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The production photos from The Underpants came in, and we were offered a CD of the shots for $35 that "couldn't be printed or emailed because of copyright." So I took my little digital camera and snapped photos of the photos, so they're a little distorted from the high-quality shots that would I couldn't do the one thing I wanted to do with them. I will probably order a print or two just to throw some money the photographer's way; I just can't drop a hundred bucks on photos.

Reminder: There are things you can't un-see. )
fancycwabs: (Default)
  • If recent commentary by Lore Sjöberg, Penny Arcade, and Zefrank are to be believed, Twitter seems to be undergoing a resurgence since its last resurgence a year ago. In fact, I seem to be gaining several new and strange "followers" nearly every day, so that (for once) I have more folks theoretically reading my 140 character thoughts than I, myself, read. As someone who kinda thrives on having an audience and occasionally fancies himself an aphorist, this suits me fine--as with LiveJournal, I'm not forcing anyone to subscribe to my musings or accounts of my mostly-pedestrian life.

    So why the hubbub? Clearly there are folks (myself included) who Twitter things of a less-than-compelling nature from time to time, or even all the time. If I had cause to post such a surefire winner as "Demon child at the Chinese buffet just punched me in the nuts" every day, I'd be leading a miserable existence for everyone else's entertainment. Still, I like to think that (as with my bits of text-message based whimsy, usually cc:d to Twitter, incidentally) a decent portion of my output is at least mildly amusing, and at least more entertaining than those friends of mine who post song lyrics as their Facebook status on a regular basis.

    Of course, my Facebook friendslist includes actual humans that I've met, and each and every person I follow on Twitter could be a figment of my imagination--as I am theirs.

    Incidentally, Twitter spammers are kinda sweet when you compare them to the good folks who feel compelled to share every single thing that comes through their Google Reader. At least with Twitter it's over in 140 characters, and is limited somewhat by how fast someone can type or text message.

  • Last night I went to see the touring company of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the second time in as many years (I caught it in Nashville a little over a year ago), as much to support having actual good shows come through town as to see the show again. Thanks to the mildly improvised nature of the show, and a mostly solid cast, it holds up well to repeat viewing and was well worth the steeply-discounted ticket price, but I have to remark that Memphis has some seriously lousy spellers--I was afraid that they wouldn't make it to "Catarjunes" before everyone was eliminated. I actually sat in the midst of a group of friends who had all elected independently to come see the show and somehow got seated in the same two rows. Maybe it was the discount thing.

  • They're supposed to be recording the performances of The Underpants tonight and tomorrow. I don't know if they get rights clearance to do that, or if they just flaunt the copyright law, but I'll probably be getting a copy for purposes of forcing guests to watch me. Naturally, I won't be watching it myself, as watching yourself on a television or laptop steals a little bit of your soul.
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  • Thursday night was "pay-what-you-can" night for The Underpants--I had a couple of friends show up, AND the local retirement community brought a busload of seniors, who had a blast with all the dirty jokes. Even though it was a smallish crowd, per capita it was probably the most responsive audience we've had.

  • Friday we were off: muddy, screwing up lines, weird blocking, not picking up cues. Fortunately, we recognized it during the first half of the show and tightened things up during the second half. One of the judges for the local theatre awards showed up, and seemed to have a good time in spite of the sloppy production.

  • Saturday (a show we tightened up so that it ran the way it was supposed to, with the exception of my completely muddling one line so that it came out "Plafarfs sss Versati flarble remt mummss") many of the cast members from Lysistrata showed up, along with another theatre judge. (This one had directed a production of Picasso at The Lapin Agile last season which, um, sucked. She left without saying anything to the cast, probably due to her abject shame in being pwned by a superior production of a Steve Martin play.) After the production [livejournal.com profile] hello_mimi stopped by the dressing room and gave my a much-belated Christmas mix CD (the lateness is my fault, not hers) which included exactly two and a half songs I knew (one was a cover) and eighteen other awesome songs with which I was unfamiliar. Thanks Meems! Afterward we went to our Louise's house for a little get-together and I was introduced to scads of Lysistrata folks who I probably won't remember when I next meet 'em.

  • Sunday we had a smallish house (including yet another theatre judge), but the show ran like clockwork. Afterwards we took production photos (I'll post what I can eventually) and went out for pizza.


