Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Daniel Gwirtzman Takes Us To the Reality Zone at Dance Break 2010 Dress Rehearsal, Listen In...

Imagine the scene.

We are all first in the space today and have one hour to space the work (which is different than the dimensions we've all rehearsed in) and deal with the fact that it's all new work put together in 12 hours anyway (and I saw my whole cast together at one time less than that). Then we met back at 4:30 for the event, and storm notwithstanding, it was packed.

Imagine the scene:

There are 60 dancers in the show plus 6 choreographers plus 12 musicians. There is not enough room for more than 1 cast in the dressing room (singular) at a time. Today we were all watching in the first rows of seats...the 6 choreographers are wondering how their works are going to work, and dealing with the attendant stresses and needs. And as Melinda Atwood, mother extraordinaire of us all, says to me: "We are bigger than the cast of Wicked! And we don't have the Gershwin."

Boots, costumes, hats, chairs, people...every corner of the MMAC lower level stuffed backstage and in the house. A table of mini-bagels, fruit and small bottles of water. Isn't DanceBreak nice. :)

This morning I went shopping in the snowstorm for velcro! This was at 10am. Duane Reade didn't have any last night. And yes I'm schlepping huge bags of costumes with every errand. As well as, get this!, amid the blizzard, a picnic basket, which is used as a prop! I'm walking through the snow today carrying a large wicker picnic basket! And in cute boots thank you...it helps! with every errand. Yes, New York City...I love you!

The dress rehearsal has started and it really is packed (even though Rosie O'Donnell's kids couldn't make it because of the snow) and I am sitting in the house to the side of the risers putting velcro on a triple strand of pearls (I bought a long time ago) that were also used recently when choreographing Clue, and adhering velcro to ribbons tied to the pearls. I am making sure all ten of my performers are there. Where's Rhett? Getting coffee. I text him something mad like, Rhett, we need you here now. We're going!


Not too much earlier...What? Jojo (Jonathan Alsberry) has to be at the Joyce at 6pm to work through material with Lar! Meaning one of my cast members is not going to be there for the run! DanceBreak has to see the show in order to get a feel for the show and we will have to do it without him in front of the audience, but at least the solution found, for us to run that number before anyone comes in...scramble, scramble. Photographer in the house...

I'm looking at costumes the dancers brought in, having another one try on something I just picked up at American Apparel (so nice when the store you needs is on the same street, 60th, as the theater! Love that!)...and sifting through piles of great looking clothes. How is it all going to look on stage? Is that too short? Too much skin? Well, this is Broadway!


This dancer's dress is too long...I have pins, I run to my bag. "I need a scissors to..." I have one, hang on...in that bag. This dancer has a hole in the crotch getting bigger. This dancer forgot a belt. And so it continues...and hair and make-up and bumping into other performers, seeing friends, meeting new people, seeing inspired works from the sidelines, and above all, thinking about the choreography! The acoustics are terrible in this. The singers are not miked. Is it loud enough?


The choreographers will come out before each of their pieces and introduce themselves and why they chose this...and we all are figuring that out and then doing it.

Then, imagine the pearls falling during my piece, and alas I could not even see it all, see the dance, as I was in the wings, and they scattered like, well pearls!, and spun into the wings, the full stage space...and not a performer missed a beat. That was some Jam my dancers were in! Those pearls have fallen before (during Clue) and today they were destined to scatter...better now than on Monday...still, new costume pearls to find and buy...

And the list goes on... and THAT was a NY Minute of Behind the Scenes of the dress rehearsal for Dance Break with THE Daniel Gwirtzman.