Posts Tagged ‘Annie’

Yesterday

It really does seem like yesterday that I was on stage in what is now my third favorite role ever.  A few fantastic parts over the last 6 years or so have pushed it back a few places.  I’m not one to play favorites but let’s be honest… some roles just hold more meaning behind them.  It was either May 29-30, 1992 or May 22-23, 1992 (I’m sitting here looking at my mobile calendar) I’ll have to look at my old Log of E to find out the correct weekend but right now I have a bat roaming the premises and an Aunt visiting from California who just arrived  and decided to run and hide while she could 😉

Annie will always hold a large piece of my heart.  It was the last time I performed on the stage of the old high school auditorium.  It was the final time (and only time) Ma 2 directed a musical I was cast in.  It was the best cast of the three theatrical productions I was involved in at EHS.  It was this cast and crew that first gave me the impression that a group of performers could be so much more than a group who performed two shows (I still could have done so many more) and went their separate ways.  It created that sense of family that only the best experiences can create and the first which I was actually sad to see end.  Several of my friends were cast as well as my sister and two of my cousins and the experience only tightened that bond.  And Daniel Francis Hannigan/Rooster Hannigan/Danny the Dip was the first character that made me realize that I am a serious character actor (seems like a contradiction in terms “a serious character actor”?)

I know that I have related the audition process previously.  How I “nailed” the role of Daddy Warbucks but “could do so much more as Rooster.”  I just knew that I had to recreate that role somewhere down the line somehow.  Even when I was not cast in the role in FCF’s production a few years ago, I was not THAT upset because it would not have had the same meaning as it did the first time.  Although I did hear several audience members (many complete strangers) comment that the part was horribly miscast.

The wrap party was hilarious for many reasons.  Remember “Coke II”… previously marketed as NEW Coke?  Yes, this was my first and last experience with the beverage.    I don’t remember being as emotional after the wrap party as I was following opening night.  Maybe it was sitting through the sluggish Star Trek: The Motion Picture that caused the tears to flow. “Ah, YES, I remember it well.”

ANNNND coming this Fall… the 35th Anniversary Broadway Production.  All of the orphans and Miss Hannigan have been cast.  Alas… I am not a dancer which was something that came up this evening at work.  There was a “Vault” photo in the Earth tonight of Aggie, Warbucks, Grace Ferrell, Annie, President Roosevelt, Lily, and myself which I attempted to scan but to no avail.

What a fun trip down memory lane!

20 years

I cannot believe it has been that long since I portrayed one Daniel Francis Hannigan in my high school senior year.  This afternoon, I had the pleasure to sit and enjoy the final performance of an area company’s production of “Annie.” I was NOT disappointed.  Several of my theatrical colleagues and friends had roles on stage at the glorious Huber.  Crystal was remarkable as “Aggie” Hannigan.  ALWAYS a powerhouse performance displaying the delciousness of the marvelous character in song, movement, and action.  It is very difficult to pick which “sister” I prefer.

Denver, Denver.  WHAT A HOOT!  He portrayed not only Drake (Warbucks’ butler) but one of FDR’s cabinet members and a dog catcher as well.  Each character was entirely different in appearance, tone, and characterization.  From an Irish brogue to the not-so-stiff English servant, he stole the spotlight in every scene he was in! AND YES, he can sing!

I have always been a huge fan of the Hooverville scene.  The song which “Likes to Thank Herbert Hoover” for putting hundreds of former employed citizens on the streets is a really fun bit which I was a part of in my second go round.  Mary and a few of my other friends doubled  (or tripled) in this scene, as Warbucks’ servants, and a few other cabinet members.

Finally, Annie herself was a delight.  Her charisma on stage fit the role perfectly.  Her singing and speaking voice held just the right amount of power, spunk, and naivete.  For whatever reason, the production had a different actress stepping into the role both weekends.

I make it a point to never critique roles I have previously played (not that I am biased or anything) 🙂

WELL DONE CAST AND CREW!!!

Feelin’ Groovy

I can honestly say that I AM feeling better today than I have for a while.  I was able to stand throughout my entire voice lesson without feeling the need to sit.  Maybe this thing is not going to take a year to fully heal after all.  But if it does, I can deal with it.  Someone asked when I was going to be in another show.  It just dawned on me that I COULD have tried out for the role of FDR in Annie… no walking involved and he does get to sing and harmonize during the White House reprise of “Tomorrow.”  AH, well…

I am a step closer to replacing my blown Sunfire.  “Big” John and Edy are in the process of looking  for a new auto and they know I am in the market for a good, reliable mode of transportation.  I went to their house this morning and checked out the ’02 Honda SUV (a compact SUV).  Definitely a car that has been well taken care of and very nice, full of bells and whistles.  During my test drive, I commented to Big John that there was no “ka-chunk ka-chunk” as I approached a stop sign as there is in the car I currently drive.  I have been told that it is “nothing to worry about” but somehow….

