Friday, July 29, 2005

have you seen this young woman?



Name: Emma Waters
Job: Unauthorized Understudy
Sign: Gemini
Turn-Ons: Deep psychology
Turn-Offs: Man periods

Quote: "I want to act right so that my parents will let me come back and visit my Aunt Peg and Aunt Lisa again."

This Dear Readers is Emma, niece to the Brothers. She visited New York for about two weeks, during our heavy duty rehearsal period and she worked as an intern at NYTW. In her off-hours, she became the unofficial understudy of the show, as she knew our lines and parts better than we did. She saw the show every night she was here and became the crux of our fan base. She's back in Tucson now and we miss her so much. It was incredible having such a fun, thoughtful niece around and Emma, we want you back! You are the coolest young adult, ever!

Show went well tonight, thanks for asking. We had a nice house full of robust laughers and that always helps. Yes, it might be a tragedy of sorts, but it's funny in parts! Don't take it too seriously, I say. I mean, tragedy is a downer and frankly there's enough of that in this sad old world already. We are trying to lighten the load for our future generations, so fine individuals like Emma can inherit a kind world to take care of. Not to avoid the tragedies that are put before our eyes everyday, but to realize the picture is bigger and when the goddess creates a tragedy, she also formulates great joy somewhere in it. That's my philosophy for tonight and thanks for putting up with it.

The heat wave broke yesterday and the air conditioning in the theatre was fixed simultaneously, making for a quality cooled experience in the comfy seats from what we hear. Drop by and see us in the hip East Village and say hi after the show and we might even take you out with us on our almost-nightly pierogi-and-stuffed-cabbage runs to the local former-eastern bloc eateries we frequent. We are generally friendly and friendlier yet if you say something nice about the show. No pressure, but pandering to our egos goes a long way.

It's getting late here and I still have to give my cat her medication and try and make some order out of the chaos which is my bedroom during production week. I think there is more dirty laundry than floor space at this point and though I don't mind personally, I think it reads as a sign to others of my hidden mental illness when I do not straighten up. No pierogis tonight, as the girls all split up and headed home. Sigh.

Also today was our last day of rehearsal with Leigh. Double sigh. Yes, we are tired but in the best possible way. The exhilarating fatigue of doing a job thoroughly and well for great rewards. Leigh has guided the good ship Oedipus for many months from afar and these last six weeks, with her steady capable hands firmly on the steering wheel. It is a little freaky to think she will not be with us much longer and we will have to do the show by ourselves, UNSUPERVISED! Martha of course will take over to hold the show intact but our sense of loss will be great I'm sure, when Leigh is off having a well-deserved vacation. It has been a great labor of love for everyone involved in this project and I am not just saying that. Leigh has been instrumental in keeping the love flowing while at the same time having great vision and devotion to this play. If anyone reading this has the power to hire this woman to direct ANYTHING, you would not be stupid to do so. We ask only that you pay her generously and treat her like the superb artist that she is. We love you Leigh.

On that note, I shall leave you for tonight friends. And remember if you come to the show because your read this blog, don't forget to let us know that or write in at the NYTW web site and tell them so. I am Curious George about it.

stay cool,
moe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Palm Springs on my mind



This is the real Palm Springs, friends. Isn't it gorgeous? The last time the Brothers were there to work on the play, it was May and it was 114 degrees in the shade. Today in New York City it feels like it's 114 and it is not so gorgeous. As actors, we try to use what we have so I hope the oppressive weather transforms into something good and informs our performances tonight.

I'm backstage on meal break before the show. Let me set the scene for you. Dana, our assistant director is running lines with Peg on the couch or the dressing room. Ax, one of the fellas on our running crew is reading quietly. Erin, our wardrobe coordinator is busily coordinating things, putting the costumes where they need to be and preparing to help us all with our individual beauty requirements for the show. I have to get my hair blow dried for instance! Very exciting, since it is not something I explore in the rest of my life. Lots of new hair products to discover in the world. Who knew? Kate is onstage setting things up too and I can hear her voice over the monitors. It's a cozy little family we are turning into here on east 4th street. And Babs has arrived for the start of her warmup...

It is a quiet moment before the controlled storm of the show. We have done seven previews and it's starting to look like a show, folks. People sit in the audience and everything. Snacks are sold at the concession stand. Cues are called and executed and we do our best to follow direction and pick up our cues. It's all good from my perspective. And can I just say that this is by and large because of the crackerjack team of theatrical professionals that we have with us here at NYTW? From Carlos in the box office(his fancy title is Ticketing Services Manager) to Kara the house manager to our fabulous stage management to the super-capable running crew, we are in very very good hands. It is truly a pleasure to come to work every day.

