Tuesday evening I was on book for
the rehearsal. Neither SM Deirdre
Root nor AD David Senatore were able
to be there. It was the first night the cast had to be
off-book for Act 2, so it was a
if not the official "stumble-through."
I'll be attending rehearsals on a relatively regular basis now get a feel
for the moods of the scenes in the show, how they are playing, to know what
songs will work for scene transactions for
production music. The
overall mood woill inform for for the
pre-show music and the
I'll be looking for the moment for the
Was supposed to read it last week but there was a mix-up of some sort.
I'll be gearing up over the weekend for the UD Law gig Monday evening. It's
going to be low-maintenance study though, since I've done this particular
exercise a few times before. I'm hoping I can find my flash cards from
previous times, so I don't have to remake them.
I have my ticket confirmed for
Fiddler on the Roof -- (A Fidler Afn Dakh)
with ex-castmate Bruce Sabath
in the role of
(Leyzer Volf). This will be on the Sunday that I'm in New york, I have a
staff discounted ticket so I won't know where the seat is until closer to
show. I may not know until I go to will-call to get the ticket. I do know
that there's one seat left in the fifth row for that performance. If I'm
lucky, that being by itself will help it go unclaimed and I could end up
with it. I must admit, I was tempted to go ahead and get that fifth row
ticket ay full price, but the box office person assured me that it's a
small theatre so I won't get a bad seat even if I don't get that fifth row
For the most part I've been good about my self-imposed setting-aside of the
manuscript for a couple weeks. I did read through it once, but, I read a
hard-copy printout to reduce the temptAtion to tweak. Though I must admit
I did spot some things that called for a minro tweak that I went ahead and
pulled up the software to do such. One was to clean up a slight ambiguity,
the other was to fix a typo.
I've given a copy of this draft to only one person, and that one being
pre-tweaks. This is someone who will likely read one of the roles when I
have that first table read.
I am not sure when that reading will be. I haven't started looking at my
calendar or contacting actors for the other two roles yet and checking their
schedules. I also want others in the room to hear it and give me their
thoughts, and I haven't come up with that list yet. I have to be selective
because there are some people in the area that I don't want to see it at
the moment because they may be reading it in what's supposed to be an
anonymous read at some point in the future, albeit probably a drastically
Another gig as the expert for the plaintif and the VP/ACEO of the
defendant company under my belt. I think this is the fourth or maybe the
fifth time I've done this exercise.
The check finally arrived for the 2019 National Trial Competition, at the
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in Columbus, Ohio. And, I believe,
if I'm reading the itemization on the statement correctly, I also got the
fee for this most recent gig, discussed above.
LIKELY GIG THIS SUMMER:
I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but I have been approached
about doing a readers theatre
production mid-summer. I have just received the script.
I have yet to decide "yes" or "no" but will soon. It is
a role the piques my interest, I must admit.
Usually, I have the Saturday before
"Tech Sunday" to
get the sound cues programed into
Show Cue Systems, but since we
moved the tech day to Saturday for this one, I took off work on Friday.
Honestly, I was at home much of the day processing and
building sounds. I didn't actually
get to the theatre to migrate sound files into the booth
computer and then program the cues, until after 9 p.m. I was done around
2 a.m. And, yes, for the five of you who may actually follow this blog, or
for anyone who is familiar with my practices, I did spend the night
in the greenroom. I had an
appointment with the show's sound tech,
Ms. Sarah Saunders, at 9 a.m. Saturday, so, going home just seemed
counter-productive -- and I did bring an overnight bag, just in case. I
Directed by Mike Taint, the cast was made up of Eric Mishne, Geoff Burkman,
Abigale Connor, Melissa Henry-Young, Amy Magnus, Dee Berdine, Trenton
Napier, Jeremy Holtgrave, Edith Waugh, Judy Early, Jamie McQuinn, Zan
Holtgrave, Brenna Riethmiller, Paula Cronan, Deidre Root, Ben Cronan, Judi
Early, and Alexandria Bilbrey.
Well. I finally did my taxes. As I wrote earlier, I was worried
that I'd owe. That turned out to be not true. Though it was zig and
zag for a while. I however am getting back about 43% of my usual
average. I know a few people who really got screwed this year. And,
yet, a few who are at the same place or even a little better off.
I'd like to know what the mitigating factors are here.
