REHEARSAL DAY 4. THE BIG READ-THROUGH!

A busy day in ToxicAvengerLand, so my blog won’t be its usual wordy overwritten way-too-long detailed self.

The day began gloriously with taskmaster director John Rando staging the opening number (“Who Will Save New Jersey?”) and the closing number (“A Brand New Day in New Jersey.”) By the way, for those interested in the “arc” of the show, the title of the closing number answers whether or not New Jersey is saved. And for those interested in who actually saves New Jersey, you’ll need to come see our show!! (or, I suppose, you could just look at the title of the show and save yourself $65 dollars.) Anyway, the Rando’s staging went great (well, that’s what I heard. I wasn’t there ’cause I was home sleeping trying to drag my dog on a long walk working on other things.) But Rando’s work on this show has always been spectacular, so I can’t wait to see what he’s done when I actually show up for a full rehearsal.

We then started the second half of the day (I showed up for that!) with the “Meet and Greet.” Now, a “Meet and Greet” on a show generally happens on the first day of rehearsal. It’s when everyone associated with the show, from rosy-cheeked interns to the highly beloved playwright, gets in a room and stands around and uncomfortably introduces themselves, all the while looking at the other folks in the room wondering — “Is this crowd gonna be able to make this show a hit so I can collect an actual paycheck for the next few months?” So we met and we greeted and damn it if this group doesn’t seem like they can deliver a helluva entertaining evening. Taskmaster Rando gave a rousing speech to the troops, and both David Bryan and I brilliantly added to his call to arms by essentially saying, “Ditto.”

Following this lovefest, we sat down to do the first ‘read through” of the show. Now as daily readers of this blog know, I approach first read-throughs in one of three ways —
A) full of terror and anxiety
B) full of horror and fear
C) A combination of the above.

But for some reason, I approached today’s reading with a surprising serenity that bordered on the medicated. So our sterling cast of five actors read and song through the show and you know what? I was pretty damned entertained. All the changes we made since our George Street Playhouse debut actually seemed helpful. And our new song, “Jersey Girl,” seems pretty damn funny. At least to its two nervous authors. The director liked it, too. And the intern who gets us coffee. So it must be good.

By the way, I just got the schedule for tomorrow’s rehearsal (yes, we in the theatre rehearse on the weekends. Monday is our day off. I have no idea why this is. It confuses everyone, including my dog.) Anyway, tomorrow is a ‘fight rehearsal’ — meaning that the fight director comes in and rehearses all the violence in the show. On the list for tomorrow —

p5 bullies beat up Melvin (Men)
p6 Sarah almost falls off stage edge (Sarah)
p20 Melvin dropped in goo (Men)
p23 Bullies attack Sarah (Dudes, Sarah)
p25 Kick Your Ass (Men)
p36 thug beats up old lady (Men)
p75 Toxie kills Edna (Nick, Matt)
p54 Toxie grabs Mayor by Neck

Sounds like an awesome show, no?! Interestingly, “Annie” originally had a similar fight list, then they made changes and … anyway, more fascinating facts tomorrow.

With an inappropriate squeeze,
Joe