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Monday, May 24, 2010

Looking Through The Kaleidoscope #14: At Least I'll Pull Off The Hat (I Hope)

Summer is just about upon us. The weather is starting to warm up, school is ending for us college folk and will be ending soon for everyone else, and I already had the task of lugging the clunker of an AC into my living room. Summer also means the ending of school touring for Kaleidoscope, as well as the beginning of the annual summer tour. For me, this is where Kaleidoscope is at home. Don't get me wrong, the school touring shows have been doing very well, and in a way they are the crux of the theater's business, but when I think of Kaleidoscope, like many other people who grew up with the company in its thirty-plus years, they think of going to places like the Warwick Musical Tent to see their favorite fairy tales come to life through fun performances and music. I remember seeing Alice in Wonderland when I was very young, probably at the Warwick Musical Tent. All I remember was that it was in the round and there was a guy running around singing "Smile". I think at the time I didn't even realize it was Alice in Wonderland, or at least that is how memory serves me now.

Everyone will always have a favorite show with Kaleidoscope, or at least one that is dear to them, but there was always something about Cinderella. The creme de la creme of the summer tour. If any fairy tale has stood the test of time, it is certainly the one with the fair girl, her mean old mother, the ugly stepsisters, the prince among princes, a fairy godmother, and one very particular slipper. There is something about the tale itself that makes every little princess in New England and beyond want to be Cinderella. Sure, there are a few Snow Whites and Belles, maybe a Sleeping Beauty here and there. But you could toss a magic wand in the air at one of our shows (available at the Kaleidoscope concession stand, just ask for Bob) and it will probably land near a tiny Cinderella. Here at Kaleidoscope, there are fairy tale musicals, and then there is Cinderella. The glass slipper stands alone.

This summer, I get the honor of playing the Minister in Cinderella. Of all the parts in the play, this is one I can really sink my teeth into. There is a lot of room for creating a unique character, there are some great scenes that the character is involved in, and last, but certainly not least, great actors to work with directly who have done their respective parts for some time. Many of the scenes with the Minister and the King are real crowd pleasers, and I do not intend to do anything less than what I've seen in the past.

That's probably the biggest difference between the other shows I've done with Kaleidoscope and my upcoming work with Cinderella: the pressure is on! Without a doubt, this is going to be the toughest character to pull off. Not to knock any of the other shows I've done, or any of the other shows for that matter, but I know the workload is going to be the greatest with the Minister. I can handle the idea of this being a show with high expectations in itself, however I know I'm going to be very tough on myself when it comes to meeting those expectations.

If anything, this show is going to test my singing like nobody's business. Character voices won't cut it this time around. This part takes a serious singer, so I'm going to have to start thinking like one. I've got past recordings of the parts I need to do. Now I need to listen, practice, listen, practice, listen, and practice until I can, and am, singing this in my sleep. This is nerve wracking, it's exciting, and it's all going to come together in a matter of time.

Welcome back to summertime at Kaleidoscope.

In the words of Garrison Keillor, "be well, do good work, and keep in touch."

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What's your favorite fairytale?