Is there anything better than a 730am start? Yes. Not being able to sleep the night before, due to panicking about having to be up at 730am. The team gathered at the rather sophisticated Alvin Ailey Studios this morning to set up and rehearse for the Media Launch. The cast turned up at 8am, with lots of hugging and admiring of new haircuts. Then we started to create the media versions of the numbers. In a show that is so set and costume dependent it’s surreal to strip all that away and perform for the mass of NY press in just sweats, under fluoros with piano accompaniment. So we do a version of Go West that doesn’t need a bus entry (the major part of that song) or meeting the Lars’, or any dialogue really. A version of It’s Raining Men where Tick doesn’t transform before our eyes. The Funeral was pretty much as is, except without costumes. Tony is particularly elegant in a windcheater, jeans and nude illusion heels.
Andy worked the cast hard for a couple of hours and then we broke to allow the media to enter, and the male ensemble to reapply their makeup. The turnout was a little alarming. I haven’t seen a crowd that big since Bindi Irwin walked the carpet at G’Day LA 2007.
Garry “aw-shucks”-ed the audience in his inimitable fashion, contextualising the journey so far and handed over to Simon who “bon-mot”-ed in his fashion. The press are a tough audience, seeing three or four of these a week, and a feeling of “show me” pervades the air. Plus a fair degree of perspiration in the typically overheated room. The cast performed with zest and after half an hour we’d completed the show part of the day. Then the leads, Divas and creatives went before the press and I went to top up my US mobile account.
The afternoon was given over to redoing the opening number. Essentially we’re expanding on what we did for Toronto, bringing Miss Understanding into this number to really set up the Imperial Hotel and having Tick arrive into the club late as usual. It feels punchy and the storytelling is great. Spud’s new arrangement is phenomenal with so much vocal texture. We’re teching it tomorrow and then see the new costumes on Friday.
The day completed with a trip downtown to see The Divine Sister. That was a fairly surreal experience. Getting a rush ticket was a little like haggling in a Turkish bazaar. Considering there was only about 30 people at the show it was very difficult to get to the counter. The theatre was cute. The patronage peculiar. The show featured Alison Fraser, who played Celia in our off-Broadway Prodigal. She was hilarious as a German nun. The show was kind of a compendium of entertainment nun cliches, with Charles Busch as the Mother Superior. I loved his Tale of the Allergist’s Wife a few years ago on Broadway.
Tomorow, we tech!