Spring-ing into action.

Ok - so Puxatony Phil messed up a little bit… but the weather is JUST starting to warm up enough that team Najuch can go into the auditorium without instantly freezing into a Han Solo carbonyte position. :)  In the past few days they've gotten a bunch of progress made, so i'm gonna share...

Rich and Janice actually just got back about two weeks ago from a trip to New England to visit family.  This involves the annual tour of "food that they only make good in New Hampshire".  Top of this list… and I not making this up… Chinese food.  Apparently the wok was perfected by the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock and no one anywhere else has quite has the same knack.

Po was not thrilled that Daddy was leaving.  Or at least not taking her with him.  Po, by the way, is much less picky about her Chinese food.  As long as she gets the fortune cookie.

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We had some delightful fun with our website a few days ago.  Apparently the server was hacked or something and www.TheNewHuntington.com was diverted to… and I am not making this up… www.badonkadonk.net
Suffice it to say that whatever Rich and I might EVER be selling… it would never ever be available on badonkadonk.net  BTW the definition, according to the urban dictionary, of 'badonkadonk' is as follows:  'an ebonic expression for an extremely curvaceous female behind.  Women who possess this feature usuallyhave a small waist that violently explodes into a round and juicy posterior."  Don't say i never taught you anything. We did briefly consider leaving that version website up, doing a musical tribute to JLo, and see whether we sold more tickets.

My teaching this semester is going fine… I decided to try something relatively wacky and, in order to help my students liberate their voices and make big strong character choices, they did their first rehearsal for their final scene using… sock puppets.  Yes - I am having people in my COLLEGE LEVEL class perform scenes from 'Moneyball', 'Steel Mangnolias', 'Training Day' and 'A Few Good Men' with sock puppets.

The kids got 30 points of extra credit for "puppet enhancement"… Some of them were pretty great.

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In case you were wondering - that is Annelle from Steel Magnolias.  

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This student is a pre-med major… look what he did with a SOCK!!!  Amazing. I'm telling you - you give this kid a pair an elastic band and a pipe cleaner and he'll probably have the cure for cancer by lunch.

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We have our summer cast all lined up… and I am thrilled with them.  Seriously - over the moon.  We had so many submissions it was insanity - but a good problem to have.  About 450 actors submitted for the job and THEN we had the group auditions in NYC where Rich sees about 700 more over three days.  It was the first time I couldn't handle going through all the resumes and youtube stuff myself - so Rich and I kinda split it between us.  Kyra (Huntington's favorite pocket-sized Jew) helped us out in the auditions and our musical director, Adam was there for every minute of the fun.  It was the first time we've ever had the musical director around for these three days of summer auditions and it was GREAT - it makes it so much easier when you have another pair of ears in the room.

And we debuted our fun new audition banner.

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About 24 hours into the whole craziness our Summer12 baby Ethan Carpenter sent us a text saying he would really like to come back for the summer, if we were interested in having him.  Well - Ethan is fantastic and we knew he would set a great example for the new cast members. (This is actually an important thing... This job is so unique and the discipline so specific that having someone who has done it before to show them when they NEED to work and when it's ok to play, is invaluable. It also helps to have someone around when their brains start exploding to say "it's ok... you'll learn it, I promise".)  So, with Ethan in the mix, it rapidly became a game of piecing a cast together around his particular skills.  The plus side: you know you have a great person in place.  But, that means you have little less flexibility when you are searching for the other puzzle pieces.  It's sort of like deciding to bake a cake... you can make ANY kind of cake you want. And then someone says "Guess what - I went to the store and bought you CARROTS for your cake!" Suddenly you probably aren't gonna be looking for chocolate chips to round out the ingredients.

THEN, later the same day, sheepishly walking down the hallway, Kyra said she would like to come back too!  We love them both, but it's important for us to have new people as well - especially for the summers. After all our audience has already seen those two do 3 shows TOGETHER.  So we thought Christmas would be a perfect fit for Kyra, and asked her if she would do that.  She was psyched. So… it's gonna be a dreidel-tastic Christmas show.  Kyra, the overachiever of the century - is already sending me spreadsheets of holiday songs that she likes.  In various categories.  And, after five years of Holiday songs, having a new detective on the case scouring for fun stuff is a welcome relief! And yes, she is available for hourly hire as a Kosher Elf. She might advise you to leave Santa vegetarian cookies... so your gifts might suck this year.

Our alumni have kept us very busy running around the country seeing them in shows!  Jill was doing a fantastic production of "Sunset Boulevard" in Chicago, we caught Will in "Next to Normal" in Indianapolis, and we drove five hours to see Carl and Ethan do Les Miserables in Ohio.  Ethan has been a busy, busy boy...the other night he went on as an understudy as one of the leads in Forever Plaid. The show hadn't even officially opened - so the understudies had not yet had a single rehearsal.  And so, this summer will be TOTALLY relaxing for him :) 

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Last week we went and saw Kyra in a touring production of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" - in which she was playing the leading role of Alexander.  It's sort of like the children's theatre version of Glenn Close doing Albert Nobbs.  Hence the sassy short haircut.  Janice, Rich and I raised the average age demographic up to at least age six. After the show we thought we'd grab a bite to eat. And, guess what, in the middle of the Midwest Kyra found us a bagel factory! So to recap... Chinese food: New England. Jewish Baked Goods: Indiana. (the picture is crummy - but that says 'Barry Bagels".

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That's all for today. I have another update on the building progress on Thursday for everyone. Till then you'll just have to wait with baited breath! Now that Spring is in action I'll be more regular again with the blog, promise!