I want to send a little shout out to Cherry, mother of Martha our production stage manager. The Brothers had the good fortune of meeting Cherry while we were in California, doing a reading of the show at University of LaVerne in Claremont. Cherry lives there and we all went out for a nice piece of pie after the show. And Cherry is going to come all the way out here to see the finished product on the stage. Isn't that swell? So we love you Cherry and can't wait to see you! Yay Cherry!

Now the summer rain is pounding on the roof of the theatre. A July cloudburst. Hope it does not deter the audience.

Take care good people and come see the show if you're in the mood for some entertainment in a nicely air conditioned environment.

who loves ya,
moe.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

better late than never



Sorry for the delay in checking in with you all but well, I had my mind on a few other things. This picture is an action shot of Martha paying attention to a moment in rehearsal from the tech table. This shot was from the day of our dress rehearsal, which seems like ages ago now. Isn't Martha sexy in her ferocious competence? Lucky for us on stage, Martha is far away from us in the booth so we do not get all distracted by her doing her job. It's another challenge for us backstage, where our stage management team and running crew are supa-studly in their cool demeanors, as they make it all happen for us and make it look effortless. Wow, life is exciting for us Lesbian Brothers!

So we have had a few shows now, including our first matinee today. We are dong really well, folks, thanks for asking. The show gets better all the time and is running like a well-tuned engine that does not burn carbon-emitting fossil fuels. A green machine are we!

Publicity is starting to happen and there is a nice picture of us in Time Out NY this week with a nice story and in the NY Times in today's arts section. The Village Voice is also running a story on us this coming week, so look out for that online if you don't live in NYC. There is also something about the show on the web site dailycandy.com and that makes us a hip thing to do, according to my hip friends. It's all very exciting.

Most exciting though is the response we are getting from people who see the show. It is very gratifying to hear from our friends of course but also to hear from the people who we don't know, the general public. One never knows how a show or performance is going to land and when someone takes the time to wait around to talk to us about what they got out of the show, it is really satisfying. Even when they are troubled or unclear about what they got out of it. Though I'm happy to say that the response has been mostly very positive.

I am backstage right now, reporting from the dressing room and we have just been called to half hour so I must go to my appointed rounds. The house music is up and the people are filing in. Off to the greasepaint go I.

Bloggily Yours,
moe.

Monday, July 18, 2005

feel like goofing off?

Dear Cubicle Slacker-

Welcome to the Brothers' blog, which hopefully provides a welcome respite from your day job. Text looks better to the bosses when they walk by and catch a glance at your screen and reading is better use of the company time than Tetris or hotandhung.com. And we at the Five Lesbian Brothers support any act of subversiveness we can, especially in the workplace (see our play The Secretaries for further info).

After a day off on Saturday, we are in tech, and that means a whole lotta stuff is happening all at once. You must really keep your wits about you to get through the day. There is the set to absorb, with its levels and sheer acreage to cross and its loveliness, courtesy of David Korins. There are the lights, brought to us by ML Gieger, also lovely and those are happening too. And the sound which is brilliantly delivering itself to us thanks to John Gromada. And our costumes from Miranda Hoffman, also incredible. So now we are dealing with a lot of new stuff. It's a trip!

The trippiest part for me is that all of a sudden, these things which were only in the imaginations of the Brothers are now made real by the talents and hard work of many other people. I do not want to sound all super-goopy but it is really a magical thing and I feel very very lucky to have this great creation take place. It is way beyond the Brothers now and the talents of so many people are being poured into this project to make it fabulous for you, the public. It's really incredible when I think about it. It is making our vision manifest, to say it in fifty-cent words. We are very very lucky girls.

And we are luckiest of all because we have the unbelievable Leigh at the helm. I cannot say enough good things about her directorial brilliance. I mean I could, but hey we all have to get to work today, including me. She is a gem. Super smart, super talented, super generous and yes, I will objectify her for a moment, super gorgeous. She is the full package people, and we are so fortunate to have her driving this train.

