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The Hizzle of T-Fizzle <br /> <b>Deprecated</b>: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in <b>/home/jzero/public_html/troy/wpblog/wp-includes/formatting.php</b> on line <b>82</b><br /> » Theater

Archive for the ‘
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Theater’ Category

See that wall sticking out?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

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That’s what it looks like when the cast climbs onto a mobile set piece
before the crew can put it in its proper place. Oops.

Rest easy, dear friend.

Monday, January 30th, 2006

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I did not get a part in Urinetown.  Don’t weep for me - there is a sizable benefit to not getting a part in the form of up to six days per week of time that I can spend doing other, somewhat more useful things - restoring the Victrola phonograph (cabinet is completed, but the grill still needs work, and I’m not sure what to do about the peeling paint on the turntable bed), fixing up the house, visiting my wife, climbing, etc).

In other news, it seems that Kamado is going to start offering (again) a standalone stove.  It’s a bit pricey ($2500, and I’m assuming that does not include freight, which I have been quoted in the past $300-$500), although I have a feeling that it isn’t all that much more expensive than a cast iron stove, but it seems to have a few benefits, chiefly being that the double-walled design means that the clay exterior does not become burning hot to the touch, and the fire is enclosed, which means they specify just 2.5 inches of clearance from combustible walls.  They also claim that the enclosed design allows minimal fumes to escape into the room.  When I was a child, my doctor said that our woodburning stove may have been a contributor to my asthma, and my parents noted that my breathing got better when they stopped using the stove.

The touchable exterior is also a good consideration when it comes to kids.  I’m always nervous that kids will wander too close to fireplaces and stoves.  I’m sure the glass and metal door still gets very hot, but at least there is that much less hot surface to accidentally bump into…I’d be OK with keeping my gas grill in exchange for one of these guys!

I guess I will have to add this to the list of expensive luxuries I’d love to have…right next the hot tub :D

Climbing Report #1

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

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Not my first time climbing, but my first report.  It was a pretty weak trip to the rock gym.  MrFitz’s boss was in town so he went to dinner with him and it took far longer than he thought…he didn’t get in the door until around 9PM.  He called me around 8:00 and let me know and recommended that I simply boulder until he arrived since it’s possible and easy to boulder solo.

Except for one thing - everyone else.  Before 9PM, there is a youth bouldering team that practices, along with the normal complement of regulars that you see on Monday and Wednesday.  That’s a lot of people, although the problem is not really that there are too many people to climb, it’s that these people bring way too much stuff with them to the bouldering area.  This is annoying enough for me to mention it here, but I have not yet decided if it’s annoying enough for me to ask the gym to try to enforce some sort of rule about it, but here’s what happens:

When I come to climb, all I bring in with me are my boots, my harness and my chalkbag.  If I’m not using my harness, I leave it in the cubby with my jacket, pants and street shoes.  On the occaisions that I bring a change of clothes, I leave that in the cubby, too.  If I use my harness and then switch to bouldering (where a harness isn’t necessary), I put my harness back in the cubby.  I also keep my chalkbag attached to me.  It only weighs a few ounces - it’s not holding me down any.  I bring nothing to the bouldering wall and I take up no real estate when I’m not actually sitting on the bench.

When these other people come to climb, they bring a bag which seems to contain an expeditionary amount of gear - ropes, multiple harnesses, multiple sets of boots, plus a change of clothes, extra chalk, power bars, Red Bull cans, and who knows what else.  The youth climbers often have school books with them, too.  Instead of leaving all of this stuff in a cubby hole, they simply leave it somewhere in or around the climbing area.  They finish top-roping/lead climbing and boulder some and they leave their harness on the bench.  And, for some reason, they always hand-carry their chalkbags and leave them laying around the bench when they get up to climb, often when they have wandered all the way to the other side of the bouldering wall.

The result is that while there seems to be adequate space to accomodate all of the people that are not actually climbing the wall to sit, rest and study the problems, but there is not actually enough space because everyone insists on leaving all of their gear on the benches.

Most people seem to clear out by 9:00, so MrFitz and I usually toprope until 9 and then move to the bouldering wall once the crowd has dissipated.  I loafed around for awhile hoping he would show up earlier, but eventually I decided to squeeze into a spot on the bouldering wall, and managed to make one unsuccessful attempt on an easy problem before MrFitz arrived.

The good news is that there was an ABS contest this past weekend.  I don’t climb competitively, but since ABS contests call for “fresh” problems to be created, we found the bouldering wall stacked up with a lot of new problems to work.  We spent the hour chipping away on one easy problem and one slightly harder one, but since we were limited on time, I didn’t feel like I worked particularly hard.  Wednesday should hopefully be better.

You may be wondering about Urinetown…X happens to have a contact at ‘Nova that she needed to contact for an unrelated reason and learned from this contact that casting announcements won’t be made until 1/25 or 1/26, so I should know more in the next couple of days.

Like Venice. Only different.

Friday, January 20th, 2006

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Last night was the big audition for Urinetown.  It is fortunate that acting is a hobby and not a profession for me.  The trouble of having to audition for new shows every so often in order to pay the bills would drive me bonkers.  It’s not that I’m the type to get stressed out, but it is a pain preparing a good audition, and I find the artificial setting of an audition to be really annoying.  I’m the type of performer that auditions somewhat flatly, as it takes time to develop a part.  Also, no matter how hard I try, it’s hard for me shut down my inner slacker.  I try to pour it on, but when it’s not an actual performance (and my inner slacker does not consider auditions to be actual performances), the product seems to lack a little bit of the sparkle that comes out when old slacky knows that the chips are down and there’s no do-over if it’s crap.

Since this is all strictly for fun, I go in knowing that if I do not get cast at all, the “penalty” is simply a lot more free time to go climbing, work around the house and actually spend some time with X.  Knowing that in the back of my head, I strode confidently in to the room, introduced myself and gave it my best shot.  We were required to have 3 pieces - a comic monologue (I used “A Singular Type Of Guy” from All In The Timing), an uptempo song (in my case the old standby “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady), and a ballad (”Not A Day Goes By” from Merrily We Roll Along).  Everything went about as well as possible bearing in mind that inner slacker was doing his thing since it was not an actual performance.  They seemed interested in the fact that I have some experience tap dancing.  Not surprising - the music has the potential to be dance-heavy with an emphasis on swing and tap/softshoe, both of which I’m familiar with, and guys with a willingness to dance, let alone actual experience are somewhat hard to find.  I was also thoughtful enough to bring a list of shows I’ve done with me.  Usually I am wracking my brain trying to remember names and dates and scribble them down on the audition form.  In this case, it was not even asked for.  At the end of the audition the director asked me how much experience I had on stage and I was able to hand the list right to him.

The competition seems fierce.  A lot of people are looking for an opportunity to be in a show that only recently left Broadway.  A lot of other people just want to be involved in the director’s last hurrah before he assumes the presidency of Villanova University.  Many of the applicants are either working on or already have MFAs.  These folks are perhaps of a higher caliber than those at The Centre Theater, and they are surely greater in number.  AND, I have no past history with this group.  In any case, as a male who can sing and dance well, I think I did well enough to be in the show.  I may well be in the chorus, but I think I’m in nonetheless.

This group has a spectacularly stringent rehearsal schedule, even by my personal “fast and furious” standards.  Rehearsals begin on 1/30.  Show opens March 21.  That’s basically a six-week ramp up time which typically calls for a busy rehearsal schedule, but in this case it is Tuesday through Sunday each week!  Yikes.  The performance schedule is even tougher - Night shows Tuesday through Saturday plus matinees on Saturday and Sunday (so two shows on Saturdays).  There will be 20 performances, which will be the longest run I’ve ever done (Joseph… ran for 3 or 4 weeks, but only logged 12 performances).  Personally, I love long runs, so that’s an exciting prospect for me.

One last vignette: In 1997 I was in a production of Pippin with a now-defunct (I think) group that was for high-school and college-aged students.  We became a fairly close-knit cast with most of us still turning up for reunion nights in later years.  I recalled that the girl who played Fastrada was beginning her masters at Villanova.  Now, that was 9 years ago, so she should have long since finished her masters and moved on to other things.  Also, the audition was by appointment, so I would only bump into the 3 or 4 people auditioning around the same time as me.  Yet…I walked into the hallway, and there she was!  She now lives in NJ, but is among the many eager to be a part of the director’s last hurrah and decided to come out for the show.  Funny coincidence.  If any of you folks from that production ever read this, give me a shout.

The results won’t be in until next week, so be patient.

My Bacon Number

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

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While painting, a commercial came on regarding the Bacon Brothers appearing on “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.”  X pointed out to me that my semi-professional acting exploits have probably significantly reduced my Bacon Number (and hers by extension) to a point that is well below most “non-Hollywood” people, so we decided to do some research, and found it true.

To wit:  I was in Man Of La Mancha at The Centre Theater with Robert O’Neill.  Robert was in Twelve Monkeys with Brad Pitt.  Brad Pitt was in Sleepers with The Bacon.  That gives me a Bacon Number of 3.  I found a few other links, but this was the shortest list involving the least obscure actors.  The Oracle at UVA also gets Robert to Bacon in 2 hops, but it involves another actor you’ve never heard of.  The Brad Pitt link is far more recognizable.

6 Degrees purists will point out that stage shows don’t usually count.

I really don’t care.

How I Spent My Day Off…

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

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A productive day today.  My private plan for the day included painting the entire back room AND sanding the remainder of the Victrola Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph.  Realistically I was expecting only about half the back room to be completed seeing as how there was so much stuff in the room to break down and move out in order to begin.  I also had an appointment with Spada to prepare for the upcoming Urinetown audition, and we decided to go out for lunch on the way, so that was going to cut into painting time.

