Saturday, November 17, 2007

What A "Hose-"er!

Today, we had two runthroughs of "Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer."

Two REALLY strong runthroughs. (Well, OK, except for ME--but everyone ELSE...)

The timing just keeps getting better and better, and I'm getting more and more comfortable with the new blocking and character quirks. Santa's an even bigger perv than he was last year, if that's possible...and as it turns out, yes. Yes it is.

We have lots of new cast members this year, including our titular Rudolph (Corey Mills). (See photo of him in previous post. The one where I'm choking him with a scarf.) Everyone is really strong, but there are a few stand-outs for me personally, just because of my interaction with them onstage.

Besides, Corey, who just keeps getting better and better, I think I've developed an opposite-sex crush (for the first time since Ms. Lynda Carter) on my "wife," Elizabeth Lesinski, who plays Mrs. Claus and Dolly, the misfit toy. Watching her during rehearsal today, I just marvelled anew at how good she is at physical comedy, and what a terrific dancer and singer she is. She nails every fucking note. She's also deliciously evil when Santa gets his "comeuppance" (and you know with a character as loathsome as he is, there's got to be one). I'm just afraid that she's going to make me keep cracking up during the end scene when she mutters insults to me. Thank heavens it's a pretty brief scene, and we're standing near the back during most of it.

Also Eve Orient-Bernfield, who plays "Christmastown's biggest celebrity and local gossip Gladys Dasher," deserves kudos. Eve, a cute, petite, intelligent-looking girl, is filling the massive pumps formerly worn-out--er, I mean, worn--by David Cerda, which is no small feat (no pun intended). But her Gladys is delightfully catty and prissy and repressed, and she works the stage like Broadway's answer to Xaviera Hollander (and I mean that in a good way). She and her partner Brian, who's also our stage manager (and a damned good one) also live in my neighborhood, which makes me like them all the more. (People are always surprised to discover that they live near each other in Rogers Park--RP is still sort of the "bastard cousin" of Chicago neighborhoods, being the furthest from the Loop outside Austin.)

I think we're in a really good place right now, and it's largely due to Brian and Justin Kirkeberg, the director, who started us rehearsing a full month ago. At first I thought I'd never make it through this schedule, but I think it's really going to pay off come tech week--having things already blocked (with stage measurements and everything) is going to make it SO much easier when the inevitable changes happen that first night in the actual theatre space.

Also, Rachel Boller (who played Connie, Gladys' right-hand bitch last year and is playing Rudolph's mother this year) did some superb choreography which is looking pretty snappy.

Maybe Christmas WON'T be so crappy this year after all...


Blogger Stephen Rader said...

I can't wait to see it!!!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

You'll LOVE it!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Sounds like a great production is in the works!

10:10 PM  

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