Monthly Archives: May 2012

Backstage Book Club

Well, it’s here: the final weekend of Pride and Prejudice. If you’ve seen the play, or even seen it many times, you’ve laughed and cried along with all of us as we’ve brought Jane Austen’s story to life. Those who have been waiting for closing weekend are in for a real treat! We have a very full cast as we’re welcoming Nick back for our final two shows. That means you should get ready to fight for front row seats because no one wants to miss being serenaded by our lovely crooners.

Speaking of a full cast, it’s a wonder we can all fit backstage! Here’s an exclusive peek at the backstage world of Pride and Prejudice:

First, we concentrate on what’s important for the show. We set props, get ready for our scene changes, check our posted schedule, and double-check with our scene-change partners. We listen for prompts and cue from Steven in the the sound and light booth via intercom. There are leisurely costume changes, extremely quick costume changes, and make-up and hair re-touching (the boys keep their hair slicked down with pomade, and claim to be Dapper Dan men). If we have a moment to spare we help zip each other into or out of dresses or make sure suit collars are nice and straight – everyone needs help with their costumes at some point!

Barry, Scott, Terry, and Nick rehearse one of many scene changes.

If we’re not immediately needed on- or off-stage, we take a moment in the theater’s tiny kitchen to sit down, listen (and laugh) at the sound feed, read, study, snack, chat or just breathe. When we’re all packed into that tiny space we sometimes start to get a bit silly, leading to such backstage events as:

San Leandro Glee Club: There’s lots of music in our show, and we all like to sing along. So it’s no surprise that when everyone kept getting Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know” stuck in their heads, we gave in and started singing. Barry (Mr. Bingley) even suggested a mash-up: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody that I Used to Know!” Rachel and Taylor (Kitty and Lydia) have even been coming up with a “Kittya” rap!

Amateur Theatrics: We’ve done/seen the show so many times now that we all know each other’s scenes very well, especially the most memorable ones (Lady Catherine’s scenes are big hits with us). Sometimes we even act out over-the-top versions of our favorite lines, such as everything Lady Catherine says and, for some reason, every time Charlotte mentions lemonade. (Apparently there’s now a entire dance number around my lemonade line. Our glee club is going to have to have it’s own performance.)

Danielle Gray (Caroline Bingley), Sarah Asarnow (Charlottoe Lucas), and Julio Oyola (Mr. Collins).

Backstage Book Club: After Danielle (Caroline Bingley), Julio (Mr. Collins) and I (Charlotte) realized we’d be offstage for much of Act II, the Backstage Bookclub was born! Our book of choice was “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins (perhaps a distant descendant?). Now that we’re done with the first book (and eagerly waiting to start the second) we plan to spend our last two meetings in discussion, just like any good book club!

This cast loves each other! Terry and Alex during one of our many after rehearsal excursions to The Englander.

Finally, we spend as much time as we can enjoying each other’s company. We’ve all become very close in the past few months working on our show, and it’s important to make the most *sniffle* of the last of our time together, backstage, putting on a play that makes us all unbelievably proud. I am so grateful to have been a part of this production, to have spent this time with such an incredible group of people. I know our last two shows are going to be the best we’ve ever done, and I am so excited to help make that happen. As long as I can get through that lemonade line, now that I know what’s going on backstage.

— Sarah Asarnow (Charlotte Lucas)

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Lifting a Car While Cooking Dinner

Ulises studies his script during this week’s brush-up rehearsal.

I have been waiting for this moment. I wanted to speed up time to get to this weekend. This will be the first (and final) weekend that our entire cast performs together.

As the cast likes to say, “When Daddy doesn’t deliver, the Mailman does.”

Due to scheduling conflicts, I’ve been sharing my roles with Nick. He was there the first two weeks, I was there the second two weeks, and now we’ll both be performing this week. I wish I could have been there on opening night to see the whole performance, but now even better, I get to live the show with everyone. We’ve enjoyed great audiences throughout the run of this show, and even though this is our last weekend, I still get a little nervous before going on stage. But, as with many actors, I love to use that “nervousness” and channel it into adrenaline. And all this waiting has me feeling like I could lift a car while I cook myself dinner. I just need to get on stage and share that wonderful stage with my cast mates. The show has evolved over the past month, and it almost feels like a whole new play!

Ulises Toledo stands in for Mary while Nick Kempen plays the Mailman (a role they share).

I hope you enjoy the show, because if the audience enjoys it, I enjoy it 5 times more.

I am READY!

Are you?

Well… you better be! Watch this classic novel live on stage.

P.S. The music is great, especially the singing. (Whoops…I hope I didn’t give away too much information!)

 

— Ulises Toledo (William, Uncle Gardiner, and the Mailman on Saturday, May 12th and Captain Denny and Mr. Reynolds on Sunday, May 13th)

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Filed under From the Cast, Ulises Toledo