Friday, February 01, 2008

A Fantastic 24-Hour Whirlwind

The goal was to document, journal-style, the world premiere 24 Hour Musicals at Joe's Pub.

Sunday, January 20, 6:34AM:
New York's 37F weather will be a warm welcome to Chicago's -9F slap in the face.

Unfortunately, this was the only journal entry from my recent trip to New York City. What little time I had allowed for this measly entry about the weather.
The weather?
I hate small talk.
What I do love is semi-gossipy large talk, so here I go!

Pictured above are Lileana, Meredith, Ari, & me, the eXchange/Orchard Project crew, who planned & executed the event. Needless to say, those glasses of wine were warmly welcomed & sleepily, yet speedily, sipped.

These shots feature the terribly kind, startling handsome, AND incredibly talented Gavin Creel throughout his 24 hours. Top we see him with Steven Pasquale (The Light in the Piazza) & Celia Keenan-Bolger (...Spelling Bee) braving the chilly weather to cross Lafayette Street to reach our rehearsal space at 440 Studios. Under that is him & Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) dueting on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," their audition song, as Michael Longoria (Jersey Boys) looks on. The auditions were one of the best moments of the event. They were soon after we all met, so it was really a chill time to wow a crowd of their peers...& giddy fans. All the stars sang "8 bars" to "audition" their voices. Here's what I can remember:

Brooks Ashmanskas sang a jazzy New York love song; Michael Longoria "Runaround Sue"; Steve Pasquale "Over the Rainbow" as Mandy Patinkin; Jesse Tyler Ferguson "Corner of the Sky" as the Jackson 5; Victoria Clark sang a lovely folk song; Denis O'Hare "Danny Boy" as his 12-year-old self who never really knew all the lyrics ("Oh, Danny Boy / Oh, Danny Danny Boy-oy-oy"); Tracie Thoms requested not to sing high Cs or gospel numbers because she was the "token Black chick"; Mo Rocca sang a famous, yet forgotten, ditty in falsetto-y Spanish; Nellie McKay showcased her Bob Dylan impression; Kerry Butler "I Will Survive" with disco grooves; Celia Keenan-Bolger "Johnny One Note"; Ashlie Atkins "Movin' On Up"; Cheyenne Jackson sang a number from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with originally choreography from his Equity card-earning production AND accompanying Alaskan hat.

I love the above two shots because they accurately represent the writers' & directors' mentalities surrounding the event. At left is Jonnie Butterel (Nine, Fiddler on the Roof) reading through the 4 new scripts, deciding which he'd like to direct. Right is David Yazbeck (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) after a long night of composing three new songs & figuring out a rhyme for "vagina."

Finally, just to prove my involvement ('cause frankly, I nearly forget I was even there), if you squint & look over Vicki Clark's Left shoulder, you can see that yes, I was part of this stressful, successful, & near monumental event.

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