it from a recording) without Jordan we never would have had a CLUE what they were saying. Of course, on one or two occasions I've reassured Carl that the per capita in Huntington of those fluent in Italian is not allllll that high.
Although we've had several ticket orders under the name "Gallucci" - which certainly has us all excited for at least one group who might recognize our attention to detail. Or possibly put out a hit on us if it's incorrect.
We've had the latest addition to the Supper Club family. Our stage manager Nathan arrived a few days ago from Philadelphia. He's bunking at Jean Anne's and he's fit into the chaos just perfectly. Finding a stage manager you get along with is actually kind of like trying to find a perfect date... it's all about personality compatablity. Nathan is just awesome - organized... dedicated...funny. And most importantly, he gets every obscure musical theatre joke that I make. i think he's a keeper. We'll just chain him and keep in Jean Anne's doggy cage during our off season :) Tragically I do NOT yet have pictures of him yet. I'll remedy that soon, promise.
Meanwhile - some of these photographs don't quite seem to illustrate quite how hard we are working...
It actually makes evertything a lot easier having people return who have already worked in the space. The newbies can kind of watch how they work the audience angles, and pick that up really quickly... and it also really helps to have two people be able to reassure new blood that a) Rich and I and his Mom may look like the strangest production team on the universe, but we actually do pull it off... and b) Tim is actually human and will eventually remember what song he is playing in what show in what key by opening night. Or soon thereafter :)
Carl's birthday was yesterday and thanks to his parents ordering a beautiful surprise cake from Brocks cakery, and us ordering him a cake, and MARGARET making two deserts for a special actor barbeque that night... basically no one in the cast can move for the next three days. I am also VERY VERY VERY excited for the shows to start because I am craving the ravioli that Jean Anne is making. At the taste test it was instantly my favorite Supper Club meal ever... so I'm very excited. Apparently the Berlin show is getting prime rib as an option which Rich and Janice have been campaigning for since before Joan River's first face lift.
We had an ALMOST very very surprise visit from the Arts Council in Bluffton. We only found out that they were coming for a tour of the theatre when we read about it... in the newspaper! Apparently letting us know had slipped through the cracks... so it's good that Rich is up on his current events! They were a lovely group and we let them watch a fifteen minute rehearsal for them...we picked a few songs that showed a range of what's in the show and were in really good shape. I think they particularly liked Three Coins in a Fountain which Angie does just beautifully.
Usually some of the songs go through more flux than we've had on this show... the only real big change we've had after day one was the cutting of 'Santa Lucia' which I had given Jill. It's unfortunately not a song designed for a girl, and I thought it would be fine in her voice... but there is apparently a reason why only guys sing it. It's range is really odd, and it just sits strangely in a girls voice (I was really astounded to learn after the fact that none of the big divas have ever recorded it - i'm sure for that reason). So, since we hadn't managed to represent Bobby Darin in the show, when Jill finally said she just didn't think she was happy singing it, we pulled out an alternate for her that's gonna really kick butt. So - as we almost always find in rehearsal - fixing a problem makes for a way cooler solution.
Meanwhile, as we've been working on our stuff, Rich and Janice have been cleaning and spraying and working on the twenty new chairs we need for the additional seating. Today Margaret and Janice got half of them uphoulstered (thank GOODNESS Hobby Lobby still had the same fabric!)
The wireless mics really make everything a whole new world for staging. It's sometimes a little overwhelming because I have so many more movement options than before... we haven't once had to be concerned about UNWINDING - everything used to be choreographed in a pattern that then went back around on itself so that the cord untangled again... or at least managed to wind and wind until the end of the number when they could unravel during my talking. People may not notice the difference - but we are doing countless little staging things we never could have done before now. Such as tamborine acrobatics....
Today was day one of tech. We've started a whole new calendar which is working a lot better I think. We used to tech the show the day before opening - and we're now starting several days before that. Because of the slightly longer rehearsal time we're able to be ready by then, and it means we can split it over two days rather than a icky marathon which runs late into the night and gets us all testy and tired. Of course the danger is that Rich and Nathan are up in booth together for two full days...which means he's in great danger of being brainwashed and indoctronated into being a Najuch. Before long he'll be salivating for Black Friday.