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Friday, June 29, 2012

Fitting in a Show before Final Dress...

I caught TOWTTB's production of Avenue Q tonight at La Cite.  We had a tba rehearsal scheduled for Nine that I was delighted not to need and managed to get a ticket so I could see the puerile puppet musical.  I was not too familiar with the show beforehand, but had a sense of what was in store.  It was a very well directed and well produced show.  The cast had clearly done their puppet homework as I don't believe many of them were puppeteers before they started rehearsing.  Nicole English and Corben Kushneryk seemed to be seamless in their puppet handling and voicing. Very impressive.  My favorite songs were The Internet is for Porn and The More you Ruv Someone.  The show's gimmick is the puppet thing, however, so musically there is a bit of a repetitive sound (they are parodying Sesame Street, so it make sense).  It's full of funny lyrics and quite rude (in an entertaining way) and the audience was frequently in stitches. All the performers are strong singers and good storytellers so it's well worth seeing. There's only one show left and I think it's pretty much Sold Out, but you never know, sometimes there are a handful of tickets at the door.

* This marks #25 in my theatre goal for the 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Media Call - I call it Nervous Day...

Well, I survived another media call!  For me, media call is the most nerve wracking day of the whole show experience, but it went quite well.  I was running from interviewer to interviewer and also trying to set up the scenes for shots so it flew by.  I think I sounded articulate and intelligent, so hopefully that will come across in the interviews. It was actually quite fun because there was a variety in the kinds of questions asked so I got the opportunity to talk about the different things I have researched and read up on for this show.  I spoke about the set, the source material 8 1/2, Salvador Dali and surrealism, pole dancing, the shift from reality to imagination to memory, religion, theatre arts training programs, the Edmonton theatre community, and music. It is a bit of a blur.

The pictures from our wonderful photographer, Douglas Stewart, are online.  You can check them out here.

Photo below of Erika Noot as Carla and Cory Christensen as Guido.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Night Out in a busy time...

Despite being ankle deep in pre-tech and tech week for Nine, I went out with some friends from the cast to catch Kiss me Kate on Saturday night.  We had a lot of f un together and it was great to see familiar faces both on stage and in the audience.  Cole Porter's music is the star of the show (which I had never seen before) and the soloists were all in very strong voice.  It was great just to hear them belting out those standards like I Hate Men, Always True to You in My Fashion, So In Love, and Too Darn Hot (just to name a few). The script is a little dated, but this cast is enthusiastic and they run with it!

Afterwards our little gang sought out ice cream but had to settle for BP's instead, but the conversation was hysterical as we related storied of encounters with bugs, kids and body parts, and past show experiences.  It's always fun to have interactions with members of your cast and team outside rehearsal.  One of the things I live about doing theatre is that development of connection and friendship.  This night was great for that.  Now we dive into the business of tech-week.  Our Q2Q on Sunday whizzed by and took about 3 hours from start to finish (FOR A MUSICAL!!!) and I am so pleased with how it looks.  I will see the costumes under lights tonight and I am so excited.  We are a week away from Director's Preview and I cannot wait!

* Kiss Me Kate marks #24 in my 2012 Theatre Goal

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To Get You Warmed Up...

There are a couple of musicals on in town (or son to be on) that you can catch while you wait for Nine at Walterdale.

The first is Two One Way Tickets to Broadway's Avenue Q.  It's the puerile puppets that aren't quite what you saw on Sesame Street.  Several Walterdale alumni are involved including Nicole English, Lauren Kneteman, Martin Galba, Linette Smith, Brad Melrose (who is also lighting Nine), Travis Metzger, and M.J. Kreisel.  I will be seeing the show later in the run as my tech week has me pretty busy right now, but the show runs to June 30th. From what I hear it's hilarious but one should not be expecting clean humour (someone told me the funniest song is called 'The Internet is for Porn').

The other show is ELOPE's Kiss Me Kate which opens this weekend. There are many Walterdale alumni in this one too - Elizabeth Marsh, Gary Carter, and Kathleen McDonald to name a few.  I am catching it this weekend.  It's the musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and features the songs 'Too Darn Hot' and 'Brush Up on Your Shakespeare'.  It also runs until June 30th.

You can let these warm you up before you come to see Nine in July!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Be Italian!

Here is a shot from Nine's rehearsal of Be Italian, probably the most well known song from Nine.  Kate Wylie plays Sarraghina and Jeffrey Swanson plays Little Guido  and waaaaay in the background you can see Cory Christensen as Guido. 

I love this picture because of the expression in Kate's face and body and I feel like Jeffrey is smiling even though we don't see his face.

Tickets are available at tix on the square
Photo by Janine Hodder.

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is Why I Feel So Happy Lately...

I get to work with these people:

Most of the Cast of Nine and some of the Production Team (photo by Janine Hodder)

We had the lovely Janine Hodder come in and take pictures for our call board and some rehearsal shots.  She got some wonderful pictures and I love the spirit of this one.  You can tell a lot about the people in my cast from it.  First, they are really good looking and second, they are a lot of fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And it all comes together...

