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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Smรถrgรฅsbord (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 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Rehearsals Day 19 – Where is it all going…

The time, that is. I can’t believe that we’re already into week 4 of rehearsals…. how with THAT happen?

My slightly ‘sporadic’ posting during last week was down to nothing more than tiredness and lethargy on my part. It was a hectic week with lots going on, and it clearly took it’s toll on my ability to do very much in the evenings at all – other than stretch out my aching bones!!

Last week, once we had given our “show off” of Destination Dance and some snippits of Hitsville USA to the powers that be, we started off with our next show – New York City Rhythm. Another doozy, with some great songs, and some pretty funky dance moves from Richard – our illustrious choreographer for the show. This one is also a little different as there is an original story running through the show, linked together with scripted passages and scenes – nice to have something to get your teeth into.

As we have a big “show off” for even MORE people from head office tomorrow, we spent today working through and cleaning Destination Dance, with some minor re-shaping and adjustments to make sure the show is “just so”. This does appear to involve some fairly full on “flesh on leather” action (don’t panic- it’s nothing dubious – think more panto than porno!) – but nothing we can’t handle.

We should also be getting hold of some of the props and ‘accessories’ that we will be using in the show from tomorrow, so it’ll be great to start to get used to using those. And Neil and I got a sneak preview of our big heads (no comments please…) that we will be sporting for the opening section. Photos to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

Rehearsals Day 13 – A little bit of Africa

OK. So it is still a bit chilly – hardly some sub-Saharan savannah; nor is it really anywhere near the equator – more like Kennington, but we have been trying to bring a little bit of Africa to rehearsals today. We’re working on the next number in ‘Destination Dance‘, and for much of the day we have been singing Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala – which for those of you who are not fluent in Zulu translates as:

A Lion and a Leopard come to this open place

So there! In case you come on board and see the show, you will now be able to impress you fellow audience members with your vast linguistic knowledge. Definitely something to amaze and astound people with over dinner!

The dancers have been hammering through the numbers in the show, finishing off the Bolero number, a bit of leaping and stomping in the Lion King number, and putting together the final bits of the Irish section. Bless them – they’ve been taking in a lot over the past few days!

As we will be showing the ‘powers that be’ some of the material we covered thus far, we had a good run through our Motown show “Hitsville USA” with Sarah giving us some help and cleaning up what we’d done. And it also gave Neil a chance to have a real go at it, as he missed out on those rehearsals at the start.

So we have a couple of days of cleaning up and perfecting (well, you know what I mean!) the dance show before showing it off and then moving on up to the next one. No rest for the wicked ๐Ÿ™‚

Rehearsals Day 10 – Everything’s upside down

Mainly Sara, Scott & Neil as it happens! I feared for a short time that it was going to be me – but managed to persuade Rob that my talents would be much better employed dangling poor Scott by his ankles, head-first over the floor.

Scott and Neil were being dangled (Daniel was being Neil’s ‘dangler’!) in our number from ‘The Producers’. It’s fab doing a number from a show you’ve been in, and seeing done in a different way. There may not be any Adolf Pigeons in this one, but there’s a few surprises… of course including Valerie!

The next bit of “upside down” work was from our very own Sara, who was held aloft by Scott and Daniel for what seems an age during the Jive number – yes, another dance! If the look on her face following the ‘dismount’ was anything to go by, she had a whale of time!!

Charles & I spent the rest of the afternoon bombarding poor Neil with music and choreography from Hitsville USA, so he has a slight head-start when it comes to learning it. Yes, so what if it brought on a headache – it’s all worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rehearsals Day 9 – Will drive you Maaaaaaad!

Today has been an odd one, it has to be said. More snow traumas for everyone trying to get into rehearsals for a start. It’s tad boring now! And it really makes you yearn to be sailing away on the Azura somewhere warm…. ahhhhh.
Also,  our Ashley has moved onto a different ship (no, not ‘The Great Cruise Ship in the Sky’ – it’s not THAT serious!), so we had our Neil joining us today. Bless them both. But I guess things in life are sent to test you, so you bite the biscuit, pick yourself up, wake up and smell the coffee, knuckle down, buckle under, shake rattle and roll, and weave a tangled web. No… wait – I think I’ve mixed my metaphors somehow…
Anyway. On with the show. Rob is putting the dancers through their paces this week (well, it is the dance show after all!) and we got some time to go over stuff with Neil – as he has a week’s worth of material to catch up with. We’ve got quite a way through “Destination Dance” now, and covered a fair few dance styles already. (Shimmying-around-in-an-oversized-head” style is currently my personally favourite!)
(La, la, la, la, la, laa-la… etc. the guys having a little ‘rest’ after the Can-Can)
Our “scrunchy” vocal version of ‘A Nightingale Sang…’ will be gorgeous (when we nail the lyrics!) and the girls are gliding around behind us – almost literally – and making us look pretty, which is never a bad thing! Should be a lovely moment.
And then they up the ante when Emma & Neil and the rest of the gang with something a little more up tempo. I think we’re busy changing into Laderhosen at that point (don’t ask!)
(Neil & Emma giving us their routine)
We finished off the day with a run-through of everything we’ve done so far on this show. Quite exciting really – until it hits you how much we’ve still got to learn, as we’re only on show 2!! Eeek….