Right now it’s is all about Newsies all the time! Auditions and pre-production are in full swing! Chicago talent has been making a fine showing with more to come in auditions today and the rest of the week. Yesterday was filled with each actor’s empathy for the newsboys’ fight for a fair deal and dream for a better life. There’s a poignancy to “Jack,” Crutchie,” and “Davey” that moved us; how as long as they have each other, nothing can keep them down. The wronged, embattled underdogs have got spirit, defiant, and on fire! Portraying those born into disadvantaged, working class poverty, many of them the children of immigrants, the actors lit up the room with their voices and heart and we began to connect how our country was built on the backs of the striking poor. With the actors now, we discover more tangibly how this story wants to illuminate this for us. Likewise, the many young women showing up for “Katherine” were revelatory. For all our pre-production planning and character discussion beforehand, the presence of the actors before us make palpable the real-life stakes and risks for a young person at that time. For a young woman at the turn of the twentieth century, Katherine breaks the mold of the fashionable Gibson Girl born into privilege, and is driven determinedly to carve out a career on her own. We light upon the realization that her fight for the newsboys’ strike, is a fight for her own identity as a writer and newspaper woman in a male-dominated society. There is nothing like the synergy of having the actor in the room. All day into the early evening, I was reminded how this process develops the characters, reveals to us our takeaway on what our production will choose to represent in this story. I don’t think the actors realize how much influence they bear upon the truth of who these characters are for us. It thrills, excites, and is my privilege to experience and learn from, time and time again.
I don’t think the actors realize how much influence they bear upon the truth of who these characters are for us. It thrills, excites, and is my privilege to experience and learn from, time and time again.
Sunday night, friend and supporter of Paramount’s Broadway Series, Doug Meyer of Deerfield, is a two-time Tony Award winning Broadway producer, (including the original Broadway production of The Producers!), and was with an incredibly enthusiastic group of his colleagues, producers themselves, to see our show! The cast graciously did a talk-back with them and boy, it was great to get a nod of approval from Doug and these folks! With my friends, Bill Osetek, (Artistic Director at Drury Lane Oakbrook), and Alene Robertson, (winner of nine Joseph Jefferson Awards!) I got to hang out at Two Brothers after the show with our dear friend and star, Blake Hammond (who plays Max Bialystock), for dinner and drinks. The four of us go back some thirty years! Imagine what a great night it was, meeting new friends and catching up with such wonderful friends-like-family! Look how the theatre brings us all together! The Producers will run through this Sunday evening, closing on the 17th. I hope to see you there!
Love & thanks,