The Ghetto Ballet

After design presentations, it was down to business. The heavily-ensemble-driven musical is proving to be a gargantuan staging undertaking. Thank goodness for the hard work, focus, and passion of everyone involved.

My newness to writing musicals at the time of this one’s birth led to a grand vision for the show (10 of the 14 numbers are ensemble-based), though since I can always count on Aaron to keep me grounded in the realities of production, I’ve never worried as long as he was on board. The almost constant flurry of onstage activity is important to the musical’s universe, and I certainly don’t regret it conceptually–it should be a thrill to watch. But it has been frustrating, at times, for actors and director, that so much of rehearsal thus far has been dedicated to the appearance of the show (again, very exciting, so far!) rather than characterization and overall journey. We’ll get there (big time, this week, in fact). And we all know it. I can feel us chomping at the proverbial bit.

Our one-week mark rehearsal was spent creating, before our very eyes, the so-called “Ghetto Ballet,” which was director, Monica Bell’s, inspired idea rather than one I had in the libretto. The kids love it and are really taking to the experiment. As Kitty Katz makes her transition from the all-American suburb of her first 18 years into the other-planet-like urban setting of the Ghetto Art School, the people of that new world, in this case gang members, hookers, and homeless, are the primary way of establishing counterpoint. So between the opening song “I Blend In” and Toni-O’s anthem to the street, “Smells Like Art,” we get a bit of “music” created by objects and bodies. See the video below as it comes to life for the first time.

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One Response to “The Ghetto Ballet”

  1. Not bad for just throwing it all together 20 minutes prior lol

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