I am bias, of course, and I freely admit that, nevertheless, this is a
production worth seeing. As I told the cast during
notes last night, I saw four real
people on that stage, as opposed to four actors saying their lines. The
whole company is bringing it home.
The show had a good opening weekend. The audiences are responding well to
the show, especially to the performances by the cast members. They are also
making comments about the hard work and hustle of our
stage manager, Deirdre Root, after
watching her make some busy scene changes mostly by herself: bottom
line -- she should have a crew of at last one, probably two, but we had
difficulty recruiting one; she IS getting help from cast member,
Scott Knisley, as well
as from our techs, Scott Wright (lighting)
and Sarah Saunders (sound),
during some crtitical changes where they can be available.
Of course, as is almost always the case, I was house managerOpening Night so I did not
get to attend much to the performance -- though I did duck into the house
a few times to see how some sound levels were going. But still, I can't
say directly how the performance went. The audience liked it very much,
however, and the cast all felt good about it, so, let's make the assumption
it was a good night.
I wasn't getting a good feel for the sound levels by popping in and staying
near the entrances of the voms on Friday,
so I sat in the audience Saturday evening so I could get the true experience
of the sound levels when there is an audience in the house. The added bonus
was that I got to watch the show and pay attention to it. And, once again
I want to tell you that if you're in the area you should check this out.
This is a really good production with excellent performances and production
values all around. I missed Sunday -- Easter dinner with the family -- but
I'm betting it was strong, too.
I'm excited and anticipating with great enthusiasm attending
Patton Oswalt's stand-up show this
coming Saturday evening at The Taft Theatre
in Cincinnati. I'm "excited and anticipating with great
enthusiasm," and I find Patton a "lovable Democrat,"
however, some of the comments, on facebook,
on the Taft Theatre event page for his appearance prove that such feelings
are not necessarily universal. Patton does not exactly hide his politcal
leanings, nor does he subdue his utter disapproval of the current occupant
of the Oval Office. For those of you who aren't aware, by and large, Ohio
is politically a red state; we have our enclaves of liberalism, even in
Cincinnati, but for the most part, the state is conservative, Republican.
The further south you get in the state, the more that is the landscape. So,
there are some who are not so keen on Patton, and are not welcoming his
visit with open arms. I don't think there's going to be protests outside
the theatre or anything, but, some of the comments were pretty trollish,
and some where just out-and-out hateful. I'm guessing he would be amused.
My personal thought is: fuck 'em.
In thirteen days I'm going to be driving a 1200-mile roundtrip outing to New
York City for a weekend. So, when the check engine light popped on I thought
maybe I'd drop into the auto shop and have that checked out. It might have
been nothing. There are many innocuous reasons the engine light can come on.
I could possibly drive to NYC and back with no problem, having not addressed
it. Or I might break down outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania because the
problem was not so harmless, after all. I'd rather avoid the second
scenario if possible. So I made an appointment with my regular mechanic,
who always does right by me, to see what's up.
In true Murphy's-Law-like fashion, the engine light did not come on for the
drive to the auto shop. Since I was also getting an oil change and what my
mechanic calls a "road trip check-up," I went in anyway, and
advised that they still hook the car up to the computer to look for a
"check engine" problem. Plus, I clearly needed a new front brakes.
Having the engine hooked up to find the check-engine code anyway was a smart
thing because it was found that I needed a new vent canister.
It's also a good thing I recently got paid for an acting gig and just got
my federal tax refund (smaller than usual though it may have been) because
the auto work ran me close to $700, endangering of my cashflow for the trip.
But these are clearly things I needed to deal with before that drive to and
from New York.
To be honest, I'd seen this show once before and didn't really care for it
much. I don't know if my tastes have changed or the overall performances
were better this time, or both, but I liked it this time. Everybody was
on their gme at that final dress.
A special shout out to Alex, who seriously brought the energy. The rest of
the cast did good, too. And kudos to director
Marya Spring Cordes.
I specifically targeted Narrator, for a couple reasons. One, because of my
trip to Lexington to see
Paul McCartney, I would miss
most or all of Tech Sunday,
and it seems plausible that as narrator it might not be an obstacle. I also
don't really think I'm very well typed
for any of the other principal roles
in the play.
See the next entry for the whole cast.
ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE:
Jim "The Reverend" Mosten
*cast list updated
AND, ALSO COMING UP:
I have two more gigs on the agenda, both
dramatic readings. One will
be in a few weeks, The Night My Brother had a Meltdown at the Golden
Globes ... and Other Sorrows, by Robert Garvin.
I have also come on board for another reading this summer, that, which I am
not sure how much I can disclose at the moment.
Patton does his show on the set for Sleeping Beauty.
Saturday night Patton Oswalt was
hilarious, as I knew he would be. He did his set on the mainstage at the
Taft Theatre in downtown Cincinnati,
and on the set for the current
Children's Theatre of Cincinnati
Patton loved the set. He said he wanted it for the rest of his tour. He
walked up the small spiral staircase on one end, posed like a fairy
princess and said he wanted to see the picture on social media -- I did
not get my phone unlocked and up in time to take said photo.
With the exception of one return bit from his
but with drastic variation to that bit, he did all new material. His set
was probably 60-75 minutes, which is standard for a headline comedian.
I've returned to working on the play, but at a slow pace -- mostly because
I am now involved as an actor and a co-sound designer for
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
at DTG. Still, I'm working
on what I am officially calling "Draft 2," though in these modern
times of being able to tweak any portion of an electronic document at any
time, exact draft numbers are not as clear cut as they used to be. So I
just go with the end of a massive overhaul, and call that a draft.
I've already moved a small passage from Act 2 to Act 1, to a spot where it
makes as much sense being placed, if not more, and perhaps gives better
cohesion to the passage. I'll be looking to make other such moves from A2
to A1, if they can make sense. The big reason is that if this play is
going to stay two acts, I would rather Act 1 be longer. Right now Act 2 is
Of course, as I've written before, the big thing is that I'd prefer this be
a one-act play, byt right now it would be too long. I'd like to condence it
but I also would like to not lose any material, any of the elements that
are there now. If that means it has to stay two acts, then two acts it will
stay. Another bitch is that I have realized there is a particular aspect,
germain to a main tension in the play that I have not even touched on, so,
even if only briefly, I have to incorporate that in as well.
So the first part of this second-draft revision is moving whatever I can
from A2 to A1, then adding in that missing aspect; the second part is then
going back and seeing what can be cut without sacrificing what I am happy
about. Let's hope the lion's share of that will come from tightening
First week of rehearsals are done, and I'm called
for the first half of next week. The off-book
date for Act 1 is in two weeks -- but really, my lines are a total of three
monologues in Act 1, none of them long. In Act 2, I only have four, of
equal length, with that off-book date is a week later. I should have no
worries. Of course, I'll be breaking out the index cards to make my
flashcards before we get to this weekend -- I'll probably record all the
monologues, too, so I can listen to them.
Meanwhile I and co-sound designer Sarah Saunders are gearing up to start
that work. Because I will be either absent or very late for the
Tech Sunday rehearsal, the goal
is to have the sound design tech ready
by Monday, May 27, the Monday before Tech Sunday, so that we can tech the
sound during those several rehearsals leading up to Tech Sunday.
Yep! In just twenty-seven days I see Macca
in concert for the eleventh time. And, for those who don't know, this time
I have a VIP ticket which gets me a lot of things, the two most important
things being a good seat and attendance at Sir Paul's sound check.
The official statement says that for my
One (1) premium ticket
Priority check-in and entrance
Pre-show hospitality reception
Limited edition numbered lithograph
Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers
Collectible laminate to remember your evening
Onsite check-in staff
*and let's not forget......
INVITATION TO SIR PAUL McCARTNEY'S SOUND CHECK
*See the graphic below for my seat: Section 1, Row G, Seat 21.
I'm geared up for this! I have my hotel room. Going down the night before.
This mostly because check-in at the hotel doesn't begin until 3:00 pm and
I don't know exactly when I need to be at Rupp on Saturday for the sound
check, etcetera. I may need to be there before 3:00. I won't know the VIP
itinerary until about a week before the show. I might try to catch some
sight earlier in the day on Saturday. Looks like there are a few nice parks
and some interesting museums close by. I'd hoped there was a zoo but it
doesn't look like it. whatever it is I do it's got to be something cheap
because between the money dropped for the Macca show and for the New York
trip just three weeks prior, I will be ont razor's edge of broke.
