It's the tenth addition of Looking Through The Kaleidoscope! I'd be more pleased about that if I hadn't only done nine entries since August of 2008. But hey, how much do you expect out of a one-year old?
Summer is here after a spring of school touring and some fairy tales. We've gotten through the B.U.L.L.Y.ing and trips to New Jersey as best as we could, and if I may say so, we did a pretty good job. But now it's July, which means Kaleidoscope is doing what it does best, which are fairy tale musicals. It's only unfortunate that the bulk of our work went on an "economic diet".
There are certainly some up-sides to this summer for both the company and myself personally. This summer marked the return of Aladdin after years off the road. The show went through a rather big overhaul, which ranged from three brand-new drops and a "change of location". I was very eager to try and get on board for this occasion and was lucky enough to be a part of it. Of course, this means something that I've done so many times in the past: audition for David.
This audition almost didn't happen, however. I had come down to the company audition, which was held during late spring, and noted that I was interested in auditioning for Aladdin. My first choice for who to audition for was the Genie. I knew it was a smaller part compared to the others, however my initial thoughts were that I could have some fun with it. However, David was interested in finding someone imposing, where as his description for me was, and I quote..."scarecrow". Apparently he wanted people to be able to see the Genie if he or she was ever in profile (nyuck nyuck). I should have told him that good actors seldom stand in profile, but I am sure he would have then made a crack at my acting. Those who know me in the company best know that I am much, much to sensitive for that kind of (as William "Father Mulcahy" Christopher would say) jocularity. That's me...Mister Sensitive. No joking here.With this in mind, it had appeared that the only part I could possibly fit was the Vizier, however there wasn't ample time to go over it and actually audition for it. We were going to try and set something up for another day, however before that could happen our good friend Chris Schultz, who played the Vizier before, was available for the part. At that point, I figured that perhaps I would tag along one show and take pictures or help with sound.
Some days later Nikki asked if I would be interested in auditioning for the Sultan, to which I jumped at the chance. David didn't jump so much, however, as he wasn't sure if I could play someone significantly older. Ironically, the first character I ever played in the company was an old man! Still, circumstances were a bit different and it was going to take a good audition. Besides the potential age problem, also working against me was the fact that the Sultan was always played by someone bigger than me. He was never the Skinny Sultan. The best I could do was find my own spin on the character and at the time I had about three minutes to accomplish this. I guess it was a good three minutes because I got the part.
Aladdin has since opened and the response has been positive, which is extremely gratifying seeing that the show is extremely big. Big cast, big music numbers, big everything. Another words, a big job to tackle. But tackle it we did for audiences at RIC and Chevy, and soon we will be doing one more show in Saugus.And then there is that "diet" I was talking about. There is no doubt that times are tough for everyone. The economy is in very rough shape and everyone in the country has collectively tightened their belts. One big swoop to the next notch. It's good to see that Kaleidoscope is trying to keep the belt where it was last summer, though. We haven't raised ticket prices in hopes that folks will still spare the extra cash to come and see us. But while the company has bit the theatrical bullet, other places haven't been so lucky. Regular venues such as Melody Tent and South Shore were unable to take full seasons. We did get some new venues, however they are only taking between one and three shows each.
And then...there's Chevy. Oh, Chevy...you're a special one, so you get your own entry. Probably sooner rather than later. So soon the draft might be already started by the time this is up.
Until then, in the words of Garrison Keillor, "be well, do good work, and keep in touch."