Friday, June 19, 2009

The Flop That Would Not Die

Remember Glory Days? It was the brand new musical which premiered a year or so ago at Signature Theatre to positive response, then transferred to Broadway and flopped big time. A musical has not opened and closed on the same night in many years, but Glory Days accomplished the feat. But something about the piece keeps it going, and a Japanese language production was recently announced. Now, the young creators and stars have more good news: the score is being recorded. I have no doubt this will be a boon for the show, giving thousands of high schools, colleges, and small professional theatres a chance to hear the music. I wrote a while ago that, with such a small, young cast and limited requirements regarding sets and orchestration, the show could rise from the ashes of its Broadway demolition and find regional life.

A full cast recording is a phenomenal achievement for a show with such a checkered history. While I was not really won over by the show, it's a great chance for authors Nick Blaemire (music) and James Gardiner (book) to become better known. Anything that leads to more opportunities for new theatrical writers is a good thing.

Friday Dance Party: The Panza Pirouette

If you occasionally drop by these pages, you know that I am currently working in a lovely production of Man of La Mancha at Wayside Theatre. Sancho Panza is well-remembered by anybody who has ever seen a production of the show, as a comic sidekick (though he has some tender moments as the play progresses, which I hope I fulfill). He gets lots of laughs and two throw-away comic songs; I'm enjoying the heck out of playing him.

In our production, Sancho also acts much like a stage manager, helping to set the various scenes, passing out props, etc. These instances have been choreographed just like dance numbers, and as I have very little formal dance training, I believe I'm doing only moderately well in this department. Here is one of the sequences when I'm setting the stage by handing out props (in this case, cups). I was so lucky to have someone in the audience last weekend with a Flip Camera who captured this brief moment on film, enabling me to share it as this week's Dance Party. If you have trouble spotting me (my make up transforms me completely), I'm the guy in the blue tights: