Archive for the ‘Musicals’ Category

Gear down, people, ’cause this is the chapter where lots of stuff happens in <6 months.

July 2016: I returned to Pearland for three weeks to choreograph/stage manage Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Four of my dance students were in it–two with leading roles! I stayed with the lovely, sweet grandmother of two of the young actresses in the show… we would rehearse 9-5 Monday through Friday, then I would usually go take class at the studio where I’d taught. Sometimes the girl’s parents would have to work late, so I’d bring the two girls (as well as another girl who lived near them) to the house where I was staying after rehearsal; and we’d all have dinner and “talk shop” together. It was a really beautiful time. The show closed on July 31st, bringing me to…

August 2016: On August 1st– the ten-year anniversary of the day I first moved to Houston– I left Houston for the last time. The VERY next day, I started the summer intensive with the ballet company. Each day I took a body conditioning class called “Progressing Ballet Technique,” then had a two-hour ballet class, followed by a contemporary class and rehearsals for our fall ballet. Not even a week after the intensive ended, I began my new teaching job.

Fall 2016: Things finally started to settle down as I got adjusted to my “new life.” My cousin got married in early September, and I returned to Pennsylvania for the wedding. Every weekend was spent in rehearsals for our fall ballet, The Magic Toyshop (also known as La Boutique Fantasque). We performed that in November, and right after went into rehearsals for The Nutcracker (I was one of the Spanish dancers, and I volunteered to help rehearse the little angels). Mama Butterfly came to visit over Thanksgiving, and the three of us traveled to Center, TX to visit Husband’s aunt and cousins).

December 2016: Nutcracker ended a week before Christmas, I did a bunch of subbing, then had a pretty uneventful Christmas break at home. Was actually GLAD to get back to work.

Now: We just spent 6 days with a visiting teacher who set George Skibene’s The Firebird on us (I am one of the princesses–talk about typecasting!). We have two principals from Corpus Christi as Ivan and the Firebird; and one of my co-workers is guesting at Koschei the Immortal. I love watching our guests dance, and Stravinsky’s music is the cheese to my macaroni (if you remember my last blog, you know I Have A Serious Thing for Le Sacre du Printemps). We’re also learning a ballet called Terpsichorus, as well as a new, original modern work choreographed by another coworker. My life pretty much revolves around the studio and company, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m so glad I found a place where I “belong” and get to have lots of great performing and learning opportunities.


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Well, internet, it’s been almost 3 years. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Summer 2014: I choreographed two musicals, Willy Wonka and Beauty and the Beast. Wonka was…chaotic. Beauty and the Beast was a fun, beautiful experience. For both shows, we worked 9-5 every day, with additional rehearsals during tech week. For both, I was in the audience during performances to take notes (the directors of both shows were backstage helping with scene changes).

Fall 2014: I developed Serious Sinus Issues while choreographing for Madeline’s Christmas. The show was lovely, even if I had a hard time breathing for a good chunk of the rehearsals (the Sinus Issues are still in the picture).

March 2015: I decided I was tired of being out of shape. For a while I was coming in to work early to give myself class; but in March I found a studio 2 miles from our apartment that offered adult ballet class two mornings a week. Before long I joined their company, and danced two performances with them the following season.

Summer 2015: I choreographed The Little Mermaid and performed in The Wizard of Oz. It was my first show in over three years, and I got to perform alongside my students. It was cool. Then my husband lost his job, which was not cool. There was much stress and axiety

Fall 2015: I was teaching at four (FOUR) different places, while taking classes myself and dancing in a company. Was exhausted from having more irons in the fire than an arsonist at a golf resort, but doing my own dancing kept me sane.

Spring 2016: Husband got a new job with a roofing company, I choreographed My Fair Lady at a Lutheran school. Around that time a HUGE hailstorm hit San Antonio, and my husband went out there to work on roofs. In May, he announced we would be moving there. I got busy trying to find somewhere to dance and teach.

June 2016: I had my last recital at the studio I’d taught at for four years (I even danced in it with my littlest-littles) and it was a really beautiful, special show for me. Four days later we loaded up a trailer and made our first trip to San Antonio. Our cats came on a second trip, two days later. Husband made the third trip by himself, while I stayed behind with the cats/to unpack/to start taking ballet classes and figure out where I would be dancing/teaching. After taking two classes, I secured myself a place in the company and a job as a pre-ballet teacher with a ballet company/school.

