Prodigal 2011 – Day 4

Sitting around a table for seven hours doing textual analysis is not something one looks forward to when their head really hurts from a ton of what the waiter said was champagne, but we all knew to be sparkling white, at best.  But when Anne turned up, equally worn out from a night of bad sleep, ready to get into her one-on-one scene with her son (still in Manhattan living it up while we’re down in the scene study mines), well, I just had to skol a Berocca and man up.  The scene we were working on is lovely but tricky – it comes after Anne’s character, Celia, has watched her husband throw her son out of the house, and she turns on him, furious and sings Love Them and Leave Them Alone.  Then she goes after Luke and finds him in the local pub, where he’s gone after his friends have also turned him away.  She wants him home and says his dad will let him if he apologies and keeps quiet.  He’s exhausted, angry, hurt and pretty righteous, and they argue around the point.  In one of the funnies tributes to our work, a fan discusses the scene in this youtube clip (around 2:40).

We had real trouble with this scene in America – chiefly because Celia and Luke talk around what they want until the end – a more Oz trait than the American way of getting straight to the point.  The director gave up and told me to do it because she couldn’t understand it at all.  She was removed from the show a week later.  Anne and Ed haven’t had any problem getting into the scene at this point – though they haven’t read it together yet.

The boys joined and we picked up the “coming out” phone call.  We talked through a minor rewrite – Luke starting to get Harry interested in his Sydney life in spite of himself before he drops the bombshell.  Pete asked an interesting question – would Harry have ever heard of this happening – a son ringing home and saying he was gay?  And in Eden, probably not.  Then we moved onto the returning home scene – always the gangbusters scene of the show – the tension underneath is pretty full on, even on a first read.  We talked about upping the heartbreak that Harry feels, to temper and fuel the anger that’s in the text.  Kane’s role in both scenes is interesting – he really just watches and laughs, seeing how it’s all gonna play out.

In the afternoon we started scene work with Chrissy and Adam on the Sydney scenes.  Zach is the opposite of Kane – taking over every scene he’s in.  Chrissy has done tons of research on performance/installation artists and we talked about ways of working this into all of Brand New Eyes – so we get a sense of what she actually does and why Luke is entranced by it.  Talked about how it’s the idea of performance art that needs to be coherent.  Then told visually.

Published by bryantandfrank

Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank make musicals. And other things. www.bryantandfrank.com www.mybrilliantcareermusical.com www.deanjamesbryant.com

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