Saturday, October 16, 2010

Man, she's something else!

OK I can't believe we are down to our last four performances. We had a lot of New Line Family there last night, New Liners that have done shows with us in the past, and it was a great audience. I also had some fellow community theatre friends there, and they are also great laughers and helped keep the show flowing by keeping the laughing up.

This continues to be a great experience. Scott was telling me the other day that during one of the last couple of shows he leaned over to Alison and said "Would you ever thought Joel would be such a great part of not only one comedy team, but two comedy tems in the last couple of shows?" and Alison replied"Nope, and I don't think Joel did either". That is true, I never thought I was that funny. I remember during the Wild Party Blog I gave praises to Mike Dowdy who is amazing to work with, and this show I am having a blast working with Troy. Troy and I have been friends for a long time, and this is the first time we have really had to act opposite each other and it is very comfortable. I know I stressed him out when I didn't know the lyrics for the longest time, and now we have a ritual of going through each song in the dressing rooms before we go out to sing it. I know I give him crap about cinching his coveralls, and spraying his hair EVERY time we go off stage it is great working with him.

This whole cast is great working with. If you haven't seen the show, like I said you only have tonight and next weekend to see it. Then THis mop of a hairstyle is coming off. I can't wait to get a hair cut.

Til next time.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Holy Jeez!

I can't believe that we are already getting ready to start our second week of performances. Last weekend went pretty well. Preview and Saturday night were pretty low key, but Saturday nights sudience was off the wall. They were laughing at everything. The reviews have been coming in and for the most part they like us, they really like us. Except for a few negative comments about our wigs, but hey do you really remember the 70's? Most of the women had frosted blonde hair, and bowl cuts. Oh well to each their own. Even us boys of the "Greek Chorus" have gotten mentioned in most of the reviews, and I actually got some praise for my performance in "Everybody Today is Turning on", in which I just laugh through the whole song, being that I have never been high (yes, I know it is hard to believe), it has been hard for me to figure out what to do during the song. One night I messed up and just started laughing, and Scott said it was hilarious and to keep it, so I did.
Tomorrow we start it all over again only this time we go with out not rehearsing or seeing each other for three days. I started going through the lyrics again last night, just to make sure I rememered them all, cause that is the hardest part of this show.

Well time to get back to work......

See you in the 70's


Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Four of them are pairing up and having a threesome

OK so we had our preview night on Thursday. Not too exciting, if you are judging from the audiences reactions. It took them a while to start appreciating our work and reward us with claps. That night it felt more like a final dress than it did a preview night, but it was a good warm up to what we got on last night for an audience. WHAT A GREAT AUDIENCE. They laughed, and we got the rerassurance that this show really is funny.
AND we got most of the lyrics right. If people messed up it wasn't noticeable.

Thecostume fiasco is all taken care of and Todd did a great job with the set. The band sounded great, and they sound like they are having good time. The only thing we can do is get better and better. I am just exhausted. didn't get much sleep last nightand then left for work this mornng.

Well so our first weekend is almost finished.

I hope you all come to see the show.

Joel a.k.a. Stanley

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


OK so we had a wonderful weekend getting ready for our show. We had our cue-to-cue for the light designer on Saturday, and that could not have gone smoother. We started at 1:00 and we were out of there by 3:30, so some of us mosied on down to Karen's Pizzeria, a place I had never been and had some great pizza, and wonderful socializing with most of the cast. Then on sunday we had our Sitzprobe, in which the cast sings through the show with the orchestra for the first time. It was wonderful! The orchestra of 5 is amazing. THey came in there and knew there stuff, besides a couple of tempo issues, very few, we breezed right through the score.

Then came last night, our first run through with costumes and lights. Well the lights looked great from what I could see of them. Then we get to the costumes. We really won't get into that, because then I just get tense, and I can't get tense anymore this week. Needless to say most of us didn't have costumes last night. Luckily the only costumes I am in are coveralls and a santa suit. But then we are also to do a very tricky number on roller skates. Guess what no roller skates either. That is what makes me a little nervous, I mean this fat ass hasn't gotten up on roller skates in YEARS! Plus not to have them until tech week? Oh my gosh.

All in all though some wonderful things happened last night. I thought the three guys in the "chorus" we really nailed most of our songs. More lyrics were sung correctly, and we just started having fun onstage. The hard part of the show for me, Troy and Zak, is that originally our characters were the musicians in the band, so they would play the whole show, and sing a little. I don't know how these guys sang these songs, with these lyrics and played instruments at the same time. But there is no time to develop our characters that we have started to create, but I think it is starting to come along. I am just out there having as much fun as I can.....DAMMIT!!!!

So I hope you all come to see our show.



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holy Jeez!