This week: rehearsals for Little Women, line through, discounted ($30 orchestra!) tickets to the touring production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and the final weekend of Underpants. Last chance to behold my be-underweared splendor!
fancycwabs: (underpants)
They say there's no such thing as a bad review, but there can be a good review that's buried waaaaay back in the entertainment section of the paper.

...utter dismay...mistimings rule the day... )
fancycwabs: (Default)
I should have mentioned this before, but the recurring musical theme in The Underpants in the opening and interstitial music is Marlene Dietrich's "Falling in Love Again," as performed originally, and by The Puppini Sisters, and finally, by this member of the Guild of Calamitous Intent:
It's not Bowie )
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Last night was supposed to be the Friends & Family performance for The Underpants, and tonight would be the ArtsMemphis Bravo! outing to make the other preview performance. Only last night was the ArtMemphis thing and they didn't tell us, and I'd already invited some friends.

One perk, naturally, is that they had the programs out two days early--with someone else's picture next to my bio--which was enough to get me to pitch the as much of a diva fit as a heterosexual man who's generally pretty low-key about stuff could muster.

Anyway, the drunk ArtsMemphis audience laughed. More previewers tonight. Reviewer, supposedly, for the opening tomorrow night, along with the group from Germantown Presbyterian Church.
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We have our first preview audience tonight--the set wasn't finished as of yesterday, because the theatre's TD was off building a set for another company elsewhere. Hopefully he won't do something that really screws us up; block off a light, put up a trip hazard, something. We did get our last piece of set dressing yesterday--I took a photo of it, but left in in the theatre, so I'll have to make due with a description for the time being.

The set itself is mostly painted on flats--the effect being that we're living inside an Expressionist painting. A painted stove, cabinet, sink, coat rack--all with limited functionality. The oven on the painted stove opens and belches smoke when dinner is burned. The painted coatrack has real hooks camoflaged in it, so we can hang our coats on the wall.

The exception (outside of things we have to sit on, or the table set up at an outlandish rake) is a very real, antique birdcage that stands in the corner as a reference to the metaphor of Louise being trapped in her marriage. Inside that cage, as an homage to the author, we have placed a bird that is shaped like, well, this:



The cage is designed such that the bird actually looks kinda like a big yellow blob, but even if they could make it out, I doubt that anyone but the rarest of audience members would get the joke. I still think it's great.

Friends & Family performance tonight, for anyone in who wants to see the show for the low low price of zero dollars. Although frankly if anyone on my LJ friendslist comes to see the show, I'll make sure they get that price at any performance.
fancycwabs: (Default)
We have our "friends and family" preview audience next Wednesday (so if any of the semi-local folks who read this are in the mood for some free entertainment on April 9, feel free to show up), and fortunately I managed to make it through the whole show last night without calling for line. Now I just need a week to develop a consistent characterization, and handle timing, blocking changes, and tech. We did manage to run the whole show in ninety minutes last night, which is precisely where it should clock in.

The Executive Producer of the theatre sat in on the rehearsal last night, but I didn't get any feedback on the show quality. Don't know if that's good news or bad news--we tread a very narrow edge, and the chasm below us is labelled "over the top," but it is Steve Martin we're talking about here. Failure to completely commit to the insanity will be a tragedy.

Anyone who wishes to come to town for live theatrical entertainment will be bought beer, or food, or both. If you come April 25-27, you can catch The Underpants AND Room Service at Theatre Memphis, which will be amusing in a moderately different way.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Tonight I tried to describe Theo during his seduction scene as a cross between Blanche DuBois and Fred Garvin.
fancycwabs: (Default)
For The Underpants, we had a 75-word limit, which I exceeded.

Fancycwabs has previously appeared on the GCT stage as Bill Sikes in Oliver! and as Father de Leo in The Rose Tattoo. Elsewhere around town, he has appeared in The Taming of The Shrew, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on The Roof, Measure for Measure, and Kiss Me Kate, among others. A director recently told him that if he wanted to play the Mexican beach boy in Night of The Iguana, he'd have to appear without a shirt. He'd like to thank his wife Mrs. Cwabs for her support.


The bit about Night of The Iguana is true, and should prove doubly amusing when I appear onstage in my underwears.

Edit:A happy π and/or Steak & Blowjob day to those celebrating them.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Tonight at rehearsals we took some head shots and group shots for publicity, and finally got around to the business of working with our new Versati, who should turn out to be just fine. But before we could get to that, there was some unpleasant business to deal with.

