Thursday, August 4, 2011

Annie Junior, day 4

The good news is that we got a lot done today.  The bad news is that... well, 
there really isn't any bad news, so I guess that's good news, too.

The only downside to getting so much done as far as music and choreography is
that we have not had much, if any, time to work on the scenes! These are really
important in order to string the songs together, and I am hoping to get to those
on Monday. I have asked the actors to be "off-book" that is, memorized, by
Tuesday. It is a lot of work to do, especially for a camp situation, but in the
long run, we do have a show to put up as well. Please help your kids in
memorizing their material over the weekend.

KUDOS today to Kiara, who came in with her song parts totally memorized and they
sounded fantastic!!! It was so exciting to see this little girl who yesterday
was so timid to get up there and belt these parts out. Total change from
yesterday, and what an incredible change it was, too!!! Thanks, Mom for helping
her out!

So what did we get through today? All sorts of stuff!

We started the day again with our check in, and the kids told us what type of
music they would be... we had several very cool and unexpected answers,
everything from Pop to Ragtime, with some Jazz and Heavy Metal thrown in...
mine of course was show tunes. Can't leave those out when working on a show
like this!

We then got to work right away by reviewing the numbers we did over the past few
days. We had some traffic issues in the overture that we cleaned up and it is
in really good shape now. We then did "Hard Knock Life" with all props, and
what a difference a prop makes! We had to run it a couple times because of prop
issues. It also will be a great number. We added a tribute to another comic
strip character, so see if you can pick it out when you see the number!

We then jumped into finishing the "NYC" number, and it is going to be very very
cool!!! It, too, has a tribute to another famous musical (perhaps a little
ahead of it's time), so there is a chance to spot that too. I like to put those
moments in choreographically, not only to give the "older folk" in the audience
a chance to giggle, but also to use them as teaching moments while teaching
choreography. A little history goes a long long way, right?

We then took a small break where MK and I chatted about costumes and then Mary
Kathryn worked with Sandy and Annie on "Tomorrow."

I have to put a special thank you out there to our TA, Katie, who kept notes on
blocking and choreography today, as well as CD maker extraordinaire! She was
able to multi-task like you wouldn't believe! She is the one who made most of
those extra CD's your kids came home with today. Thanks, Katie!

We then did a sing-through of the entire show, and I gotta tell you, even though
I have heard these songs umpteen times, it still excites me to hear these young
voices belt out these melodies!

Blocking-wise, we got through some of the script, but we have tons yet to do as
I mentioned before. We got through pages 62-66, 34-35, and 57-58.

At the end of the day, we started to work on the choreography for "I Think I'm
Gonna Like It Here," which is a huge group number where everyone is either a
maid or butler, and is welcoming Annie to the Warbucks Mansion. We will be
starting with this number tomorrow, and then we have only one more group number
to finish, and only the solos to stage!!! Moving right along!

So, what did MK and I talk about as far as costumes were concerned? Well, we
did get a donation from a parent to help in this department, so as of tomorrow,
we will have the orphan outfits! I am going to the Goodwill near Wakefield to
pick up some mens button down shirts that I saw the other day that I think will
work very well as somewhat drab, institutional orphan outfits! Thanks to our
MOM who did that!!!

The basic costume that everyone will need under their other costume(s) will be
either jeans shorts or jeans, and a plain white t-shirt. I want to do this
simply because if they are in all black, our actors will disappear against the
black walls of the theatre, and in their white shirts, they will also resemble
the "servants" and "other persons" of New York City. It is much easier to
supplement something basic with hats, coats, and other shirts, than having to
worry about full costume changes in a short time when everyone is playing more
than one part.

I am looking for a plain white apron for our Cook, a feather duster for Cecille,
and some kind of "disguise" for Rooster and Lily. It might be a jacket, a pair
of glasses, a strap on beard, or a different hat. I will keep looking and
hopefully I will be able to find my one box of hats and assorted props that is
lost in one of my closets from my teaching days.

Overall a really great day. Tomorrow we have 80's day planned with a surprise
for the kids at the end of the day. No worries, all kids should stay in one

Thanks again, and your kids are really working hard!!!

J. Michael Beech

A side note... I had mentioned to the kids that I was thinking of using milk
crates instead of the cubes I wanted to use at the start... well, I got a way
for the cubes to be transported to the theatre and used, so you can ignore the
request your child may give for milk crates!

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