I can't believe we go into hell week next week! This weekend is Cue-to-Cue for the lights and then Sunday is our sitzprobe, where we sit down and sing with the pit orch. I can sure tell I am getting older in this show. First of all I am the oldest cast member, so that makes me feel super old, and as I have talked about before I can't remember these freaking lyrics. With this show especially it is driving me crazy, cause since there are only 7 of us in the show, I feel like I am letting everyone down, because I don't know the lyrics.

I just read Scotts blog, and he seems very happy with the show so far, being about 70% there. I don't feel quite that good, but maybe it doesn't show onstage. Monday after rehearsal Scott sent out an e-mail to me, troy and Zak about our three charaters, the three Greek chorus boys. We do have names, but we are really only in the first seen where we get introduced, and then the rest of the show we just "appear", so it is hard to come up with a character with that. Scott gave us some amazing ideas, and last night we sort of played with them. Being the first night we were adding things to our characters it was a little awkward, but I think it will get there, and will be funny.

Now for my last worry, the freaking roller skates. Yes, Roller skates. My fat ass on some skates, at least I'll have some padding if I fall. Tohmmy ordered some skates three months ago and they first came in in children's sizes, and then he just kept getting the run around, so now he is trying to rent some from some local skating rinks.

This show is turning into a truely great show, and I hope all of you come out to see it.

Talk to you soon


Friday, September 3, 2010

Everybody today is Turning On!

Ok so it's been a while since I posted, so I thought that I would put in my two cents here as to how the rehearsals are going. SO far in the rehearsal process, things seem to be zooming past. It seems like we just started rehearsals and bam, we are almost done blocking. It is nice to be working in a cast with only 7 people in the cast, I love these small intimate shows, but you just have to pray that no one gets sick during rehearsal, because it is hard to rehearse most of these scenes with some people gont. Last night we just sang through some of the music because we were missing three of the cast members.

OK I thought Wild Party was a very wordy show, but I think this one is too. Harmony is definately easier in I love My Wife compared to Wild Party, but it's all these damn words, and then all this Miller-ography. OH my gosh Scott never choreograph while stoned again. "It worked when I was stoned" Hmmmmm....I wonder why? That is another thing with this show I have to pretend to be stoned. Honestly, I have never been stoned in my life. I lived with a stoner for two years, but never smoked it first hand. Maybe I was high on the second hand smoke, but I don't remember, that was too many years ago, I guess I'll have to work on this.

Well, I shall write more later.

Get moving~

Friday, August 20, 2010

A new notch in my New Line History!

Ok so this week we finished our second week of rehearsals for I Love my Wife, in which I am playing Stanley, one of the friends of Alvin and Wally the male leads. Actually the male chorus (all three of us) only had to be there this week, so we finished our first week of rehearsals, while the four leads finished their 2nd week of rehearsals. I have to tell you, this cast seems so small compared to the 14-16 people in the last two shows that New Line has done. We only have 7 people in I Love My Wife. Last night we read and sang through the whole show. Yes we have leared all the music and read through to get a feel for the show, and guess what? Did you guess yet? Well you should have......the show only took like an hour and a half. How great is that. This will be one of the shortest shows I have done in a while.

We have a great cast. Jeff Wright and Todd Schaeffer, are playing the male leads Wally and Alvin, and Emily Berry and Sarah Armstrong are playing Cleo and Monica. And Zac Farmer, Troy Turnipseed and I are the three male chorus. We sort of play the greek chorus, narrator types. If you don't know the show, it is basically about wife swapping. The show is very funny, as we found out last night when we read through all of it. It will be fun to start to bring the show to life with some blocking. Especially the bedroom scene, You will just have to come and see it, to see what I am talking about.

The music isn't really that hard, not like Wild Party and all the funky chords we had to sing, it is just very wordy. I mean Wild Party was Wordy, but this is also and it goes quite fast.

Well the next chapter of my theatrical journey is underway. Check back in to see how it is going!

Later, Joel "Stanley"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's over

Yes, last Saturday we played our last performance of The Wild Party and wow how I have missed it already. Never to play Phil again. Taking down the set was sort of sad, and putting away the costumes, and then leaving the theatre for the last time for this show. I know every show must come to an end, but New Line and Scott gave me a wonderful gift, with all the memories associated with this show. The great performances by Jeff and Margeau, as well as the entire ensemble, the music, the characters, and just these wonderful people that I got to know.

I feel sort of left out because a lot of Wild Partiers are going on to be in Evita, and I am sort of jealous, but I had already committed to direct Seussical with maryland Heights Community Theatre, but that is OK. I will love to go watch this amazing show, and I am sure that it will be amazing. Like Wild Party it looks like they have an amazing cast. I am so happy for Taylor Pietz, who is playing Eva, and who was my voice student, or well at least I coached her a little. Wait til you all hear her sing, and act, and of course she can dance. She is the true triple threat. And John as Che, man what a voice. Yeah, I am jealous.

Well after you see the production of Evita and you are feeling a little down from the subject matter and need to be cheered up, come over to the Maryland Heights Community Center July 22-25 to Seussical the Musical, a total fluff musical, but one you can bring the whole family to.

