Prodigal 2011 – Day 3

Short rehearsal today, as I had my cousin Jed’s wedding to get to in the afternoon.  Which was a fantastic research opportunity in the midst of creating this all Australian family.  Aunties, uncles, cousins thrown together, mixing it up on the dancefloor – I totally popped and locked all round my Nan to the strains of “Only Girl in the World” performed on piano, bass and drums – getting drunker and drunker, reminding you how you were age six, like nothing has happened to you in the almost three decades since.  Still, they were very impressed that they saw my name in the Hairspray program, getting thanked by Trevor (“He said you always believed he could do it!”)

Started the day with our first group singing – Adam, Anne and Pete singing Picture Postcard Place/Happy Families, with me giving my Luke for the first time in a decade.  The sound was terrific – the blend of the three really works, creating a thick sound that pings out.  I was a bit worried, thinking this “comedy” song might be terribly naff with a decade’s more writing experience, but it played nicely.  We experimented with really upping the Oz accent at the time the harmonies are the most intricate – nice dichotomy.  Balanced the three soliloquies of My Boy, and then the counterlines of Epiphany.

The close harmony section of "Happy Families" in the off-Broadway production. Ah, accents...

Then it was time to sit around the table and talk through the first family scene – something we hadn’t really done on this since the workshop at WAAPA in 1999 – Chapel was a bit rushed to get that time, and we spent more time doing Viewpoints off-Broadway than just figuring out what we were saying.  It was a pleasant surprise to see how much is achieved in that very first scene – the family dynamic and what everyone wants, and what Luke is breaking apart by running away.

Something that’s getting a thorough look at is the relationship of Kane and everyone else – the script focuses more on Luke and how he and his parents interact  – but Kane’s story is equally valid and more disturbing – how kids become hopeless because the family inadvertently treat them that way.

Published by bryantandfrank

Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank make musicals. And other things.

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