Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Countdown to OPENING NIGHT

It’s Bloggin’ Time! To quote a song from the Disney film, CINDERELLA, “Cinderelly, Cinderelly, all I hear is Cinderelly, From the moment that I get up, Til early in the morning…”

But first, some catch up:
(over (2 weeks ago)
**As promised, my report on… The Cast Album Recording- During the first two days, the orchestra recorded their tracks… that is, the Filipino Filharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Salonga, Lea’s bro. Then, Lea, the step-family (me), the Prince, and Godmother came in on the second day. I don’t sing much in this show, but two of the songs I DO sing are with Cinderella (Lea) and my daughters (Brandy and Jen.) Generally, we would have one rehearsal, listening to the orchestra track on our headphones (“cans”) and then record (“lay down”) a first take. Of course, they actually recorded the rehearsal version. Gerard told us the following day that they were actually planning on using the REHEARSAL TAKE on several parts of Lea’s songs. Why? She was spectacularly prepared, warmed up and ready from the first note… Hence, the “One Take Wonder” I mentioned in a previous blog. Gerard said that she was so fresh on the rehearsal takes, that the spontaneity of hearing the orchestra for the first time added such a perfect quality that they ended up choosing those! Of course, we still had to re-do sections that needed tweaking, whether energy-wise or note-wise. I have a funny part of the song, “A Lovely Night” where I sing, “Darling, I love you” with the deepest most Harlequin Romance-y stylings that I can muster. Gerard later laughed saying, “That’s gonna be my new ring tone!” The next day, I returned with the rest of the ensemble to record my vocals and spoken parts in the song, “The Prince is Giving a Ball.” It was overall a wonderful experience! People have asked if it will be available for purchase in the States. The answer is yes, in regards to Itunes and Amazon.com. I don’t know about record stores yet.

(1.5 weeks ago)
**A press event with my “daughters” at the Dusit Thani hotel. The idea was to walk around in character and visit the various gourmet Sunday Brunch buffets at all the restaurants (It’s one of those hotels that has like 5 restaurants in the building.) At first I was kinda dreading it, but then the fun kicked in and I realized that the Stepmother is pretty cool to improvise with. Basically, I yelled at the sushi chefs for not cooking their food. I yelled at the lobby musician (a beautiful Thai girl playing some string instrument), telling her that she had no rhythm. I asked men (eating their buffets) if they were rich or single and then tried to introduce them to my daughters. I ordered everyone around, much to their delight.

**An open rehearsal and interview session with the Fillipino press. Articles can now be found online. just google one of our names with the tag words, “Cinderella” or “asia” and something will probably come up… some of the questions asked were pretty amusing: “Is the cast worried about the Fillipino audiences, since we are so discriminating and care about good singing?” “What do you think about the shopping here?” “Where did you get your earrings?” “What do you think about working with such a famous star and what’s it like to be mean to her?”

(This week)
** Sitzprobe: The rehearsal where the orchestra and the singers merge for the first time.
I couldn’t help but think of my Dad the whole time. He would have just loved this!! It’s a 16 piece orchestra (Filipino Filharmonic) and we were invited to walk around, in front of, and sometimes THROUGH the musicians so we could really hear the music and be inside of it. It is always fascinating to hear how the various instruments provide so many colors to the music, and how the arranger (in this case, our Musical Director, Michael Duff) creatively decides, “This part should be the oboe, this other melody will be the strings…” During the songs or underscoring, we would just step up to a mic to voice OUR parts.

(July 29)
** TECH and PERFORMANCES: As I write this we are on Day 9 of technical rehearsals. This is the time where all the elements of the production are combined: The costumes, wigs, sound, magic effects, lighting, sets, musicians… it takes hours and hours, like 12 hour plus days for days on end. We go into Preview performances tonight, after a video shoot and invited dress rehearsal/matinee during the afternoon. We officially open on August 1. Our first day off is Aug 4, after 14 straight days of rehearsals and performances! Whew! Now, I’m going to nap.


mscook said...

Our juju to you both (with flowers) on your opening night, and for your follow-on shows! Break a leg! Mom & Dad & Jessica

Otto said...

All the events and press and rehearsals and tech - the descriptions made ME tired! I hope you're both getting enough rest. Break legs, snap vocal chords..and for the dancing - Merde!



jjmarrett said...

It has been so much fun to follow your adventures! George and I will be thinking of you and wishing we were in the audience to give a standing ovation--Jan