Friday, November 30, 2007

A Christmas Carol - Blog 2 - Mike Lawler (Marley)

The cast of A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre is a family.
Kim Bennett (our Scrooge) said it and I believe it. And while we are in rehearsal we are spending more time with each other than our families. But what a great time!

My name is Mike Lawler and this is my third year of playing Jacob Marley (Scrooge's deeased partner). What a cast! We get David Barker entertaining us during rehearsal breaks with some of the wackiest jokes ever heard. We're in our second week of rehearsal and he is still trying to get us to do a group improv to 'break the ice'.

5 year old Casey Likes is playing Tiny Tim this year. He is a 5 year old renaissance man. Not only doing a great job playing Tiny Tim but he has another project in the works. Casey is directing and starring in "PowerMan" which he will be shooting during the Christmas Carol run. He's holding auditions for the cast (though some parts have been pre-cast). There is lots of excitement about this movie. Rumor has that Matthew Wiener is either going to have a cameo as a Starbucks latte man or play Casey's sidekick. No decision yet.

Lillie Richardson just makes me laugh. She's fantastic.

I get to work with actors and actresses who are first-rate. I'm thrilled when I get to work with them in scene or song and I love watching them when I'm offstage. It's a thrill to work with Kim Bennett as Scrooge who makes me laugh and then rips my heart out.

I love working with Matthew and one of my favorite parts in rehearsal (and you never know when this will happen) is when he jumps out of his seat, comes around his table and illustrates his direction to me: Kim and I are working the end of the Marley/Scrooge scene. The scene reads like this-
Marley: "Expect the second (spirit) on the next night at the same hour, the third, upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has cease to vibrate".
Marley begins to levitate
"Look to see me no more. And see that, for your own good, you remember what has passed between us!"
Marley rises out of sight
...and Matthew acts out for me what he's after. He kind of gets in Kim's face: "Scrooge three spirits are coming, here's when they're coming. Matthew then pulls away like he's being lifted up: "O.K. I'm outta here". He is so helpful and funny. And effective. Matthew set the bar last night- we are to achieve 150% in rehearsal of what we will deliver in performance. I'm sure we will get there. Matthew makes me believe.

Arthur Marks is a terrific music director and so supportive. He has blown us all away with his 6 octave vocal range and his talent as a dancer and actor. Actually, it's kind of depressing.

Robbie Harper, our Co-choreographer as well as our Bob Cratchit, is amazing.

It's a gift to be able to tell this story of spirit and reconciliation with great actors and an excellent theatre company. I have every confidence you will love A Christmas Carol as much as I do!

Mike Lawler

1 comment: said...

There is a AudioText version of the story, with an animated movie at the end, that can be found here: