Archive for the Uncategorized Category

A first day

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 by darylfazio

Today it began. Talented, interesting human beings we chose to play fake but interesting characters gathered in a room on West 48th Street, between 8th and 9th Ave., and learned songs from POPart so they can, in three weeks time, open a show.

Thank you for your work today, Holly, Jamaal, Amanda, Rachel, Josh, Justin, Jose, Marla, Zach, Jason and Jillian, led by musical director, Andrew. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching people do what they do best.

Tomorrow more music. A quick break for Labor Day and Hurricane Earl. Then Tuesday we’ll strap on our water wings and move onto the on-your-feet stuff, scene work, character work, and putting the whole mish-mash together.

I’ve been in New York since Sunday (today being Thursday). I’ve pseudo-mastered the subway and obscuring my yokel-ness. I’ve seen the MoMA (the POPart and Contemporary floor was closed for renovations; yes, the entire floor) and the Guggenheim. I’ve seen a 70-year old sinewy bald man carrying a Yorkshire terrier in a pink snuggly on his chest. And I’ve just seen my libretto take its first breath as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Life. Is. Being. Alive.

http://www.popartthemusical.com
http://www.nymf.org

GOING TO NYMF 2010!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 by darylfazio

POPart is a New York Musical Theatre Festival Next Link Selection! I’ll be tracking the developments here–casting, creative, bumps, hurdles, rewrites, victories, and more.

In the meantime, if you have a few extra dollars, and you want to be a part of our show making it to the stage, visit our website for tax-deductible donation info.

And thanks to Chad Larabee (director) and Gretchen Margaroli (general manager) for taking this crazy trip with us!

All Over but the Shoutin’

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2009 by darylfazio

The reading went off on Thursday without a hitch, propelled by brilliant performers in the form of the pack we threw together over three days. Many audience members said they had come to the show planning to stay only for act one (the York gets a lot of patrons of the older persuasion), but they ALL stayed. And thanks to them, some of the material I was ready to ax after it didn’t get the desired response in South Carolina is now staying in the show. They laughed. They got it. Whew.

The new material put in since the workshop has unilaterally been met with positive response. This is good to know. Another discovery is that Miss St. Helen was actually a petite white woman rather than a busty black woman. When the pipes bust out on “Art is Your Rock”, we don’t expect it from the little 5 foot redhead. We were lucky enough to add Autumn Hurlbert (of Broadway’s Legally Blonde) to the cast at the last minute (after another cast member fell ill), and she blew the roof off. Thanks again, Autumn!

And thanks to the other 15 of you New York actors and director Chad Larabee. You made our week.

Here are a few pics:

Director Chad Larabee watches as Aaron (at piano) rehearses actors at Chelsea Studios in NY.

Director Chad Larabee watches as Aaron (at piano) rehearses actors at Chelsea Studios in NY.

Monica Bell (Mother/Homeless Woman) and Scott Sowers (Father/Homeless Man) rehearse "Meltdown."

Monica Bell (Mother/Homeless Woman) and Scott Sowers (Father/Homeless Man) rehearse "Meltdown."

The ensemble and the trio work on "Blow-by-Blow."

The ensemble and the trio work on "Blow-by-Blow."

Our last day of rehearsal, this time in the York Theatre.

Our last day of rehearsal, this time in the York Theatre.

Teachin’ and Makin’ Music

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2009 by darylfazio

Haven’t downloaded the pics from the iPhone yet as physical proof that would hold up in a court of law, but we have a NYC cast. Monday was Aaron’s (MD) domain as he worked with Kitty, Toni-O, and Edward (everyone loves that “Without Us”). Then the Ensemble came in to run their many tunes. We’ve trucked a few of the CCU props up to New York (Picasso masks, Michelangelo fig leaves–didn’t seem to set anything off at the airport’s x-ray machine), and the ensemble will get a chance to work those bits.

Today, we get to meet our teachers and homeless man. I’m watching Erin Maguire (Ms. Hamm) ham it up as we speak.

A few new cast members to mention: Kevin Covert (Mr. Manne) coming to us from “Memphis” and “Spamalot”, Kit Williams (Miss St. Helen), and Brittany Proia replacing MK Lawson in the Ensemble.

Bring on the funny.