Well thank you all for letting me tickle your tummies every night.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...and We're Inviting You!

It is hard to believe that tomorrow night we start our final weekend of this show. It seems like auditions were a year ago, and that we rehearsed for like forever, and then we started performances and they have just flown by. Should that be the part that should last the longest? I guess not.

Looking back I still have to reiterate what a wonderful experience this has been. Starting with the damn audition that I had to do. Auditions, I HATE them. Why can't people just ask me to be in shows anymore? It is funny, because I used to be pretty much well known amongst the St. Louis Theatre Community, but the last decade or so, I have been mainly concentrating on directing and musically directing, and my performance side sort of died away. I remember during High Fidelity, people that had known me just as a direrctor came to the show, and they were like "Wow, I didn't know you could sing." During Wild Party I have had some friends come to see the show that knew me in my prime, and now they are telling me "Man it is good to see you back on stage." I like being back onstage, BUT I DON'T LIKE TO AUDITION! LOL. If it would have been for other people I probably would have been fine, but for Wild Party auditions the only people in the room were pretty much people I knew, Scott, Robin, and Taylor, and then Alison who I didn't know but I had heard great things about her, and I guess I was a little intimidated. Now I have gotten to know Alison, so if I go through another audition for New Line I'll be that more nervous. I am glad I did it though. I remember the day of auditions that I attended, I almost backed out. I remember telling that to Robin and Taylor, and they convinced me to do it, so I owe them big time for kicking me in the butt and getting me to go to that audition.

Then hearing about the part I received-Phil D'Armono. Who the hell was Phil anyway? At the read through I was looking for lines as I always do, well if you know Wild Party there aren't many speaking lines, so that didn't help a lot. It wasn't until Scott made us talk about our characters, and then in the next couple of weeks we explored some of the relationships with some of the other characters, that was really where the fun crept in. I remember when Mike decided that Queenie was his role model. Well then that finalized who wore the pants in our relationship. We did have the whole discussion of how Mike wanted to get over to Queenies make up table and start putting on make up and then wanted to come out in Queenies Robe at one point. Well we got the make up worked in, but the robe thing didn't quite work.

It was also funny how Phil and Oscar relate to Kate. Phil doesn't like Kate, but Oscar just thinks she is the bee's knees. And through the whole rehearsal process Queenie has turned into the idol that Phil and Oscar worship. And that can be seen from Queenies entrance before Raise the roof all the way to the end during the confrontation. I feel Phil is super worried about Queenie, more than he is worried about Burrs or Black, he just doesn't want his Queenie to get hurt.

Well tomorrow is the beginning of the end. If you haven't seen the show, I hope you get to come see it, and if you have made it to the show already thank you for coming to support us and joining in our Wild Party.

Til later

Phil D'Armono

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Well tonight is the last show of the third weekend. Thursday was, shall I say, "interesting" show. We are coming off of 4 days rest, and some of our minds just weren't as concentrated as they should have been. I can't believe that there are only four more performances of this show. I will be sad when this show is over, I love the show, and I have loved playing Phil.

Deborah had a wonderful cast party last night at her home. I haven't been able to go out much after the show, because either I have to work the next day, or I have to get home to let the dog out. He is only a 6 month old puppy, and I guess I spoil him, but I hate leaving him alone for more than 6 hours. I live by myself so there is no one else to help watch him. But last night was fun. Sitting with Deborah's pets, eating some wonderful pasta, and Mara's AMAZING taco dip. I just loved how you got it in that formation on the plate Mara, if I would have made it it would have landed right smack dab in the middle of the plate, but how you got it almost slightly hanging off one edge, I'll never know how you did it. Then we watched a video that is a New Line tradition, and then the infamous Cowbell skit from SNL. Well after that I was exhausted after working all day, then the show, and then the party. TOnight I doubt I will be able to go out to Todd and Brians. I would love to, but I have to work again tomorrow, and I can't be half asleep two days in a row.

Well it is almost luchtime here at the Manor, so I will sign off for now. Hope to see you all at the show. Remember is you are waiting to see the show next weekend, all I have to say is get your tickets early. I have a sneaking suspicion that Saturday is going to be packed. I have heard a lot of people are coming that day, and I would hate to see anyone getting turned away from this show.

Ta! Ta!


Sunday, May 2, 2010's half over.

I can't believe that our show has run two weekends, and is already half over. The crowds haven't been huge, but the last couple of audiences have been amazing, very responsive, and just wonderful to play off of.

Last night I was thinking about my journey that I have had with New Line and even though this is only my 6th show with the group, I feel like I have really grown with this company. I learned a lot about theatre from Characters & Co., learning what goes on behind and being pushed to direct and musically direct, which I am in debt to the Vaughans for pushing me to do. But I have only had a couple of performang experiences that have helped me grow as much as the shows that I have done with New Line. The first show I did with them was in the first season "Attempting the Absurd" and show written by Scott. It was something new, something that has never been done, and just a fun show. How fun was it to create a character, and have a scene rewritten a couple of days before we opened. That was really one of the first shows I had done in theatre and I learned a lot, got to work with some great performers, and I think it helped spark the theatre bug in me.

