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fancycwabs: (sweeney)
Thanks to a black costume, dark lighting, and staging requiring me to be in profile a good chunk of the time, I appear as a set of disembodied hands in many of the Sweeney Todd production photos where I appear (it also doesn't help that they were taken during first dress, where lots of the lighting wasn't yet fixed).

But there ARE a couple of decent ones in the set: )

Oh yeah, I forgot. The other review, in which I'm actually mentioned! Again (outside of the set, which I liked), I couldn't find much to really disagree with--although I would have liked the chorus getting a mention.

While I'm editing: Last night about thirty folks in the audience bolted--BOLTED--from the theatre during curtain call. Thanks a bunch, assholes; you don't have to clap, but racing from the place like the building's on fire isn't cool, even if the show sucks.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Our Judge Turpin had a smallish part in 21 Grams, which was shot here in town, and today told us that on one of the days that Naomi Watts and Sean Penn were supposed to be filming a love scene, she'd spent a considerable amount of time waiting, unclothed, in bed on the closed set, while he failed to appear. Finally, an assistant came up with word that Mr. Penn Would Arrive Momentarily, He Was Having His Butt Shaved.

In honor of this pronouncement, I lightly smacked myself on the ass when I told the judge onstage that there was stubble upon his cheek. Perhaps he HAD been a bit hasty in his morning ablutions.

In other Sweeney news, at today's matinee performance the Judge raped Lucy so hard that her wig fell off onstage. Or that's the way we're putting it, anyway.
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Sunday's performance had the usual matinee flukes: The bird I was supposed to kill fell out of the cage onto the stage early on in the scene, and nobody thought to pick it up, so it just lay there dead for the duration, while the stage manager gave me a replacement. I palmed it (as much as someone can palm a six-inch long bird), and when the time came, I reached into the empty cage, turned my hand over, and voila! Magic bird appearance! My castmates were impressed, anyway. The audience was probably still staring at the original dead bird lying on the ground in the spotlight, which eventually got kicked offstage during the transition to "Pirelli's Elixir."

Later, at the end of the "Sweet Polly Plunket" section of "Parlor Songs," I threw up the horns, which got a laugh, even if it was mostly out-of-character. I later apologized to Mrs. Lovett for deviating from the script, but she hadn't even noticed that I'd made the gesture.

I don't know if it was stress-related, depression-related (I hope not), or just garden-variety exhaustion, but about 8 last night I fell out and slept for nearly ten hours, waking up at 11 for a minute or so and again at 3. I'm hoping that was a one-shot deal to get some sleep cycle things back in order.
fancycwabs: (sweeney)
Sweeney Todd had its preview night last night, and everybodys mothers and sycophantic friends who got free tickets said it was a great show. I'm a little too close to it to offer an objective opinion, but there are a couple of things worth sharing:
  • The chorus--especially the ladies--is tight. I've NEVER gotten the musical chills at a Theatre Memphis show before (and they've put on shows where by rights I should have), and there are no fewer than three places where I'm all like, "DAMN, what was that?"

  • There are moments in the show that you may not have ever heard or seen before--particularly a moment at the end that both telegraphs the big plot twist and heightens the sense of tragedy; so even if an audience member's memorized both cast albums from the original production and the revival, they'll have a (slightly) different emotional experience here.

  • It goes without saying, but if you've only seen the Tim Burton movie, you've never seen the show. I can't speak for everyone in the cast, but honestly I'd just as soon forget that the Burton movie ever existed--perhaps we could call it "non-canon" or something, like it was bad Sweeney Todd fanfic.

  • I'm holding all of my long notes to the very end.


So, everyone buy a ticket to Memphis and come see.
fancycwabs: (Default)
At Sunday's Sweeney Todd rehearsal, I was told that I'd be making an entrance playing the harmonium while riding on the rotating set piece, which reminded me of another famous musical number:


Sadly, only one other person in the room got it. I felt really, really old, in spite of the fact that it was more obscurity than age that probably generated the quizzical looks.