The big question is:
will I meet
Paul?. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's probably not as likely a scenario as
I'm trying to make it. There is a chance we VIP ticket people will meet him,
but it's not all that great of a chance, just more so than others. My
understanding is that it has happened before. It seems it depends on two
things: 1) his schedule; 2) his mood. It's not impossible that he'll either
pop into the hospitality reception or might come up to our seats at some
point before, during, or after the sound check. I hold out hope, but I'm
trying to ground that in reality -- I'm trying to mentally and emotionally
prepare myself for the high probability that he'll do neither.
But, man do
I want him to!
WHERE IS MY SEAT? YOU ASK: Front section, seven rows back,
pretty much in the center. Best seat I've had yet for a
McCartney show. The closest was Columbus in 2005, where I
was maybe 15 rows back on the floor, close to the center
isle, which was about the same as Cincinnati in 1993 at
(the old Reds ball park).
BUT LET'S NOT
FORGET THAT FIRST THERE IS.......:
I leave this Friday!
Directed by Debra Kent
Produced by K.L.Storer
In suburban Massachusetts in the mid '80s, thirty-seven-year-old
Josephine Rosen has a dead-end job as a secretary and still lives
at home with her hypochondriac mother. She started college but never
finished, and has settled into a life that doesn't offer much hope
for the future. But when a new friendship at work and a chance
flirtation with an old classmate give her hope for the possibility
of change, she dusts off the Jane Fonda tapes and begins to take
tentative steps towards a new life. This is a play about the tragedy
and joy of figuring out who you are and letting go of who you were supposed to be.
The Cast of Nice Girl
Carly Laurette Risenhoover-Peterson
The Promocast for Nice Girl
THEATRE OF SOUND - SOUND SCULPTURE CONCERTS AT
Michael and Sandy Bashaw will once again do a weekend of Theatre of Sound,
sound sculpture concerts at the theatre after our season has closed. They
will be joined this year by Sharon Leahy and Rick Good.
The three shows will be over the weekend of June 28. Friday and Saturday
will be 8:00 p.m. shows; Sunday will be 3:00 p.m.
I highly recommend this. I've attended the two previous Theatre of Sound
shows they've done in our space and both were most excellent.
Tickets are $25. *As of this posting the tickets are not yet on sale, but should be
I'm wrapped for the week from
rehearsals. I won't be called again
until next Tuesday at the earliest, mostly because I won't be back in town
from my broadway district weekend in New York until late Monday night.
It's been a pretty light week for me, called for no more than an hour each
of the two nights I was there. they were
with everything subject to change, of course.
My usual line work process of
creating and using flashcards (my lines on 3x5 index cards) has begun. As
I wrote above, the off-book
date for Act 1 is coming up. It's next Tuesday, then the following Tuesday
is that for Act 2, but, again, as I wrote above, if I can't be off-book with
the minimal amount of words I have to memorize by these deadlines, then I
need to give up stage work. I have an eight-hour drive Friday, and open
times over the weekend, and an eight-hour drive on Monday. It's not at all
impossible I'll be off-book for the whole show this coming Tuesday.
On the sound design front,
co-designer Sarah Saunders and I have a dinner meeting tonight to get our
gameplan together. With the license for the show, comes a full collection
of scored music for the show,
with a lot of underscore.
Both I and Director J. Gary Thompson are not of the mind that we will use
all of the underscoring, but we laid down some not insignificant money for
the music so we will not be even coming close to ignoring it. There are also
several places where sound effects
are necessary and indicated by the script. We may find some other spots we
want place some SFX, too.
Both Sarah and I have got maneuvering to do, as we are both just a little
bit busy. She's SM for the
which held auditions last night
and will again tonight -- she's heading there after our meeting. So she'll
be busy with rehearsals for that while we are working on this design. I
will, of course, be busy as an actor in the Liberty Valance rehearsals
as well, as at various points, dealing with the prep for two forthcoming
dramatic readings, not
to mention a couple
such as this weekend.
Yesterday was pretty much about the drive from my humble abode to my
hotel room on 49th St. in the
New York Theatre District.
Both Google and Siri estimated that it would be a nine-hour drive. It
wasn't. It was a ten-and-a-half-hour drive due to several highway slowdowns,
plus my occasional breaks.
I left a little after 8 a.m. and arrived a little after 7:30 p.m.
