Sunday, April 12, 2015

Show #130 VALENTINE'S SPECIAL February 14, 2015

The Valentine's Special is dedicated to Valentina... along with the cast and crew of Carrie:  The Musical!

Valentina- Jack Green Humanesque 
Heart- Rockpile Seconds Of Pleasure
Valentine's Day- Three Hour Tour Three Hour Tour - 1969 
Valentine's Day- David Bowie The Next Day 
Valentine's Day- The Dollyrots Valentine's Day 
Heartbeat- The Knack Get the Knack 
Heartbeat- Allo Darlin' We Come from the Same Place 
Heartbeat- Jim Freeman and the Golden Gate Jumpers Romantic 
Heartbeat- The Outlets I Remember 
Valentine- Fools Face Tell America 
Valentine- Get Up Kids Something to Write Home About 
Valentine- The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me 
Valentine- Old 97's Fight Songs 
I Found Her- Boys Life Boys Life 
Lonelyhearts- The Atlantics DIY: Mass. Ave. The Boston Scene (1979-83) 
Lonely Hearts- Candy Whatever Happened To Fun 
Lonely Heart- Dirty Angels Dirty Angels 
Valentine- Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals Starvation League From The End Of Your Leash
Valentine- The School All I Wanna Do 
Valentine- Smoking Popes The Party's Over 
Valentine- The Wombats Jump Into the Fog 
Young Hearts- Free Energy Stuck On Nothing 
Young Hearts- The Cute Lepers Smart Accessories 
Young Reckless Hearts- Warm Soda Young Reckless Hearts 
Heartache- The Dictators Manifest Destiny 
Heartache- Protex I Can Only Dream 7'' 
Heart Songs- Weezer Weezer (Red Album) 

I hadn't done a Valentine's Day show in a few years so when February 14 fell on a Saturday this year I figured it was time.  Mrs. Love's birthday is February 7th so if I've done right by her (and I always do) I'm off the hook a week later when Valentine's Day comes around.  This year is I even convinced Jaime to come in and co-host the first hour of the show- a first for All Kindsa Girls!

It was all Carrie:  The Musical all the time this January and February.  I've been acting in plays for years but this was my first time as Production Manager and man is it a lot of work!  Securing rights, getting music tracks (unfortunately a live band is just too expensive these days), finding rehearsal space, hiring a director, musical director, choreographer, stage manager, lighting, set, sound, graphic design, front of house and concessions people, working with the venue on ticket sales and tech week, getting the poster made (above) and programs made, searching for costumes and props- it never ends.  That said, it was a lot of fun too.  We had an amazing cast and the production team was first rate.  

In this show cell phone usage is....mandatory!
Director Libby Oberlin did a fantastic job and was very open to other people's ideas.  Stephen King's 1974 novel Carrie and the original 1988 Broadway production pre-date smart phones.  Even in the 2012 revival there's only one passing mention: "Norma's already posted it."  Talking about the show last winter we decided that phones had to be a major part of the show.  Libby even used my idea for the opening number "In."  It opened in complete darkness until you see the kids faces illuminated by their phones.  VERY cool! 

High Schoolers and and contrast
Libby created an open, positive and safe space from the first rehearsal- very important so the kids could be the horrible, abusive monsters the script calls for.  They were having such a good time she had to keep giving them notes about not smiling or looking happy while they were saying and/or doing heinous things to each other.  Every rehearsal began with cast members checking-in on how they're feeling and ended with them sharing, in one word, something they wanted to reinforce.

Moira, our Stage Manager, is always great to work with and came through with some amazing set pieces including a bank of lockers, commercial sewing machine and not one but two antique prayer kneelers.  Seriously- where do you find prayer kneelers in 2015?!?  I had a hard time picturing them when she first described the kneelers but now I can't imagine doing the show without them.
Every home should have a prayer kneeler!
Carrie's self discovery begins...
Sue asks Do Me A Favor?  DON'T DO IT TOMMY!!
From the start one of the things I was most looking forward to in Carrie: The Musical was doing a show with my daughter Nica.  We've watched each other in shows for years but this is the first one we've done together.  She was "good girl" narrator Sue Snell and I was teacher Mr. Stephens and it was every bit as fun as I thought it would be.  Nica didn't ask for any special treatment
NOT a "teachable moment"
and for the most part we related to each other like cast members- which was awesome.  I got to see her as the other cast members do- talented, professional and composed but still a lot of fun backstage. 

When you tell people you're doing a production of Carrie:  The Musical the first question you get is "what?  they did a musical of Carrie...really?" followed by "how are you going to do the blood?"  It's funny, but that was also Topic #1 at our first production meeting last fall.  At that and subsequent meetings we spent hours talking about the blood- it was my #1 "awake at 3am staring at the ceiling" anxiety.  Rules of stagecraft forbid me from giving anything away but I can
Promocalypse Now!
safely say our blood drop was FANTASTIC!!!  Tony our set designer did an amazing job- it looked very cool and was 100% safe. What's more, Mike our sound guy found this deep rumble for the scene that just about shook the fillings out of your teeth.  (The only thing I can compare it to is the old "Sensurround" films like Earthquake and Midway.)  Finally, Mikey the choreographer came up with a bunch of moves- that I dubbed "flooreo" (get it?!?)- for when Carrie is torturing us that I'm told looked very cool.

Once You See You Can't Unsee
I'm very proud of our production.  I haven't talked about how well written Carrie:  The Musical is, how it explores so many relevant themes, how it resonated with the audience and the kids in the cast.  I'll just let the lyrics to the show's Epilogue do that for me:  

SUE: No doubts. No more fears. I see you shine and the dark disappears.
TOMMY: One day you finally see her
BOYS: One day you finally see her
GIRLS: One day you finally see her
TOMMY: Finally see her
EVERYONE: Finally see her
SUE and TOMMY: For years, you look
EVERYONE: You look at someone passing by
GIRLS: And then one day you see her
BOYS: And then one day you see her
EVERYONE: One day you finally see her. Now
SUE: How can I not see?
EVERYONE: Me? Am I so blind?
GIRLS: I could say, say
BOYS: I could say
EVERYONE: Thank God that's not me. But what does it cost to be kind?
BOYS: Blinded. And silent, too scared to be
EVERYONE: And to finally see. And to finally see.

SUE: I felt as though this girl revealed her self to me.  And now, I know
BOYS: I Fin'lly see
GIRLS: I Fin'lly see
SUE: That once you see, you can't unsee.


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