It’s Wednesday! (Maybe the name of this blog should be changed!) Again, so much good is going on, it’s hard to find a moment to sit down and write about it! Yesterday, we worked through Act 2 (as we did last week for Act 1), and my pledge to support the actors to own their work in Paramount’s Mamma Mia! is being realized. That it’s not so much about them being told what to do as much as it is for them to find themselves in this story, find their truth, and what a difference it makes! Relationships and how much these characters need each other, listen to each other, discover themselves changing because of each other, is the height of what a director learns from the actors and delivers to our audience. I’ve found myself saying “It’s time to turn this over to you; do what’s right for you!” And this is one of the ways we create an honest work, tap it’s universality and humanity.
William Carlos Angulo’s choreography, the hippest, hottest dances you will ever see for this show, is taking hold of our outstanding ensemble and for all its intricacies. It’s looking as if these dances come from their own unbridled energy! All the athleticism, precision and punctuation is beginning to look second nature to them. (No doubt, because they never stop practicing every chance they get!) It’s a great credit to Angulo challenging them and encouraging their participation in the creative process that we are capturing this new, refreshed electricity in ABBA’s full orchestrations. And, dear reader, all this dancing is danced while they are singing like rock stars at the same time!
I want to interject here a word about the meeting Monday evening with Associate Director Trent Stork and Sweeney Todd Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec. There is a thrilling stylization going on here, grotesquely handsome, horrifying and delivering on the “laughs with gasps” I referred to in an earlier blog. Tasty.
This morning, ladies and gentlemen, for Mamma Mia!, we will begin our first “stumble through” of the entire show, putting it together, bit by bit, without stopping if at all possible. (A major note-taking session for me and maestro, Tom Vendafreddo.) I’m so excited for the company to get their first glimpse, a sense, of what their performance feels like as a whole, as an entire performance.
Keep a good thought!
Love & thanks,