The next big thing I did with them was a Salute to Sondheim, in which we got to sing some of the great songs from Sondheim. I remember I got a little miffed because I didn't get very many solos, but now that I look back at that, how stupid was that. I had this illusion that I was as good as all these performers that had been performing for a long time, and I thought that I could outsing them. I learned a lot about myself during that show. Made some more great and talented friends, and some wonderful releationships, some that didn't last as long as I wanted them to but I still hold all those relationships close. Looking at how I wanted more stuff to do in the Sondheim review and we jump to High Fidelity in which I think I had the smallest role, but god it was fun. It was the same thing. New material, and when I first got the role it was originally called Mohawk Man. Scott wrote to the people that wrote the show and asked if my character had to actually have a mohawk because there was no reference to that in the script. They said no, and Kleptoboy was born. SOme new people to work with and some old friends that I got to reconnect with. If you missed that show, you missed a great one.

When I joined High Fidelity I hadn't been onstage for years, and it was a great refresher course. Well HiFi was a couple of years ago now and I had heard that Scott put Wild Party on the schedule, and I was pumped. I think a lot of us were. We knew the music, but I don't think ANY of us knew how this story would play out. I conquered another fear. I hadn't auditioned for YEARS. I have lucked out with the past couple of shows before Wild Party to be called into the shows with out auditioning. But since I hadn't done a couple of shows with New Line I had to audition, and I was petrified. For some reason I went into the audition thinking that I could be one of the leads, and then I realized that that probably wouldn't happen. Thank god, I mean I have conquered some other fears doing this show, but the characters that I origially wanted to play are the ones that have the "sex" onstage, and so then I thought that the only part I would be perfect for would be Eddie the boxer. I didn't know if Zac was going to be interested but I thought that if he would he would be perfect for the role, so I prepared something that was on the line of his song in the show. Well then Scott called me up and asked if I would be interested in playing Phil one of the composers, and i pretended to be happy but was sort of bummed that I didn't get Eddie. So I asked who else had accepted roles in the show, and he told me that Zac would be playing Eddie, and I got over the Eddie role right away because Zac is perfect, I knew it then and he is perfect in the show.

Then he told me that Mike Dowdy would be playing my brother. I was excited cause I saw Mike in Spelling Bee, and I thought he was super talented. It is a little of a stretch that we are playing "brothers" I feel like i am his father, or should I say "sugar daddy" rather that his brother, but Mike has an amazing voice, and he was great in Spelling Bee. When we started rehearsals I was a little worried, I didn't know Mike just knew of his performances with New Line. It really wasn't until we had to start tangoing in "Raise the Roof" that I started to feel comfortable with Mike, hell we had to dance very close. I went through all those normal stage relationships worries, "What if my breath stinks" (cause I knew we had to kiss), "What if I sweat like I normally do during a show" (and I sweat a lot during a show). I remember I kept warning him that I sweat a lot, and I apologized all the time. Mike must have thought I was a freak.

It wasn't until we got into the theatre that I totally felt comfortable with all the stuff we do together. Every one else makes out in this show. I think I am the tamest character. I really only kiss Mike, sometimes Aaron, and I don't do as much of the smoking like everyone else does. I feel like I am a pimp. One of our back stories we have going on during the show, is that Oscar (Mike) goes to seduce Sam (troy Turnipseed), and I sort of feel like Phil came up with the idea and pimped out Oscar. So I owe a lot to Mike during this show for helping me feel comfortable onstage during this show.

I can't wait for the next couple of weeks of this show. First of all, a lot of my friends are all in shows the last couple of weekends, so they haven't been able to come see the show, and I can't wait for them to see it. We all have talked up this show so much, and I am so proud of it. THis cast is all so supportive. So if you haven't see the Wild Party you better get your tickets I sense that ticket sales are going to go fast. Yesterday we had 124 in the audience, and that is over half the audience and I can see the word spreading even more these next two weekends.

Here is to the continuation of my growth as an actor in this show, and the next couple of New Line shows to come.

Phil out!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's Raise the Roof!

OK so last night was our Final Dress rehearsal for Wild Party. If you would have seen this show a week ago, you wouldn't have recognized it last night. There was so much energy all the costumes were there, the set was done, more lights were added, the orchestra is really sounding amazing, and we as the cast are on fire. Sure there were some mess ups ("Eddie..... .....silence.....all I have to say) but that happens, and we made it through. As I have talked about in this blog before, I am not one to really let myself go onstage that much, and I think I am letting go quite a bit in this show. I have to give most of the credit to Mike Dowdy who plays my "brother" in the show Oscar. Playing off of him is so easy, he loves theatre you can tell, and he knows what he is doing. But with age life changes I feel like I let go of my theatre dreams long ago. Sort of reminds me of what I was like at that age, he is 17 years my junior. THis has been a rough week for everyone in the show, late nights, long notes, little nuances, most of us working with full time jobs. We have all put everything into this show so I hope you come to see it.

