Question time….

4 June, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Posted in General Stuff | 6 Comments

Well… decisions decisions…

For my next foray into musical theatre, should I opt for “The Wedding Singer”, or go with a different production company, and audition for “Pirates of Penzance”….

(the decision may be moot- the main roles in The Wedding Singer are for 20 somethings… I left that behind about 70 years ago (it seems))…

 

All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall….

3 June, 2008 at 8:33 pm | Posted in General Stuff | 1 Comment

Yep- time for a wrap up. The musical experience of the century is finished (unless the “why don’t we take it to Sydney” comments are for real).

Pink Floyd.. I was never really a fan, hadn’t realised the story involved in the music (there are around 35 Pink Floyd songs, that if you put them together in a certain order, tell a very powerful story… hence this musical) but now love it.

The story goes thusly…(forgive the length- I copied it from Supa Productions Inc website)

Prelude:
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Act 1
The show opens in the Dressing Room/Green Room backstage at Madison Square Garden on the opening night of a World Tour. We find our rock star hero, Pink, sitting alone in the room. He is deep in thought.

A spirit enters (the MC) and welcomes the theatre audience to the show (“In The Flesh?”) advising them that tonight “may not be what they expected to see” and calls the demons of “Lights” and “Sound Effects” into the show. The MC is a demonic ghoul. He is “the spirit of life on the road”. He is the demon that took Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin and Presley. He is the evil side of Rock and Roll. He is well dressed but it comes across as being faded and wan with slight tears in his costume. As the song ends he leaves a photo album that contains the story of Pink’s life.

Pink picks up the album and starts looking through it. He comes across pictures of Mother and Father. As Pink thinks back to his childhood, the action switches to the prompt side of the stage. Pink’s Mother and Father and several other couples are out on a sunny afternoon picnic (“The Thin Ice”). It is the days before World War 2. As they sing about the perils of the days to come, the Mc enters and passes out military uniforms to the men and they go off to war leaving the wives alone. Pink as a baby is in his Mother’s arms.

Pink then starts to reminisce about his childhood and how the death of his Father in the war was the time he started putting the emotional “bricks” in a wall that he builds around himself (“Another Brick in the WALL Part 1”). He recalls finding his Fathers uniform in his Mother’s dresser and how he puts it on. He looks into the mirror and sees the Ghost of his Father in battle torn and bloody uniform (“When the Tigers Broke Free”).

His Manager interrupts his daydreaming and ushers in several rock Journalists who are there for the pre-concert interview. Pink seizes the opportunity to continue with his thoughts but this time turning to the education system that he felt has failed him (“The Happiest Days of our Lives”).

He continues to rant about the state of the education system. The journalists don’t even realise the state Pink is in and simply parrot his responses (“Another Brick in the WALL Part 2”) until his Manager sees what is going on and ends the interview.

Once again Pink picks up the photo album and the scene changes to a few years later. Young Pink is trying to talk to his Mother but she is largely ignoring him as she read the paper (“Mother”) as she is content that he only son is home with her, where he belongs. Time passes and we see Teen Pink introducing his child hood sweetheart to the Mother who again doesn’t really listen to what he says and smothers him with love. As the scene fades, the area where the flashbacks were played out becomes a general back stage area attached to Pink’s dressing room.

Pink is still alone in his dressing room as the MC enters. He puts ideas in Pink’s head (“What Shall We Do Now?”). As they think of more ways “In search of more and more applause”. The Manager and the members of Pink’s band enter. The manager pays them a tour bonus and the band members’ dream of the rock and roll lifestyle. Pinks starts to think in earnest and is oblivious to all about him and does not (or chooses not) to react to anyone.

The Manager calls the band into Pinks dressing room and explains to them all how big this night is (“Welcome To The Machine”). As he finishes, the most important guest in terms of Pink’s career arrives, the Record Industry Executive. He presents Pink with a Gold Award (“Have A Cigar”) and the Manager and the Executive dream of the dollars that they will make on the back of Pinks new world tour and encourage him for more regardless of his condition. “We heard about the sell out… You gotta get an album out.”