I recall playing the board game "Taboo" in college (early 1993), and having to get my teammates to say the word "Parliament" without using words like "British" or "Congress" or "Legislature," and so I said "Funkadelic" and "George Clinton." Everyone in the room looked at me funny, as if I'd suddenly begun reciting the pledge of allegiance in Japanese. Later, they chastised me: "What the hell does Psychadelic have to do with Parliament? Bill Clinton? You idiot! I'm never playing with you again!"

Later in the rehearsal, someone had a question about who wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, which led to a brief but amusing discussion of Sacks-Minnelli Disease. I think they thought I was Making Shit Up, when in reality I was just repeating other people's Made Up Shit.

After rehearsal, I had auditions for History Boys, which went okay--considering that the director didn't have me read for the one part I'd listed as an interest and had me read instead for a part I'm about twelve years too old to play. We'll see what happens (the younger part is, incidentally, a better part, but it's still meant for a 25-year-old).

Then, beer and hot wing rolls at the Blue Monkey, for Tugbucket's birthday.
fancycwabs: (Default)
As the Beadle, I don't have a ton of lines, even though I'm a bit of a menacing presence the whole show. However, towards the end of the play, I have a conversation with Sweeney wherein I ask "Oh, do you pomade the head? I dearly love a pomaded head!" This line seems rife for a bit of ad-libbing during rehearsals. Some options:
  • Oh, do you do a fauxhawk (mullet)? I dearly love a fauxhawk (mullet)!

  • Oh, do you do a Pete Rose (Gordie Howe) haircut? I dearly love a Pete Rose (Gordie Howe) haircut!

  • Oh, do you trim nose (ear) hair? Mine is getting to combover length, and I dearly love an unblocked nose (ear)!

  • Oh, do you have those magazines where I can select a haircut on a model and get angry when the haircut doesn't make me look like the model? I dearly love that!

  • Oh, do you do genital piercing? I dearly love a Prince Albert!

  • Oh, do you do a bikini wax? I'm getting a little wooly down there, and would dearly love a clean scrotum!

  • Oh, do you do a Jherri Curl? I dearly love a Jherri Curl!

  • Oh, do you do back tattoos? I dearly love a tramp stamp!

  • Oh, can you put my hair in little golden ringlets, like Shirley Temple? I dearly love to wear a sailor suit and have an oversized lollipop with that haircut!


Also, I'm slightly concerned that Mitzi Hamilton will come see the show for some reason, and will decide to cast me as a completely overweight Little Mary Sunshine in Chicago. Stupid high notes.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Sweeney Todd had its' first rehearsal last night. We muddled through the script with everyone kinda singing everything, and we got through the whole thing in about 2:45. We've got a good cast, although I'm concerned that some of the men in the chorus didn't appear to be singing; hopefully that's an "unfamiliar with the material" problem which will be corrected with rehearsal. I KNOW I'm singing the wrong notes at the first rehearsal, but I go ahead and sing 'em loudly Fortunately, as the Beadle, my singing job is way easier than the rest of the chorus. I don't think I actually have any complex minor-key harmonies until after I die and come back for the big finale.

The set designer (who does the best work I've ever seen on a non-equity stage, especially with his one-room sets) showed us the set model and talked a bit about the production design. It's a fairly bold choice, but I don't know if I like it. Let's just say it's informed by the Trent Reznor / Marilyn Manson school of design and the horror movies that were, in turn, derived from those--it may not have a broad appeal to the traditional Theatre Memphis season ticket-holder; but then Nine Inch Nails' fanbase are getting older, too. It'll certainly be "edgy," and the blood will hopefully not be as Pythonesque as the Burton version.

Updates as they come! Runs October 17-Nov 2--get your tickets now! I'd say to ask for "Splatter Zone" seating, but I don't think the orchestra would appreciate being between the stage and a "splatter zone."
fancycwabs: (Elvis)
Okay intarwebs, time for the wisdom of public opinion to provide me with characterization, especially since the "mostly Shatner" version of Professor Bhaer was a rousing success.

(Mild apologies for a couple of obscure references, which may be a little esoteric for our youthful and/or international readers. They were absolutely necessary.)
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