Joel "Phil"

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a party!

OK so tech week is here. This is what us theatre folks call "hell week". We had two rehearsals this weekend, one a cue-to-cue for the lighting designer and one to sing through the show yesterday with the orchestra called a sitzprobe. All in all they went pretty good. Saturday was a long day and tensions got high, which I sort of ignored, I just stayed in my own little world, and just went to the new spot and stood.

Yesterday after the Sitzprobe we were talking and it seems like we have been doing this forever. I think it was because we had auditions SO early, and then in February we started rehearsing. We have been working on it forever, but it is going to be a great show. I can't wait to see how it looks with lights and costumes. Tonight we have the option of wearing our costumes if we feel like we need to practice a costume change, or to see how we do in a costume on certain dances. I don't think I will wear mine. I sweat WAY too much, and this costume is going to be very smelly by Thursday the way it is.

So now we put the finishing touches on this gem. Please come out and support this wonderful show, and join our Wild Party! Trust me it is wild. I keep rethinking who I am inviting. At the beginning I was inviting everyone, but now I know what all is in the show, and I know my parents will definately NOT be coming to this one. THis ain't no Sound of Music. Abusive relationship, simulated sex, simulated orgy, everyone kissing everyone on stage it seems, murder, and all of that put to music. Doesn't it sound fun!

I hope to see you all there.

Joel aka "Phil"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Left, left, jib, jab, etc....etc.....

OK so we have been in the theatre for more than a week now, and it is still as hot as hades in there, maybe it is just because I am so overweight that all I do is sweat. OK so now all the leads are getting better with their injuries, now Nikki lost her voice and yesterday morning I woke up to the right side of my jaw swollen. Went to the DR. and the nurse practioner told me that I have a gland that is blocked so all day at work it was hard for me to close my mouth all the way and to turn my head to the right. They gave me some antibiotics and referred me to an ENT so I have an appointment with them tomorrow. I feel better today, but it is still swollen a bit. It is just one of those freaky things that happen.

Well I did go to rehearsal, not feeling my best, and Scott started off the evening with some notes from the previous rehearsal, and Trish gave out her famous line notes that I love. I know I paraphrase a lot, and I want to make sure I get everything right. You rock Trish. Well Scott had some suggestions for my character, so I took them in. So of course during the run, I am not thinking of the suggestions until right before I start my lines, well then it is too late. I will try to remember tonight. During intermission Scott did tell me that they (Scott and Alison) loved what I did during my scene, and of course I couldn't remember what I had done. All I know is that I tried to slow things down a bit, and try not to be as frantic with my lines, which is what I think I was doing before....

Well we will see how things go tonight. Hopefully I can get more little nuances (is that spelled right, because it doesn't look right to me) in my character to help make him more interesting in this show.

We'll see!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house!

OK next to the first time I did 42nd Street on the Goldenrod Showboat have I seen so many injuries in a show. Back in the day during our final dress rehearsal (The second run of the show that day, and I believe it was around 11:00 p.m.) we had two massive injuries during the running of We're in the Money. I was sitting offstage, because the stupid people in new york couldn't tell the difference between 38" waisted pants and 29" waisted pants. So no costume that matched the other boys so I learned the number for nothing. Well back to the story, about half way through THom Crain (our costumer for Wild Party) fell off the side of his dime that he danced on, and messed up his knee, and not even 5 seconds after we hear another thud, and one of the dancing girls fell off her dime. Well needless to say that put an end to that run. We just had to figure out how we would reblock these two out of parts of the show that they couldn't do.

Well a couple of weeks ago during a dance rehearsal, our male lead, Jeff, got hit in the nose while he was turing his partner during a dance number, and ended up with a bloody nose. It was a nasty bleeder, but he was OK. Then last night during the forced, rape-like sex scene in Act one Margeau, and Jeff, our two leads had a little accident. Jeff accidentally hit Margeau on the corner of her eye with his head. It started bleeding, and nurse Mara was there to save the day. I think she should add that to her character, she is a nurse by day hooker by night, could add a lot to her story line. These guys are pros though. I haven't had a serious accident during the run of a show (knock on wood...knock....knock....knock), and I pray I never do. I always worry about hurting my hands, since I am a piano player that would suck if I ever broke my wrist.

Well we finished our first week in the theatre last night. I have to say it was a little scary the first two nights, but last night I felt we had more energy. Robin came in a spaced us out for a couple of the dance numbers, and she said they looked better. I don't know how I am going to survive this show. I know we have been without A/C at the theatre right now because they are working on it, but when I get a costume on, even with A/C I am going to be dripping with sweat the whole show.

