Thanks to…

The show closed today.

This was a challenging show, but I loved the cast, top to bottom. Stellar and a lot of fun. I will miss my castmates!

When I close a show, I give a thanks to all the people I know that saw it. Bold indicates they’ve seen all of my shows, and, therefore, rock.

  • Mom and Dad
  • Missy
  • Tiff and Bill
  • Melanie
  • Bryan and Sarah
  • Bethany
  • Rita 
  • Mark
  • Ben
  • Britt

And, of course, everyone else who attended during the run, even if I didn’t know you. We wouldn’t have a show to do without an audience!

More thoughts on the show going up tomorrow.

Girls gone Celibate

Our director (who’s also the theater’s artistic director) created this page for the show–sort of a mini-site. So check out the photos and character descriptions!

(PS: I have NO IDEA where the “wanting to smack me” idea comes in. Personally, I think Angustias is way more sinned against than sinning.)

Two more performances!

“Food, Glorious Food!”

The New York Times recently ran an article about Eating and Opera, which I found interesting and instructive. I haven’t had to eat much onstage, but I do for Bernarda Alba–Act III opens with a dinner scene. Our director has concocted a rice/peas “main dish” for us to eat, and there’s also a bowl of grapes and three bottles of liquid–although those aren’t able to be drunk, since they are tough to open (as I found out during tech week). So the tumblers on the table stay empty.

I eat a few bites of rice, and try to get a few grapes. The grapes work the best since they’re liquid, essentially. The rice can be OK, but if it’s dry, then it’s not so great, because it can get stuck in the throat and cause issues (again, as I learned during the first few performances, since we didn’t have the food during tech). Some of the other actresses, though, don’t have this problem and plow through their helping. The director knows how much to give each of us by now–the food is plated during the Act II/III intermission. We also have bread and a few other things for the first act.

When I did Earnest, there was food involved–those cucumber sandwiches, and tea!–but I didn’t get to eat any of it, sadly. I’ve never had to eat as part of a musical. Even in Oliver!, “Food, Glorious Food” is mostly imaginary. 🙂 There’s no “pease pudding”, “hot sausage and mustard” or “cold jelly and custard.”

The biggest problem I’ve ever had with food is backstage–you have to be careful not to knock it over! We do eat the grapes throughout the performance–a healthy way to keep off hunger! And I was known to sneak a few sugar cubes (yes, actual sugar cubes!) during the Earnest run. (hey, it was a long show. Needed sugar.)

I think it’s fun to have the food. It definitely adds to the realism of the show. But it also has its drawbacks, in that property needs to be washed (all the plates, and cutlery) at some point, plus keeping us stocked with food. I wouldn’t mind something to drink in the dinner scene, but then you have to worry about spills on costumes, so I can definitely see why we’re not doing that.

But some “opera chicken”? Heck, I’d say yes.

Epicness

Bed! Go to bed! 

I couldn’t go to bed!

My head’s too light to try to set it down!

Sleep, go to sleep!

I couldn’t sleep tonight!

Not for all the jewels in the crown…

–“I Could’ve Danced All Night” , My Fair Lady

That’s how a super great–nay, EPIC–performance feels.  Like, what I”m feeling right now.

I have to go to bed. My alarm will be going off in a little over eight hours. But right now? Total epicness. I could, indeed, dance all night.

Audrey Hepburn, "I Could Have Danced All Night."

(And then I’d crash in the AM. That probably happened to Eliza but we just don’t see it.)

There is almost nothing I’ve experienced like the high of a good performance. Maybe when I’m with little kids and they do something cool, or when a baby says his first word in front of me, or I’m bodysurfing in the Atlantic. But those aren’t really the same thing. There is so much energy after a good performance. I feel like I could write War and Peace right now. (If Tolstoy hadn’t already done it.)

Every time I perform this show, I find something new to do, something new I understand about this character.

11 more shows to go!

Now, sadly, since my life is NOT a musical, I have to go to bed. 

“Don’t you agree now? She ought to be in bed!” 

The First Weekend

So a few more notes: 

*Blocking is changing. Sort of. Apparently things look weird from the light box on occasion so the director is re-directing us. 

* I am going to burn my costume when this show is over. It’s my dress, so I can do it. It likes to stick to me–not the entire thing. It’s a two layer dress–a lace overlay, and a nylon/satin underskirt. The underskirt likes to ride up. I am wearing a slip underneath, but still….anyway, we’re working on it. If it happens when you’re seeing the show, I’m sorry. I’m really trying to fix it!

* We really like to eat the grapes that are in the dinner scene; as in, we like to eat them during breaks in the other acts. Hee hee. 

 

Flying dishes, and c. –notes from the first two shows

So, the show has opened! Squee! Time for notes:

  • Opening Night, as usual, was a lot of fun. We had a group of girls from the local all-girls school and they seemed very attentive and focused, which is always good. 🙂
  • During the dinner table clear in Act III, one of the glasses rolled off the table. Inwardly cursing, I went around and got it and continued on. I was worried that you could see my annoyance, but the director said yesterday you couldn’t, and I “got an A” for the rescue of the glass. 🙂 We changed the timing a bit before last night’s show, but I think this scene is just going to “evolve” for a bit. That’s not a bad thing.
  • Performances during a long run do evolve a bit. Not to the point where blocking and timing and rhythm are changed, because then directors get mad (!), but things like intonation and inflection, and attitude of characters. I did this myself a bit last night, and I heard some of the other actresses do it, too. I think it really adds to the performance as we go deeper into these characters, and it keeps the performances alive.
  • The last Act–in particular the last scene–is just awesome in performance. So much adrenaline. It’s not so much acting as it is reacting. I just love it. 🙂

Opening night!

I really love opening night. No matter how many of them I do, they never get old. Especially when it’s a visceral show like this, where I’ve been craving audience reaction, and wondering how they would react to it, essentially ever since the table read.

It was a good crowd, with a class from a local all-girls school there. They really seemed to enjoy it. It wasn’t perfect–live theater almost never is, which is part of the thrill of it–but I don’t think they noticed. 🙂 Well, except for the “flying cup”….sigh…that’s a story for another entry. But anyway, in Act III I have to clear the dinner dishes. And one of the cups got away from me. Fortunately it stayed on the stage so I was able to just go get it and work it into the scene.

If you’re in the area, I hope you get a chance to see it. It’s a tremendous group of actresses and it’s a great script.

No redeeming qualities

That’s hard work!

So yesterday the director was talking to us, giving us some notes. To me and another actress, he said that he was enjoying our character portrayals. “They have no redeeming qualities!” he said, a bit gleeful.

I was confused. Sure, Angustias isn’t someone I’d pick to be my best friend, but she’s not horrible. She doesn’t try to steal her sister’s fiancé (Adela) or tell lies that lead to disastrous consequences (Martirio). If anything, she’s “more sinned against that sinning.”

So I mentioned this to the director, also saying that I’d been working on making her nicer–but he cut me off. “No! No! Don’t do that.”

“Um…OK?”

So: I’m really interested to see what the audience has to say about her. She’s definitely got some personality problems, but she’s not bad. She’s got three sisters that seriously dislike her (Amelia, the fourth, is mostly indifferent), a mother who is a bit, well, strict (to put it mildly), and she’s 39 years old. She’s never dated. She’s finally engaged, to a man that her sisters lust after, and she knows that he probably isn’t in this relationship for her awesome mind or body. She’s not blind.

Angustias and I have some things in common: We’re both the oldest, we both have sister(s) (I’ve got a brother and a sister), we’re both Catholic. I can understand where she’s coming from: I know people/situations that apply to my work here. Really, she wasn’t that much of a leap to create. Some of the venom and rudeness that comes form her is a bit foreign to me, but it’s also really fun to get to say what the character is (probably) thinking. Verbal sparring is a lot of fun.

Production development is also coming along–some of the set pieces are going up, and our awesome costumer has been bringing in pieces for us to try on. Tonight she had me try on a pale pink nightgown for the end of Act III, which I think worked well. I think we might all have nightgowns now. 🙂 The set isn’t very elaborate–a table, chairs, and the entryways–but once the entryways are in, it’ll make life a lot easier, because we can cement the blocking.

We open in 8 days!