Volume 4 Book 4 of
Living in the Bonus Round
Jim Brochu, Steve Schalchlin in The Big Voice: God or Merman?
[ Book 4-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ] [ Pt6A-6B ] [ Pt 7 ]
[ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 12 ] [ Pt 13 ] -- [ Book 4-5 ]July 17-19, 2005.
Big Voice Photos & Re-Review.Today's diary is both a picturebook of brand new photos of the production taken from some video shot this past weekend interspersed with an informal new re-review of the show posted on the discussion board at Talkin' Broadway by critic Sharon Perlmutter:
I'm just basking in that I-just-saw-some-real-good-theatre glow. You know the one -- where you feel all emotionally drained from the journey but you just can't wipe the stupid grin off your face?
The one which, I suspect, is the reason many of us go to the theatre in the first place.
It's actually a horrible comparison to make, but it made me think about when I first saw "'night, Mother." I mean, on paper, I wanted to see the show because everyone had said it was good. But when you got right down to the day of the performance, it was awfully hard to psych myself up to see a play about a woman who decides to kill herself. July 20-21, 2005.
Woo-hoo. Excitement. But after I SAW the show, I was drained and basking in that happy theatre glow. Because the show not only took me on that emotional roller coaster ride, but it had made me want to ride it.
I'm thinking about "'night, Mother" because the things that make "The Big Voice" really special are the sort of downer subjects that tend to make you not want to go to theatre. Things like: painful isolated childhoods; desperately trying to find faith in a faith that just isn't working for you; divorce; disease; finding hope; finding your place in the world; finding that what you end up with is better than what you were looking for... Hell, even when these things ARE positive, it doesn't sound like a rollicking good night at the theatre.
But, like a good play, "The Big Voice" makes you want to go on the journey -- reeling you in with wit and laughter;
making light of things that aren't light at all;
and, in some places, just bein' downright goofy and celebratory. Go for the fun; stay for the message.
The show is complete now -- greatly changed from the version I saw (and reviewed) at the Zephyr nearly three years ago. It's hard to put my finger on specific changes (can't seem to find my old program) -- but I'm pretty sure a new song was added to the second act. (And it got the biggest ovation of any song in the show.)
[Note from Steve: She's talking about "How Do You Fall Back In Love?"]
And I can't recall if the, er, bit with the rubber band was in there before. There were a lot of things that may have been small changes, I'm sure, but the biggest one is just that the show is, for lack of a better word, finished. It's somewhat of a heavier show now, but I guess that's what it was always meant to be. It's ready to move on to whatever the future has in store for it.
There's a place in the first act when Jim Brochu talks about the first time he walked across a Broadway stage after an Ethel Merman performance. And he says it was like walking "on hallowed ground." Several people around me laughed. The guy behind me gave off a grunt of recognition. He knows. He's been there. He understands what Brochu is talking about ... and what he and Steve Schalchlin are going for when they're talking -- near reverentially -- about the power of theatre.
And wonderfully, "The Big Voice" has become one of those shows.
In Memory of My Googly Eye.Today's diary entry is a videoblog entitled, "In Memory Of My Googly Eye."
July 22-25, 2005.
Last Weekend in L.A.We had a wonderful last weekend at the Avery Schreiber Theatre in L.A. It was really hot, though. The poor A/C was chugging as hard as it could go to keep the room cool. The feedback was tremendous and we hope to have an announcement about a possible New York off-Broadway production soon. But I don't want to jinx it by talking about it before it's official. I have faith that it's going to happen but nothing is assured in this biz. Just keep your fingers crossed for us.
I shot and edited another videoblog entry on Friday called, "The Apple on the Today Show." It's a fun entry where Jimmy talks about having seen an apple on the Today Show. The file is small so if it doesn't play in your browser, just click on the link below the window where it should appear and it will play on your Windows Media Player.
Healthwise, I've been doing okay. My blood sugar was high during the time I was recovering from my eye surgery, but now I'm back to my regular exercise regimen and the test results are much better. After another week, I'll know more about how well I have them under control. But can I just say right now how much I hate running? I know it's good for me. I know it helps tremendously, but I really, really hate it. There. I said it.
So, not a lot of news. I've been working once again on the score for Big Voice. This is my third pass at it. Each time I do the show, I alter my playing just a bit, simplifying it. Plus, we changed a lot of lyrics that I hadn't yet fixed. So, a lot of my day right now is rather tedious as I work on getting the sheet music up and together.
July 28, 2005.
vlog: Franco Ate The Paperwork.As I was writing up this diary entry, Ned Sykes sent me the cover of the new album I talk about below. What I didn't know was that he was going to use a picture of me from 25 years ago with HUGE hair in the CD cover art. As I post this, I'm still laughing and scandalized all at the same time.
The finished, mixed mp3 of "Franco Ate The Paperwork" has finally arrived and I turned it into a music video featuring the footage I shot in San Francisco and Oakland during the time of our recording, which I wrote about on this page.
You can view it for free at http://www.ourmedia.org/user/23547.
Just scroll down to "video" and you'll see three different sizes. High, Medium and Low. The low one is about 2.5 MB which means about a 15 minutes download on dial-up. I suggest using the link below the little window in your browser once you call up that page.
The video is a faux mash-up. I edited two separate videos, then ran them concurrently so that you see, at the same time, both the session, and Ken McPherson and I, on the way to the session.
The song will be available soon on a compilation album of people who call themselves "Preoccupied Pipers" and the album is a double CD called "The Trout Supershow." Because the song is a disco song, we named our sub-group "Chulhu's Dance Party" as the name of the band playing "Franco Ate The Paperwork."
Information on this CD at http://www.timbertrout.net
© 1996-2005 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.