I’ve got more to update you on, but this post was long so I’ll sign off for now. Part 2 coming soon!

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I’m here at summer musical auditions. These are the callbacks–regular auditions were earlier in the week. When I arrived I was told were were expecting almost 60 kids!

That was an ninety minutes ago. In the last hour and fifteen minutes, I auditioned 54 children.

They came in in groups of 10 to 15. I quickly taught their little 33-second combination, did it with them twice, then divided the group in half and had each half-group do it for me twice. There have been some familiar faces– a handful of kids from last summer are back again, most of them a little taller. 🙂

Now I’m at a bit of a lull (since I’ve seen almost everyone), but I’ve just been informed I’ll probably see one more group of “stragglers” before the day is out.

….so I’m going to sign off an get ready for that. Just wanted to “check in” with the blogosphere during my break. 🙂 Later!

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Oklahoma! opens tonight. I’m really excited.

The rehearsal Tuesday night was great. My main job was to keep an eye on the dance numbers and make sure everything was as should be. All the choreography was spot-on (I only had a few minor notes), and the live music makes it extra delightful!

I did notice that in two of the numbers, the music for the “dance breaks” was different than the music we had rehearsed to. The choreography still fits– and still works well!– just not quite as perfectly as before. But I expected there to be some musical differences– that happens when you switch from working with a recording to working with a live band. The dance numbers looked clean, and the actors danced with gusto!

Mostly, I got to sit back and enjoy the show. And there’s a lot to enjoy! The actors do a really spectacular job of bringing their characters to life. Laurey is delightfully snarky in some moments and heartbreaking in others. Jud is alternatingly uncomfortably creepy and downright terrifying. Ado Annie and Will are very funny, but the Peddler is hysterical ( the “Persian Goodbye” bit had me in tears from laughing!).

After rehearsal I would tell the cast that aside from the numbers I choreographed, I was seeing the show for the first time…and that as an “audience member”, I greatly enjoyed their performance. 🙂 Everyone left rehearsal in high spirits.

Now Craig and I are getting ready to leave for the opening performance. I’m really excited. Away we go!

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I’m here at the second-to-last ‘Oklahoma!’ rehearsal.

I haven’t been in to rehearsal in almost two weeks. After all the choreography was complete, I took two rehearsals to clean everything up…and to acclamate a new cast member  (we ended up having to replace a cast member in the last few weeks). The young man who jumped in to a fill a (minor-ish) role does a great job and learns quickly, and by the end of the second rehearsal he was dancing both “big” numbers with gusto.

Last week I was going to come in to watch a run-thru, but that day they needed to do a cue-to-cue instead. Today will be my first time seeing the whole show, complete with costumes, full set and band (the musicians are practicing right now, and they sound AWESOME).
Game plan for today is to clean up a few scenes (and numbers) and then do a full run.

We’re starting in 10 minutes, so I better boogie. Later!

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Last night was the opening of Godspell JR. Craig came with me and we sat in the audience– a first for me; I’ve been backstage for every show I’ve worked on.

The first performance went well, although there were  few technical glitches (stage lights didn’t quite make it to their full brightness at the beginning, some of the wireless mics dropped in and out randomly and made the occasional feedback noise), a few props went awry and the actors looked pretty cramped on that small stage with that big set. I was still not quite fully out of rehearsal mode,and sat on the edge of my seat looking at spacing  (Let it go, Butterfly, jeez!). Still, it was a nice show: The scene where the cast says good-bye to Jesus one at a time (“On The Willows”) was really moving, the actors nailed all the timing on the funny scenes, and the littlest cast members were ridiculously cute. The audience really enjoyed themselves (including Craig!)

Before tonight’s performance, the director commented to the cast  that “The first performance is kind of like a really good dress rehearsal with an audience,” and things would go more smoothly this time. He was right– the lights so shined before men bright and beautiful, the props were where they needed to be & the actors seemed much more comfortable/less squished on the stage. The mics still had a few glitches in the second act, but everything else was spot-on! The dance numbers looked fabulous and were very high-energy (the applause went on for a while after “O Bless The Lord”), and this choreographer finally sat back and enjoyed the show. 🙂

The audience had a great time. Since many of the kids have a great sense of physical comedy and timing, there was a lot of laughter in the house. My favorite scene was the “Prodigal Son” parable in Act Two– it’s where some of the funniest kids really get to shine.


There’s more to write, of course, but I’m tired and my words are starting to fail me.

One more performance.

It’ll be a great one.

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