I have been really lucky in my theatre experiences in Edmonton, really in my life, but really, really, lucky in Edmonton.  I feel at home at Walterdale.  I have been there for a little over 6 years and have participated in many different roles within the company.  Working on Nine right now is wonderful.  I feel blessed with a fabulous team who all seem to be working for the best show possible.  I feel lucky that they all said 'yes' when I asked them.  Some of them I have not worked with in their capacity on the show, but I just thought they would be a good fit. Some I have worked with a few times before and I knew they would be a great fit.  Some, like Sally and Erin, I will always ask because there is a connection.  I feel like there have been no mistakes in the team, in any case. My cast is a joy.  A real joy.  I was blessed with a lot of choice at auditions and I know that there are others that would be just as wonderful in this cast, but I really like this group of people.  They make my job easier.  They push themselves for more.  They are fun and pleasant and understand my silliness.  There are no divas... We are 3 weeks from Opening Night.  Right on schedule, if anything a little ahead which might mean a couple of unanticipated nights off (don't want to over cook this baby).  The pole work, which I thought would take another week to solidify, is tight and amazing (Whose idea was it to have poles in this show?!?!  Great idea!).  The girls who use them are fearless and I am blown away!  One of them sings on the pole - UPSIDE DOWN!  AND she not only looks fabulous - she SOUNDS incredible!!  We slide into the home stretch, getting ready for the challenge of costumes, an orchestra, lights and make-up and we are ready.  It's a wonderful way to spend the month of June!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What Can't You Do?!?

Sometimes I wish I was back in my early to mid twenties - not so I would be younger and thinner, although that would be nice - but because of all the things there are to do in Edmonton that would be easier to do if I didn't have the responsibilities of my middle aged life (kids, house, rehearsals, work, need for sleep, etc...).  This weekend there was a plethora of events.  I hope that you managed to make it to something.  You certainly cannot say that there was 'nothing to do'!

This weekend alone featured Nextfest, Pride Parade, Sprouts Festival, Rubaroo, and the Open Sky Festival.  I know about all of these from my FB Feed because I had many friends going to one or more of these events. Sprouts Festival (Concrete Theatre) is on again today sou just like if you have little ones or if you like new work for children you can still check it out. Nextfest runs until the 17th so you have not missed it either.  You may have missed the Pride Parade, but Edmonton Pride also runs until the 17th so I am sure there are many events you can still catch! I believe the Rubaroo is a Festival, as well, and not over.  I am searching for a link but haven't found one yet.  When I do I will pop it up here!  You have to act fast for the Open Sky Music Festival as today is the last day, but you can still check it out.

In addition to these special events you can still catch the last performance of Shadow Theatre's Little Elephants at their matinee today, or Chicago at the Mayfield (which runs for another week).
This is just what I know about.  I am sure there are more things.  I will be ensconced in Walterdale theatre for most of the day so I will not be able to, but I encourage you all to go out and see stuff!  Don't be bored! There is no excuse. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Living in the Theatre - Painting by Day, Directing by Night!

After all the build up for me in the rest of the season I am solidly up to my neck in Nine at Walterdale.  We are enjoying being spoiled by a set being mostly done much earlier than scheduled.  This has allowed us to do a lot of spacing in the actual theatre with all the architectural elements (except the poles - one comes in today and the other two should be in on the weekend).  It has been wonderful and has actually pushed us ahead of scheduled.  I am hoping this means I can give some nights off here and there.  That will only happen, however, if new conflicts from the cast stop rolling in.  It is hard to say 'no' because everyone has a (ahem) good excuse.  Anyhow, we are in good shape and that makes me happy.  Because of the strength of the cast, there are things I do not have to put a lot of time into (like character work) because they come with their homework done. I like that!

In the day times, since the set has been done, I have been leading the paint crew. I am technically second in command, but I can paint in the daytime and I prefer that happening so that I don't get kicked off the deck in the evenings. We are therefore, ahead of schedule when it comes to paint, too!  Yay!  I have had a nice gang of helpers to keep my company and make the work go so much faster! It does, however, make for long days and I have to watch how much of my time I schedule for the painting so that I do not stress myself out too much. 

As I have gotten older, I find that I cannot handle the long hours as well. I also have a hard time getting to sleep right away in the evenings as I come home wired from rehearsal so I have to watch that.  I need nap time I think.  In any case, I am delighted with how we are progressing!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

A Thank You is always a Welcome Surprise!

For those who know me, the idea that I volunteer a lot is not a surprise.  I spend most of that time volunteering in theatre areas, but I have also volunteered at my sons' school for 6 years.  Recognizing the immense value of casinos, I have done those for organizations who put the word out (again, mostly theatre organizations - I kind of have a niche).  In my theatre roles, I do a variety of things, directing, acting, painting, Board work, whatever fits that I think I have the skills for. I get rewarded with enjoying the tasks, meeting great people, developing skills. For the school, I primarily do Child Check.  Child Check is a system in place to phone all the absent kids who have not been formally excused by a parent phone call.  This is to ensure that they are somewhere - not lost, injured or snatched on the way to school.  99.9% of the time the parent has forgotten to call or they are on their way.  It's a good system for a city school.  I have been doing this, as I said, for 6 years.  I also do field trips, casinos, and all that sort of stuff for the school.  I don't feel like I do a whole lot.  It's one day a week and the occasional extra day, BUT, when I went in on Friday I was presented with a certificate for Volunteer of the Year for the school!  Woot! Woot!  It's nice to get a thank you and to be noticed.  I will enjoy my certificate and the window sticker for my van and feel good about the last 3 days of Child Check for the school year!