Friday, March 17, 2006

Run it


We spent the first 2 hours of rehearsal fine tuning the big group actions. One thing that happens throughout this CARTOON show is a giant hammer gets smashed into the ground, sending all the characters flying into the air and to the ground. We've been struggling to get hang time - all the characters uniformly leaping into the air, hanging there, then rolling to the ground. Tricky, to say the least.

Today we found a relaxed style that works. Flexed feet and hands, with bodies upright gives the illusion of suspension - whereas showing how hard you are working to jump high, makes the jump less impressive and over too quickly.

Then, we ran the tough transitions to make sure they are all synched up. The actors are really nailing the precision elements of this show. I'm impressed every time.

At 8pm, the designers showed up to see a run through. We ran at about 65 minutes - that was skipping the opening number, which isn't finished yet - and skipping some of the songs. Everything looked good, with the exception of 1 scene we haven't staged yet and a few transitions that need adjustments. The shape of the show is good. It is hilarious.

Even though the performers we're nervous and feeling under prepared for the run (we always do) it was great for them to see each other’s work. They were able to see when the style of the show works and doesn't, and why it is so important to be precise and simple. Anytime the Cartoon characters thoughts get too complex, it becomes muddy and difficult to read what's going on.

The designers cried they laughed so hard.

As a result of the run-through, a few costume designs changed and the lighting designer was truly inspired. On break after the run, he was bubbling over with ideas.

We finished the night by working out the faulty transitions. Good night.
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