An almost eleven-hour drive is a little tiring, but when I got in, I just
could not allow myself to not do something. So, upon the
recommendation of the front desk, I walked down the street to
Amerone Ristorante where
I sat on the patio and was served a fine dish of Chicken Parimagiani.
I was thinking perhaps I would start the day off by visiting the
Central Park Zoo, but it doesn't
open until 10:00 and the opening curtain for Mockingbird is at 2:00.
It's a $20 ticket to get into the zoo, I'm not going to drop twenty bucks
for what would have to be a short visit -- I wouldn't want to do a short
visit even if there was no admission fee. I will probably go to Central Park,
just not to the zoo. I've tried to arrange a lunch with one a of several of
my NYC theatre connections, but nothing has come about.
Well, I certainly still have some good stuff on my set itinerary for the
I'll be more detailed later, but here's a quick rundown on yesterday
In a nutshell, making the trip and spending the money to see this script
performed by these actors was worth it. At curtain call
the audience gave a standing ovation. Often when that happens, I don't
stand. Such audience response needs to be earned, not by "good"
work, but by extraordinary work. I stood. Sometimes the Standing O
Unfortunately, Jeff Daniels did not come out the stage door after the show,
which I thought might be a possibility. There was another show last night,
just two-and-a-half hours after that closing curtain. It was probably regroup
time for him. I initially planned to go back this afternoon with the hope
to catch him after today's one performance. I really wanted my
But as I thought about it my heart sank, because I realized I'm seeing
Fiddler on the Roof (Yiddish)
at 6:00 at Stage 42, today and Mockingbird will end about 5:30 or
later. I'd never be able to make the Fiddler opening curtain! I was
bummed, literally heartbroken about this. I've been anticipating getting
Mr. Daniels' autograph on that script for months. So, I made a decision. I
decided to sacrifice attending
Curse of the Starving Class
last night in order to be at the Mockingbird stage door, in the hopes
he would come out and I could get that coveted autograph. The Curse
one was the cheapest ticket. Getting Jeff Daniels to sign this script was
important to me! It's one of my favorite roles I've ever done and I know he
feels the same about that role.
I am happy to report that I was able to get the script signed by Mr.
Daniels after the evening show. But it was looking like it might not
happen. It slightly sprinkled rain several times as the end of the
evening performance was coming. I was worried that there would be a
full-blown shower right at the time that the actors would come out, which
would have probably put the cabash on them doing so. Fortunately, the
theatre godess was watching over me.
And so, I missed one of the shows I planned to see. Had it been a
one-act that ran shorter than its
actual two-and-a-half hours, I would have had time to get from there to the
and the Mockingbird cast coming out the stage door.
Again, more detailed later, but for a quick rundown on yesterday, I loved
The Met and, as I suspected would
happen, I realized I need way more time allotted to visit. And last night
I was treated to an amazing production of
Fiddler on the Roof -- (A Fidler Afn Dakh).
I got a cool surprise, too, as Bruce Sabath
had to step into the role of Tevye for the day. More on both these when I
can sit down and get it all out. Right now I have hotel checkout to deal
I believe I have a decent handle on my character, but don't think I'm all
the way finished building him. I have his walk, a bit of a limp in there;
it's rather cliché but it works for the character, so perhaps it's
not all that cliché. I'd put myself at 90+% off-book,
though maybe I'm being conservative; maybe it's more like 95+%. It ain't
100%, I can tell you that!
Most of the cast sings two songs, (as town folk, not as in a
musical), I being one of those
cast members. The songs are two old traditional ballads, "Wayfaring
Stranger" and "Oh Blame Not Me." For some reason that is
beyond me, I've been having the most difficult time getting the lyrics to
the first one correct. Something keeps tripping me up.
Co-designer Sarah Saunders and I pretty much have the sound design
together, save, of course, for the tweaks that will come durung
Tech. Last weekend we curated the
production music and
yesterday we built some SFX
and programmed the sound plot
into Show Cue Systems.
There will be a dry tech next
Saturday. I will be in Lexington for the
Paul McCartney show (where I
have early entry for the pre-show hospitality reception AND
attendance at the sound check -- thank you very much). My co-designer,
will, however be there, so all the tweaks that day are in her capable
hands. The plan is to run sound at least once during a rehearsal this week,
more if possible. This is mostly because I did not think I would be able to
make some, or maybe any, of Tech Sunday
the day after the McCartney show. However, since the day is starting at 3:00,
I probably will be able to be there. I'll be leaving Lexington mid or late
morning that day. It's a two-and-a-half-hour drive, so I should be able to
make the 3:00 start. It still does not hurt to run the sund at least once
this week, for both the design itself and for the cast.