I was pleasantly surprised - we actually painted the entire room except for the baseboard, which X will knock out tomorrow when she gets home from school.  The blue looks awesome…almost as awesome as the legendary orange room.  Par for the course, I forgot to take a “before” pic, and “after” pics are not in order until the ceiling is completed (this weekend’s project).  And I have yet to figure out how to e-mail a pic here from the Sidekick, so that won’t even work, and getting the pics off of the digital cam is just too many steps.

A few mishaps - my TV now has a green spot in the corner which won’t go away no matter how much I move the TV or the speakers around.  I’m not sure if it was caused by a speaker sitting next to it for a couple of hours, or just from the speaker being jostled, or maybe a cable not screwed in tightly enough…I’ll have to play some more.  Also, the utility sink’s drain was a bit blocked an overflowed when the washer drained into it, which was a bit of a mess.  Finally, my dentist called to tell me that MetLife (worst insurer ever?  Quite possibly…) is claiming that I am not insured by them.  One might think this could be connected to my switching to X’s insurance…except that happened nearly a year ago, so why would such a mistake become apparent NOW?  Just another thing to sort out..

The lesson with Spada went well.  I needed both a ballad AND an uptempo song (!) and I felt like I had a lot of options for ballads, but few for uptempo.  To my suprise, Spada felt that “On The Street Where You Live” was uptempo enough to qualify as uptempo, which meant I could use “Not A Day Goes By” as the ballad.  Those are songs I’ve been using for auditions for years now, so I’m very comfortable with them, and I’m happy that I can use both of them instead of having to pull out something I’m less comfortable with.  I still have to cook up a monolog (I don’t think “The Audition” from Mr. Show is going to work), but I think I should be able to find something tomorrow.

No time to touch the phonograph after all this.  Since it resides in the living room, it would be good if I could finish that by Saturday since X’s jewelry party is Saturday and I will have to push it back against the wall and put away all of the stuff I’ve been using to fix it up.  As it was, I was able to get Tivo back on-line just in time to pick up Gilmore Girls (and thus averting certain tragedy here at Chez Fizzle).

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind!  Good night, and good luck.

Dateline - New York City, New York, USA

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

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Today’s expedition to see “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” began well until we departed the PA turnpike to find that it was questionable whether a plow had even touched Route 1. 95 was not much better. We saw a bunch of ditched cars, but aside from slowing down, there were no major issues.

Upon our arrival we made our way to Hard Rock Cafe, Gab’s lunch request, which we were glad to accommodate since this trip was her birthday/Christmas present. We were soon met by The Book and his friend Kim and ate lunch. Of course the pager (which has hardly made a peep in the 2 weeks I carried it) went off while we were eating. Why is it that our systems only seem to experience hardware failures on Sundays? Luckily, The Ginner was available to do the needful. We made far better time than we had anticipated, so we killed some time visiting the Hershey’s store and Toys R Us.

Upon our arrival at the theater we were asked if we wanted to volunteer to actually be IN the spelling bee (four guests sit on the bleachers with the performers and are called up to spell words). Unfortunately while around 25 guests are interviewed and 4 of those are chosen, of the three of us who “interviewed,” none of us were chosen. X, who originally seemed skittish about the prospect came out of the show already planning to return JUST to try to get selected.

By this time we had met up with Finks and JMR and JMR’s parents, but there was not much time for chitchat as the show was soon to begin.

The show itself is very unique and very excellent. Definitely go see it if you have the opportunity. It is hialrious and at the same time presents a unique and touching perspective on life through the lens of a children’s spelling bee. Some memorable lines:
A guest speller is given “Jihad.” Upon asking for it to be used in a sentence, she was given “Get down behind the West Wall, Billy, I think there’s a jihad coming!” That guest misspelled the word. We suspect she was instructed to do so, as that seemed way too easy to miss.
Another guest speller was given “Cow.” He asked for a definition and an exasperated reader replied “Its…a COW.” When asked for a sentence the reader’s response was “PLEASE SPELL ‘Cow!’”

After the show Finks and clan JMR were off to the incomparable Harold’s NY Deli for dinner. I’ll post about THAT place when I am actually there. Since we had taken the train, that was out of the question. Book and Kim had a great idea: We could try to get in the $25 ticket lottery for “Wicked.” The drawing for an 8:00PM show opens at 5:30PM so we wandered to Starbucks to kill some time.

We returned to the lobby of The Gershwin and were ecstatic to find only about 10 people in the lobby! To further add to our excitement, a large group of people LEFT soon after we arrived. After about 10 minutes and the lobby getting emptier and emptier (according to Book there were usually around 100 people waiting by this time) we asked a crew member if there was a drawing for the 8:00 show and from her we learned that Wicked does not DO a Sunday night show! :-) Ah well. We only lost a little time.

We stopped by a few shops before Book and Kim took off, and then we made our way back to the station where we decided that since we were in the neighborhood, we would hit up Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner. Hopefully the roads won’t be too bad on the way home!

Next show will probably be Sweeney Todd.