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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Music Is Magic

So yesterday was all about music.  Not just for 42nd Street, but a running theme for the whole day. 

It was the first time the kids in our KidzAct program sang with musical tracks for "The Ever After" without the lead/background vocals.  If you don't know what I mean, it's kind of like fancy karaoke, and many productions  and theatre companies use these tracks when a full orchestra or band can't be implemented.  This may sound a little cheezy, but in this case it works almost perfectly.  Most of the kids were spot on, while others had trouble finding their notes and harmonies.  What I love most is even if they were not always on pitch, they didn't let it interfere with their acting or choreography.  Ahhhh, what a concept!  Why can't I do that?  These kids make it so easy and they really don't give a rats a** what anyone thinks.  Again, what a concept!!!  Needless to say, "The Ever After" is going to rock.  Sometimes I think I learn more from these kids than they could ever learn from me.  And although "The Ever After" is billed as a children's show, the music rivals that of any Broadway musical, and these kids really sell it.  I can't wait to see the final outcome. Unfortunately with our 42nd street performance schedule, I'll only get to see their last performance, but I'm sure it will be their best.

Continuing my musical theme for the day...Byron surprised me between KidzAct  rehearsal and 42nd Street rehearsal with the latest Dolly Parton album.  It was just released yesterday.  Is he on top of it or what?  He knows me too well.  For those of you who don't know, I'm a die hard Dolly fan.  She's been a part of my life since I was in my mothers womb.  My mom would listen to "Here You Come Again" during her pregnancy with me as it was the number one song at that time.  Consequently, "Islands In The Stream" was my first record- I think i was four or five.  I was obsessed.  She also starred in one of my favorite movies, "9 to 5" and later adapted it into what has become one of my favorite Broadway musicals.  Dolly's voice has always given me comfort and the lyrics to her songs, especially those in her last couple albums have actually really inspired me.  Her latest album is entitled "Better Day."  Anyway, with all the stress and anxiety I am feeling this week surrounding the opening of 42nd Street, Dolly is once again there to calm my nerves and give me the daily affirmation, through music, that tomorrow really is a "better day."  Cheezy I know, but sooooo true.  One last thing about this album:  She covers quite a few songs from the Broadway version of  "9 to 5"- my favorites being "I Just Might" and "Shine Like The Sun."  The lyrics in these songs are quickly becoming my mantra as I anxiously await opening night.  If you are familiar with these songs from the musical, you know why.  Okay enough about Dolly.  However I warned you:  I'm truly obsessed ;-)

Finally, last night was our 3rd dress rehearsal for 42nd Street.  We had the orchestra back!  I can't tell you how amazing these people are.  Charlie (our musical director) has put together the best of the best, with musicians coming from all over the region.  Singing and dancing with these talented musicians is a dream come true.  It's the frosting on the cake- the one element that truly brings 42nd Street to life.  I get chills every time I hear the overture.  The same feeling I had when I saw it on Broadway in 2002.  I'll never forget that magical feeling and affirmation when the curtain rose revealing those tapping feet that musical theatre is where my heart truly is.  the music tells me what to do when I'm dancing.  There's still a couple of spots in the ballet that closes the show, but I find that the music is really helping me find my way through the challenging number.  And although I'm still learning how to follow/keep up with the orchestra vocally, I glance down to the pit and Charlie is there to lead and guide me through what I never thought I'd have the chance to do.  Am I lucky or what?

Okay, I really wish I had more time to write about our kick a** orchestra, it's time for me to head to the theatre.  There will be many more blog entries regarding the music in 42nd Street- I am sure.  Thanks for reading.  Tonight is our final dress rehearsal before our preview tomorrow night.  So exciting and so nerve racking all at the same time, but loving every moment.

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