Rehearsals Day 46 – The Final Countdown…

We’re sliding headlong towards our departure for Venice – and it is coming up rapidly!! We have under 3 weeks left rehearsing in the UK now, and there’s still plenty to do.

(Live from rehearsals as I type – the guys flapping their feathers in a number from “Curtain Up!”)

We managed to get through a whole show last week – which means we’ve put “When Swing Was King” to bed already. It’s a great show with loads of hits from that “Rat Pack” period, and lots of stuff I would never have thought would be in a swing show, but with some great arrangements the unusual numbers sound and look fab.

We started this week with the penultimate show that we’ll be learning here in London, which is “Curtain Up!” – out musical theatre show (a little cheer goes up!). It covers the gamut of material from the 1950s classics, such as West Side Story and Guys & Dolls, and comes more up to date with the likes of Miss Saigon & Phantom.

Having a sneaky peek at some of the costume designs, there are going to be some stunning pieces in this show. Can’t wait to try them on!

Rehearsals Day 35 – How lucky can one boy be?

We ploughed headlong into our new show yesterday – so another gear change!

(Scott, George, Daniel & Emma blow off some steam on the Table Football before the show-off)

We finished off some cleaning on ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ before showing it off to the assembled masses. It’s quite a fast-paced show, so I think everyone was fairly knackered by the end of the run… hey ho, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!

Yesterday saw the start of ‘When Swing Was King’ – our next show which is – yep, you guessed it! – a Swing show 🙂 Jerry is choreographing us for this one, so it was nice to see him back again – as our first week spent with him working on ‘Hitsville USA’ seems like a lifetime ago now. (That reminds me – we haven’t finished learning that one yet!)

(It’s a cold day – you can tell by the queue for the coffee machine! Charles, Neil & Sara looking rather sheepish if you ask me…)

This one is packed full of all the classic swing / Rat Pack songs that you’d expect and a few surprises too – some great arrangements of songs you wouldn’t expect in a swing show. Don’t worry – you’ll be pleasantly surprised… trust me!

It looks like it will be a very classy evening (well, what else did you expect!) and it’ll be really cool having the band on stage with us for this show too. A big benefit of having quite a few different shows to present is that there’s a good variety. A real Smörgåsbord (and yes – I did have to Google the spelling!!) of styles and content so there’s something for everyone. Crikey – sounds like marketing pitch…!

Rehearsals Day 30 – (Pt.2) Learning to let go

Despite a somewhat inauspicious start to the day, we managed to get through it… and I have to admit to a little excitement on my part.

It turns out I will be flying at one point in one of the shows – admittedly, I shalln’t be doing anything as grand as Valerie would be doing, but it’s a start! I haven’t ever got much further than clambering up the barricade, so this will be fun. It may well be more of a “hang” than a “fly”, but I can’t wait.

Better watch that midnight buffet if some poor bit of machinery (or crew!) has to hoist me up!

(Oh – and a P.S. – hopefully you’ll have noticed that I’ve tried where possible to use a line from a song in the title of each blog entry. Answers on a postcard as to which song each comes from. No prizes other than my admiration 🙂  )

Rehearsals Day 30 – Saturday morning feeling

I managed to arrive about an hour early for work this morning, so find myself sitting in Starbucks with Sara preparing for the day!

There is a slight air of “end of the week” today – aching, tiredness, lack of ability to form proper sentences… but it’s all good. Day off tomorrow for a battery re-charge.

(Skinny Latte, Skinny Muffin, Skinny Mac!)

Rehearsals Day 29 – When will I see you again?

How did that happen?? Day 20 to Day 29? I can assure you it isn’t because we HAVEN’T been rehearsing – far from it!

Let me do a quick recap – Day 20 was our “show off” for ‘Destination Dance’ with a wee bit of ‘Hitsville USA’ thrown in for good measure.
(Richard explaining some moves to the guys)
We arrived in the morning to be presented with a few props, costumes and bits of set to work with during the run – which added to the panic factor a little! But it went smoothly enough, and we had a little re-cap session with Richard at the end of the day to get our heads back into ‘New York City Rhythm’ which we dived back into on the following day.

Day 21 (“in the Azura House” ) onwards we carried on working with Richard putting NYCR on it’s feet.
(Charles & Neil giving Sara a boost in ‘Native New Yorker’)
His choreography is fab, exciting and quite complex, and eminently frustrating when you can’t get it right!! But it is often the case that when you let go of the stress of trying so hard to get it right, it falls into place. So once it’s there, it’s there 🙂

Monday this week – Day 25 – was our “show off” for NYCR, which seemed to go well enough.
(Scott, Dom & Dan giving it macho!)
As these are all brand new shows, we’re quite aware that there will no doubt be some changes and alterations – probably right up to the first time we perform the show for the passengers, but that’s fine – all adds to the excitement.

And now? Well now we’re about halfway through ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ which is – have you guessed yet? Yep – a whole heap of 70s!! So we’re funking it up with the Bay City Rollers, The Drifters, The Nolans, The Who… you name it. All held together by Charles’ multi-character DJ. I’m just looking forward to the platforms and flares… can’t wait 🙂