Monday, March 28, 2011

FINALLY a Glass Menagerie recap

I know, I know!  I've been a terrible theatre blogger lately.  You know why?  BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN DOING TOO MUCH THEATRE. 

Also more tweeting, more Tumblr-ing (tumbling?) and less full-scale blogging. It's just awfully difficult to sit down and write a full blog sometimes.

But I owe it to you all to have a recap of The Glass Menagerie, because a) I always recap shows and b) it was just so very special to me to perform the role of Laura. 

So, the show?  Was an amazing experience.  It was just so very different for me as a performer to not rely on my singing ability (not meant to sound arrogant, of course, just know where my strong points are) to carry me through a show.  And Tennesee Williams is kind of the meat and potatoes of theatre, so I had to really put my Literary Pants on for this one.  I really wanted to do it justice, and make Mr. Williams proud as well as do my cast and director a solid and make them glad they cast a newbie in such a heavy show/role. 

Every single night, after the show, I would just be exhausted while driving home.  Playing Laura was an emotionally draining experience, and I feel like that may be some testament to how much I cared about it and how hard I worked.  It certainly wasn't physically demanding.  But baring myself emotionally like I tried to do every night was exhausting.  Luckily I had an amazing cast around me and one hell of a support system from them, the production team and crew  (David, Doug, Faye, Cody, Paul) and all the other LCT Volunteers that just made me feel so welcome (Johnny, Donna, Deborah, Keith...all of you). 

Rather than post a million production photos, I decided to make a video slide show.  All photos were taken by Deborah Roche, and the music is a song called "Au Milieu" by my friends in the band Manic Bloom:

Now to my cast:

Keegan -- I so much loved meeting you and getting to play your sister.  I really feel like we honored the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his sister, and our scenes together were my very favorites in the whole show.  I really hope we get to re-create that awesome onstage chemistry together some time soon, and I hope we get to work together LOTS more.

Victoria -- I can't believe it's seriously been 10 years since the one and only other time we worked together, and I am so glad that we got to both put on our Serious Actor Pants again with this beautiful show.  I'm still not quite over the post-show blues from this one, and you're a big reason for that.  I miss talking to you and sitting next to you getting ready for each show and rolling our eyes at how "stupid" Dave and Keegan are.  MUST WORK TOGETHER AGAIN SOON.

Juan -- I am so very proud of the work you did for this show.  As the Gentleman Caller, it's probably easy to feel like you're not as important a part of the show, but you allowed me to show a completely different, lit-up and alive side of Laura as that scene grew (before you totally crushed her heart, of course...LOL).  Thank you for opening yourself up to some potentially awkward first time stage kisses...I hope they weren't too gross.  ;) 

Dave -- O Captain, my Captain!  Thank you so much for casting me as Laura.  I absolutely loved working with LCT, and you were an amazing director.  Thanks for trusting all of us so much and letting us explore and then gently and subtly guiding us into the characters you had dreamed of us becoming...and also for trusting us when we maybe caused you to re-think some things.  You're amazing, and I can't thank you enough for the opportunity.

Friday, March 4, 2011

That Explains the Fiddle in the Wings

"In memory, everything seems to happen to music."
— Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)

Don't you love how sometimes hearing a song will immediately take you back to a particular place and time in your life? Smells can often have the same effect on me, but not quite as much so as music does. Sometimes I'll even swear that hearing a song can trigger memories so strong that I can actually smell smells that are related to those memories. Weird, huh? But it's true.

I realized the other day on the way to a rehearsal that some of the shows that have been the most important to me have songs associated with them.  Now, since I've mostly done musicals, one might assume that I mean songs from the production.  Not so much.  In some cases, it's a song we'll have used for dance warmups from rehearsal #1, so I naturally associate the song with the show.  In other instances, however, it's just a song that was really popular during the weeks/months that I am in the rehearsal and production process for a show.

I'll hear one of these particular songs, and I immediately and subconsciously conjure up feelings and memories from that production: the feel of certain costume pieces, the smell of hairspray and stage makeup, and even more intangible things such as the way certain scenes and certain people made me feel. 

It's all so vague and cerebral that it's hard for me to put into I'll assume that you know exactly what I mean.

Here are some songs that remind me of particular shows, in no particular order:

1. The Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name"

This song always reminds me of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  See? Why on EARTH would this song make me think of DRS?  Well this is one of the first songs I downloaded into my "workout mix" when I really started trying to lose weight, and Muriel was the first role I got after the Weight Loss Journey began.  I learned that one of my songs was to be performed while I was wrapped up in nothing but a bed sheet, so I stepped up the workouts pretty hard core!

2. Cascada "Every Time We Touch"

Oh my gosh I love this song SO MUCH and it still makes me have mini solo dance parties in my car.  I absolutely cannot sit still during this song.  We used this for our dance warmups during Crazy For You and it also started off the "Sexy Playlist," which we played in the girls' dressing room.  The Sexy Playlist was a CD full of songs that the girls in the cast and I put together to get us feeling all sexy and awesome before the show.  I still listen to this playlist at least once a week.

3. Flo Rida feat. David Guetta - "Club Can't Handle Me"

This song always makes me think of The Producers last summer.   My BFF Shelly and the show's dance captain and fellow cast member, Casey,  introduced me to the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and we spent an evening catching up on a bunch of back episodes and one of my favorite choreographers was the Tabitha & Napolean couple (aka "NappyTabs").  They choreographed a short combination to this song for Dance Day 2010, and Casey and I decided to learn it.  She did a LOT better with it than I did....but it was still fun! 

4. Mumford and Sons -- "Sister"

This song will always remind me of my current show, The Glass Menagerie.  One of my castmates, Keegan, burned me a copy of the Mumford & Sons CD "Sigh No More," and I absolutely am in love with this band.  We also use this song for curtain call for the show, and the lyrics are just kinda, I don't know, PERFECT.  So of course I had to download it, too, and I know that every time I listen to it....especially over the next few weeks when I'm dealing with the post-show blues for this one...I'll think of my amazing cast and crew of this show.

Speaking of my current show...

THERE ARE ONLY TWO PERFORMANCES LEFT!  Tonight (March 4th) and tomorrow night (March 5th) at 8pm at Lakeside Community Theatre in The Colony, TX.  You definitely will feel like a giant tool if you miss this one, because it's awesome.  So come see it!