I’ve been a Barry Manilow fan for as long as I can remember and was lucky enough to see the stage production of Copacabana while I was living in Erie. This is such a fun song!
I’m so excited to direct Bright Star this Spring! Auditions will take place the first week of February and I can almost guarantee you’ll get tired of hearing me talk about the show as we move through the rehearsal process. But until then, here’s a taste!
Bring it On: The Musical is a serious guilty pleasure of mine. I’m COMPLETELY the wrong age demographic for that particular show, but the music stole my heart. Enjoy!
If you have been paying attention to the world of musical theater in recent months, then you’ve heard of Six: The Musical. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite song so here’s one of several!
Switching things up a bit for a few weeks – gonna be sharing some of my favorite songs from the world of musical theater. This song is my absolute favorite from the musical Waitress. Sarah Bareilles wrote the score.
Multiple times this week, I got to hear some of our community’s young people singing together in rehearsal as we continue to rehearse for the December show at the Hawkeye Community Theater – “The Nutty Nutcracker”. The kids in the cast range in age from Kindergarten through high school. Academically, they could never be in the same class. Athletically, it wouldn’t be safe to put the little ones on the same team as the older kids. Instrumental music? As much as I love it – and as much joy as playing instruments has brought to my own life! – the wide difference in skill level would prevent all of them being in the same ensemble. Choir? Now we’re getting closer. But let’s be honest – the music that would be a challenge for the littlest in the cast would be boringly simple for the older kids. To keep all age groups challenged, we once again would need to separate them.
But the world of theater? Ah! Now THERE is a jewel. With multiple characters that require different levels of acting skill, different vocal music abilities, and different amounts of time spent on stage . . . the most novice actor can share the memories of a show with a veteran of the stage.
I’ve also begun listening to the soundtrack for the show that I will be privileged to direct at Fort Dodge Senior High this coming Spring. It will be my tenth at FDSH and I’m just as excited about this title as I have been about the other nine! But don’t ask what it is because we aren’t quite ready to reveal it just yet. (Contracts to be signed and such!) And no, I WON’T give you a hint!
I had an unexpected day off work today – an all-school field trip took all the kids off campus! – so I spent the time reading, running errands and listening to the music that I will be writing staging and choreography for very soon. Every so often a snippet of inspiration would hit . . . an idea for a set piece or clever scene change; a dance move that absolutely MUST be included in a particular song; a fun transition to move actors to different spots on the stage mid-song . . . you get the idea! I simply listened to a musical soundtrack all day and got to call it “work”!
Working with young performers from varied levels of experience and watching them grow in their art or getting to listen to a gorgeous score and honestly tell my hubby “I worked for a good chunk of my day off” . . . I really do have the best job!
Maybe it’s the Sophomore dance captain who showed fantastic leadership skills as she helped a cast member get caught up after missing a dance rehearsal. With patience and encouragement, she taught and clarified dance steps and helped to polish a fellow performers work.
Maybe it’s the principal characters who are devoted to crafting characters that are multi-dimensional, true to the story, and engaging. Their creative ideas enrich the performance, their hard work makes the accents sound just a bit more polished each time they speak, and they bring chills or make me laugh often.
Maybe it’s the AMAZING sound of the cast as they work through a vocal rehearsal.
Maybe it’s a dance line that works like they’ve been performing together for years, making sure things like hand placement and toe point match!
I could go on for pages. And I would still be barely scratching the surface. They wear me out, make me laugh, take my breath away, give me all sorts of reasons to keep layering in new ideas, and keep me feeling young.
As I type this, I’m COMPLETELY exhausted. It was a very busy week which ended today with a seven-hour day working on the “big numbers” – trying to make up the time lost to snow day cancellations – and my back and legs are so sore that I can hardly move. But I cannot imagine a better way to end my week.
They wear me out, their energy can be a bit much to handle, and the schedule I run each Spring is nothing short of crazy. But I love every minute spent learning from, growing with, and directing “my” theater kids!