We survived the Lady reading last week! And much as I hate to admit it, I actually learned a whole bunch of stuff. Most of it’s good news: we’re definitely onto something. There’s much rewriting/reconsidering to do (not to mention the fact that we only have one act so far [!!!]), but having seen what works and what doesn’t – even in a cobbled-together stumble-through such as this was – I can report that inspiration and motivation are running high at my house. As is despair, seeing as how I am still out of work. Life’s great! And it’s all over. Business as usual.
Matt Hinkley was our superhuman musical director, who not only taught all of what turned out to be a bit too much music (hooray!), but also managed to ridicule me mercilessly for the three chords I labeled wrong. (That’s okay, because I can take it, and Hinkley, you’ll get yours.) Even though I envision the eventual presentation to include elements of electronica (or whatever we’re calling it by then) fused with prerecorded plainsong and chant (Local 8-0-who?) with the pop-flavored melodies layered on top, Matt was able to evoke a surprising amount of atmosphere from one measly upright piano.
But of course, the hugest, most massive thanks goes to our beyond-brilliant cast. With a mere two days’ music rehearsal under their belts, they pretty much read the script cold and put on a show, fearless pros that they are. Down the road, we’re hoping for a cast of 16, so these 10 maniacs had to pull double- and even triple-duty – but nobody complained, and everybody totally BROUGHT IT. I wasn’t kidding last week when I said they were geniuses, but I also wasn’t being coy by not telling you who they were. I just wanted to make sure that nobody wanted to remain anonymous or had any qualms about being publicly associated with this project. They didn’t. So now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you (in order of appearance [in the alphabet]), The Lady Bunch: Ephie Aardema; David Brian Colbert; Wilkie Ferguson; Brittney Lee Hamilton; Colin Hanlon; Morgan James; Joey Khoury; Eric Michael Krop; Donna Vivino; and Bayla Whitten. And Eric Gilde read the stage directions (we felt like we were there!). And Eric Bernat wrote the book AND smashed himself in the face trying to adjust a music stand, so that happened.
And then, suddenly, it was over. I wish I could hang around with these people every day. (And maybe someday it’ll happen!) The whole process was just the right combination of fun and nerve-wracking, and in the end, turned out to be very informative and not a little rewarding…and let’s not forget daunting. So for now, the work and screaming contradictions continue. Because this show is already great! And terrible! I love musical theatre! Do I smell gas?