The all leave and again Pink is alone with his thoughts. He is revved up a little by the ideas of the Manager and the Executive and he is bored and wants some of that Rock and Roll lifestyle (“Young Lust”). He finds a phone as he searches through his room and attempts to call his wife. The phone call connects but a man answers the phone and keeps hanging up. Again Pink sinks into his depression.

Three fans saunter into the backstage area and in return for “favours”  get backstage passes from one of Pink’s security team (That’d be me!!!.. I got a B.J. on stage… high point of my acting career…). Two of them sneak into Pink’s dressing room but happen in there just as a violent rage overtakes him (“One of My Turns”). He berates and beats them and they escape just as Pink completely looses all sense of reality and completely destroys the room. The last item in his hand is his wedding picture.

His Wife enters to say a final goodbye to Pink; she has met someone else and is leaving Pink for the other man. He sings about he needs his wife (“Don’t Leave Me Now”) but he doesn’t sing about love, he sings of the other ways in which he needs her “to beat to a pulp on a Saturday night”. He stands over his wife and then throws her out of the room and locks himself in the dressing room. He has finally cracked.

He doesn’t need anybody or anything. (“Another Brick in the WALL Part 3”) he believes that he is very happy in his isolation and determined not to rely on anyone or anything.

Alone and emotionally detached from reality Pink says goodbye to the world he knows. (“Goodbye Cruel World”). His wall is complete.

INTERVAL

Act 2:
The scene is now set for backstage of Pink’s concert. Pink’s dressing room has been removed but his chair and TV remain to indicate that it is still his room. Pink is sitting in a catatonic state in his chair.

Pink’s Father, Mother and Wife enter and assemble around PINK and call to him to stay with them and not to despair (“Hey You”). During the instrumental, the stage fills with 2 groups, those for Pink and those against him. The MC leads those against him and they fight over Pink’s soul (represented by a larger version of his rag doll). It is a tug of war. The MC sings about how it is too late and exits; his work is done. They leave the stage leaving the Mother crying over how her son has turned out and she feels the blame. She exits clutching her “doll”. (Video as viewed on the ABC (Stateline ACT) here)


Pink sings he is alone. (“Is There Anybody Out There?”) The lights pulsate on the words OUT THERE highlighting the backstage area. His wife enters and she is bound to the violinist and dancer. She is being played. At the end of the song, the Wife moves to stand at the back of Pink.

Pink retrieves a photograph from the floor. His attention is turned to the photo (the audience see a pic of him Pink and his wife on the Wall behind him and we realise that is who he is singing the song to).

As Pink mocks what his life has become “I got the obligatory Hendrix perm and the inevitable pin hole burns, all down the front of my favourite satin shirt”. But with all he has, he is alone (“Nobody Home”). The MC leads the crowds into the backstage area. He shows how he can lead the people and he plays them like marionettes.

At the end of the song Pink sinks to his knees and collapses. The people in the next room do not know and party on as people do when provided with all they want. Sycophants! Pinks Father’s Ghost walks among them unseen.

The father sings for his son remembering a better time when promises of a better life meant something. He sings for a future that he was promised that he never shared with his son (“Vera”). The crowd in the backstage area all face the audience and sing as a chorus. Everybody in cast looks directly out to the audience and plead (“Bring the Boys Back Home”).

At the end of the song (as the lights fade) the “voices” in Pinks head are heard growing louder and louder and are repeated ad infinitum until they all stop at once leaving the stage deathly quiet and Pink’s voice is the only thing we hear.

Pink’s Father helps his son to his chair and exits just as his manager enters finds Pink on the floor. He looks at him and realises that it’s show time and regardless of his condition, Pink must perform.

Having seen Pink overdose before, the Manager searches Pink’s pockets for drugs, he looks at the security guards and realises what has gone on. He then starts shaking and slapping Pink about the face; he is clearly running out of ideas. He sends his Personal Assistant off to get the doctor, as they leave the stage darkens and Pink sings (out of his psychosis) to the audience of how he feels (“Comfortably Numb”). The other members of the cast freeze as if he is aware of them but cannot converse with them.

