Archive for the 'Theatre' Category

18
Jul
13

Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight!

Little Shop of Horrors“On the twenty-third day of the month of September, in an early year of a decade not too long before our own, the human race suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence. And this terrifying enemy surfaced, as such enemies often do, in the seemingly most innocent and unlikely of places…”

The Thibodaux Playhouse production of Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight at 7:30! Visit ThibodauxPlayhouse.com for ticket information, and be sure to share the Facebook event with your friends!

08
Oct
10

Another OPH Delay…

I’m really sorry, guys, but the next chapter of OPH won’t be online today as I’d intended. I’ve got the day off from work, which would have given me plenty of time to record and edit a 30-minute episode, but I woke up to a pretty horrific discovery. I’ve got no voice.

Let me restate that: I’m in a play that has a show at 7:30 p.m. tonight and I have no voice.

I didn’t notice it right away. I woke up and proceeded in the usual daily routine, and as I was alone I didn’t have any reason to talk to anyone. My throat doesn’t hurt at all. Then I finally said something (good morning to the cat, if you must know) and I sounded like I was being strangled by Betty White in the season premiere of Community.

So I’m off to Wal-Mart for tea, honey, lemon, lozenges, and perhaps something to prevent me from freaking out. I’m horribly sorry to delay the podcast one more time, friends, but as I can’t really talk today, it’s not going to happen. I will put out the chapter as soon as I possibly can. Thanks for understanding.

30
Sep
10

The audience arrives…

Tonight is our audience dress rehearsal for All the Great Books (Abridged). I’m excited, thrilled, and horribly busy, which is why there was no Everything But Imaginary column this week and why — I’m sorry, guys — no Other People’s Heroes chapter today. I’d like to put one up this weekend, but I don’t want to promise it either. I don’t know for sure if I’ll get it up. But as soon as the play is over, I vow, I shall return to a more normal schedule. In the meantime, I love you all.

27
Sep
10

Counting down…

Friday is our opening night. Thursday we go before an audience for our dress rehearsal preview night. Tonight we had almost all of our props and costumes, plus lighting and sound cues for the first time. Utter chaos, but in a great way.

All the Great Books (Abridged) is going to be a fantastic show, folks. Reserve your tickets if you’re in town, and forgive my sporadic posting this week if you’re not!

22
Sep
10

Sherlock Blake!

If you’re waiting for this week’s Everything But Imaginary, I’m hoping to have it online tomorrow. The play opens next week, and rehearsals and preparations have eaten up an awful lot of time. I appreciate your understanding. If you understand. If you don’t understand, then screw you.

Anyway! How about a quick preview of the show? Sherlock Blake!

20
Sep
10

The set evolves…

Tonight was our first rehearsal in the theatre. We used all the props and costumes we have so far, which is more than 50 percent of them. It was the most exhausting rehearsal I’ve ever had. It was glorious. Also, I’m pretty damn certain that the photographer from the newspaper is going to use the picture of me wearing a bucket on my head and with a mop between my legs. Probably on the front page.

Glorious.

The set is looking great:

18
Sep
10

Why do I do it?

I’m spending today in Thibodaux, working on the set and props for our upcoming production of “All the Great Books Abridged.” Some may ask, given the fact that I do work a full-time job and I start most days on Twitter complaining that I woke up too early, why I devote so much of my time to theatre productions like this one – community theatre productions at that, shows where any “payment” for your work comes in the form of the Playhouse providing the sodas at the pot luck cast party.

And the truth is, more than anything else (except Erin), it makes me feel ALIVE.

When I’m on stage, my aching back stops aching for a while. I stop feeling tired. I have more energy and vigor than I do anyplace else in the world. Maybe it’s adrenaline, maybe it’s the fact that I can lose myself in someone else, maybe it’s all psychosomatic. I don’t know. But the fact is when I’m on stage I feel better than I do almost any other time. I may never win an Oscar, but I don’t care.

That’s why I’m willing to spend my Saturday with like-minded people making things like this set and getting ready for two intensive weeks of work that I won’t get famous for, won’t even get PAID for, and which many in the audience will forget by next week. I do it for myself, the rest of my cast and crew, and the awesome few that will remember.

10
Sep
10

Top Five Musicals I’d Love to Be In

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a big theatre nerd. Okay, maybe it’s not exactly “manly” to enjoy getting on stage, singing, acting, performing… but they say that sleeping with a stuffed penguin isn’t manly either. So who the hell are “they” anyway?

