SoM opening night!

December 23, 2009

Woot! Just home from an exhilarating opening night of Sound of Music. While the show was fun, the best part was the audience! We could feel the warmth and appreciation even through the downstage monitor speakers. Everyone was upbeat and happy, givin’ it all back to this loving crowd. Backstage, we kept crying out, “We love this audience!”

Mother Abbess gave all her nuns yellow roses for the opening, and Esther, our indomitable choreographer, left us pink carnations with a wonderful note. Phillippa, our sister nun, gave each of us three teeny plastic flying nuns that look like they have superpowers. Well, let’s face it, if you were both a nun and a being capable of flying, you’d have to be a superhero!

I remain terrified of the runway (the 3′ wide arc that reaches out beyond the stage) but have determined to conquer my terror sometime before the show is over.

This show has given me so many reasons to think of my Aunt Dolores, who died several years ago. She was Sister Dolores Marie McLaughlin and she was an inspiration and a friend.

She would have loved to have known that I was playing a nun again (I played Maria in high school). If only there were some way to make these things happen faster in life, so that so many who have passed beyond the Veil could still take part—in a corporeal way!

I think of my grandparents and certain aunts and uncles, imagining what it would be like to have them in the audience. It would be such a joy.

With family so far away (or so dead!), I rely primarily on friends to fill that emotional need for someone in the audience to connect with. When they are able to come, there’s no easy way to link up with them afterwards—the Bus-Chum has no green room.

I think it’s so important to have a way to link back up with the audience after a show. They are often hungry to close the loop and give back some love with compliments and kudos. And then you shine it right back with thanks, and it all becomes a big love fest!

The theme of this post seems to be all about love and longing, doesn’t it? I believe Four Things In The World, and one of them is that “love is the best thing.” Take it as you will, but I believe, love is the best thing. May you find it and keep it with you and yours.

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All hail Capezio!

December 12, 2009

And now for the completely mundane: After 20 years or so of wearing heels no higher than my Chuck Taylors, I had to buy character shoes for The Sound of Music. I got the leather “Footlight” shoes from Capezio. Bliss!

The shoes didn’t need any breaking in and, more importantly, neither did I. I don’t feel like I’m tottering around ready to fall over. I can even almost run in them. Not that I recommend it (running, that is).


Redbird set free

December 3, 2009

Wow, this feels really good: Redbird is ready for release! After months of sitting on the mp3, I’m making it available here.

Except I can’t! Oh, I don’t believe this! <rant rant rant> Stupid WordPress won’t let me upload the mp3. Blast!

Okay, calming down. What I can do is make the mp3 available to anyone who asks me for it. So comment on this post or email me and I can send you the mp3 directly.

For those who haven’t read every post in this blog, Redbird is a song I wrote based on a children’s song that Lara Weaver wrote based on a snippet of a bluegrass tune she heard at some point in time. Her song is happy; my song’s about suicide. Just goes to show ya. I was fortunate enough to record the song with the amazing and astounding Kevin MacDowell. Who you can hear if you request the mp3 file. Grrrr….


Caretakers verdict in

December 3, 2009

Caretakers (formerly Kindred), the short play that Lori and I wrote, survived its second table reading at the BPP’s BloomingPlays series. The feedback was much more enthusiastic than the first reading, so we must have done something right in our re-write!

What was interesting to watch was how vested audience members were in either character. There are only two characters in the play and we’ve created them to be relatively equally sympathetic. That leaves audience members rooting for one or the other, sometimes vehemently.

The play revolves around the decision to bring Mom (who’s just had a stroke) back into her home and have Pam move in and take care of her. Pam’s sister Rose is willing to handle the financial and logistical details from afar (she lives in another state) if Pam will give the hands-on care. Pam doesn’t want to give up her life to take care of Mom—but neither does Rose. What’s a caring daughter to do?

All the plays in the workshop series were supposed to be read once more in January, but new artistic director Chad Rabinovitz decided to cut it short. He cut one play from the series, chose two that will receive full productions, and chose two that will receive staged readings. Caretakers falls into that last group.

Lori and I are disappointed that we don’t get another shot at development, but what’s a playwright to do in this sitch? We’re now faced with the question of whether to do another re-write of the play. Re-writes are due 03 January—closing night of Sound of Music. (I’m nunning and Lori’s stage managing.) With the heavy workload of rehearsals and performances this month, I just don’t see how we’ll have the time to do any more.

I guess I’m also irritated because we were told from the start that plays would be selected for development in part based on the playwrights’ participation in the process. Both Lori and I have been there as much as we can—hours and hours of munching on tortilla chips and sneaking raspberry danishes. The other playwrights have done just as much, so perhaps this is a moot point. Overall I feel like we were told one thing in the beginning and now we’re hearing something else mid-process. This is likely due to budgetary issues which Chad alluded to, but it still bugs me. I like Pam and Rose and would have liked to have seen the next phase of their development. Harumph.