It seems that sometime during the previous 24 hour period, someone had left a present in the ladies' room, neglected to flush, locked the stall door, and crawled out under the partition, so that the cleaning folks (I'm not sure they even have cleaning folks) had to crawl under the partition to unlock the door to clean the toilet. And we were all suspects.

We looked at one another, then decided it must be some of the homeschool kids who take classes there during the day.

Edit: But not before some uncomfortable discussion about the volume of poop that a five-year-old could generate in a single session.
fancycwabs: (Default)
  1. Last night we blocked (somewhat) the seduction scene in The Underpants. The woman playing Gertrude made a point of telling everyone she didn't mind being groped or anything onstage, which is good, as I'm apparently getting to second base.

  2. One of my lines in the show during the seduction scene is "Desire adjusts morality." I suggested that, translated into Latin, would be appropriate for stamping on any currency bearing the likeness of our current president.

  3. For realistic business networking instead of zombies and pirates, I've joined LinkedIn. Naturally among the first persons added to my contacts is my old professor at Georgia Tech, George P. Burdell.

  4. While googling my actual name doesn't turn up much interesting, googling "fancycwabs" gets some really exciting items (for various definitions of "exciting"):
    • A podcast of my voice post where I sing "Bakin' Cookies"
    • A joke about what a "New York Steamer" sandwich would be called if it had been invented in Cuyahoga County, from a page listing posts about the Cuyahoga County Library
    • A comment from Boing Boing under the topic "Spider-Man's Radioactive Spooge Killed Mary Jane!
    • A two-sentence review of an Amy LaVere album, snatched from here and put on its own page
    • Another comment from Boing Boing where I make conjectures about Reed Richards' intellectual capacity, putting the garage on the top floor of the Baxter Building
    • A twitter aggregator by subject called buzztter, which might be fun to play with

  5. Jones Soda makes fizzy grape candy. I can testify that it is both grape, and fizzy. For those who might be questioning my consumption of grape candy while on a diet, I suggest the following:
    • Each piece is 2.5 calories (that's US calories, Britons)
    • Screw you. Grape fizzy candy!

  6. They've blocked flickr here at work full-time now (it used to be accessible before eight and after four), so it'll be a while before I get around to showing y'all pictures of snow in Memphis, and of a barbecue sandwich I got at a cinderblock shack at the crossroads of Macon and Pisgah. I should note that the very best barbecue sandwiches in Memphis also seem to coincide primarily with places that also serve forties. Is that true in other cities?

  7. As predicted, we had to "buy the advertising" for the little cwab's High School Musical program ourselves. I don't know if that's a scam to eliminate royalty payments (which are based on ticket prices), or some other sort of scam, but between that and all the other incidental fees charged over the year, you'd think she wasn't going to public school at all.
fancycwabs: (Default)
The first proper rehearsal for The Underpants was last night, where, as per the traditional routing, we got measured for costumes, and started blocking and talking about character and design choices. The director provided us with a concept painting of the set:
Underpants set

Which is supposed to evoke the background of a Munch painting, with expressionist lines and forced perspective. Then we started in with the blocking, and he said he wanted to have the first scene setup as "The Honeymooners as directed by Ingmar Bergman," just to throw the audience off balance somewhat.

Also, we have located a Versati, who has the potential of being absolutely hilarious.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Last night was the first read-through for The Underpants, at the director's house. Being a proper guest, I decided to bring some peppered salami and cheese over for general consumption, and picked up some delicious Volpi Romano Salame from Schnuck's, where the nice lady at the deli counter told me that they couldn't slice it for me unless I paid for it in advance. Once I'd paid for it (up front) I brought it back where the other, not-so-nice lady told me that they didn't do that, and she had to be corrected by the nice lady. The not-so-nice lady begrudgingly took the salami, set the slicer to the thickest possible setting, and cut it into twenty-eight 3/16" thick slices without asking how I'd like it. If I were more confrontational, I'd probably have gotten it for free, and another one sliced properly. Still, it was quite popular at the readthrough.

Reading through the show, with minor interruptions, took about an hour and fifteen minutes, by a rough estimate--we should be able to knock the whole thing out in an hour and a half. Nothing elicited many chuckles during the readthrough, until the scene where Theo attempts to seduce Gertrude, which got a pretty good laugh every line for a page or so, but I'm thinking we'll have a pretty good audience response, since the author's name will have them in the mood for comedy.