Oh, yeah, it’s ON!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2009 by darylfazio

Welcome to the party, director Chad Larabee, who will be our fearless leader during the York Theatre reading rehearsal process March 16 through 19. Chad has already helped us bring a number of talented cast members on board, adding to our existing core. So far:

Kitty: NATALIE NEWMAN
Toni-O: TOMMY LABANARIS
Edward: TAYLOR BUICE
Mother/Homeless Women: MONICA BELL
Father/Homeless Man: SCOTT SOWERS
Dr. Bore: JENNIFER SWIDERSKI
Ms. Hamm: ERIN MAGUIRE

ensemble and various roles:
MOLLY WALSH
MK LAWSON
AMANDA CONLON
JAMAAL WILSON
MICHAEL MORCH
RYAN DUNKIN

Still missing a Mr. Manne, a Miss St. Helen, and a comedic superstar to read stage directions. But we’ll get ’em. Otherwise, the SOLD OUT house at the York on March 19 might be disappointed.

Stay tuned for pics and rehearsal stories from the NYC front.

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We have a NYC reading date!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2009 by darylfazio

A staged reading of POPart: The Musical will be presented at the York Theatre in New York City on Thursday, March 19 at 3 pm.

Director and cast to be announced.

Tickets are free! (and can be reserved on the York Theatre website)

Moving Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2008 by darylfazio

A small but attentive audience on Halloween night gave me space to do a little recording with my digital camera. Neither video does justice to the sound, but it’s a taste.

Video 1 is of “Be Free.” Video 2 is of “Crit This!”

Opening Night Was…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2008 by darylfazio

spec-tac-u-lar.

Go ahead, make my day

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2008 by darylfazio

Clint Eastwood said that with a sneer. I say it, face dead-pan, arms crossed tightly over my chest, to my own book and lyrics as I prepare to watch another run-through on Monday night. Prove yourself, POPart. I am not easily impressed. And I’m no mood for your crap.

That was around 7:47 pm. By 8:30 pm, my tough outer shell was starting to disintegrate in spite of itself And by 9:15, I was a warm pool of goofy good vibes.

Does that mean the show is a success? It’s true I see an edge here and there I’d like to do some mild sanding to, script-wise (right now, I’m obsessing a little over the set-up for “Watch the Birdy”). And there is still the occasional joke that doesn’t land the way I’d hoped (Monica continues to direct them into new ways of delivery and approach and to show ME new ways of thinking about the words, so I’m content to let it evolve). But if the test is in its ability to make you laugh no matter what s*$#! you brought with you into the theater, then I say it’s road-ready.

Of course, it’s due in no small part to the fact that the kids are having a ball on stage. A couple of them remarked last night, “This show is SOOOO much fun to do” (thanks Matt and Evan—you’re pretty bleepin’ fun to watch). And I don’t think they were merely blowing Van Gogh’s sunflowers up my bum. The cast IS an ensemble now, in all their collective cornball-i-ness (thank Zeus for cornballs!). Getting to run the show every night is the pay-off to the hard march they made to get here.

Tunnels and Light

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 by darylfazio

I took a few nights off from rehearsal. We’d gone through all the material at least once by last Sunday. I’d tweaked a few small things and one big thing. And it was time to let the actors and directors have some time to themselves. I could feel myself getting antsy–that certain sections of text weren’t flowing the way I’d hoped, that some characterizations weren’t communicating, that we kept getting bogged down in remembering choreography. And I couldn’t tell how much of it was something I needed to fix in the script. Or how much of it was just the performers needing more time to live inside the material. What is this thing I wrote? I kept asking myself. So I gave them space to find out.

Well, holy macaroni. They did the first run-through last night. And to quote director, Monica Bell, Ladies and gentlemen, “We have a play.” Who knows exactly what pushes on-stage energy to a new level, what makes an ensemble out of a bunch of individuals, what drives completely new character choices, what suddenly allows things that had before been fractured pieces to become seamless.

I DO know it’s freakin’ magic. And for all of us, not a moment too soon. The kids were phenomenal (some particularly big leaps taken by Kitty and Toni-O; and Edward did some brilliant onstage business with his headlamp in the SHoHo scene) and, with two weeks left, I can’t wait to see where this new confidence in the piece and themselves will take it.

As for rewrites, I took ample notes, but the majority had to do with tiny shifts (like having Toni-O announce the gangs BEFORE they sing so the audience gets the connection). A few had to do with the necessity of some lines (Monica and I agreed to keep them, to see if some tighter comic timing won’t correct the issues). And the bigger ones were character notes and questions to myself that will not be addressed for this workshop, but perhaps in a subsequent draft.

The bad news is, I was so entranced by the performance that I didn’t take a single picture.