Thursday, January 08, 2009

"That's What He Said"

(No, really, he did!)
Tonight we spent the entire two hour rehearsal on "That's What He Said," Jim Conley's testimony in the first act that basically convinces everyone Leo is guilty of Mary's murder. Jim (played by my friend LaRon from J&H) tells about Leo's other dalliances in the factory, with women, girls, and a "young black man from Chicago". The crowd reacts with disbelief and, then, absolute hatred (we get to sing fun things like "Hang the Jew!" and "bastard!" Not family-friendly language, right there). By the end we're calling for him to be hanged. 

And right after this, Leo gets to tell us why he's not guilty. Somehow I don't think the crowd's going to buy it. (His soliloquy, "It's Hard to Speak My Heart" is absolutely heart-wrenching. I can't wait to hear Jon--our Leo--sing it.) But really, he's singing it to Lucille, to convince her. And he does. 

So the crowd vocal line for this number is the most involved piece we've done so far; ergo, it's probably the hardest in the show. We are all over the place, with solo voices, Jim singing, us under him, Leo chiming in at the end. It will sound great, and by the end of rehearsal we managed to get through the entire thing (with Kristen playing the orchestral reduction) without a train wreck. Amazing. 

Next week is call for separate groups; my only rehearsal is on Wednesday, where me and the other factory girls will learn "The Factory Girls/Come Up To My Office". We have a reprise in the second act, but I'm not sure if we're going to sing that (it's right before our scene with the Governor and Lucille). So Parade notes next week will be light. 

And, in honor of Poetry Thursday, I shall give you the lyrics to Leo's "It's Hard to Speak My Heart":

It's hard to speak my heart
I'm not a man who bares his soul.
I let the moment pass me by
I stay where I am in control.
I hide behind my work
Safe, and sure of what to say.
I know I must seem hard. 
I know I must seem cold. 

I never touched that girl. 
You think I'd hurt a child yet?
I'd hardly seen her face before.
I swear--I swore--we'd barely met. 
These people try to scare you
With things I never said!
I know it makes no sense. 
I swear I don't know why...

You see me as I am. 
You can't believe I'd lie. 
You can't believe I'd do these deeds.
A little man who's scared and blind,
Too lost to find the words he needs.
I never touched that child--God!
I never raised my hand!

I stand before you now
Incredibly afraid. 
I pray you understand. 

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