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23 January 2004 @ 10:31 am
Doing theatre  
Inspired by this entry from catalana ...

One of the very few things I regret about choices I've made in my life is that I had to leave my activities in theatre behind. This mostly happened after I moved to Atlanta from Indianapolis, because I lost my connections to the amateur/semi-pro theatre community and because it was such a shock to realize that any decent productions would require at least a 45-minute drive each way to get to rehearsal every night (yeah, that doesn't seem like much, but in Indy I lived less than 20 minutes from almost everywhere I wanted to go. Atlanta distances really knocked me for a loop when I first came here.)

By the time I got settled in, got used to the distances, and started looking around, I was involved in fandom and running conventions and monthly fan organization meetings and a band and just didn't have time for a daily committment. When Brenda came to Atlanta in 1986 we tried dipping our toes into the community, but we just weren't willing to "pay our dues" all over again - spending a year or two being support crew and tech and minor roles before being in line for some of the roles we'd played before and wanted to play again. There were so many other things - like 5 kids - that were better ways to spend our time.

What it has meant to me is that the list of roles I always wanted to play is slowly getting out of reach - some due to age but mostly due to the fact that I've lost most of my hair and don't really have the look needed anymore. Some roles are enhanced by my current age, but given my lack of participation in the theatre community they still aren't very likely to happen.

Bill's List of Coveted Roles
Thomas MendipThe Lady's Not For BurningChristopher FryMendip and Jourdemayne are older, but not (I think) this much older. We did a "family reading" of this play one time and had a lot of fun with it.
Don Quixote/CervantesMan of La ManchaLeigh/Darion/Wassermanhey - old and bald - I could still do this one, maybe!)
Che GuevaraEvitaRice/Webberyeah, I'm really dreaming. Never looked that good and can't hit the tenor notes, but I used to be able to hit them on a REALLY good day...
Richard IIIRichard IIIShakespeareNever did Shakespeare but would love to do this one
John Adams1776Stone/EdwardsDid this in college but would love to do it again, especially with Brenda as Abigail. Might still be able to pull it off, given the wigs and all that.
Vernon GerschThey're Playing Our SongHamlisch/Sager/SimonMaybe just barely too old for this, given a Robert Klein physical look
Fredrik EgermanA Little Night MusicStephen SondheimAgain, one I could probably still do given a chance
Sweeney ToddSweeney ToddStephen SondheimAlso an older character, but there's the hair issue. A bald barber?

There are a lot more but these are the ones that have been on my "list" for years.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
khaosworks on January 23rd, 2004 06:57 pm (UTC)
Funny. I've always wanted to play Sancho.
Scott Snyderbardiclug on January 23rd, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC)
I did 1776 - twice, and both times had the same part. I WANTED Jefferson, but got... can you guess?

Richard Henry Lee. Type-casting?

mrlogic on January 23rd, 2004 07:22 pm (UTC)
I think you'd make a great Sweeney. The role kind of calls for a fright wig anyway. The hair is NOT an issue.

You'd also make a great Fredrik.

Actually the only one of the ones you listed that sounds like a stretch is Che, and that maybe only because it is a really difficult, high tenor role and you said you questioned your ability to pull that off. What Che looks like is not really important to the story; he's more like a Chorus than anything else. Unfortunately no-one ever mounts Evita.

Um, the production, I mean.

As for the "paying your dues"...I don't know. If they have open auditions, all you have to do is blow them away. ;-) The hard part is actually finding a production of one of these that you want to do!

Ahhh, I ought to get into theatre again. Keep telling myself that. The rehearsal schedules are so killing, though. I'm just waiting for the comm. theatre here to do something I want to be in. They would love to have me back...
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on January 23rd, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, curse that Mandy Patinkin anyway. Anyone else might have forced Webber to drop the key a little.

Patinkin even screwed up some Sondheim for me *grin*, since Sondheim tends to write toward his favored leading man. Len Cariou I can almost match for range, but since I can't go anywhere near Patinkin I can forget about doing Sunday in the Park with George, a lovely show but also a biiiiit high.
mrlogic on January 23rd, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)
I played George in "Sunday" at our theatre here. It was fun, and interesting to find that I actually look quite a bit like the real Georges Seurat. I also got to play opposite a wonderful actress as Dot, of whom, unfortunately, I've entirely lost track. (Rebecca Foster, where are you?)

It was also the forum for my worst trainwreck ever on stage, toward the end of "Putting it Together", when I got one syllable out of place at an unfortunate moment and was immediately plunged into floundering gibberish-land.

That song is hard...
(Deleted comment)
mrlogic on January 24th, 2004 12:57 am (UTC)
I have an extensive range. The part of George doesn't go any higher than F# most of the time, so it was not a problem rangewise.
mrlogic on January 23rd, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, by the way, the part of Che was originally written for Colm Wilkinson, not Patinkin. So don't blame Mandy for the range...
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on January 23rd, 2004 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but have you ever seen Colm Wilkinson and Mandy Patinkin photographed together? I haven't. If they aren't the same person then they're at least sharing a head voice.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on January 23rd, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I curse Wilkinson even if he isn't Patinkin in disguise. The high notes in Les Mis keep me from having ValJean on my list, though Les Mis is my current favorite musical.

And, for the rest of you, I know these singers didn't write the parts, but if they were just a little lower voiced the composers might have pity on the rest of us normal humans.
Scott Snyderbardiclug on January 23rd, 2004 09:47 pm (UTC)
Not Sondheim. He has no pity (nor love) of singers. His stuff is just damned hard. Fantastic - but hard.

Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on January 23rd, 2004 11:52 pm (UTC)
Have you ever seen the documentary on the making of the soundtrack album for COMPANY? It's fascinating to see Sondheim work with the singers to get the absolute exact timing and enunciation he wants.
Amanda Snyderpafuts on January 23rd, 2004 08:13 pm (UTC)
What no Tevya? ;)
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on January 23rd, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
Already did that one as well, it was a good role but I don't particularly want to do it again.
FilkerDavefilkerdave on January 23rd, 2004 11:32 pm (UTC)
I did Nachum the Beggar.

But that was ages back!
Scott Snyderbardiclug on January 24th, 2004 12:53 am (UTC)
I was Motel - in two different productions mounted in two different countries.

I guess I'm just the "tailor" type. :)

mrlogic on January 24th, 2004 01:16 am (UTC)
I was the musical director and pianist. Oh, and I played the Russian who sings "Za vasha zdorovye" in the "l'chaim scene" 'cos we didn't have anyone else who could sing it.
Graham Leathersmusicmutt on January 23rd, 2004 09:46 pm (UTC)
Have you ever considered trying voicing radio dramas? That is tonnes of fun and the look doesn't matter. It's perfect for a guy like me. ;-) You may enjoy it, too. I don't know if you have much of theat going on down there.
Bill Roperbillroper on January 26th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
I've always wanted to play Franklin in 1776. *sigh*

You know, we could probably work up a fannish company for OVFF some year and do it off scripts. :) (The big problem is that there are only two parts for women.)