Later today, our main sound tech,
Brian Buttrey, and our back-up tech, Adam Randolph, will drop into the
theatre to learn the sound cues, at least initially. Brian will not be able
to make Tech Sunday -- he's working the latest
Young at Heart Players show.
He'll also miss our first weekend, so Sarah is picking up two of those
three performance. Unfortunately, she cannot do the Saturday evening performance,
enter Adam, who will pinch-hit that one performance. It's not at all ideal
to not have one tech for everything, all rehearsals and all performances,
but sometimes in non-professional theatre
that must be the case.
And, hey! We got this!
Meanwhile, here's the little shameless, self-promotional graphic I'm sending
out as a postcard:
The Night My Brother had a Meltdown at the Golden Globes
... and Other Sorrows, by Robert Garvin -- Last Saturday evening,
May 18, I participated as a reader at the
Mary L. Cook Library in
Waynesville, Ohio, reading
this two-act play by my friend,
Bob Garvin, a tremendously nice fellow and the epitome of a walking
encyclopedia of theatre. I got to play a jerk politician, which is always
a fun sort of role to climb into. Matt Beisner, whom was one of my castmates
a while back in
The Beard of Avon
at DTG. Also there, in the
role of narration was Natasha Randall,
who directed The Beard of Avon as well as the production of
I was in. And she was also one of the co-stars of my
Be Or Not, as
well as other movies and stage work. The evening was a lot of fun, and I'm
glad Bob invited me to participate.
There hasn't been a lot of new work. I did tweak it to what I have labelled
"Draft 2." I've given this draft to one person to read. As I told
this person: I have some concerns and am looking forward to seeing which
of my concerns match with the reader's thoughts. Now I'm nibbling on
"Draft 3," occasionally doing a little tweak here and there. I'll
give it more attention when my schedule makes more direct attention possible.
WHERE'S MY VITAL INFORMATION FOR NEXT SATURDAY'S MACCA SHOW?:
Shortly after I bought my VIP ticket for Paul's show next Saturday night,
I enquired about the time and the exact location for my entry for the
pre-show hospitality reception and for the sound check. I was told at that
time that I'd get an email with the instructions about a week before the
Rehearsals have been going well. I find myself going up
a lot on lines that I know. I believe it's because I have been splitting my
focus between my role in the play as Narrator and role for the production
as sound designer. But I am
personally happy with my work as the Narrator and I believe Director J.
Gary Thompson is, as well.
Since we started Tech for the sound
early there has already been some tweaks made to what co-designer Sarah
Saunders and I put together. Today, in less than an hour from the moment
I type this, in fact, Sarah will join the production team at the theatre
for a dry tech. Then, I should be
able to be back in Dayton and at the theatre for the cue-to-cue
that kicks off Tech Sunday,
It turns out that I had received that email Friday of last week, that which
I last posted on Monday I was waiting on, that email with instructions about
the time and the location for my entry for the pre-show hospitality reception
and for the sound check at tonight's show at Rupp Arena,
in Lexington, KY. It was buried among the myriad of junk mail. I had emailed
Rupp arena a couple days back to ask who do I contact to get the necessary
information. They gave me the contact company and said that I should have
received the email Friday. They also forwarded a copy of said email, so I
had the info even if I had inadvertently deleted and purged the one from
Friday. I hadn't, I found it today. Either way, I know when and where to
go, what to and what not to bring. I'm all set!
So, tonight, do I meet Sir Paul or not? Odds are: not. But hope springs
Opening Night was last
night. Tech Weekwrapped Thursday. There were some
obstacles during the tech rehearsal
period, but they were all minor and all in all the last stretch to the
opening of the show went well. Most of the obstacles had to do with
manipulating and maneuvering set pieces and props. Some of the prop plot
gets complicated, especially the part dealing with setting and clearing
booze bottles and shot glasses. Most scenes have specific needs. I have
three occasions to need a bottle and shot glass handy.
