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We got back to a music rehearsal last night (monday, 7/28) after taking the previous two sessions to work on blocking/staging. Jeff’s staging of the show is very ambitious and very funny. I can’t wait to see all the players moving, in costume, and singing the music, too!
The singing is coming along. There are still little, annoying patches that need scrubbing or patching or out-right “fixing.” Usually these moments involve the children. This is not to say that the kids are not doing a good job of learning their roles. They are. Patrick and Emily have learned their parts very well indeed. Both of them are off book (which is not true of some of the adults with smaller roles!), and they know the notes and rhythms. But, what they’re having trouble with is singing their parts together in harmony or singing the rhythms in time when they trade lines back and forth. But, these are matters that I’m sure we’ll take care of shortly.
The rest of the cast is still in various stages of being ready, vocally. Some are ready to do the show tomorrow; some are ready to go, but still have a few fumbles here and there. Some are still learning the lyrics and are working the notes. Almost always, this last case is one of singing 3 or 4-part harmony together. The music I’ve written isn’t particularly difficult, but it makes use of suspended chords and inflections that can cause problems if one is not concentrating fully on the notes. In other words, there are dissonances that are giving a few of the singers more trouble than they should. But, again, we “wood-shedded” the notes last night and had good success at alleviating some of the problems (meaning that there are still messes to clean up!)
This thursday, we’ll try our first complete “muddle-through” (walk-through) of the show. We’ll do almost everything: singing, acting, moving, dancing, etc… The only thing we’ll be leaving out is costumes and a good number of the props. We’ll throw those things in next week, which is turning out to be a very busy week, indeed, with rehearsal on monday night, tuesday morning, tuesday night, and thursday night.
I’ll write more about how things are going after that rehearsal.
One last thing: I want to thank Laura Barger for her wonderful talent and her calm and patient manner at the piano as we work our way through this show. She’s an amazing pianist and an open and giving spirit. We’re lucky to have her for this run.