Tomorrow night we do a benefit for a party and we are going to sing a couple of songs. That should be fun. Then we are back in the theatre on Monday for our next full run through the show.

Well the time has come to close.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I have no idea what this word means, but it is just so fun to sing in this show. Last night we had our first rehearsal in the theatre with a skeletal version of the set. I knew our space was going to be tighter, but I had no idea it would be this tight. I am not tinkerbell, I take up some space when I move on stage. I felt like I was in everyones way last night. Have you ever had the feeling like you just don't know where you are at any particular moment. Scott was trying to get something spaced onstage, and I could not for the life of me figure out where I was. Then there was no A/C last night, and it sounds like there won't be any tonight either. Well since Tinkerbell I am not, I was sweating like a TinkerBULL!!!! I hope they get some sort of A/C going cause I am scared to think what it will be like when we get our costumes on, and I have a feeling it won't be breathable material.

Well this show is proving to be the adventure I thought it would be when I got cast as Phil. Orgy's onstage, well as much of an orgy that you can do clothed, an incestuious relationship with my brother. I have never experienced any of these things. About the only thing that I feel comfortable doing that I have done in real life is drinking alcohol. I have never smoked a joint, so I have no idea how to do that onstage. So I have sort of been making it like Phil is like that also, he has friends that do it all the time, and this is the party that he gives into temptation and tries it. I guess that is why they call it the Wild Party. only gets better from here. TOnight we have a runthrough with Chris Peterson playing the piano. We are so used to Scotts tempos, and Scott being able to follow us, but now it is time Chris gets a run at this. This score is not easy either. I am glad that I am not playing the show, but it may be fun just to try to play some of these songs sometime.

Well it is almost time to go home before I go to rehearsal.

Til next time


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Cow!

Yes today I felt just like a cow. We had a clen up choreography rehearsal with out Robin, she was out with the stomach flu.....hope you are feeling better......but it was a really good rehearsal. We got a lot of things cleaned, not sure if they were all the way Robin originally choreographed it, but we got it together, and things are looking nice.

I just felt like a huge old cow. I am having a terrible time turning, and horrific time trying to sing and dance, and just feel really old. Mike Dowdy, my "brother/lover" in the show and I were saying in the back today, we are the composers of the show, shouldn't we be playing the music that all these people are dancing to? Well Scott didn't see it that way. Hey we tried.

It will take time, and I will get there, I just need to buck up and do it. Hopefully I'll lose a little weight during this run....WOO HOO!

I am having a great time with this show, and so glad that I got cast. I hope you all come to see it, and help support us. We have worked so hard on this show, and we would like to get some great audiences. Tell your friends, come one, come prepared for a dark, but wonderful show.

More later.

Night all

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

OK all I can say is WOW!

Last night we finished blocking Act I. The first half of the act we are constantly pretty much moving constantly, and then the last section of the act is mainly the four leads which gives us time to relax for a bit. Not only did we finish blocking but we got some much needed choreography review. I just have to say I am NOT a dancer anymore. I never was a great dancer, but I moved pretty well and could fake it, in the dance sense, but now, I can't remember anything we choreograph from rehearsal to rehearsal, and then most of the stuff I do remember is wrong.

My feet hurt today, my voice is a little rough, and I am just plain tired. As Troy pointed out in his blog Robin has done a wonderful job with the choreography, but she has to remember that I am in this show, fat people don't move that fast. LOL. But it is good exercise for me. Maybe I'll sweat off 20 pounds when we open. I feel sorry for whoever has to dance with me, because I am going to have to wring out my clothes between each number.

It's been a long time since I did a show with this much back story creation going on in rehearsals. I guess we did quite a bit in High Fidelity, but Kleptoboy wasn't as involved as Phil is in this show.

Well tomorrow night we run act I all the way through off book.....that is the scary part for me. I don't memorize well. Right now I am having a rough time with lyrics, I am mixing up songs, b ut hopefully I will see the light before we get to rehearsal tomorrow night.

Well Phil is off......


Friday, March 12, 2010

Blocking #1

SO last night was our first night of blocking. It was, shall I say, interesting. It took us a little over 3 hours to block the first 22 pages of the show. We are mainly a "Greek chorus" during this time. At about page 18 we get introduced as ourselves. Then we come in and introduce ourselves to the audience. Margeau, and Jeff had a majority of the blocking, they have sex, get pushed in the bed, fight, she pulls a knife on him, she sings, one happy day in the Burr's/Queenie household.

We got to sort of she how the set is going to pan out. It just seemed like there was a lot more room in our rehearsal space then there is on stage, but we'll see.

Well this is just a short post. More to come. On Sunday we Juggernaut, and no we are not playing X-men and come up against the Juggernaut, we do the dance called the Juggernaut.