My own assessment of my work is that I have built a pretty damn good
Narrator. He really hasn't changed much, or perhaps at all, from the
Narrator I presented at audition,
so perhaps "built" is not wholly correct. I did add the limp that
I mentioned in an earlier post, so I suppose that could be considered a
build onto the character. It also helps that I have an annoying little corn
on the little toe of my left foot, and that the Narrator's boots are just
a small bit uncomfortable. So, though I'd already planned the limp, these
My off-book status has been at,
or close to, 99% for most of Tech Week. I stumbled a few times. On a couple
occasions it was because I was distracted by what was going on with sound;
my head was not completely on stage.
The password is: Focus
Sound was "completely done" going into Tech Week, with the exception
that it wasn't completely done. There was going to be a
special effect at one point
that had not been rigged yet. Director J. Gary Thompson ask for a back-up
sound effect just in case.
He asked for it Tuesday during notes.
I built it the next day and we
used it that night. Gary liked it, so it's now in the production and the
SPFX has been nixed.
There were some tweaks made Tech Sunday
but with the exception of the new sound added, I can't think of any changes
since Sunday. There were some adjustments on the timing of cue executions,
but no actual cue editing or sound changes made.
All of our sound techs, Brian
Buttrey, Co-Sound Designer
Sarah Saunders, and tonight's pinch-hitter, Adam Randolph, are all up on
the sound. Since the show opened last night, that's a good thing!
We opened last night and it was a solid performance all the way around. Some
of us, myself included, had some line flubs, but nothing that wasn't easily
fixed and nothing that the audience would be aware of. My flubs were mostly
using synonyms. In once case there was word that I
went up on, but fortunately it was
part of a small litany so I could move on without it being noticeable. I
think I might have mis-delivered one particular line, also. I am
supposed to say, "Whatever was to come"; I am reasonably sure
that I said, "Whatever was to happen," but I'm not 100% sure. I
was, though, quite happy with my Narrator, and can report that, in my opinion,
the cast as a whole did great work.
Sarah was on sound, and, as is the case when Sarah is on sound, it went
The only bummer about last night was that I could not parttake of any of
the snacks in the greenroom or
the Wheat Penny pizza during
the Opening Night Gala, because I
was on a twelve-hour fast before getting blood drawn this morning for some
routine lab work. [insert sad-face emoticon here]
Meanwhile the promocast was
shot Monday evening, and has been up since Tuesday afternoon.
Opening weekend is done. We had a strong first weekend, with, of course,
some glitches -- it is live theatre, after all. Regardless,
(or as my lovely, dearly-departed mother would
say, "irregardless"), we had a beautiful weekend of
performances. We didn't have the audience sizes we would have liked, but at
least we weren't barren of spectators.
gremlin decided to play some
games with us during the Saturday performance. Our
SM banged her hand while moving a
set piece onto the set, and some
swelling ensued. Next, a chair fell apart; it's back fell off during a scene.
Fortunately, the stage crew was
able to locate a suitable replacement chair and get it on stage during the
next scene change, there which an actor was going to need to sit in it.
Lastly, an audience member had a personal alarm go off accidentally during
a most tense moment in the play, one that really works much better with as
little sound happening as possible. But, it was an incident that was pretty
much beyond the person's control, so it's difficult to be pissed about it
-- I'm telling you, it was that DAMNED
Of course, I'm still on a quest for that perfect, absolutely-verbatim,
off-book performance by myself.
It's a good thing the magic is in the journey, because I haven't achieved
my arrival just yet, and this weekend was more "almost but not-quite"
steps on the trek. In two of the three performances I said the term
"old coot" instead of the correct "old wreck." Saturday
night I went up on a word. I'm
lucky it was part of a list, so I was able to swiftly move on without it
being a stumble. Sunday, I did stumble over my last monologue, just a tad.
I started to say a wrong name, then, because that threw me, I again went
up on a word, "conscience," and pulled the word "courage"
out of my ass to substitute. All minor, but the last one bugs me the most,
it's the last moment of the show, it's the period at the end; I hate that
it was not a solid moment.
SECOND REHEARSAL TONIGHT:
Tonight will be our second rehearsal and our second night of
table work. There actually will
be a sparing amount of rehearsals for this. Agter tonight there are only
three more before our first performance on June 29 at
Caesar Creek Vineyards. I was
able to sit with the script last night and do a little bit of
Yesterday morning I got to send a private message on facebook to congratulate
someone I have worked with in a theatre production for his freshly won
That's pretty awesome -- to be able to congratulate a colleague, whom I
know at least to some extent, for his winning of the most prestigious
award in the theatre world!
