Saturday, March 7, 2009

Broadway Gala Part II

In continuation of my entry over my contemplation about the Broadway Gala, I'd like to share of my most recent experiences with the Broadway Gala this year. There is something about putting on an actual production that is very different than preparing for a choral competition. You end up spending much more time on a musical theatre production than you can hope to budget for. After 9 years of putting on the Broadway Gala one would think that I would be prepared for all the extra rehearsals and prep the show requires...but it seems to catch me off guard every year!

This year was no exception and it was not aided by that I fact I missed rehearsals leading up to the production. I missed some massive blocking rehearsals and run-through opportunities, however, by using my "look-like-you-know-what-you're-doing" technique, I was able to survive. It's all about confidence. Confidence that you will be able to carry off the show even though some details may not be perfect.

The show was on Saturday and since I got back from Vancouver on Wednesday evening, that meant I only had Thursday's rehearsal to get through everything. At this point, I had yet to compile any of my costumes, which would be necessary for Saturday's performance, (I just ended up just using things out of my closest) and I barely looked at my music (relying on the rehearsal c.d. we were given to learn the words). This didn't matter since it seemed like most people didn't seem to remember dance moves from the Tuesday blocking rehearsal I missed anyway. Thank goodness for friends in the choir you can shadow until you know what you're doing!

As well, since I was early to Thursday's rehearsal, I was recruited to be a showgirl-like back-up dancer for the solo number "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful." We started blocking the dance on Thursday but we didn't finish it until 1pm on the day of the show! This dance was a lot of fun and as apprehensive I might have been about it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm not sure what that says about me and my satisfaction in displaying a sexualized persona of myself for public viewing.
As well, the experience was memorable largely due to the fact it was so much fun working with our lively choreographer and it was inspiring to see his commanding strut.

The show itself had it's fair share of hiccups. We were working with a pianist who specialized in musical theater and he was amazing except for the fact that we barely had anytime to rehearse with him so during our South Pacific dance number, timing was off in some places and it was hard for us to keep up with him. Also, the smoke machine man kept on releasing billows of fog in anticipation of the Wicked numbers, but he kept on doing it while 6 soloist were gently singing ABBA's "I Have a Dream," and the massive hissing smoke sounds coming from the machine was not exactly inconspicuous.

Another number I signed up for was to be a mother for "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now" from Hairspray. I absolutely adore this song so I was happy to be volunteer to be one of the Mom's, but it didn't occur to me only after that I was only a few years older than my pretend daughter. I must have had her when I was 7...oh well, minor details! I knew I would just have to compensate by displaying motherly frustration as my daughter contemplated physical experimentation with males. The song went well enough and although I accidentally dragged my daughter off to the wrong side of the stage (which meant that she had to quickly dash across the back of the stage to enter into her lineup for the Corny Collins show) no permanent damage was done...minus the mic that was still on her during the whole Corny Collin's dance number...and minus the fact you could hear the mic pop everytime she moved...again, minor details really!

All in all the Broadway Gala succeeded and everyone had a lot of fun. That's what it comes down to really, it doesn't matter how many tiny imperfections there were about the performance, but just the fact we were able to get through it and have a lot of fun as well. Everybody had their own part to play and everybody executed what they needed to do. All the soloists carried their pieces off beautifully and we all worked together to produce a show that was extremely entertaining. It also helped that Steven consented to be Edna from Hairspray. Not every man can pull that off...props to Steven!

I can only imagine what Broadway Gala v.10 has in store!

Thanks to Amy for providing the photos!

Dancing Queen soloists

Disco ready!

Mother and daughter strike a disco pose :)

The South Pacific Sailors

Kayla looking adorable in her South Pacific outfit

Our very own Steven as Edna! I think he might be wearing my red lipstick....


Anonymous said...

That's totally awesome!! And I didn't notice any of the mistakes other than the fog machine. You definitely need the I know what I'm doing look perfected for things like this because people really don't know you've made a mistake until you let them know. :)

Also: was looking at the other 2 posts and those are pretty interesting things!! I love your pieces!

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