Ahem. Anyway, it seems like I wind up involved, in some way or another, in two or three plays every year, which is a pretty good amount for an amateur like myself. I’m not going to Broadway or anything, but I do love my little community theatre, and I love doing shows there. Of course, when you’ve been doing theatre for a long time, you start to get an itch to do specific plays, specific roles, and this afternoon as I was driving home from work, the music that rolled up into my iPod reminded me of that. So I thought it’d be fun to explain for you guys the top five musicals I would love to be in some day. Will I ever get the chance? Who knows. But a boy can dream, right? Here they are, in no particular order:

The Producers. The relatively recent play, based on the Mel Brooks movie, starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick both on stage and in the film adaptation. The story focuses on a Broadway producer desperate for a hit and the meek accountant who figures out a way to make even bigger money if the play flops — even if it isn’t strictly legal. The Nathan Lane (or, if you’re old-school, Zero Mostel) role of Max Biyalistock calls to me. I’ve only gotten to play the sort of sleazy, underhanded characters a few times over the years, but by God, it’s fun to be somebody so against type for a few hours. Plus, his songs are just fantastic. This show, no doubt, would be a total blast.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is another play based on a movie (last one, I swear) and another case where I think it would be a lot of fun to play the sleazeball. The play focuses on two con artists — an old master (played on Broadway by the incredible John Lithgow) and a young upstart (played by Norbert Leo Butz) who make a wager on whether they can scam a fortune out of a young ingenue. This is actually the soundtrack I was listening to when I decided to write this little blog post, because the last few numbers are so damn good that I look like a maniac singing along in the car as I drive. Casting, however, is a little trickier for this one. I’m probably age-appropriate now to play the Norbert Leo Butz character, but the Lithgow character is a lot more appealing. Then again, it’s not like I’m planning to retire from community theatre or anything. Maybe someday.

1776 is perhaps my greatest unrealized theatrical dream. This musical was originally produced on Broadway in 1969, and although they did later make a movie out of it, the stage show came first. Dammit. Anyway, as you may guess from the title, this show is about the writing of the Declaration of Independence. That sounds kind of dry, I know, but it’s anything but. The music is snappy and highly singable, the characters are very funny, and there’s even room for some incredibly deep drama as the protagonists (John Adams, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson) clash with the Southern states over the condemnation of slavery the Declaration included. (Historical fact, peeps, look it up.) I’m a little torn on this one. If I got my pick, I’d play John Adams, but Ben Franklin would be pretty awesome too. Whenever the time comes for my theatre group to vote on the shows for our next season, I get the urge to suggest this one, but I don’t because of practicality. We don’t have a large pool of male actors for our musicals, and this cast is about 25 men and two women. I don’t know how we could ever produce it.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is one I fear I’m going to have to mark down in the “Too Little, Too Late” category. Based, of course, on the legendary Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, this movie shows an average day in the life of Charlie Brown and his friends. There’s not really a cohesive plot to the show, no real story, it’s more like the creators of the musical picked a few recurring themes from the strip and wrote songs to go with each of them. Schulz himself reportedly wasn’t that happy with the musical, and looking at it from his perspective I can understand why. Several of the scenes don’t really jive with the characters as he created them — Charlie Brown’s baseball team being in the running for the championship, for example, or having Lucy clearly in the same grade as the rest of the kids, including her younger brother Linus. The lesser-known Broadway show Snoopy: The Musical is much closer to the spirit of the characters, but frankly, the music isn’t nearly as good. The children in this play are usually played by adults (the legendary Kristen Chenoweth did a star turn as Sally just a few years before her breakout performance in Wicked), but I can’t help but think the time for me to try this one has passed.

Into the Woods may be the best-known musical by Stephen Sondheim (at least, it was before the movie version of Sweeney Todd), and it’s certainly my favorite. This play is divided into two very different acts. In act one, we see more or less traditional (if very funny) versions of various fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and more, all of which seem to end happily ever after. In act two, though, we watch as the characters converge and learn that “happily ever after” is a myth, the real world has a dark side, and sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d hoped. It’s a brilliantly subversive little show, using some of the most familiar characters in the world to get across very honest, often overlooked realities that we try to shield our children from, and in doing so, really do them a disservice. The only thing about this one, though, is that — unlike the other four shows on this list — I’m not really sure which character I would want to play if I ever had the chance.

These aren’t the only musicals I’d ever want to do, of course, but they’re my favorites, the ones I like the most. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

20
Aug
10

All the news, none of it fit

Today is the end of the second full week of school since the end of the summer holidays. It is also the second Friday in a row where I got home at about four-ish and fell asleep on the couch until about five-ish. Coincidence?

Also this week, we’ve begun rehearsals for the next show at the Thibodaux Playhouse, All the Great Books Abridged by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. I’m directing this play, in addition to appearing in the cast, along with my good friends Paul Cook and Damon Stentz. This is the third RSC-penned play I’ve been in, having appeared in college productions of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged and The Complete History of America Abridged back in… well… college. The script, of course, is fantastic and funny, but I’d forgotten just how physical these RSC shows are. I was exhausted after rehearsal last night, and my leg has been really sore today after a minor fall I took because I’m a klutz who still has trouble standing up without breaking my own tailbone.

But damn, it’s gonna be a good show.

I promise, those of you who see it on a Friday, I won’t fall asleep.

25
Jul
10

One last show

A quick recap of the past 24 hours:

Oh no! Tropical Storm Bonnie is coming this way! They might have to cancel the last performance of our play!

Yay! Bonnie has fizzled out! The play is on!

What? The park service is closing the building anyway? Don’t they watch the news? ANNIE is sold out! CURSE YOU, RICHARDS!

What? The play is back on? SWEET.

Erin is in the theatre right now, waiting for the last show to start. If you’re waiting for this week’s podcast, it probably won’t hit until tomorrow. Good things come to those who wait.




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