Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today was rehearsal--yay! After the Factory Girls rehearsal was cancelled last week, I hadn't done Parade for awhile, so I was glad to be back with everyone!
Today we had the entire cast, and we were fitted for costumes. I always think I'm going to have more time to starve myself before this process starts (but we did get our JCC passes today, so at least I can hit the gym before rehearsals now!). Our costume designer is very nice; I think it will be fun to work with her. Since Essie is a teenager, she won't be in long skirts, so I imagine I'll have a costume(s) that are knee-length, with stockings and button boots. 
After we were all measured, we began blocking the first three scenes. We are onstage for, I think, the first five songs, until Newt's "Interrogation" scene, when we get a one-scene break before the funeral (we are blocking this tomorrow). We were in the "dance and music" room at the JCC, since Capital is using the theater for their production of "Into the Woods", which is being performed next weekend. (Incidentally--it's Mel's freshman year at Cap, and "Into the Woods" was the musical during my freshman year. Weird.) 
We also didn't have our accompanist, so we didn't do as much music as we'd hoped, but we did sing "The Old Red Hills of Home" and "The Dream of Atlanta" a cappella (which really impressed Frank and Jennifer, the first time we did it. I was proud). 
Frank's blocking style is "Organic" (his word). A lot of it is very technical; as in, the chorus parts to reveal Lucille at her dressing table; we part to reveal the pencil factory, etc. So some of what we do is scripted. But the rest is sort of loose, at this point. Frank tells us what he wants, and we do it. He broke us up into "family/couple units", so we always have someone with us and can interact with that person/people. The scene between Leo and Lucille went really well--Lucille (played by Liz) is just wonderful. She's exactly who I would have cast. She and Jon (who plays Leo) both look exactly like they should. We sort of walked through "How Can I Call This Home?" but that's hard to do without the music giving all the cues. So that will probably wait until we run Act I sometime next week. 
All in all, a good rehearsal. I love blocking, because that's when you start creating the character. How does Essie interact with others? Who are her friends? What kind of mannerisms does she have? 
Tomorrow we do "The Picture Show"/"Leo At Work"/"Interrogation", with The Funeral Sequence and "Big News" on Wednesday. 

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