"There are some upon this earth of yours,'' returned the Spirit, ``who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all out kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."
As we start staging rehearsals today for A Christmas Carol, I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. I do like the human actors gripes about the robot not having a human presence. I've worked with some humans who lack... well, let's just say they've been pretty wooden.
Well a part of Christmas is now behind us, but we’ve got more to go.
We’ve got several more performances this weekend of A Christmas Carol at Wayside Theatre before we close on Sunday.
We then hit the road for our annual Chicago pilgrimage to visit my wife’s large family. That’s always a round of great family gatherings and we always look forward to the trip. Here’s hoping the weather there eases up a bit before we hit town. We’ve been lucky the last few years.
At any rate, the brief Christmas with my mother, sisters, and their families was a great, but far too short time. We had a fabulous meal, decided to head out and do some bowling on Christmas night, got to watch Thomasin play Rock Band with our nephew Steven, and generally had a great time with the entire family.
One of our many little family traditions is that we exchange a gag or “special” gift with each of the sibling families. I think we won this year with a large nose that hangs in your shower and dispenses shower gel when you push on the nose.
Hooray for our side! Two great reviews in yesterday and today for our new musical version of A Christmas Carol and I’m really glad to see them. They both spurred a hefty bump in ticket sales and things are looking up for the moment.
I’m particularly thrilled that they picked up on the staging and story telling conventions we used, in addition to the wonderful music by my collaborator Steve Przybylski. We think we’ve got a neat little package together with this show that maybe others theatres might want to take a look at down the road.
Both reviews also loved the cast, which is more than easy to love because they are just terrific and really love doing the show.
We’ve had four student matinees this week and the kids are really eating up the show as well, which is always a plus. Evening shows are going as we expect and we’ve got big houses all weekend.
Although tomorrow night is the official ‘press’ opening of our new musical version of A Christmas Carol at Wayside Theatre, today’s preview matinee is the first time this adaption of the Charles Dickens’ classic will be in front of an audience. Ticket sales picked up dramatically (they have been way down so far due to the economy) and we’ve got a sold out house this afternoon. The energy is high, the expectations even higher, and the adrenalin is pumping.
Watching a piece you wrote is far more excruciating than a piece you’ve just directed. One you’ve written and directed is even more so. At least my collaborator, composer Steve Przybylski, gets to play the show from behind the keyboard. I just get to sit and watch and take notes on my Tablet PC.
As I blog this, we’re about 29 minutes from curtain, so hang on to your hats, folks. Here we go.
OK, it is really the afternoon, but it is the day before we have first audiences. Today as we all stagger in bloated from Thanksgiving feasting, we are preparing for two final dress rehearsals as well as a few tweaks. The large double casts have their assignments for the weekend, and we are looking for good work ahead today.
Everyone who is seeing the show (we had quite a few parents of the local children in attendance on Wednesday) has fallen in love with it and we’re really close to making something special happen on stage. The last little gap to be closed is small, but that last little bit is always the hardest part. We’ve got today’s rehearsals and tomorrow’s previews to get there and I think we’ll make it in fine fashion.
Good news, my voice seems to be coming back. Must be quick visit to Mom’s and a bit of a relaxing day that helped.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving, may you find peace, warmth, and love within the embrace of your family and friends this year. We’re off to my mother’s for a quick day of eating, fun, and relaxation before hustling back to finish up rehearsals and take A Christmas Carol into previews and opening this weekend.