Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THIS - blog 1 - Oliver Wadsworth (Alan)

Am I in The Big Chill?!?
The play THIS has some real similarities.

They are both about a group of college friends, who are now in their 30's (40's).
For them, like me, college was a time when anything and everything happened. Now years later when they get together there is an immediate chemical thing that transports them back to that time. No matter how many children or grown up jobs or crows’ feet or love handles they have. They look at each other and Boom they are back and the same great adventure opens up. I had my 20th reunion recently on a Lake upstate and everyone was doing crazy stunts on water skis. It was the same alchemy that I am talking about and was fun until someone dislocated a hip.
A big important dynamic in THIS is that these people seem connected in this “known each other since college” way.

It is the night before the 1st rehearsal and I am nervous and excited to meet everyone so we can – in the next three weeks – develop this chemistry. Work on our relationships. The Big Chill cast supposedly spent a few weeks together as a group before shooting to develop this rapport. What can we do in THIS? Maybe I should invite everyone over to the Actor Housing to watch The Big Chill? Or maybe the more artsy prequel Return of the Secaucus Seven. No, I think the entertainment value and hysterical quippyness in THIS is more similar to The Big Chill. I’ve already decided who I am in the movie – a cross between Jeff Goldblum’s reporter who can’t get laid and Bill Hurt’s boozy/druggy soothsayer. Would we all enjoy playing this game? Will we start to bond over popcorn and the movie? Or...

Will the experience of spending 8 hours a day in the rehearsal room exploring the play with Ron (May) and April (Smith) be enough? Will repeating the inventive and witty things we say, the issues we argue about, the jokes we make, the mid life crises we grapple with, the extraordinary loving and hurtful and funny things we do to one another be all we need to experience our Big Chill moment???????????

Keep you posted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A CHRISTMAS CAROL blog 6: Sally Jo Bannow (Ghost of Christmas Past)

David Barker is a funny man – no – he is a comedy stylist – a humor artiste extraordinaire! David has perfected a number of ‘comedy routines’ that he regales us with each and every year, EACH and EVERY time as if we have never seen them before. Either he is an amazing master of discovery, acting as if each time is the first, or we’re seeing the early onset of dementia… The cast has even banned one of the characters David brought out annually. It really was best for everyone!
Thankfully, there is always at least one new cast member to try these ‘comedy morsels’ on as we begin rehearsals. As David approaches the new member of the cast, we, the Christmas Carol veterans, look on with a silent grin, knowing exactly what’s coming. We all enjoy the laughs, and the groans, from the new cast members. But even more than that, we delight in the joy on David’s face EACH and EVERY time. I will miss the antics of one Mr. David Barker when this production closes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A CHRISTMAS CAROL blog 5: Natalie Charle Ellis (Nurse)


A Christmas Carol has been a huge part of my life and my career since I was only 17 years old. The whole CC team has become like my second family and I can’t imagine Christmas without it. I remember watching it from the audience when I was just a kid and saying to myself that I was going to be up there one day...and I did it. Performing with some of the most amazingly talented actors and incredible people as well, I have been truly blessed. This will be my sixth year (I took off a couple years to perform on cruise ships and Tokyo Disney and they excepted me right back!) and I can’t believe how fast time has flown.

I’ll be honest...because I now live in New York, it's a gamble leaving to do a show out of town because you hate to miss any opportunities in the city. I was debating on coming back, but as soon as I heard this was the final year, it broke my heart a little bit and I knew I had to come back. I am going to miss these crazy loons so much. These relationships and experiences have helped make me the woman and performer I am today and I will cherish them always!

But, we are definitely making the most of our final rehearsals and we are making this last year even more special. Lets just say, were gonna go out with a bang!!!!!!