November 08, 2007

Thank You Very Much

I'm in a musical again! And I've come to realize that I haven't really done that many big cheezy song-and-dance shows in my experience. I've forgotten just how much energy it takes to do the singing and the dancing simultaneously. I think the closest I've come to this much work was "West Side Story," but that was right at five years ago. And even then I didn't have to sing while doing the Mambo. And my condition hasn't really improved since then.

Let's back up a bit. The show I'm in is "Scrooge!" (pronounced Scrooge Exclamation Point). Basically one of the many musical adaptations of the classic "Christmas Carol." Scrooge is a grumpy old man. Brendan plays Bob Cratchit, and three of his little siblings play the little Cratchits, including Steven as the terminally cute Tiny Tim. Lots of smiling. Lots of children. Lots of things you wouldn't associate with me at all.

My role is that of Tom Jenkins. I'm not really sure if he's named in the original tale at all, and I'm not into researching it right now. But he's the guy who sells soup on the street (I'm thinking of taking inspiration from the meat cart guy on Broadway and 39th) and is sort of the voice of the people. And the people in this show are saying "We hate Scrooge." My character's highlight (and the highlight of the show, so I'm told) is during the Ghost-of-Christmas-Future scene when everybody that owes Scrooge money is really happy he's dead. "Thank You Very Much" is a corny as crud merry-go-round of singing and dancing that's dripping with sarcasm. Pair it with a heavy Cockney accent and some dirty makeup, and it's like the role was written for me. Did I mention I dance on a coffin?

Being cast in Scrooge-Exclamation-Point comes as much as a surprise to me as anyone. The show's already been in rehearsal for a few weeks, and I just got the part on Monday. Furthermore, this is the second time they've done this show, so many people in the cast are returning members from last season. Last night we blocked my big scene, and I was trying to sight-read/learn the music while memorizing the choreography. All these things make me look not-so-great as the newcomer.

I have new appreciation, though, for the big song-and-dance-number-singer-and-dancer. Last night brought to mind a little show I directed. Many of you saw "The Music Box." Specifically it calls to mind the bumbling number. I remember as a director/choreographer thinking how important it was that the energy stay really high, and that my beloved Bumblebear must jump and skip and dance and sing his bumbling heart out. Ignoring his weight, asthma, and protestations, I put that poor guy through the ringer. Well, he would love to know that now I'm getting mine.

I'm kind of nervous about wearing a microphone during the big number. Every now and then I might want to take a breather, but the audience is going to be listening for Tom Jenkins' singing, not Trey's fat-ass huffing and wheezing. I should probably start jogging or something.

In my next post I might talk about how "A Christmas Carol" is Anti-Semitic. Wait and see!

Comments on "Thank You Very Much"


Blogger -K- said ... (3:59 PM) : 

So fun! Congrats.

Hey, I'm the choreographer for the show choir at my school, and I make them dance...hard. So my advice to them and you is to jog on a treadmill and sing to help build the endurance of moving and singing. Flail your arms about too!

Awww...remember when we were partners for West Side? And we made up our own names (Josephina, I think, and I forget yours) and plot line, and acted like our plot line was the REAL show to see. And we totally kicked the other Sharks' butts at partner dancing? Good times.


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