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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Succeeding Begins...

On our first night of rehearsal a cast member's car got stolen. We walked out into the nighttime rain and she gazed around, no doubt trying to remember some detail that would explain why her car wasn't where she expected it to be. It was a frightening reminder to the rest of us of just how vulnerable and dependent we are on material junk. She seems okay now, got a rental car and all, but still, you rely on your car. Anytime you can't rely on it, life becomes harder.

But the show's gonna be a blast! It's got a comic book concept, with CGI projections used to provide scene transitions with a comic panel motif. I have no idea how it'll work yet, but the broad outline sounds like my kinda stylization. I'm disappointed that I won't get to sing all my favorite songs from the show, though. Part of the reason is that a lot of the scenes require substantial dancing, so if you can't dance, you can't sing. I've always wished I could dance, but my system doesn't seemed to be wired that way. You need a baseline grace and physical control to do that stuff, and my body seems to have a second brain, kind of like the dinosaurs allegedly did. It's a really stupid brain, but it manages to keep me guessing about how the meat part of me is going to function.

We've worked on the group singing, but I haven't heard much of the lead vocals yet. I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out. Generally I prefer the singing on the original cast recording of this show to that of the revival; those gutsy, brassy Broadway belting of the Sixties just satisfy my soul in a way that the body-miked contemporary style can't match. A few years ago I was listening to a recording of traditional Japanese music that included some operatic vocals. the singer was a woman with a husky, raw alto voice, dripping with experience, and it resonated deeply with me. It dawned on me that while I once liked girlish vocals I now preferred this more womanly sound; I still get a big kick out of girl group music, but it doesn't sound sexy to me any more. I like big, womanly voices that sound like they've taken the wear and tear of life and held up fine. What I like about girl-group is something other than the basic vocal qualities of the individual singers. I think it has something to do with vocal harmonies, and perhaps it's telling that teenage voices have to merge and meld to be interesting to me, while one Billie Holliday or Sarah Vaughn can win me over with nothing but a piano behind her. It probably has something to do with growing up, or at least growing old. Nah, it's gotta be growing up; being interested in young women seems to be exacerbated by mere age in plenty of guys!

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