Today is more making of the cues and practicing them and then tomorrow night is dress rehearsal. Ahhh! I can't believe there will be humans to watch this thing happen. It's too soon. But I am fickle that way, as just yesterday I was feeling like we had plenty of time. I feel like I have to cram for my character and started reading a little Stanislavski this morning. Gee, that's a long book! But I hear it's worth reading the whole thing, so I'm going to dammit!

Hope you are all well out there. Be thinking of us...

Yer Blogster,
moe.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

westward ho!



Dear Readers Near and Far-

This photo was taken backstage left on our set! I do not want to spoil the show for you so I am not including a picture from the other side that the audience sees. This photo is the backstage view. A wooden wall (known in the biz as a TV flat) that has been painted with fireproof paint and bears a sticker that shows where it goes on the set and what shop built it. I will say that the set looks gorgeous and David Korins, the designer is a very talented fellow. Anyone who has the power to do so and is reading this blog should definitely hire this man. He is a great designer and he (along with Mark the technical director and all the carps and scenic painters) has transported a little piece of the desert to East 4th Street.

So today was yes people, our first day in the theatre! We moved one door west into the place we will perform the show. Very exciting. There is a little more real estate to cover than in the rehearsal hall so we spent the day moving through the show to figure how it's all going to look now that the real features are in place instead of the carefully laid tape marks on the floor which we have been rehearsing on. There are real steps and real doors and so much more reality than we had been dealing with. Plus, there is the supergood air conditioning at the theatre which was welcome on this very muggy summer day in Manhattan. If you come and see the show, you yourself will get to experience the beautiful set AND the quality conditioned air. What a nice way to spend a summer evening or weekend afternoon!

One week from yesterday will be our first performance in front of an audience. It is hard to believe this is the case. There are many many hands and minds at work to make the show happen and though I optimistically hope I will get to thank them all, this would not be possible because people all over are doing their parts to make this show the best dang ticket in town. You will have your chance in less than a week's time to see what all this has been about and I certainly hope that if you have the chance, you will stop by our little outpost of the lively arts in the East Village and see this new take on a crusty old play. It's as if we found the original text after being locked away in a footlocker for centuries and sent it through the laundry with good detergent and Bounce and it came out all fluffy and new-looking. I mean, aren't you a little curious by this point?

Off to slumberland now. See you later.

Your Faithful Recorder,
moe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Flotation genius



Name: Alan Shrier
Job: Web Master of NYTW
Sign: Pisces
Turn-Ons: Oh my...
Turn-Offs: Anything that isn't "oh my".
Quote: "Oh for god's sake."

Here he is ladies and gentlemen, Alan Shrier! Otherwise known as Float King of East 4th Street, Alan is the diabolical mastermind behind our fantastic Palm Springs entry in the Pride march a couple of weeks ago. He is wearing a tee-shirt that was the opening night show gift for the Brothers' last show at NYTW, Brides of the Moon. Ain't he a handsome devil?

Sorry to not blog for a few days friends, but the theatre is demanding and I needed my beauty sleep. The days whiz by as we careen towards our date with destiny upon the stage of NYTW. The play is looking good, if I may hazard an opinion from the start of week four of rehearsal. Today is our last day in the studio and we move next door onto the big stage tomorrow. I will boldly speak for all of us who have been in the rehearsal room to date when I say that the process has been a pleasure. I know the actors feel very well cared for by our terrific team of theatre professionals and it seems it is going well for them too, as they have not had to call D-I-V-A-9-1-1 once (yet) during the course of rehearsal to deal with any meltdowns. All of this would not be possible without ALL the folks at NYTW and at the start and end of each day (and sometimes in between), our fantastic director Leigh! We are so damn lucky.

I will be very curious to see what you all have to say about this show. Well, maybe not all of you to be honest, since anybody could be reading this and I'm not sure I could handle the opinions of everybody in the world with access to the internet and the cash to see the play. I hope you are theatrically satisfied by the show if you are able to see it. And you will get to see what all the work and brownies and donuts amounted to.

I must be off to rehearsal friends. It is gray and muggy here in NYC today and we just had one of those five minute downpours that steams everything up, but offers no real relief. Hope our play does not do the same.

Good luck today in all your endeavors and thanks for checking in with us.