Back to my latest lesson… I am thinking my list of songs I have been working on is about to be edited.  There are some songs which I do not think I am going to have performance ready anytime soon and there are others that I have been looking at which will take no time at all… one of which we ran today.  Plus, by the end of my first song, I was on my feet!  Much better than sitting on the chair.

Feeling Adventurous

I’m not sure if it was the 60º+ weather of the past weekend (sure felt good) or just the idea of a little return to normalcy (whatever that is) but I have decided that this week I am going to set out on a few of the things I have been missing out on.  Last Friday, I ventured out to get my first refill on my meds.  A 90 day fill up… I guess I really am going to be on it for A LONG TIME, but it is for the best.

Later this afternoon, I am going to attend my first FCF board meeting since this all began (back in January… I refuse to miss more than 2).  I am so excited to be able to get back and help get one of my favorite shows rolling along.  I have finally come to the conclusion that thinking too much about auditioning for either The Wizard of Oz OR Annie (at another area theater) needs to take a backseat until I am 100% ready to go.  Even then, I really want to focus on what lies ahead after I reach that goal.  Still thinking about what that is going to be.

Thursday,  I am going to my first voice lesson since January.  K informed me that I picked the perfect time to do so.  Her students are preparing for their annual recital and she was hoping that I would be back on my feet ready to go by then.  I will pass along the details once I am confident that I will be strong enough to participate.  God and everyone else knows I want to be but I am still being a bit realistic.  It has nothing to do with my vocal ability; hopefully, my physical ability will be there as well.

AND FRIDAY…. MY FIRST GAME NIGHT SINCE JANUARY! I  cannot wait until I see some of my friends whom I have not seen since the start of 2011.  Even those I have seen since.  Hopefully, I can convince a little buddy of mine that I do not live in the hospital.  😀

Goal setting and pushing forward just a bit surely will not impede my progress.  After all… the doctor wanted me to go back to work the day after I was released from the hospital.

And in all this time,  I forgot to wish my fellow Tangenteers a HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY!  It has been a very fun and at times thought-provoking adventure and I truly enjoy continuing to get to know some of my best friends even better through their life experiences and thoughts!  And WELCOME TO SPRING… it HAS been a long winter.

 

Looking Ahead

Tonight was my introduction into a new theatre board.  I think this organization will be a fun, challenging, and ultimately rewarding crowd to be a part of.  Hopefully, the passion I have for the dramatic arts will be beneficial.  This summer, the group will be presenting the beloved, immortal classic The Wizard of Oz.  I have dreamed of playing one particular role for as long as I can remember.

However, another nearby group will be presenting another of my favorite shows.  I believe that I have mentioned a time or two that I have been in two separate productions of Annie.  Back in 1992 at good ol’ EHS, I played Rooster.  Daniel Francis Hannigan will forever be one of my most memorable and favorite roles.  Back in 2001 (I believe it was), I was cast as a Hooverville-ite and as one of Daddy Warbucks’ servants.  As we approach the 35th anniversary of the musical’s Broadway debut (and it’s planned 2nd revival in 2012 as part of the celebration), the opportunity to audition for Rooster once again would be a delight!

Thank goodness, I have a few months to ponder the conundrum.

For any lurkers who may be out there who deem themselves qualified to fill one of the PAID technical (director, pit director, vocal director, etc) positions for a full-scale version of the Wizard of Oz, visit the Fountain City Festival website within the coming weeks for more information.  If you drop by the website now, you can take  tour of the past few summer shows the group has produced.

Strange Thing Mystifying

We have recently become even more technologically advanced at work.  We have just installed check readers.  Instead of needing to completely fill out the check, all the customer has to do is sign their name.  The check is then run through the reader for approval.  NOW comes the drawback:  each time the customer uses the check reader, they MUST show their ID.  This seems like a hassle even to me.  Having worked at wM for 7 years, the readers there only checked  ID periodically.

Tonight, I had a visit from someone who remembered me from at least 18 years ago.  I previously related my tale of waiting on Professeur Peters (my high school French teacher).  Tonight, I waited on her daughter.  “I remember you.  You were in my mom’s French or Spanish class.”  Then she told me that she remembered seeing me as Rooster.  WOW!  Even with a little less hair.

Later, I had a heartbreak.  A customer whom I know quite well appproached me and informed me that he had a little accident.  “OH, GREAT!  What did you break now :)”  Then I came to the accident.  His little daughter had a little accident and was totally embarrassed.  I felt so bad for her.  I told him to run up to the restroom to clean her up while I took care of the puddle on the  floor.

AH… such as life during a nine hour day.

Something Creaky This Way Comes

Tonight was opening night for You Have the Right to Remain Dead and what an opening  it was.   For a Friday night during football season with many homecoming games going on, I thought the crowd was a decent size and it is very difficult to fill every seat in the venue.  I still cannot say enough how gorgeous and amazing it is to be on the jewel of a stage.  Both times I have been in shows at the Huber I have been spoiled.

