Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day of Show, Part 3

FIRST PERFORMANCE IN THE BOOKS!!!!! Wow. I'm going to keep it brief, mainly because we have another performance in an hour. But an absolutely HUGE hats off to the actors and musicians and technicians who brought this show together.

4:30pm show had 63 people. Let's double that tonight.


Day of Show, Part 2

Working through the show now. The actors are here, getting really excited. Sound, lights, sound effects, and just plain being in a theater space with a show to do is pumping us all up.

Day of Show, Part 1

At the theater already, starting to play with lights and other tech such stuff.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last time through.......

Let us make sure that the punctuation really allows the emotion to come through:

Holy. Crap. We. Are. So. Tired.

Today was 9 hours of the last bits of rehearsal. Very productive, but a long day nonetheless. Let us just take a moment and shout the greatness of our cast from the mountaintops. They are just relentlessly diving into this show, and we couldn't be more grateful for their enthusiasm. 23 scenes, 16 songs, and they learned it all and then some.

Looking forward to the show. One day away. In theory our article on BroadwayWorld.com should be up today. Maybe tomorrow. We'll let you know.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yesterday we had our first full band rehearsal: Robert on piano, Bernice on drums, and now the young and talented Adriel Williams on violin. It was Ayhan's inspired idea to add a violin part to the arrangements, and boy, was he right.

Today we finish up learning the rest of the songs, and one more scene. And then, tomorrow, a nice and long 9-hour day, with touch-ups, and a full run through.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So much time and so little to do...... Strike that, reverse it.

We're pushing forward, ever forward. Still having great rehearsals, lots of progress, people are having fun. And we start feeling really good. And yet there's still so much to do. Like Sunday, for example. Sunday will be the first time that the entire cast and band will actually be together. Meaning that scenes and songs that have not been learned by all involved (due to the impossibility of 14 actors' schedules actually lining up ideally all week) will have to be touched up Sunday morning. And then the two acts' finales are to be learned. And then, for the first time, we'll run the show. A stop and start run to be sure, and a long day (to be more sure.)

The point here is that as we're all getting to learn more and more of the show, we all start seeing so much more in it, and it gets us all the more excited. So much so that we have to remind ourselves it's just a reading that's happening in less than 5 days, and that we've just not the time to do it all.

The whole group has sorta developed this common joke we use as we talk about how we see a scene or a song playing out: "Well, in the magical super Broadway production, I'd......".

And boy, do we all long for that production. First things first, sure. But that excitement sure is nice to see, even for a reading. Maybe especially for a reading.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bring on the music

A hugely productive day today. Rehearsals from 2-10pm. Looooong day, but a productive one. And, it was the first day we started working on the music (again, with our fantastic musical director Robert). Can't tell you how excited we are to start hearing it all, and how excited and eager the actors are to dive into it all. There are some really fun songs in this show, hopefully many of you will leave the theater with one dancing around in your head.

Tomorrow's rehearsals are only 7-10pm, so it's a big administrative day for the Ubu production team. But check out our NYMF website (the link to the right), we're updating with cast bios and pictures.

More to come!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When It Rains, It Friggin' Rains! or… We’ve Got One Week, MERDE!

10pm –4pm with one burry eyed break around 230pm, we have found our cast. The bar was set very high early on, and we knew that ‘real good’ was now going to have to be ABSOLUTELY GREAT! That’s just what we’ve got.

Rehearsals begin, and the script is powerful!

New revised lead sheets are complete. Ayhan did a beautiful job! The musical finally has music! What more could we have asked for? Oh yes, a Musical Director…

After a list of 6 potential options grew into a list of those who were totally booked, just booked, available all week but not the day of the show, available for one of the two show’s, didn’t like to work late (wrong business), didn’t like the short time frame, into names of names of names of the same name, we ended up calling 32 people. Honest to Ubu, 32!!

Music rehearsals pushed back and back to the point of almost having to teach songs the day of the show!

As we didn’t want to let on that we were panicked, twitching in a notorious Kinko’s (sorry, we mean FedEx Office) copy line waiting for the music that, without a teacher, might as well still be in its reams, ‘assuming’ that something would happen soon, HAD to happen, because it’s Sunday for Pa’s sake, the voice on the other end of my cell produced such an adrenaline rush in me that 10 espressos seem like a (cliché) bullet scene from the Matrix. The voice simply said, “Yeah, let me see what you got”.

After only about an hour of nail biting, link sharing, schedule blocking and MP3 demo swapping, we found him. The lucky man, whose 29 hours of free time would make or break the possibility of rehearsals going past one day (very Ubu, if our show closes before it opens), is the talented and highly accomplished Robert Grusecki.

We met today at Ayhan's studio. Brantley, Tony, Ayhan, Robert, and the wonderful percussionist Bernice “Boom-Boom” Brooks, sat together for three solid hours and went over every note. “What’s your take? What’s the tempo again? Oh yes! Really? Perfect. One more time.” Morale has found another step up today. Though we are not skipping along, the weight has shifted and made the soles of our tired trucks feel less wear and tear. As the cast meets the dotted pages of scatological lyricism tomorrow, it seems that our UBU, trapped in our brains for so long, is truly is rumbling to life!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Full cast!!

Well, casting was a success. We saw a bunch of great actors on Friday. And at last, our roster is complete. Here's our cast:

Pa Ubu - Michael Thomas Holmes
Ma Ubu - Joan Barber
Corporal - Kevin T. Collins
Conscience - Barrie Kreinik
Wenceslas/Achras - Tony Mayes
Daughters Ubu - Tate Evans, Kate Gilligan, Molly Stuart
The Freemen - Chris Carfizzi, Bob Lewandowski
The Paljenttents - Bob Barth, Tom Bartos, Jason Najjoum
The Canteen Girl - Anne Letcher
The Head of Memnon - Matt O'Neill

Crazy-sounding characters eh? Now we're trying to put together a rehearsal schedule that accommodates 14 people's availabilities. Even tougher than we anticipated, especially considering that some characters always need to rehearse together, like the Paljenttents.

Rehearsals start tomorrow morning at 11am. We'll be trying to update the blog daily, to let you all know how it goes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Casting tomorrow

We've got a solid full day of casting tomorrow, seeing close to 100 people for 6 roles. We love casting. It's darn fun, and usually is the first time you can really start to see the show come alive. I say usually, because we had that reading at our place a while ago. But all the same.... fun!

Check the blog Saturday night to see who's joining the show.