Saturday, April 28, 2007

One Act down one to go...

So Act one is now blocked - with the exception of choreographing the Cop Song. And boy does Robin have her work cut out for her with that one. Suffice it to say that as dancers go, Joe (Officer Barrell) and I are pretty far down the depth chart...

Now it a weekend of getting off book. The sooner I'm off book, the more time I have to play. We run Act one Monday, then block Act two Tuesday and Thursday...

Wish I had time to say more, but time is short. More later.

By the way... you know of course the first born male in every Lockstock family is predestined to be a cop. But there have been some rather famous second and third borns... Jacque Lockstock was quite the name in fashion. In fact he changed his first name to Jacque to fit in the fashion world better. He was quite the trend setter, and ladies all around literally would camp outside his shop when his new lines would go on sale. They did this of course so they...

could be the first on their block with a Lockstock frock.

Over and out


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lockstock's Catch 22...

So here's the deal. Actors love to orginate roles. At least this one does. I got to do it in Johnny Appleweed. Granted, Jesus is a pretty common role, but not in that context. When you originate a role, the entire process is a blank canvas. No one coming to see the show has any pre-conceived notions as to what they're going to see. You have nothing to hold you back outside of the collaboration between Actor and Director. I love that.

Then there's the flipside. A popular show that has a well recorded Original Cast Album. A show people have seen. A show I've seen. I can only speak for me - I have no idea if this is a universal feeling. When I see a show or hear a cast album, and I like it, I think what role could I play if I ever got the opportunity to do this show? And should I ever get the opportunity, I reflect on the show and recording and make a mental list of the things I "can't" do, choices I "can't" make - for fear of being seen as an imitator rather than an actor. Incredibly vain, I know. And in the end a self-defeating process. There's a reason actors on recordings and in shows make the choices they make - they're well thought out and they work. To discard them as though they were independent of the show and unique to simply the actor, and not part of the dynamic of the show is absurd. I'm slowly learning this. Allow me to be less vague...

The Urinetown recording is slightly different than most recordings I've heard in that along with the songs there's a lot of dialogue as well. Whose dialogue? Why Lockstock's of course. And brilliantly delivered. Very funny... blah, blah, blah... So when I got the role of Lockstock, I vowed to be "different" - to not be like the recording. Well it's sillly. It might work for some shows, but not this one. I've learned or at least feel confident in my supposition that a lot of the choices Jeff McCarthy (the Lockstock on the recording) made were born of the overall style of the show. They're melodramatic, just like the show. They're overdone to make a point, just like the show. They're loaded with sarcasm, just like the show. You see what I'm getting at? If I refuse to be melodramatic, overdone or sarcastic simply to "not be Jeff McCarthy" I'm robbing the show. And cops shouldn't rob.

So there you have it. I'm doing the show like I would any other. I'll make choices in this show like I would any other, and if I sound like Mr. McCarthy it'll be because we both arrived upon the same conclusion regarding that moment because it was right and because it gave strenth to the show as a whole.

By the way... being a cop was pretty well predetermined for our Officer Lockstock. His father was one, his father before him, his father before him, and on as far as any living member of the family can remember. So simply put, any male member born into the family is expected to be...

A chip off the Lockstock block.

Over and Out


Saturday, April 14, 2007

427th time's the charm...

Maybe it's the coffee, maybe it's the Red Bull, maybe it's the good mood I'm in after the Red Sox thumped the Angels last night - but after hours of listening to my parts (which alternate from Bass, to the mystery "middle" line, to almost tenor) they make sense, and I can sing them without the recorder. I feel as though somebody has kicked the crutches out from under me only to find I can walk after all. Walk - not run yet - I still need to sing it with all the other parts belting out and get all the dialogue mixed in too. AND... it's just the opener... ON WITH THE SHOW!

By the way... growing up, Lockstock's Mom was the disciplinarian in the household, and ran a tight ship. It didn't matter what your watch said, what time you thought it was or even if the church bells were going off at the top of the hour. If Ma Lockstock said you were late, you were late. You had to learn to adjust your schedule to...

The Lockstock Clock

Over and Out


Friday, April 13, 2007


Wow. If there ever was a show that takes advantage of the entire range of every one of it's cast members it's this one. I wish I could speak in musical terms and really prove my point, but I go from my lower notes, to the top of my falsetto in "Why did I listen to that man?" - and so does everyone else! But boy, when it clicks it clicks. And just the first time through it's been clicking, so I'm excited to get to the point where everyone is more comfortable with thier parts - including me.

Going to be a weekend of me with my digital recorder. And getting off-book early. The pieces so far have been so fun to learn, I can't wait until we really start putting it together.

Over and Out

By the Way... Officer Lockstock's Mom was one who cooked everything together in a pot no matter what. So instead of asking "what's for dinner" every night - they'd simply say...

"What's in the Lockstock crock?"

Over and Out


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jumble of a Journey

Well two rehearsals down, and I can't recall a more difficult show to learn out of the gates. It's not just parts but timing. So many scenes and lines are done with not just an underscore which can be repeated, but with actual vocal parts, which, when they're over are over. And we haven't yet gotten to the Act I finale, or the opening OR finale of Act II.

Whenever you've done a show that you've heard or seen before, you know there's going to be more to it than you heard or saw once you get the opportunity to do the show. So either the cast album (See Scott, I said Cast Album!) is mixed poorly, which I doubt, or the cast made this music seem that easy. My digital recorder shot craps and I've had to get another, and I'm going to have to fill it with parts, and plunked out notes - and my stuff doesn't come close to what the other guys have to learn. And they're doing fabulously already!

Cop hats of to all! This is going to be one fantastic jumble of a journey to Urinetown!

By the way all.... Lockstock's first name? Well, you may not find out for a while... but as a child, he had a reputation for making everything better, and was given the nickname "Doc" - so there...

Over and Out