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

Wow....it'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!