Til then

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

....Wearing only a fig leaf...

Yes that is one of my favorite lines I get to say in the show. I don't know why, but it is fun. It is in a scene with Mike and I, Mike is playing my "brother" Oscar, and we are the composer duo, and we finish each others sentences which we do constantly in this scene. This scene has the most dialoge we have in the show, well actually there isn't much dialogue at ALL. This is as Scott wrote in his blog a jazz opera.

We had our sing-through, read-thru last night. It was mainly a sing-thru with a couple of lines here and there. This cast was ready for last night. We were all pumped, and some of us anxious to hear what some of this other music sounded like. I kept turning to Troy last night and saying,"Wow that was a cool song." And I know I said it more than once.

Last night was great, not only did we see what the show sounded like, and right now it sounded pretty great, and if it is sounding this good now, wow, what is it going to sound like when we open. Now I am not saying that the rehearsal went off without a hitch. We have a rough spots, and we all heard them last night. We know what we have to work on. So we have some music to clean, some dance to clean (hell, some dances to try to remember), and some dances to learn, and then add on top of that the blocking, and then trying to create a character that is real and not too over the top. That is going to be the hard part not to be over the top with my character, and I am sure I was the one going over the top last night, but fir this character I have to experiment to find him. We'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks while we are blocking, and how much I get yelled at for going over the top.

So I just have to say that I am excited. REALLY excited!!!! This show is so great, can't wait to start seeing it get on its feet, can't wait to see the set, and then the costumes, and then add lights to that, and then an audience. WOW!

So we hope that you all come to see the show. I just have to say this isn't The Sound of Music.....

Til later.....

Phil......aka Joel!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ever tango with another guy?

I never thought I would, but I am in Wild Party. I felt so sorry, cause I kept stepping On Mike Dowdy's feet. I don't mind the dancing with another guy part, I just don't think that I was cut out for the tango. I don't think that I am cut out for much dancing anymore.

Yesterday we had our second big choreography rehearsal. It was a lot going on, and even though we had a total of four hours to teach it, it still felt like there was a lot left undone. Robin did a great job choreographing the song "Raise the Roof" and she is doing a lot of adventurous stuff with this cast. A lot more than she has done with a New Line cast in previous years. She had to go fast, but I think we will get it. I think with the lighting and everything else it will add to the number. We are going to be sweating up a storm. I BETTER LOSE WEIGHT IN THIS SHOW WITH ALL THE SWEATING I AM GOING TO BE DOING! I just thought also that we really didn't practice yesterday with dancing and singing while we were dancing.....OH MY GOSH!

I was reading the script, and trying to find out about my character a little bit. I am part of the D'Armono brothers, a composing duo, the Rodgers and Hammerstein of their time. In the script it is mentioned that we are supposed to look similar, I had to laugh at that one. I outweigh Dowdy by A LOT, and I have much more grey hair, and a bald spot. I look more like Oscars "sugar daddy" than his "brother". SO I may have to dye the hair a little, and we will look alike with the costumes and everything. It is that magic of theatre, making ourselves into something that we aren't.

I am sort of ooking foward to tomorrow nights rehearsal we have our first sing thru and read through of the show. EXCITING!

We will see how it all comes together slowly.....

Phil out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

All I can say is Wow!

Ok so last night we had our last musical rehearsal where we learned all the songs. After we learned the last song, the Juggernaut, we went through and sang through all the group music in the show. Man this stuff is tough, and I consider myself a pretty decent musician, and can pick up things fairly easily, but this show is challenging me. I should be sitting down at the piano, and plunking out some of these parts, but I just haven't had time. There are a few incidental song, and introductions to other songs, that aren't on the CD that are, well let's just put it this way, Wierd. They sound great when it is all put together, but when you hear your part separately, as Nikki said last night, "What did we get all the left over notes?" I usually don't learn music by listening to the CD, but I have tried to learn some of the songs with the CD. But I have come to realize that some of the chorus parts, in some songs, can't be heard . Like in the song Come with me, there is a section where we sing:
"Come a luma, come a luma, come a luma, come a luma-lee"
Well that isn't heard on the CD at last night while I was singing through the song in the car on the way home, I thought I was doing it right, and then the next phrase came along and it was that frustrating, but will be amazing when it is all implanted in our brains, and it just comes second nature.
On Sunday we have our next choreography rehearsal. I am not sure that I remember all I did last week. I really have to try to go over that. I remember when I did 42nd Street the first time, I didn't know how to tap dance, so I would write down the steps, and then go home to my parents house and practice in the garage, cause that was the only place I wouldn't screw up the floor. I just need to do that with these steps too, well not exactly go home to my parents and practice in the garage, but just review, review, review....
Next week we start blocking, and I am excited to get into that. Little scared, but excited. I over hear Scott and Alison talking over blocking stuff during the breaks, and I am always amazed at the ideas that are talked about, and then we will start to see those ideas take shape, that is the fun part, and then if something really isn't working we can try to help out.
This show is filled with some great characters. Phil and Oscar, two over the top "brothers" if you get my drift, the lesbian, Madelaine, the hooker, Dolores, and others not to mention the freaky clown, Burrs, and the Vaudville dancer Queenie. It will be neat to see some of these characters come to life.
Well here is to the next phase of these rehearsals. Choreography on Sunday, and a readthrough-singthrough on Tuesday. I haven't really looked at the rest of the script, being the conceited type I looked for my lines and that was about it. There really aren't many lines, LOTS of music. But that is COOL! So after next Tuesday we'll see how much I am still loving this show.
Well phil needs his rest!
Talk to you all later.
Joel "Phil"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ready for rehearsal #3

