Friday, October 27, 2006

Low High

I was a little younger in 2000.  Just before 9/11. 

The grey in my hair isn't so apparent.

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Mark this down on your calendar:  November 10, 2006.  8 PM.  Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center in North Hollywood. 

That's opening night, and the Los Angeles premiere of A Tale of Two Cities.  Tickets are $18 for adults, and $12 for seniors, students, and vets -- with special prices for school groups of 15 or more who wish to attend together.

The show runs Thursday to Sunday each week until December 10 -- except for Thanksgiving Weekend, during which there will be a reading of A Christmas Carol.

On my next entry, I'll be posting an entry with a webpage address where you can go to reserve tickets.

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You might want to attend?

You really do.

Listen.  What if I told you that this show is playing with an incredibly talented cast.  Directing them has been like working with the cast you've always dreamed of having -- but can't believe you'll ever get.

I'm not kidding.

Come.  I promise -- you won't be bored.  Not with this cast.

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It is the lows of theatre that make the highs so worthwhile.

Over the past week, I've experienced my share.

Within three days, I had five actors -- all critical leads in A Tale of Two Cities (YOUNG JERRY, MRS. CRUNCHER, VENGEANCE, SEAMSTRESS, and MISS PROSS) -- withdraw from the show.  They all had excellent reasons:  financial, union, attendance, and serious illness within the immediate family.

As that manager says inPhantom,"These things do happen."

It's times like this that you lower your head to the head-butting, bull-in-the-china-shop, tuck-the-football-under-your-arm position -- and just keep moving towards the goal -- even when it looks like you're about to collide with the entire team of Massillon Tigers.

And then hopefully, like tonight, you realize they're actually the cheerleading squad dressed up to look like linebackers -- and you realize that you're in a nightmare, not actually a football game.

Enough with the metaphors.  Here's the literal story:

I was a mite depressed tonight when I arrived for rehearsal, but I thought I'd pick up my normal triple cappucino anyway at the Indee Coffee bar below the NoHo Actors Studio, where we rehearse.

As I chatted with the barista behind the coffee bar -- she expressed great interest in the show.  As did her friend, a singer.  So I agreed to audition them after rehearsal, when the barista got off work.

I began rehearsal.  My cast was simply wonderful, giving me props -- genuine emotional support.

Then during break, I walked out into the studio hallway and ran into a family of three adorable triplet girls, 7 years old, plus their brother, 12, and their mother.  An acting family.  They auditioned on the spot -- and I had MRS. CRUNCHER and YOUNG JERRY.  The triplets were also eager to appear on stage, so I had them play marbles.  They were brilliant.  Thus, they'll play, respectively, the PEASANT BOY, the MURDERED CHILD, and YOUNG CHARLES.

After rehearsal, in the outside coffee bar after it closed, three of us auditioned the barista.  When she read for the role of the SEAMSTRESS, I was moved to tears.  I cast her immediately.

Following that audition, the singer auditioned.  She perfectly captured the energy of the VENGEANCE.  I make my final decision tomorrow, after I listen to another actress read for VENGEANCE or MISS PROSS.

The highs and the lows.  It takes both.

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