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2012/09/19: First readthrough

September 20th, 2012 josepharagon Comments off

Survived the first readthrough! Great group of actors. Some of those songs I was hearing sung for the first time

From the read, we could tell that Act I is solid, but Act II could use some tightening up. The Act II opener needs a bit more drive to it, and some lyric tweaks to the Finale are in order. So nothing serious so far, just touch-ups

We had a short design presentation before the read. ¬†Our set designer, Beth, told us about the metal mezzanine we’re borrowing from Sheridan College’s production of Sweeney Todd (which Adam directed), and our costume designer Melanie had some sketches out, which Adam said looked like they were straight from a Ralph Bakshi cartoon. However this show turns out, at least it’ll look cool.

The afternoon was spent staging “Worse than Death”, the opening number. It’s being choreographed by our associate director Linda Garneau. Not really dancing, but some very cool and subtle movement. Linda and Adam worked on the Sheridan Sweeney together. When I saw that production, there was one neat move that consisted of just a small quick head turn. Doesn’t sound very exciting, but when thirty people turn their heads en masse in perfect synchronization, it’s downright creepy. And they’re using a similar style for “Worse than Death” — small but potent minimalistic movement.

Busy day tomorrow. Looks like we’ll be tackling a whole lotta scenes.

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2012/09/18: First full-cast rehearsal

September 18th, 2012 josepharagon Comments off

I arrived in Toronto on Sunday. Adam (Brazier, our director) had already rehearsed a full week with the four principals (Evan, Eddie, Trish and Jan), and today was our first rehearsal with the full cast.

It was nice to finally meet them — all 14 of them. Along with our creative and production teams, as well as some Theatre 20 admin staff, there was a small army present today. We didn’t do a full readthrough because Evan, our Burke, had a film gig. So Jason (Jestadt, our musical director) used today to teach everyone the large group numbers, namely the openers and closers of both acts. Today’s takeaway: the large numbers are lyrically very dense and lyrically very bleak. The company spent all day singing dark, angry mob songs with lines like “Kill him! Hang him!” and “Die, villain, die!”

At the end of the day, Jason had to assure everyone, “There really are lighter moments in this show. Just not in anything we’ve sung today.”

First readthrough tomorrow. Gonna be interesting…

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