We're in our final weeks of rehearsals for the Fall Musical and we're doing No No Nanette
(1971) with the original Ralph Burns arrangements.
On this particular playback that came with the rights to the show (one disc is the OBC and the other disc is a very close soundalike thereof - tracks only so you can rehearse with the OBC and go onstage with the soundalike disc). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh4U4QPt60Y
Everything is close enough to where an average person couldn't tell - but there's one important difference. In Where Has My Hubby Gone Blues
they have a two-bar break inbetween Lucille's solo turn and the part where the mens choir comes in.
Last week, we had all the wireless mics up for everybody backstage to get ready to come on for the next number afterward so we wouldn't have to be fumbling around in the dark up in the booth with no lights on and right inbetween those two dead bars loud as you please - we hear a girl retching over the PA set.
Since this was a tech blocking in full dress and makeup to check for trouble spots - all the girls on staff who were in the audience checking it out all said ``Awwwww''. We ran thru the rest of the number and then found out that all the girls - and more than a few boys - felt just as nervous and sad as Lucille and the retching was just a natural reaction.
So we left it in and blocked around it.
We stole the drunken old hag bit from Company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcI_Px5_Vi8
from the previous Broadway season for the first half - as if she's steeling herself for a life by herself without Billy - but then the retching gave us a great excuse for the second half where we turned it around and gave Lucille some backbone - because she realizes she don't NEED the booze to get a spine about what to do about Billy.
And then the boys giving her the rest of the validation she needs just tops the whipped cream on the cake - especially after we stole some classic 20's choreography from The Ruth Etting Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktsfe2y3sIE
after which it just gelled right up fast as you please.
But then we said we needed some release for Lucille's sadness and anger - so we restored a scene cut in out-of-town tryouts from 1971 where Lucille gives Billy the boot before finding out the truth and making up.
We tried it last night with crew's relatives and friends and passed out comment cards. We're going thru em this morning - and everybody who ticked the box that said they HAD familiarity with the original show all said that the puke bit totally turned Lucille into a pansy and had the opposite of the desired effect.
However everybody who HADN'T heard of the show or who were only passingly familiar with it (3/5 comment cards that came in) all said just what we said - that it gave Lucille some spine and made the whole rest of the third act better - especially after we restored that cut scene.
So here we go. Six shows, September 1,2,3 and 4.
Wish us luck.
2 Kinds of Men/Records: Low Noise & Wide Range. LN is mod. fidelity, cheap, & easy. WR is High Fidelity & Abrasive to its' Environment. Remember that when you encounter a Grumpy Engineer. (:-D)