Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Opus Begins

Our first few rehearsals of "Opus" have my head spinning with the realization of all the work which must be done in the next 3 weeks. I was sorry I had had lunch before our first read, as the cast was inundated with various munchies, cheeses, grapes, and the like, provided by our glorious leaders.

The first read revealed a play with heart, humor, pathos, and of course, intense musicality. To help with it all, Director Steve has engaged two consultants, who will be teaching the five of us the fine art of pretending to play the violin, viola, and cello. I am the luckiest of the group, as I'm playing the character who has been ousted from the quartet, and thus will only need to learn one piece. (Yet my role, "Dorian," is the undisputed musical genius of the play, so I get the bonus of being considered "the best" without having to actually prove it. Gotta love that.)

But it's the personal relationships among the characters which will ultimately make or break this play. So I am greatly appreciating the table work which Steve is taking us through here at the beginning of our journey.

I only wish I were attending the full rehearsal calls, but my performances of "Shear" are butting in. This week's performances at the Kennedy Center have, so far, been packed with teenagers, audiences which are loud and sometimes difficult to control during the participatory segments. Today was the first time we made any cuts in the script due to the rowdiness of the crowd. It's a necessary component of the Spring Shear Shows, the ability to clip certain bits from the show on the spur of the moment, to keep the show moving tightly.

We'll have no such component with "Opus." So next on the agenda: learning the technical moves required to play the string instruments, and of course, learning THE WORDS.