Blogliciously Yours,
moe.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Friday morning, coming down

Hello Blogtastic Public-

It's day four of week three of rehearsals for O@PS, here at New York Theatre Workshop. The day started for me with a brief but entertaining costume fitting with assistant costume designer Amelia and the costume shop supervisor, Hallie. I felt that I was in very good hands in such an assisted and supervised situation. Now I am hanging out for a minute, waiting for my comrade Lisa to come from her fitting to run lines with me. If you are wondering, yes, we do need to spend time memorizing our lines but it doesn't take that long. So if you ever think of asking an actor after a show "how did you memorize all those lines?", now you know that we memorize lines the same way as you memorize that Fanta jingle from two summers ago: by hearing it a thousand times!

It is cool and rainy here in NYC and a gray and soupy sky has been with us for many days now. The rain at least feels like a consolation, as if there was some point to all the gloominess. Inside the reheasrsal room, it's a hot hot summer day in Palm Springs and that is the magic of theatre.

Yesterday, ML, our lighting designer was a special guest star for much of the day and that was fun. Our Australian boyfriend Ben was here too. No, that was the day before. The set is coming together next door in the theatre and that's supa-kewl, as the youngsters say.

Last night after rehearsal some of us went up to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Liberty play a fantastic comeback win game against the Connecticut Sun. It was fantastically inspiring to see two sets of five capable ladies make another kind of magic happen. It's all about five today.

More later dear friends. Lisa has returned to run lines.

Yer Pal,
moe.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

ASM, coming your way



Name: Antonia "Rose of Sicily" Gianino
Job: Assistant Stage Manager
Sign: Aries
Turn-Ons: Good sense of humor
Turn-Offs: Selfish people

Quote: "I really do have a sense of humor. I'm just Sicilian."

Antonia may wear her poker face to work (I prefer to think she is being respectful of the process), but this lady knows how to keep track of stuff and that is largely her job at present. Actors and their lines, props, scenery; if you are lost on the stage or behind it, Antonia is the person who will bail your sorry ass out and point you in the right direction with a gentle but firm hand. And I think I have spoken enough about her brownie-making skills.

Good day today, as we had Babs with us all the live-long day. We're so happy that she will be around for every day from now on and that she has temporarily kissed her day job goodbye. She may work for The Man in a midtown cubicle to make money, but now, she's back with her Brothers where her artistic side may shine and we are all delighted.

It's getting thrilling as we get closer to moving into the theatre and the excitement I feel is greater than all the cups of decaf I drink at rehearsal, combined! I am sensitive to caffeine and the other Brothers can vouch for what happens to me when I get even trace amounts in my system. Excitement! But the show is more exciting! We can't wait for you to come and see it.

Off to bed now, my blogmates. Hope your lives are as fulfilling as all of ours are over at NYTW. We are all so lucky, you dear readers included.

Off to Slumberland,
moe.

Monday, July 04, 2005

interview with...


Name: Donuts and Munchkins
Job: Breakfast of champions
Sign: Cancer
Turn-Ons: bakers Dozen
Turn-Offs: Tired cop jokes

Quote: "Our sugar coated, deep-fried goodness says it all. We're sending out the sweetness to the whole of the O@PS family at NYTW. Keep up the good work people and ye shall be rewarded with our presence."

Though this picture comes from a few days ago and these baked goods are long gone, let their memory live on here on the blog. Martha was kind enough to sense that donuts were needed at this point in the process and as I was the lone donut-eating Brother at rehearsal that day, I speak for myself and my Brethren when I say that the inspiration these lifesavers provided cannot be underestimated. That's what we like, a production stage manager that knows how to motivate the staff. It is a tough choice between Antonia's brownies and these morsels. I can't decide which was better and nobody can make me, dammit!

Enjoy your independence on this day and every day, if you are lucky enough to have it!

more on Tuesday,
moe.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Fight!

Brother Dominique here. Today was fight choreography, which is always a big thrill. I have never been in the kind of fight where punches are thrown, but when you learn from the best how to fake it, it feels really satisfying, kind of like the real thing I bet, only without the pain and remorse.

Moe and I have developed a new tradition of going to Moe's favorite Polish restaurant, Little Poland, for after-rehearsal chow. I was so high on adrenalin for the first few days of rehearsal that I was uninterested in eating and lost a few pounds. So now we are on a plan to get fat. We both could use a little heft for our roles as the butches. We are very committed to our craft, a la DeNiro. If I have to eat full orders of potato pirogies every night for the next three weeks, then so be it.

Tomorrow, believe it or not, we have an actual day off. It is the birthday of our country, after all. Though we do have homework assignments. Thank you, Martha, for insisting the Brothers take a day off.

