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Geva's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" opens in about a week, and I've been to ONE rehearsal, for about 90 minutes. The bad news is I've only heard one song, watched a small part of one scene. The good news? For 90 minutes I had the privilege of watching a large team focus on perfecting four minutes of the show. Every step, every gesture, every word. Again and again. The actors would run a phrase and stop -- "again." The actors would consult with the director, the music director, the choreographer, each other, and try once more-- "again." They'd run a few bars of the song and discover a way to add more meaning or more humor-- "again." They'd turn one way, then another, make room, step back--"again." All the while cast and production members never broke their focus as the music started and the actors ran the lines and refined their movements--"again, please." I sat in awe as the team built one moment with intelligence, artistry, and discipline. Even during the break the actors retraced their steps, lips moving. Even after they nailed it--"again."
When I finally see the show I hope to lose myself in the story and the music! But on my way home, I will remember with respect and gratitude that each moment on stage is born of extraordinary effort. And the next night (and the next) they'll do it again.
I have never seen Little Shop of Horrors. I haven't read it, and I have no idea whether or not I'm familiar with the music. A friend on FB posted something about her child's High School production, and in the photos the actors looked like school kids. I have no idea if the actors were being school kids, or playing school kids.
In about a month, I'll find out.
As a newly minted Geva Cohort, over the next few months I am invited to observe the production of professional theater and, in exchange for the privilege, write about the experience. First up: the musical Little Shop of Horrors; next, the world premier of dramedey Women in Jeopardy.
Shopping, first. The professional thing to do would be to go into the first read-through having read the work and listened to the score. But how many people have my perspective? EVERYONE knows Little Shop of Horrors, right? So I'll go in, cold, and share the experience from a perfectly clean slate. Ready? I am.