Volume 3 Book 10 Part 6 of
Living in the Bonus Round
Snap/Sherlterbelt theatre allows us to connect intimately with an audience.
It is also a safe place to experiment.
June 18, 2004.
[ Book 3-9 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Book 4-1 ]
Big Voice-Omaha Picture Album.There's absolutely nothing more exciting than the anticipation of sitting in a dressing room listening to the room monitor as a house fills up. And when it's a sold-out house, when everyone feels lucky that they called before seats became unavailable, you can feel the buzz of electricity throughout the building. Everyone is so ready to have a good time. And that's what we've been playing to, Jimmy's two favorite words in the world: SOLD OUT.
Thursday night, the audience skewed young. Young straight couples, a smattering of gay couples, some theatre queens and some teenage girls.
Then Friday night's show was mostly older couples. Mostly straight. (But with some young people and younger couples in the front row on folding chairs we've set up. We play some scenes literally inches away from them.)
And all of them "got" us. I got these totally straight husband types coming up to me in the lobby and giving me these HUGE bear hugs. It's amazing! And it's fun.
In this diary entry, with only two shows to go here in Omaha, I thought I'd post some photographs shot from the booth by a young photographer Jimmy and I refer to as "Milky White," because this boy is REALLY white. He's also very cool. Matt Yohe. Anyway, since we are using a very limited lighting plot here, he had everything working against him. But he managed to get some very powerful shots. I thought it might be nice to make this diary a picture book.
We also got a new review that appeared online in a subscription site called PerformanceOmaha. So, I'll present quotes from the review interspersed with the pics.
It begins with this very modest headline:
Big Voice is theater event of the summer
Julien R. Fielding
"Every year SNAP! Productions brings new works to Omaha for SNAP!fest and, when possible, also has the playwright(s) on hand to answer the audience's questions..."
Liz Heim, President of Snap! Productions
gives short curtain speech before show.
She presents a wish list. So far, during the run of this show,
they've had a new gas grill and brand new laptop donated.
"This year, instead of presenting several shows the powers-that-be decided to stick with one show, The Big Voice: God or Merman, which the creators, Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin, perform."
"This 2003 winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is pure entertainment from beginning to end. Not only do you get witty one-liners and great stories full of truth and heartbreak, but..."
"...you also listen to Billy Joelesque songs, as performed by the sensitive Schalchlin. It's an amazing experience."
It's an amazing experience. And if you haven't been "converted" to the power of the theater, this show will do it."
"This material covers so much ground that it's unlikely that anyone would go away unaffected."
"Watching this couple interact demonstrates why they've been together for two decades. They provide us with so many wonderful moments that are alternately funny, tragic and uplifting..."
"Throughout his life, Brochu would bump into the big voiced [Ethel Merman]. Not only did she become for him a spiritual figure, but as he lost his own mother so early in his life, she also provided him with a mother surrogate..."
"...The moment that he shares with her at the end of the show is so touching that I could feel myself tearing up.
"The Big Voice is the kind of show that brings the audience closer together. Even though I didn't know the person who sat across the aisle from me, he and I would share little glances during the very funny parts."
"Once they hit New York, The Big Voice is going to take off and I wouldn't be surprised if you see it getting a Tony nod one day. Tickets are probably sold out at the SNAP! theater, and I think they were after the first week, but get yourself on a waiting list. This is the show that you can't miss. People will still be talking about this two years from now."
"Thanks need to be directed at SNAP! for having the insight to bring such a tremendous show to town. It's written so well that it has you laughing until you're sick one minute -- the moment of enlightenment had me nearly out of my seat and there's a costume change that will kill you -- and then your eyes are brimming with tears over the more tragic moments."
"This script keeps you on a roller coaster of emotion, so the best thing to do is to strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. And how could you not?"
© 1996-2004 by Steve Schalchlin.You have permission to print from this diary and distribute for use in support groups, schools, or to just give to a friend. You do not have permission to sell it.