"oh what a tangled interweb we weave..."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So I missed my day to post. Which was Monday. Yesterday. Well here's why:

Monday February 8th marked the Third Annual 24 Hour Musicals where 4 short musicals are written, composed, directed, musical directed, choreographed, and performed (off book!) in 24 hours. Sound crazy? Because it is... This is all done to benefit the Exchange and the Orchard Project. The Exchange is also the parent company of At Play.

Here's what my schedule looked like Sunday/Monday:

Sunday Feb 7th, 2010

3:30pm - Meet Philip Naude (Best production manager in the universe) and Grigor Grigorov (Best IT genius in the universe) at the National Arts Club where the overnight writing process will take place. Proceed to set up production hub and all the writing stations which include a laptop with Garage band and Finale, midi keyboards, speakers... What we call the Musical Borg.

7pm - order pizza.

8pm - writers/composers arrive at the NAC and find out who they're working with.

9pm - walk over to the Gramercy Theater on 23rd and Lex for the Meet and Greet where all the writers, directors, actors, composers, musical directors, choreographers, and production crew meet for the first time - introduce themselves - submit a prop and a costume to inspire the writers, and the actors sing a snippit of a song to demonstrate vocal range.

11pm - walk the writers and composers back over the the NAC to start writing. They pick their casts and get cracking.

from 12am - 7am things get a little loopy and delirious but somehow:

Monday Feb 8th, 2010

8am - 4 musicals are born. Breakfast is served. Directors are assigned. Casts are announced:

Scripts are printed. CD's are burned. Sheet Music is created.

9am - Rehearsals begin.

10am - We choose show order (the circled numbers next to the name of the play seen above).

11am - I FINALLY LEAVE THE NATIONAL ARTS CLUB. After being awake for 24 Hours. I pass the baton to Carly Hugo (Benefit Goddess), Ari Edelson (Artistic Director of the Exchange) and Philip Naude, and they make magic happen.

12pm - 4pm - I try to sleep while the AMAZING AMAZING crew takes over loading in the theater and teching 4 shows in 4 hours.

5pm - I arrive back at the Gramercy Theater to put out some last min fires (Like, maybe, the wrong program gets printed, for instance...)

7pm - the crowd Floods in. Food is served, the bar is open.

8pm, or maybe a few minutes after - The show begins.

The Crew:
(Best Production Team / Design Team / SM Team ever assembled, in my humble opinion...)

Show line-up:

"You Can See the East River From Here, Too"
book by Jonathan Bernstein. Music and lyrics by Jeanine Tesori.
Directed by Ted Sperling.
Starring Dee Roscioli, John Ellison Conlee, Katie Thompson

"Anti Valentines"
Book by Julia Jordan. Music and lyrics by Jeff Blumenkrantz.
Directed by Moisés Kaufman.
Starring Celia Keenan-Bolger, Marnie Schulenburg, Michael Winther, Zachary Prince

"The First of His Heart"
Book by Jonathan Marc Sherman. Music and lyrics by Adam Gwon.
Directed by Trip Cullman.
Starring Julian Fleisher, Nancy Opel, Darius DeHaas

"What's Wrong with Twinkie?"
Book by Josh Koenigsberg. Music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler.
Directed by Kathleen Turner.
Starring Alicia Witt, Cady Huffman, Mo Rocca, Raven-Symoné

One line Bios:

It was a big night for At Play as well. Ari Edelson announced us as The Exchange's emerging artists Company within a Company.

More Importantly: One of our writers, Josh Koenigsberg, wrote his musical debut - and killed it! His cast - Mo Rocca, Raven Symone, Cady Huffman, and Alicia Witt - brought down the house with a hysterical kick line. Instant theater just doesn't get any better than this.

You can find pictures from Josh's piece, with music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler, here: WHAT'S WRONG WITH TWINKIE?

9:30pm - load out with the crew and final adios to the Gramercy

10pm - Afterparty at the National Arts Club.

So another year has passed and another successful 24 Hour Musicals was pulled off. I'm always humbled by the amount of talent and skill that it takes to make this event happen. So, special thanks to the entire staff, crew, volunteers, talent, etc that donated their time and energy to benefit the Orchard Project and the future theater companies that will benefit from it.

So that's my excuse. Next week I will be on time.


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