Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Johnny, Candy, Johnny, Candy, Candy...JOHNNY.

So, there's this song...and it's the hardest damn song I've *ever* had to learn, in this show: "Johnny and Me". I thought "Bukowsical's" crazy listing of a bajillion words was hard but this...It's basically her monologue(almost word for word!) to Ben from the movie, in song form. From the absence of rhyme to the crazy range, I want to personally thank Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith for making me completely doubt myself as a performer, haha ;) . (This blog thing won't let me link the video, so use the URL under the picture if you're curious...)


ANYWAY, a challenge is a good thing. And stretching my range is a good thing. I just hope I don't break all the glass in the theater and subsequently, people's souls and ears, whilst I do it.

In other news, I get an awesome little ditty called "Music Box" (using the actual song from the music box in the movie stretched into a full song). Since she's absolutely bonkers from the trauma of being attacked by a man trying to eat her, losing her brother, being chased by cannibals, and stumbling into a house with a dead person upstairs- she really focuses on a few key phrases...Johnny...and candy. This is a particularly creepy tune where she's trying to make sense of what the hell is happening. A song in the key of WTF, if you will.

We have rehearsed all of the group numbers, and though the jarring changes in tempo and counting can be a struggle, you notice that it really pulls the audience in all the directions that the characters are going through. They've all been thrown into this situation and are scared, frantic, and desperate and the music conveys that. In's pretty rad.

Sarah (Helen) and I have been working on our final concept for the costumes and are about ready to search and destroy! Scott wants us to keep the whole look very natural. As much as we'd love to put everyone in psychedelic colors and patterns- these are just a bunch of squares trying to stay alive. 

By the way, have you all started working on your costumes for Halloween? Because, I'm going to be honest...if I don't see people in costumes through-out this run; Barbra might just change the script and start biting people herself.

Sweet, spooky dreams!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Days of the Living Dead

WHADDUP, BITCHEEES! I'm back to blogging (mainly about the make our lovely director happy ;) ). The last few posts I made on here were depressing as hell and I was in a completely different place/mind set/city/etc. SO, I decided to leave those in the past and move on.

Onwards and upwards!

The past few months have been quite a blur and such a blast/challenge/trial. For starters...I turned the monumental and crisis-inducing age of 25. I was a stitcher at the chaotic and rewarding season at Opera Theatre St. Louis, rehearsed and performed "Bukowsical" with New Line Theatre (my first show since Cry-Baby- over a year!), one of my best friends got married, I filmed a web series, my sister moved across the country, and my darling significant other, Ryan, started a brand new company here in the Lou and debuted it's first production. WHEW! That's just the major stuff...
But, I digress. In regards to the amazing experience of "Bukowsical" the musical -based, hilariously and ironically, on the life of Charles Bukowski and which we lovingly nicknamed "the freight train from hell"-well, let me say this...if I learned anything from that show, it's that I should always completely trust my director and fellow actors. When I first opened that script, I had NO idea what to expect. It baffled and kind of scared me. I didn't blog about it because honestly, I had no idea what to say! So rarely does one get the chance to do something almost no one (save for the original and only production) has done. The vision Scott had for us was totally different than the the first production so that left so much open for interpretation and play! It was crass, hilarious, fast, poignant, harsh, ridiculous and awesome. A truly unique show I will never forget.

Now, to the present. My Halloween season has officially begun! Wee! And we have just begun another almost totally new show: Night of the Living Dead The Musical. And guess who I get to be? The one who is nuts and comatose in a corner most of the show... to sum it up...

Yeah, she talks about this guy...a LOT. And candy.

When I've mentioned the idea behind this production, most people have just looked at me oddly. Specifically for the fact that it's meant to be serious; a thriller. With all the new and random ass shows out there now, people don't think there's room for a serious zombie musical? POPPPYCOSH! And as for the movie, though there may be hilarity in the camp and ancient effects, it was NEVER meant to be funny. It's a serious social commentary of the time and was frightening then and even now.

Thanks, dude, for RUINING MY DAY.
As opposed to Evil Dead the musical- which, coincidentally, will be running the same time as ours (DOUBLE DEAD SHOWS! WOOHOO!) and focuses on the funny ridiculousness of the genre- this a focus on the psychological damage and emotional turmoil the survivors go through during this event, the decisions they've made and how they got there, their relationships, and what happens when there are no more options. It's pretty freaking cool. Not to mention, everyone sounds amazing and the set will stun you with it's awesomeness.

"What? I just wanted dad for noms, mom."

The music really caught me off guard. It's like nothing I've heard before, Mary Beth - our Judy (ha)- came up with the perfect term: creepy-pop. It's gothic at times, disjointed and dissonant, and then pretty and calm. It's CREEPY AWESOME. However, I will admit, some of Barbra's material is extremely challenging. I am a mezzo soprano stretching myself into a LEGIT soprano which some very difficult lyrics and counting. OOf, mama.

This will be a definite challenge, but I'm ready to get spooky on ya'll.

Love and spooky dreams, darlings.

P.s. stay tuned for costume design blogness!