I don't at the moment remember the names of the fight guys who came in with us, but they were super cute and helpful. Moe, can you give them a shout out?

c'est tout pour moi,

DD

Friday, July 01, 2005

interview with toni




Name: Toni Amicarella
Job: NYTW's Director of New Play Development and Dramaturgy
Sign: Gemini
Turn-Ons: puppies!
Turn-Offs: snarky people
Animal Companions: Emma and Misha, both dogs, both adorable

Quote: "Love means never having to say you didn't see this play."

Toni was our special guest star for part of rehearsal this evening. The picture of her engaged in deep conversation with Leigh our director, was an action shot taken whilst the two of them were very involved in heated debate about who put the drama in western drama. The picture of her with the little dog is Toni with her friend Django, the apricot miniature poodle owned by Brothers Peg and Lisa. As you can see, the two of them are engaged as deeply as Leigh and Toni are.

And that's Toni.

The Brothers and company spent the last half of the day blocking two new un-blocked scenes, the Shame on the Moon scene, followed by the Cockatiel's scene. These names will mean nothing to you out there, so you will need to come and see the show to know what I am speaking of, but suffice to say that it is more of the same work we have been doing these past several days. Sitting and reading the scenes a few times to get a feel for the emotional movement and then getting up on our feet and letting Leigh literally move us around on the stage. Then we go back and run as we build the scene so it sticks in our minds and Leigh can get an idea for the larger movements of the scene and play. It's getting funner all the time, as we are able to act more and more when we can get the scripts out of our hands.

Tomorrow the day starts with costume fittings, which is always fun. New outfits! Clothes are the kind of thing that really help me as an actor. Hair, even moreso. We will not be wigged in this show, but are going for a naturalistic thing so we will have character-appropriate hairdos. I can't wait for this personally, since I have been letting my hair grow out somewhat so the barber would have something to work with. But it's really hot and I don't mean in the sexy way. More on my haircut situation after tomorrow's work.

Hope you are all enjoying these reports from off-blogway. If there's anything I am not covering that you'd like to know about, please feel free to ask.

Nighty-night,
moe.

interview with our PSM


Hello there, blogtastic reader!

I start today off with a little introduction to one of our fabulous team here at NYTW. That's her picture just above.

Name: Martha "Righteous Boo-tay" Donaldson
Job: Production Stage Manager
Sign: Libra
Turn-Ons: Sense of humor, spontaneity, beach at sunset
Turn-Offs: Stupidity
Animal Companions: Two cats, Dot and Mama, both described as "Holsteins"

Quote: "Doing this play with The Five Lesbian Brothers, Leigh Silverman and Team Table is the most fun I can think of having in NYC in the summer"

Spontaneous joke from yesterday's rehearsal:
Martha: "What's the difference between Beer Nuts and Deer Nuts?"
Everybody Else: "I don't know."
Martha: "Beer Nuts cost a dollar sixty-nine and Deer Nuts are under a buck!"

And that's Martha, folks.

Yesterday we kept on blocking, while at the same time, continued to incorporate new pages of writing and changes what we are making into the script. It is really complicated sometimes! I can't recall what is still in the play and what used to be in the play and oh, people, this is not for the faint of heart, or the memory-impaired. But we are going forward and all systems are go. The set is being built in the theatre next door and we stuck our heads in there to look at it and it's very very exciting and a little scary too. All that lumber! Peg suggested that we would buy the scrap off the theatre after the production and build a house in Palm Springs with it. And we might be able to.

I am actually writing to you today from the rehearsal room. We are on a break, having spent the first half of the day delving into the writing once again and are now about to power up to full with our entire creative team and get rehearsal up on its feet again. I will try and take a picture of the room so you can see the glamorous world of rehearsal.

It is still amazing to me that this show is getting done and I once again take the liberty to speak for all the Brothers in saying that we are thrilled to have this opportunity. We are having a great time in rehearsal, in the capable hands of Leigh and with the supa-dupa support of the ladies on Team Table (that's Dana, Martha, Antonia and Kate). Tessa, the prop fairy arrives daily and deposits little bundles of things for us to work with. The play is very proppy and everyone is being really good about that. I think we are on budget for the set and costumes and the props are going to require a bailout from the IMF or the World Bank. Thank you Lynn Moffat and all the numbers folks downstairs who have made all those margarita glasses possible!

More later dear friends of the theatre. The muses call me to my station now. Pencil and script in hand, I humbly go to my entrance...

Blogglily Yours,
moe.

 
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