Thursday, December 11, 2008
THE REVIEWS ARE IN!
People love our show! Which is great, not only because I love the show (and it's nice to have my opinions confirmed). Every day, I talk to people that are pleasantly surprised by the wonder and warmth of our production. And the reviews only confirm this sense of positivity. I apologize if there was a shortage of copies of The Seattle Times this past Monday. Because that was the day our review was published in it, and I swear my father went out and bought every copy in the Puget Sound area.
I thought one of the nicest reviews we've received was from the Tacoma Weekly because of the shout-outs it gave to so many of the brides and brothers:
"Two of the brothers were outstanding dancers, even in this exalted company. Whenever Daniel (Karl Warden) and Benjamin (Luke Longacre) were dancing, you couldn't see anything else on the stage... The characters' personalities came through, even in the group scenes. Outstanding to me were Meaghan Foy as sweet Alice, partnered with Gideon (Mo Brady), the youngest brother; Amanda Paulson as flirty Dorcas; and Brittany Jamieson as shy Ruth."
From the beginning of the rehearsal process, Allison Narver inspired us to make our characters unique personalities. And I think that this review was proof that our work to create a town full of individuals has paid off.
I can only second that review's praise for my brothers and our brides. I love standing in the wings watching Amanda and Brittany as they drop wood on the feet of their beaus. Their improvised dialogue on whether to feel "sorry" or "not sorry" for injuring Benjamin and Caleb puts a smile on face every time. Luke and Karl are not only vibrant dancers, but simple and beautiful actors. In just the first few scenes, Luke and I share a great amount of unspoken dialogue that helps me establish my character for the rest of the performance. And I can not say enough about Meaghan, who is one part-comedienne, one part-Drill Sergeant, and one-part prima ballerina.
But I want to give praise to some other members of the company that do great work to make Oregon City feel vibrant and real. For example, my cohort in dressing-room-crime, Wes Hart, has me in stitches every night, both on and off the stage. When he, as Frank, drops his jaw and glares at Milly for teaching us "sissy stuff," it's all I can do to keep a straight face. And his version of "Lonesome Polecat" is so simple and beautiful, especially when he accompanies himself on guitar.
Maya Perkins, who plays Martha, had me in stitches during our first read through, and the way that she and Kyle Patrick Vaughn partner is a sight to behold. They both have technique for days, and I think that Patti's choreography really gives them a chance to show that strength. Every time I watch Kyle's dance during "Lonesome Polecat," I think, "How is it even possible to make such amazing dance look so effortless?"
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I love the way Christian Duhamel slowly curls his hand into a fist upon his introduction to Adam Pontipee (and in time to the music, no less!) Vickielee Wohlbach cracks me up during her bedside scene with Amanda. And paragraphs could be written on Shanna Palmer's spunky strut alone.
I think we're lucky to have such a dedicated group of actors in this project. Allison and Patti created an environment that encourages us to go out there and play (realistically, of course). And when you see the show, I think you'll be able to tell that we are truly, honestly having a great time.
--- Mo Brady (Gideon)