The 6th Floor of Chelsea Studios, NYC

An addendum to my story yesterday about all the actresses lined up for Beauty and the Beast. They got to sing 8 bars. Let me repeat that …” They only got to sing eight bars” !!!! I have never heard of that. 16 maybe. What on earth can you tell about a person, or a voice in 8 bars? This is no business for the faint of heart.

Last night I got called to write a commercial back in DC. If they can wait for me to get back I will probably do it. This is only worth mentioning because it seemed like such a jolt, shaking me out of my Broadway cocoon. I realized that I haven’t read a paper since I’ve been here. Really it has only been two days. But I NEVER go without reading the paper!

Here is a picture of what it looks like before the actors arrive: 14 chairs with 14 music stands. There are pencils, hi-liters and Ricola cough drops. The stage managers, Mel and Tiffany arrive at 9 AM to set up computers and printers. Chris Littlefield arrives around 9:30. He is always early and prepared. The Actors will show up about 9:55AM for their 10 AM hit. They are never late. Like musicians, they learn that lesson early on.

When I first started working with Chris Littlefield on this show ( Around the beginning of the year. ) I tried to rhyme “dream” with “scene” . He looked at me , shook his head, and said ” That is a false rhyme.” To me, at the time, that seemed incredibly fussy. But during the next six months of working with him I learned that he is exactly right. There is a right way to write this music and these lyrics. He has been adamant in his refusal to accept weak work.. When I was first agonizing over these seemingly small things I said something like, ” These are just tiny details” . He stopped and looked at me and said, ” The details aren’t the details” . THIS is quotable. Or maybe the title of his first book. Suffice to say, he is bringing this same attention to detail to his work with the singers. And it shows in their performance.

Ben “Shrek” Crawford just showed up. Everyone is so happy for him. I think he starts as the lead in Shrek on Nov 9th.

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