The stage lights come back up at the end of his verse and he resumes his catatonic state. When the manager sings for Pink to “relax” it’s almost to himself, regardless of Pink’s condition the manager will ensure that he will perform tonight. During the first guitar solo the Assistant returns with the Doctor. They analyse wrongly that he has had an overdose, and knowing that Pink is REQUIRED to perform tonight, the Manager makes the Doctor give Pink a shot of something to get him at least out of his comatose state.

They leave Pink to get ready and the final part of his breakdown occurs and he goes to a drug induced hallucinogenic state. Pink is racked with pain and doubt that matches the intensity of the music. It is almost like a junkie giving up heroin cold turkey. He stands and pleads to the audience.

The chorus we hear are unseen. With finality and the realisation that no matter what he does he is a victim of his own circumstance (and creation?) and under the influence of the doctor’s drugs, he decides to see how far he can take it (“The Show Must Go On”).

Pink sits, he is now decisive and knows what is happening. Dancers appear and dress him. The transformation (or breakdown) is complete. Pink’s goons (his ex band members) come to his side bringing a dais to the stage. They assemble around them as his “guards” to keep the audience under guard The Hammer flags unfurl around the theatre giving the distinct taste of 1930’s Berlin…

Pink’s concert starts and he is addressing the audience like Hitler at the Nazi party Nuremberg rally (“In The Flesh”). His men surround Pink and salute the crowd with the sign of the Hammer *clenched fists*. Pink greets his new loyal fans. They were expecting to see Pink but “Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the motel” and they have the new Pink on stage.

He berates the audience. He stands before the audience indicating they should clap in time with the music, encouraging them. Pink is obviously psychotic, screaming the audience. He is confirmed in his belief that modern concerts owe more to things like Nuremberg rallies than to musical events.

Pink joins a gang of his lieutenants and they inform everyone in the audience of the tactics that they will employ and how people better get out of the their way or else (“Run Like Hell”).

They chose people at random and beat them bloody. There is the sound FX of looting riots and general loud screams. The images on the wall are that of gang violence; Images of soccer hooligans and skinheads mixed with Nazi like propaganda.

His followers come onto the stage and gather about Pink on his dais. Pink (with a megaphone) tells the Rally Crowd of his followers of how life in England could be if they follow him and his ways (“Waiting for the Worms”). The tableau that is forming has an evil sense about it. The scene is dark and could have almost a slightly Gothic feel to it.

The crowd slowly starts chanting the word HAMMER and it builds up to the point where the chanting overpowers what Pink is actually saying. The chant rises to a crescendo pitch. Pink starts to loose some of his enthusiasm and looks about to see what is going on. He slowly sinks under the crowd and he screams for the crowd to stop..

The lights blackout all to a pencil spot on Pink; He is alone and at the front of the stage. All others are gone. He wants this madness to stop (“Stop”) and to go home.

A judge’s bench moves to the centre of the stage, Pink takes a position facing the audience centre stage in front of the large judges bench. He is alone. The bailiff and jury assemble on stage. This is Pink’s nightmare (“The Trial”); the people in attendance have an almost demonic feel about them. They are creations of Pinks’ mind and he is in utter despair.

The Lawyer is actually the MC and he prosecutes against Pink for having revealed he does have emotions. The teacher rises from behind the dock. He, like the MC and all other witnesses, has a demonic “nightmare” appearance about him. In his solo spots, the lights concentrate only on Pink as he stands centre stage, his wall towers behind him.

Pink realises his insanity and he is totally sane at this point in time but resumes his mute trail as the jurors and crowd sing. The Wife rises from behind the dock and pleads to the judge for more time to help her wayward husband. The Mother rises from behind the dock and also calls to the judge to release her son

All lights to the judge as he sentences Pink. For his crimes the Judge declares that Pink must tear down his wall and the people in the court chant the sentence “Tear down the Wall”. The crowds’ chanting subsides as the courtroom and the crowd leave the stage. Pink is alone under his wall. There is a loud explosion and the wall explodes and topples. Pink collapses under the wall as it falls and remains there.

