We had a really good run Monday night. The actors are so in control of this show now. We finally gave them "audience spellers" to practice with (some intrepid New Liners have volunteered to be audience spellers for all three final rehearsals). Don't worry -- no one will be forced to participoate -- there will be a sign-up list at the box office if you want to be in the bee.
Several things struck me tonight.
First, what an odd piece of theatre this is! But I don't know that people will actually notice! It's so funny and warm and charming and wacky that I think folks will mostly just go along for the crazy ride. And it's also truthful. It's deeply, painfully, hilariously truthful. I think that's its real secret. Everyone in the audience will see themselves in at least one of these kids.
Also, to my great surprise, the balance between the singers and the band is outstanding. We're not using microphones for this one -- well, actually, we're using mics for the bee, but not for the songs. I really don't like mics. We use them when we have to, mostly when we do rock musicals. But I much prefer natural sound. I hate putting anything -- whether it's big sets or technology or anything else -- between the actors and the audience. With a rock musical, you have no choice. But with a show like this, you just need good actors who can project. It's often tough for the band to balance with the singers when they're not mic'd. But not tonight. Petersen and his boys are so great.
We also saw all the costumes finished for the first time, and they look terrific. To Amy's great credit, they're really authentic. They really help these actors become these kids, and not in a cartoony way, but in a very genuine way.
And we added the last of the specialty props. We got this incredible trophy that Best Bowling Pro Shop fixed up for us -- it's beautiful and totally personalized! And the awesome owner is loaning the trophy to us for the run for free. Mucho gracias!
Also Monday night, Dowdy (who plays Chip) got to work with the Food. I don't want to spoil the surprise f you haven't seen the show before, so I won't say exactly what kind of food, but suffice to say it was every bit as funny as we had hoped.
Such a stress free rehearsal for me! I took some notes, of course, but there's nothing major to fix. All very small, fine-tuning stuff. This show is in great shape and it's only getting cooler day by day. I can't wait to share it!!
Long Live the Musical!