Friday, June 24, 2005

So, thanks to the apparently fine work I did on Guys and Dolls, I got asked to stage manage another musical, On The Town.

This time it's for a company called Applause Musical Society, which has a fun idea: they take old and lesser-known musicals, that haven't been done in a while (and have never been done in Vancouver) and they do them as sort of a "readers theater" version: one week of rehearsals, minimal costumes, props and blocking, and the cast carry their scripts onstage in Applause's signature black binders. It's a fun idea, and one that I thought would be perfect for my first time stage managing. That, of course, was before I realized that the director and AD would be completely ignoring the "minimal costumes props and blocking" rule: the production, which opened Wednesday for a five-day run, features two long dance breaks, and the prop list includes a pair of bongo drums, a lot of Photoshopped signage, a banana, and a dinosaur head. Seriously.

There seems to be a pattern emerging in my theater work in Vancouver: I get thrown into a position I've never done before, on a musical set in New York in the mid-20th century, and some stage business has to be worked out involving getting a banana peel offstage. Oh, and just like G+D, On The Town has been parodied on the Simpsons:

New York New York (Springfield Springfield)
A helluva town
The bronx (the schoolyard's) is up
and the battery's (shopping mall's) down
the people ride (the stray dogs go)
in a hole in the ground (to the animal pound)

Betcha didn't know that's where that was from.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

So THAT'S where Springfield, Springfield is from. I like the Simpsons version better. Sad, isn't it?
New York is thata way!
Thanks, kid!
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