Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday, March 30th

I am sick and tired of having viral bronchial illness. It's getting ridiculous. I've had four or five respiratory infections back to back since Christmas. No sooner do I get rid of one, than the next one moves in. This latest one is starting to calm down and can't go away soon enough. I've bought the pharmacy out of antihistamines, decongestants and cough remedies.

'Kiss Me Kate' is cast and it looks like it will be a good group. I'm very pleased with my principals. The ensemble remains a little in flux as is normal for the first few weeks of rehearsal as people drop for other commitments or decide they really wanted to do the show, even if they missed auditions. We've had a major monkey wrench with the music director being unavailable this week due to a family emergency which has put us behind with vocal work, but we should be able to catch up the next couple of weeks. There's not that much choral singing and the leads are pretty competent musicians. I'll have a much better sense of where we are by the end of the month.

Tommy is busy with his choir stuff (and is serving as my production manager as he can get after people better than I can). I'm busy with work and Kate. Not much time for anything else until summer. I'm off on my usual West Virginia run on Sunday - back Tuesday night.

Travel plans:

West Virginia - April 2-4
Chicago - May 2-4
Washington DC - May 8-11

Politically Incorrect Cabaret may be on the road in July to Nashville. That should be interesting.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thursday, March 16th

I threw out my back last weekend doing nothing in particular and it has been spasming for six days now. This is getting awfully old and it's making me bitchy. All the stuff that works like muscle relaxants and pain meds make me too sleepy so I can't use them during the day, only at night so I've been hobbling around like some sort of ancient arthritic type. Enough already. When I've done this in the past, it's usually taken about ten days to reverse itself so it better be gone by next week.

On a more positive note, the spring bloom is in process, proceeding in its divinely decreed order. The tulip magnolias first, followed by the Bradford pears. This week, the redbuds, ornamental cherries and plums are all coming out along with the forsythia, and some of the early azaleas. The wisteria should be along in about another two weeks and the sycamores and oaks are showing some chartreuse. It's my favorite time of year around here, even if the weather does wander over about forty degrees farenheit on any given day.

Set meeting on 'Kate' tonight, then heading into auditions this weekend. A lot of people turning out for the female lead. I'm worried about men who can dance for Paul and the three suitors.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday, March 13th

'The King and I' is officially over. Six performances this week and then poof, all the props and costumes and sets get disassembled and sent back to their respective homes. All in all a good show and CenterStage's highest grosser to date. Something about putting all those children on stage, I suppose. At least I didn't have to share stage time with the kids, just curtain call or no one would have been looking at me. As the attached photos show, I had by far the most conservative costume on stage...

Production meetings are underway for 'Kiss Me Kate' which has much of the same production team so things should run relatively smoothly. We audition this next weekend and should have some sense of it as a show once we get the cast in place. There's only a couple of things that are giving me pause. One is staging the opening number which I can see being an absolutel nightmare to get the timing worked out on everything. Another is finding the male dancers to be able to do 'Tom Dick and Harry' justice. Birmingham just isn't full of chorus boy types. The guys who do theater are predominantly character men who can sing and act but really aren't dancers per se. When I keep getting put in dance numbers, you know there's a dearth.

Still a lot of talk about the kids caught for the church burnings and what their motivations may have been. I think there's a bit of a generational thing. Some of the scions of privlige around here have had their self esteems bolstered so much by doting parents, they hit their late teens with a rather warped view of how the world actually works and seem to think that all of their ideas, often half baked in the stews of late adolescence, are good ones. Sort of the flip side of Natalie Holloway thinking it a good idea to leave an Aruban nightclub with three young men she did not know well.

The bronchitis is better and I have a voice again. Just to keep my on my toes, I threw my back out Saturday morning doing nothing in particular and am hobbling around in mild agony. I'd love a full week of feeling normal.

Tommy got called by the tour of 'Hairspray' last night and will be working wardrobe for their Birmingham gig. Won't see him much this week as he disappears behind racks of fifties fashions and fake hair.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday, March 6th

I have been felled, once again, by some sort of vicious viral respiratory illness. This one comes with nocturnal respiratory difficulties, a nasty cough, and laryngitis. I made it through all the performances of 'The King and I' this past weekend and now have a few days off before back to back school matinees this coming Wednesday. Fortunately, I don't sing in the King as I don't think I can hit anything higer than a low G. I'm getting really tired of this as I've had a drippy nose or something pretty continuously since before Christmas and we're headed into St. Patrick's day.

'The King and I' has turned out quite well. The design is quite colorful and lovely with lots of brocades and satins. Kim D., our usual costumer, outdid herself. Some stuff is rented, some borrowed, but she made a ton of it. It all made it out on stage for opening night, even if a few pieces were put on with safety pins at intermission. I'll post some photos when I get them. My one and only outfit is pretty pedestrian white tie and tales, but then I am one of three Anglo characters in the whole piece. Tommy and I are now starting to turn our attention to 'Kiss Me Kate' which will audition on the 18th and 19th. The staff is more or less complete. We have good people on board (same design team as 'The King and I') and I'm looking forward to it being a good show.

Lots of puzzled comments about the outcome of the Oscars with 'Crash' pulling off a best picture upset over 'Brokeback Mountain'. Lighten up everyone, they're only movies. It's not surprising when you consider that 'Crash' was loaded with Hollywood insiders and 'BBM" was much more an indie production. It's way too early to tell which is the better movie. Give it twenty years. I won the cast Oscar pool. Yeah!