Today we will have our first read-thru at 1PM. It should be instructive. Although everyone here is a very quick study, they are still reading the notes. Something like this doesn’t really take shape until the actors are off-book ( ie. having memorized their part) . I am hoping that the songs will start to find their natural balances- between chorus and soloist; and that the songs themselves will start to seep into their psyches a little.
Yesterday Clarke learned “That’s a Laugh” That was the song where he had to make some determination of how British “laugh” was. Was it “lof”, “laaf” or about 20 other places I can’t even hear. I’ll be looking forward to how that solidified overnight.
At the end of the day yesterday, we decided that “Toast”, the opening number to Act II needed work. So last night I re-wrote the end of the song. We’ll see today how that came out. Luckily, I am allowed to use the piano at the hotel I am staying at. Otherwise, I would have been working only on this laptop, and that is a drag. In my heart of hearts I am a paper and pencil guy. But I am not crazy. My life changed for the better once I got the Sibelius notation software. And now I can’t imagine how I got by with just my paper and pencils.
I’m staying at the Leo House on 23rd st. It is an odd place to stay. It is sort of a Catholic boarding house/hotel. There is a dining hall ( could that be the Refectory?) on the second floor and they serve breakfast everyday – the buffet is $9. Today I played piano for the breakfast crowd to thank Sister Cathlene, who allowed me to use the piano. It was like a cocktail gig. I’ve played a million of them…. “thank you very much, we’ll be here all week, Try the veal.” It has always been a weird comfort to me to know that if you can play the Cole Porter songbook etc, you can always make a living.
I talked to Cristen Paige yesterday. She is playing Edie Sedgwick in a piece at Yale next month. And man, has she done her research! Edie was one of the stars of Andy Warhol’s Factory, and a casualty those times. She also has done her homework on Liz Taylor.