The stage is littered with bricks. The show band is visible again. The stage starts to fill with the people as the “Bleeding Hearts and Artistes” enter from both sides (“Outside The WALL”). They surround Pink and help him as he rises like a “phoenix from the ashes”. They are an ensemble of characters from the show, the people of Pink’s life that he disengaged himself from and although they are NOT led by Pink, he is a member of society again.

That’s the full synopsis (explanation) of the show…. The cast were great; everyone got along really well. There are some great photos floating around, as well as some that aren’t so great (in the show, the lead role “smashes” a guitar, when he’s suffering “one of my turns”… guess who got to repair it???)

 

It wasn’t as bad as it looks… well, actually, it WAS as bad as it looks, but it didn’t have to be playable for the show, just to look good (ish). Lots of PVA glue, wood putty and pink nail polish…

It’s amazing how something that you do “for fun” can take control of your life… for the last six weeks, it was pretty much 7-days a week, and now it’s over, I’m bored out of my tiny little brain… And I’m on anti-biotics, so I can’t drink…

My Mum, Dad and Nanna came up from Melbourne to see it, and loved it (My dad isn’t much of a musicals-type person, but he was really impressed…)

 

 The next show I’m auditioning for is “The Wedding Singer”, with *all original music* which means *music you’ve never heard before*. Not 100% sure about this one- especially as I don’t think there’s a role for someone of my age/build/voice type/hairyness….

 

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

 

 

Oh Dear… The time it does fly…

1 June, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Posted in General Stuff | 3 Comments

Howdy, folks, (I wrote this ages ago, but forgot to post it… I’ll put some more recent stuff on the site shortly)

so much has been happening since the last time I wrote, I just don’t know where to start.

Maybe if I start at the most recent stuff, and go backwards, I might cover off all the semi-important shit… Maybe.

I’m in another musical production- this one opens on the 9th of May at the Australian National University Arts Centre. It’s a fully-staged musical of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. And let me tell you, it fucking weird.

There’s no dialogue, really- the entirety of the show is the music from Pink Floyd, but with numerous people singing various lines, therefore creating the “story” of one night in the life of a Rock Star (Pink).

I have no idea what drugs they were on when they wrote the stuff for this album- but I wouldn’t mind trying ’em (so responsible, am I).

We’ve been rehearsing since February, and truth be told, I think we are over rehearsed for this. I’m not saying that I think we have perfected the show, just that the last few rehearsals have been fairly flat, and lacking some enthusiasm, because we are going over the same old stuff again and again.

For the most part, the cast gets on really well, but as with most things like this, there are a couple of personal issues between a few people (ego’s in something like this can be fairly large, and there’s the usual clash of personalities).

I have a few roles, one is a half of a “War Couple” (I’m being convinced to go off to WWII), also a security guard (who gets (inferred) oral sex on stage- but I’m not allowed to pull any “O” Faces… I’ve been told to look more “blown away”…. excuse the pun).

I’m also the bailiff in a court scene… it really is weirdshit, definitely not your usual run-o’-the-mill tap-dancing type musical…

 

I went back to Mildura over the Easterbreak, and took the kids with me. I bought them a little motorbike (off e-bay), which the kids had a great time riding around the farm on. Anthony can’t actually stop the bike and hold it up by himself, so he has to ride the bike towards me, and I grab the handlebars and stop the bike from falling on him…. but he loves riding around the paddocks in first gear (I won’t let him change gears at this stage- the thing gets up to nearly 60 k’s an hour in fourth gear, so if I show him how to change to second, he’ll also take it on himself to change to third and fourth.)

Managed to squeeze in some fishing (caught bugger-all…), some drinking and some motorbike riding of my own (borrowed my next door neighbours two stroke Honda… lots of fun)

I have a new job- same location and organisation, but different role- I am now the National OH & S Advisor.

Not sure if that’s a good move or not, yet- still early days, but the workload thus far looks fairly intimidating.

 

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