Monday, April 16, 2012

The Business of Being Barry

So tonite is our last nite of music rehearsals. It's been more fun for me than usual since i'm not trying to memorize lyrics or vocal parts. Our musical rehearsals have thus far been (for me at least) more of a refresher course because i still know all the music with a couple places mixed in that I need to relearn.  I don't know about the rest of the cast members who were in the previous production, but Hi-Fi was a show that I continued to listen to after we closed. Usually once the show is done I put the cast album back into the cd folder in my car where it remains until a passenger fishes it out and goes "What the fuck is Urinetown?!"
But that wasnt the case with Hi-Fi. Part of what I think makes the music of this show so great is that literally every song is based off of others that we all know and many love. In our first run (as with this one) Scott supplied the cast with a cast album and an accompanying "Source-Rock" album of the myriad pop songs the show's musical numbers are derived from. Not only does a source-rock album help to illustrate the moods and general ideas behind the songs, but it gives the actors a place from which they can relate to the songs they perform in the show. Everybody has at least one song (I know for me it's every third song on the radio) that has the ability to transport them years, even decades, into the past. With something like that backing the music of the show, it provides each actor with an opportunity to connect individually to this music in a way that gives each of us our own personal view and approach.

One of my favorite things about this show is getting to re-remember lines, lyrics, or moments between the actors from what I like to think of as the first "Real" producttion of Hi-Fi. For instance, during rehearsals Jeff Wright (our Rob) got a little too rough during a scene where Rob grabs Barry by his collar and jerks him forward until they are face to face..........Perhaps Jeff hadn't yet made the switch to Decaf or maybe there was some underlying sexual tension he perceived between us. At any rate, when Jeff yanked me forward our lips touched (I fuckin know, right?!) in a brief, unexpected man-kiss. (And if he's reading this, he may well be shitting his pants. Hell yeah, I done posted this shit to the interwebs, Jeff!)

Here's exactly what happened:

It was like a Lifetime movie, I went home and sobbed while cowering in the shower....

In the next few days we'll be blocking the show and once again our characters will live and breathe again (Like Solomon Grundy, but not so angry) and like old, familiar friends will impose themselves in our lives like they belong there. This being the first time I've done a show for a second time, I find it a little surreal. Like stepping into an alternate universe where many things are exactly the same but a lot of things are very different (like Stephen King's Dark Tower series). It's almost like replacing a person in your memories with someone else...Or maybe it's the PCP.

I sign off again with a famous quotation:

                                                                 "I want Patty Duke to play me in the movie."
                                                                                                        -Helen Keller

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