His name is Joey Monda,
and he is one of the producers of the multi-Tony-winning
I know Joey from his work on the production team for
Caroline, or Change
I believe he was the ASM
for that. Joey is not a close, personal friend of mine, but he is a theatre
colleague I have worked with and we have kept in some contact via facebook.
I can say that he's a nice guy and I am thrilled that I can say I
know a Tony winner!
I forgot to mention that at last Sunday's performance we had three vistors
from the Hopewell Theatre in
Youngstown, Ohio. They are mounting the show next season and came down to
see our production and ask a few questions about how we mounted it. One
being a question of how we approached sound design. We had a nice post-show
talk-back sort of thing with them.
Of course, the second weekend starts tonight. There was a
brush-up last night. I was not
required to attend. i was going to, but then I had an opportunity to see
a show *(see below) so I elected to opt out.
I'm hoping we have bigger audiences this weekend!
THE "NEXT" IS "NOW":
Meanwhile, I'm slipping into the next project with the second night of
table work that we had this
past Tuesday night for
Jefferson & Adams.
I'm working in somescript study,
but need to make room for more. The first performance is not really all
that far off.
This week I saw two really excellent stage performances by women.
1) I saw the final dress of
Lizzie Wednesday night at
The Human Race Theatre Company,
(the Pay What You Can Night). the show
is a lot of edgy fun with a really dynamic cast of bad-ass women, rocking'
it out. Bad-ass band, too! Congratulations to Deanna Giulietti, Natalie
Bird, Leslie Goddard-Baum, Michaella Waickman, Jamie Cordes, Jay Brunner,
Kevin Anderson, Jacquelyn Duncan, and all the rest involved in the production!
I highly recommend the show! It runs through June 30.
P.s: I did not get to see the Lizzie understudy, Rachel Mary Green,
but I have a strong suspicion she's at par with her sister cast members.
Who knows, I may drop back in to see it again and catch her in the role....
2) Last night I saw the incomparable
in her superb one-woman show, which she authored, The Milf Also Rises
at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.
Unfortunately the performances of it there are over. I would hope it gets
picked up and she does it again -- in fact, I know that there is "a
conversation" going on about a run at The Human Race Theatre Company.
If it shows anywhere again and you can get to it, I recommend seeing this
wonderful hour of intimate theatre. She/it was great!
The second weekend went just as well as the first. We even had an up-tick
in the audience counts, no full houses, but edged closer to that. I had a
shaky Friday; I'd even go so far as to say it flirted close to a personal
disaster show for me. I just
had a lot of line issues, going up
several times, dropping lines,
or using synonyms. Most of the errors were likely not perceived by the
audience. One time, I had to start a line over, however, and that was most
certainly perceived by the audience. I felt like sneaking out the back door
after the show to avoid the audience, altogether. I didn't, but I
contemplated it. I was unhappy.
MORE REHEARSAL FOR THE NEXT ONE:
Tonight we'll be at the X*ACT
theatre space for an on your feet rehearsal,
incorporating the little amount of blocking
we have. Beforehand, however, I will be rehearsing my lines out-loud at
home. I haven't had a lot of chance to speak this script and, as the
language is the language of a couple centuries ago, my modern tongue needs
to become better accustom to it. Plus, I want to work on the slight accent
I'm giving John Adams.
This is belated -- three days late, but, still....
Directed by J. Gary Thompson
Produced by Barbara Jorgensen
Assistant Producer - Scott Wright
Journey into the Wild West in the year 1890, in this classic story
of good versus evil, law versus the gun, one man versus Liberty
Valance. When a young scholar from New York City travels west in
search of a new life, he arrives beaten and half-dead on the dusty
streets of Twotrees. Rescued from the plains, the town soon becomes
his home. A local girl gives him purpose in a broken land, but is
it enough to save him from the vicious outlaw who wants him dead?
He must make the choice to turn and run or to stand up for what he
The Cast of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Jim "The Reverend" Mosten
The Promocast for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
I'll probably post my post-mortem
for the show tomorrow, but, of course, no guarantees....