Yesterday was a well-earned day off for the cast of Paramount’s Oklahoma! while our highly skilled scenic artists applied finishing touches to the “bright golden haze on the meadow,” the stage floor of Scott Davis’ beautiful setting replete with hillsides painted with master strokes of verdant hues. Sensory overload set in as I listened to Paramount’s orchestra musicians rehearse for the first time together under the baton of maestro Tom Vendafreddo. On cue, predictably, tears are welling up to the strains of the lush instrumentation accompanying the artful brush strokes of the young ladies of our brilliant scenic painting crew. The eyes watch the gently physical motion of the women layering color onto the deck, as the ears behold a near aural hallucination emanating from the pit billowing into the air creating a scene filling the theater space with a rhythm of sight and sound that stirs the senses, spellbinding.
Today, our company of actors have their first go at singing with the orchestra, the wandelprobe! For every show, I anticipate this day watching the cast hear the orchestra for the first time and savor their reactions. Their faces light up! And some bear an almost pious expression of awe, so in love with where they are in this moment. They have worked and trained hard to be here, the finest singers to be found in our auditions, all of them wonderful actors and wait ’til you see the dancing! I am a very rich man. This afternoon, I will hear them raise their voices with the words and music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and get to see them as they begin to enter the nightmare world of the Dream Ballet! “Out of My Dreams” indeed!
After tonight’s only full dress rehearsal with orchestra, tomorrow’s matinee is our first preview! (To type those words overwhelms me more than a little). And this Saturday is press opening, Opening Night! We will have eight hours of rehearsal over Thursday and Friday afternoons to complete the still needed finishes on our work together as we learn everything we can from the reaction of our preview audiences this week. Hope to see you there and keep a good thought!
My love & thanks,