I thought that among the best moments were some of the sound effects.  There are many great effects that heighten the atmosphere of the show and tonight we had the heater going.  Not to worry, because I was for a bit.  Everyone I talked to in the audience thought the noise was part of the show… including a few friends who had a great time playing “whodunit.”  The entire audience seemed to get into the participation act but it could have started a bit sooner.  And we were promised that the noise from the heater would be addressed.

Following the show while shedding my costume and persona of Harnell Chesterton, I learned that one of my castmates is a Red Sox fan (I won’t hold that against him).  My Yankee coat was hanging on a hangar and Alex noticed it and we each offered our condolences to each other.  By the way, the Bombers are up 2-0 in the ALDS after beating the Twins 4-3 in 11 innings.

And I think I have made a new friend who has found out about my sterling personality.  the director warned me to watch myself or she would find something to throw at me during the show.  What is it that I do… honestly?

I think I have found a new favorite show that will be really hard to leave when Sunday’s matinee is over.  I think this will be number 3 replacing Rooster and right behind Donnie and “you-know-who.”

Lets see… 14 hours 52 minutes to go….and counting.

Christmas Wishes

Over the past few weeks, I have been blessed to become re-acquainted with someone who used to teach at the local elementary school.  She has since moved to North Carolina.  She started commenting on my blog during the worst couple of weeks I have had in my 35 years when Emily became seriously ill and lost her battle with leukemia.  I helped Terri and Emily direct the high school’s production of Bye, Bye Birdie a few years ago.  I am extremely sad to say that the theatrical tradition that was once so strong at my alma mater has disappeared.  Growing up I remember watching great musicals performed on the gymnasium stage.  The first being The Wizard of Oz in 1977.  I was introduced to my favorite musical, Carousel, in the early 80s, as well as Finian’s Rainbow, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (which justj‘s daughter will be part of in her high school’s production next Spring).  I also watched both of my brothers on stage.  THEN, I guess I made my mark in Fiddler on the Roof, I Remember Mama, and (finally) as Rooster in Annie.  I also helped stage The Sound of Music, South Pacific, and the aforementioned Birdie.  Do any of my faithful readers have any memories of school musical productions they would like to share?

Terri recently sent this holiday greeting which features my favorite version of my favorite carol set to a beautiful scene which signifies the true meaning of the season.

This will be our final song to you before Christmas, which truly symbolizes our belief of the true meaning of Christmas.

The miracle of that evening will always be depicted during the Christmas season…I particularly enjoyed this movie clip because it shows two parents

who were experiencing pain and fear…yet were in awe of what followed……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_ypUnnqr8Y

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

Trouble In River City Again

Before I begin, I must tell you that I am probably one of the few people who agonize even considering watching yet another production of The Music Man. I saw a high school production of it years ago, I saw it on Broadway during its most recent revival and I have seen the Robert Preston movie so many times that it just makes me want to pull my hair out (someone had the nerve to get it the DVD for me for Christmas years ago). However, I attended a local production of it and I must say that (while still not the world’s biggest proponent of the show) I really enjoyed the production.

All of the fluff and goodness were still present but the performances and entire production was very well done. I had a vested interest because some of my hometown residents were in it and some of the other people involved have been on stage with me before. The lady who played Maude Dunlop was the drama director of my high school’s production of Annie when I played Rooster. The actress portraying Alma Hix is someone I admire greatly and is a joy to know and work with.

I have to say that the gentleman in the role of Marcellus was perhaps the most talented performer on the stage. He was in our theatre’s production of School House Rock last September. He stole every scene he was in with his captivating presence and is a genuine triple threat (able to act, sing, and dance and make it look flawless).

Another scene-stealer was the young boy who stepped into the role of Winthrop. Everything about him just made you want to run up and give him a great big hug. His lisp, his shyness, everything about him was adorable. One of those fluff parts but enjoyable nonetheless.

I would have to say that the real star was the entire ensemble cast in the big production numbers. The routine for “76 Trombones” harkened back to my days in the marching band with precision drills, pinwheels, and straight lines. And yes, there actually was not seventy-six in the pit or on stage as someone sitting next to me pointed out 😀 . After the segment, the applause was so great that you would have thought that it was the show’s finale.

So, everything about the production was very well done. I am still not a fan of the show itself, but maybe in another 10 years I will be able to endure another trip to River City. I would rather watch Mr. Preston as Centauri another great con-man from The Last Starfighter.

A Few Of MY Favorite Things

My introduction to musical theatre was in the first grade as I sat in the high school gymnasium watching a performance of a Rodgers and Hammerstein show that I will come to later. Let me just say I was forever changed at that early age. I have to say that I enjoy a musical even more than a regular play because not only do they tell a story through dialog and action but also through music. The best musicals use that music to progress the rest of the action on stage… becoming a character all its own. Some of the greatest musicals also have a third component that I shudder to mention: d-d-d-d-ance (?) or as I prefer to call it stylized movement.

The following is a list of musicals that have found a permanent place within me. I would not necessarily say they were my “favorite.”

I just know I am forgetting at least one.

Broadways Best at Amazon.com

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