The first really good punchline doesn't hit until the second page, and it's only a bone thrown to those of us who really like Picasso at The Lapin Agile:
LOUISE
The whole event lasted two seconds!
THEO
Haven't you heard? Time is relative. (He references the newspaper)

It's a great joke, but I fear it may fly over the heads of many of our audience members.

Fortunately, there are fart jokes later in the show, so it'll have something for everyone!

Official rehearsals begin next Monday, and I'll keep everyone apprised of anecdotes as they occur. For those of you who might want to make a drive to Memphis for a weekend's entertainment, the show runs April 11-27, I'll be appearing onstage in my underwear, and there's a pretty decent bar across the street for pre-performance bracers, or for post-performance memory loss induction.

Also, new "Underpants" tag. I might make an icon, too.
fancycwabs: (baby)
Those of you on my text-message-whimsy list are undoubtedly aware of this already, but for the past 24 hours I've had the theme to "Thundercats" stuck in my head. Only instead of "Thundercats," they're singing "Underpants."

Please, make it stop.
fancycwabs: (Elvis)
One question I seem to be getting a lot these days amounts basically to, "What is The Underpants about?"

For help, I direct everyone to the the illustrations of Mr. Art Frahm, as annotated by Mr. James Lileks (of questionable SFWitude). Now, imagine that one of the young ladies illustrated is living in turn-of-the-century Germany, and is married to a government employee, who is renting a room in their apartment in order to make ends meet. Hijinks ensue.

All of the underpants-dropping takes place offstage, much to the chagrin of the fetishists in the audience, probably.

In other news, I have been recruited to do a performance or three of Twelve Angry Men, except in two night of auditions, they've only managed to come up with six angry men, and now they're out beating the bushes to find six additional angry men.

Unfortunately with the nature of the person doing the bushes-beating, and the smell of desperation coming from the show, I'm afraid they're going to end up with Six or Seven Angry Men and Some Additional FABulous Men, and Maybe Some Women, Who May Or May Not Be Angry, The Total Number of Persons Represented Being Twelve. Such is life, I guess.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Got the call this evening just before walking into the theatre for A Christams Carol: I'll be playing Theo in the local premiere of Carl Sternheim and Steve Martin's The Underpants. Now I've really got to lose some weight, as I'll need to appear onstage in no more than a pair of boxers in just over four months.

Unfortunately, it means I've got to drop out of Room Service. It's not officially been cast, so I'm not "dropping out" per se, but I still feel a little crappy that I won't be able to do it, as it looked like it was going to be a lot of fun. Assuming, of course, that I'd actually been cast.

To celebrate, we screwed up a dance number in A Christmas Carol and had some of the younger male cast members place an electronic farting box in one of the set pieces for fun. I presume they made it go off during the "Christmas Pageant" as the kids had great difficulty keeping it together.

I was once fourteen, too, and still occasionally find flatulence extremely amusing, but really, once someone's shelled out twenty-five clams to see a show, they deserve better than pootsterpiece theatre.
fancycwabs: (Elvis)
Tonight's opening night for A Christmas Carol, which is going well enough. I've got two dances during the show--for an untrained, overweight, formerly Southern Baptist white guy I guess I do okay. I've had a couple of people remark on how well I dance. Hopefully by the end of the run my legs won't be sore every night, and maybe I'll have dropped a pound or two.

During Wednesday night's dress rehearsal, Turkey Boy ("What day is today?" "What are you, nuts? It's Christmas" "Oh, the spirits have done it all in one night--go get a Turkey for Bob Cratchit" "Okay") stuck a pin into one of the electrical outlets running in the raceway that also contains the dressing room makeup lights, and tripped the circuit breaker for those lights, sending the dressing room into semi-darkness for the remainder of the rehearsal. How he's managed to make it to fifteen or so without winning a Darwin award is beyond me.

Auditions this weekend: I've been asked to go out for Officer Krupke in West Side Story--such is the curse of being 37, I guess. It sucks to be stuck with a non-singing role in that particular show, though. Also, auditions for The Underpants, which I actually want very much to do. In fact, it's the single show I want most, and it has a role that's ideal for me. Now I just have to arrange getting it. ALSO this weekend, auditions for The Great American Trailer Park Musical which is mostly precast, and Scapin, which I've been previously informed that I won't be getting a part in by the director.