OK so we have had, or I should say I have had, two rehearsals. I missed the choreography one on Sunday. We have gone through a couple of easy songs, and also a couple of complicated songs, but once we work our way through them they aren't that bad. yeah we are having a couple of problems finding our starting pitches here and there, but it is only the third rehearsal. I am anxious to see what is on tap for tonight.

I am having so much fun with this show. I am so glad I got the guts up to audition for it. Before auditions I thought that there was nothing for me in the show after looking at the cast descriptions, but I was just looking at the two male leads, never looking at the secondary characters. I should have learned after doing High Fidelity, and having one the smallest parts, and having the time of my life there are no small parts, or unimportant parts in any show.

After reading Scott's blog he talked about Attempting the Absurd which was the second show that New Line did, and Scott wrote it. It is an amazing show, and Scott has hinted at bringing it back but to no fruition. Well thinking about Absurd, again I had one of the smallest parts in that one too, the Judge/Playwright, and I remember how exciting is was to do something with a group that wasn't "community theatre". I remember that when we were rehearsing that show it was still a work in progress. About a week before we opened Scott wasn't happy with the scene I was in as the Playwright I believe, and he rewrote it. I have to admit I freaked a little bit, but what a rush.

I really have been reflecting on past theatrical endeavors the past couple of weeks. There was just a production of the music of Chris Jackson, and I work with Chris on a couple of shows, and played in the pit of a show that he wrote, Runaround. I hope that concert went well. Yesterday was the birthday of one of my friends that passed away a little over four years ago, or was it five, I lose track. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for Mark. He pushed me when we worked together, pushed me to direct, and musically direct, and I was inspired by him the way he performed on stage. What a loss to the theatre community with the loss of these two. On Saturday I also reminisced with friends about Bret Lassiter from the Goldenrod showboat, and how we were all affected by him. THank you guys.

OK so I have been blabbing enough. Back to listening to the music of Wild Party and trying to memorize these lyrics.

Hope you are having a Wild party!


Monday, February 22, 2010

OK so I need to remember to add to this blog.....

Ok so last Thursday was our first rehearsal for Wild Party. Let me just say.....LOVE IT! This music is challenging, and fun, the cast sounds great, and what a show. I have tried to skim through the script and, as any actors do, see how many lines I have. TO my suprise there aren't many spoken lines at all. So that means we have a BUNCH of music to learn. And half of the music isn't on the CD. I know we shouldn't lear our music that way, but I am in the car so much, that is the best time for me to review things. I do have a recorder, but of course for the first rehearsal I forgot it. Then I must be getting old, and getting early alzheimers, cause I cannot read to save my life. We sang through on section of the music many times, and I kept singing the wrong word each time, and each time I would look at the word, and tell myself that isn't what I sang, and then get frustrated, and about after the 5th or 6th time, and after Zak laughing at me repeatedly, I finally sang the right word.

I do have to mention after coming off of a sort of musical high from rehearsal it sort of all got dashed to pieces after rehearsal when I just wanted to get a soda to drink on the way home. So I stopped at McDonalds, and thought it would just be a quick drive through. WRONG. There were quite a few cars in line, and it was moving at a good pace, so right after I paid, and I am the next person in line to get my drink there was a car who had been waiting for their food by the door, and I see his reverse lights come on, and I was almozt to the window, just close enought but still couldn't reach the window. Well I couldn't go back because there was a line behind me, so I get to hear the whole dilemma that this jerk had, because he had been waiting for his food, and he really made an A$$ of himself. He kept telling the manager how he was going to get him fired, and how he has done it at other McDonalds.....well that argument lasted at least 10 minutes, and the driver pulls away and is still yelling at the manager from Hampton, and the Manager is still yelling back at them.

I just wanted to get home, and in bed, so I could get a good night sleep. Well that won't ruin anymore rehearsals, because it is in the past......I can't wait until the next rehearsal. Will write more after that one.

Phil out!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ok so here we go!

So here we go again. I am so ready for Wild Party to start rehearsals, and here we are already just a week away. So soon I will start posting again for this show. High Fidelity was a blast and I think this show is going to match that one.

So kleptoboy out!