Tag Archive: musicals

Original Avenue Q cast on Regis and Cathy Lee perform “…Back to College”

Why yes, I’m stuck on a Muscial.

As a director you pick things apart. In a strange way it’s almost like trying to craft the perfect ceremonial ritual. Making sure that every word and phrase is intentional. Finding new life every time you look at a script.

There are times that I wish I had a far better instrument to work with. I consider myself a passable singer, adequate drummer, and overacting ham on stage. I love to be out there, I love to sing along to musicals, and give me a drum circle any night.

But I will honestly not feel like any great shakes out there.

The reason I feel this way is because I have faith in my senses. I often feel that I can spot talent a mile off. One of my dearest and closest friends in college I picked out of a ‘group of extras’ in a children’s production while doing promotional work. She pulled my focus the first time I saw her and she became one of the more memorable actresses the department ever had.

I can see it, I can feel it, and 9 times out of 8 I can pull it out of a performer.

My current obsession (which is now going on several months) is RENT. It amuses me how many people I know who don’t get this show. I’ve heard complaints that too many people are sick in the film. I’ve heard complaints that there’s no compassion for people not willing to pay rent. I just shake my head.

If only this were in open domain I’d snap it up for a production in Seattle. Probably do it solely to raise money for AIDS awareness or SPCC.

So much of my life (as previously mentioned) has mirrored aspects of that show. Even today… there are glimpses.

It is amazing to consider that I am so different from the person I was at 19…. and yet.. so much the core of who I am.

It has been a very long day. I have seen many people audition for a show today. I think I have my choices; but I am only one voice. We shall see how that plays out over time.

“I hear you, I see you, I see it… my film”

ask me about my prequel.

Okay. Sleep now. There is more in my head to put to journal soon.

So… A note.

It has been well over 15 years since I’ve been to New York City. I actually have tonnes of relatives all over 3 of the 5 boroughs. I even have an ol’ college buddy who lives on ‘Da Island.” Not to mention… it’s been over 25 years since I’ve seen a show on Broadway. Hmmn. Some theatre geek I am?

But.. it’s been 15 years. Interestingly my sense of direction kicked in after the jet lag wore off. I remembered how the subways work. I remembered how the city worked.

We went to see if we could get lottery tickets to see Rent. It was decided awhile back that Rent should not be a musical that poorer folks were deprived from seeing. So, the decision was made to take the center section, first two rows and make $20 first come first served seats out of them. People began camping out overnight at the theatre to get the tickets.

Local ordinances and safety eventually prevailed. There’s no longer camping out for the seats. But they now hold a lottery. 2 1/2 hours before a show they have a real-live new yorker (To the point of babbling to people in mixed English/Italian) sitting at a table with blank index cards. You put down your name and then tell them one or two tickets. 2 rows, 17 seats each. 34 tickets

So we both wrote down our names and that we wanted 2 tix. We wandered off to a nearby comic store which had an UNBELIEVABLE amount of grey market video. We only had 30 minutes because at 2 hours before the show they call names. So, they lined us up in front of the theatre. It was very Chorus line, Rent (stage) 2nd act opening.

They called a name and a girl squeaked happily and lined up. Then another name and another person. The third person was of… undetermined gender, but friendly. 4 more names… 7 more names. The person said (my friends already in line… I don’t need ’em), 9… There were only about 40 people standing around and I was doing poker odds. They hit 15 and it wasn’t looking good.

The third person on line looked at us. Do you want our extra pair? It turns out, that while most people forfeit their extras once they have a pair of seats, this person decided to be a true good samaritan. When the two of them both win, they claim all 4 seats and then look for the two people who look like they really wanted to get in and pass them (for cost $20 each). Which in New York absolutely blew my mind.

So… Rent!!!! (Spoilers and personal stuff)

I don’t like to brag. All through high school, I discovered that when ever I bragged about something I’d either lose that something or something bad would happen.

That being said, here’s some good things that have happened:

  • I snagged opening night tickets (orchestra, even) for Avenue Q in Las Vegas.
  • I won my unemployment appeal and have now been getting back unemployment
  • My poker game online keeps improving.

Concerning that last one… I’ve been playing “Sit and Go” tournaments.

Basically 10 people sit down at a table, everyone throws in their X (+ 10%X), they play until only one person has all the chips. For 10 players the standard pay-outs are:

  1. 50% 10*x
  2. 30% 10*x
  3. 20% 10*x

I’d been playing $5. What this would mean is that there’d be $50 in the prize pool and the last three places would win: $10, $15, and $25.

A couple of days ago, I tried a $30 game. The prizes were (as one would imagine):
$60, $90, and $150

Needless to say, when I won the last hand, I was blown away.

This link leads to my happy proof of victory

Do I up it more?

I got a couple of posts in the comment area and a few IM’s so I figured I should bring this into its own post rather than a comment.

The first DVD and what happened:

The original issue of the DVD has rescued footage of an ending that would have followed the original film and the broadway show.

As originally filmed.
The plant kills Audrey. She does the reprise of “Somewhere that’s Green” there is a very spiritual scene with Seymour feeding Audry to the plant. He tries to commit suicide on the roof. Then makes a failed attempt to kill the plant and is eaten. “You ate the only thing I ever loved”

The DVD shows “Don’t feed the plants” with a load of rough scenes of the plants taking over the world. The smiling plant is seen in a toy store.

Test audiences (used to Hollywood endings) couldn’t deal with the B-Movie Horror ending. Despite the filming being finished, Geffen ordered Oz to rehire the cast and crew to reshoot the ending (under much vehement disagreement from Oz).

You can tell where the cut occurs if you watch the final release carefully. A munched Audrey is pulled to the back of the store. Seymour bends over her and worriedly calls to her, “Audrey, Audrey?” There is a strange edit between these “Audrey’s.” This is the case because several months elapsed between Moranis saying these two words.

Oz was never happy about this change. (As a director I can sympathise with the order, “Change the ending of your movie. I don’t like how the story ends”) He has running commentary throughout the ‘rescued’ footage. His tone and comments make it clear that he’s not happy.

It turned out that Geffen may have perceived the release of this footage was to challenge his decision. Geffen was reported to have the attitude that ‘This is the way the film was released, this is what the audiences should see.’ So the discs were yanked and destroyed within days of the 1998 issue.

Now, I haven’t seen the 2000 issue. I don’t know if the disc is the same disc that has simply been re-mastered. It could be that Geffen has acquiesced as the proof is public. The new disc may be missing the old footage and simply be a standard DVD release. If anyone has the 2000 issue of the DVD (check the ISBN number as per my previous post) I’d love to compare. (Granted, I could just plunk $10 on the disc…)

Regardless, there are differences between the 1998 issue and the 2000 issue. In 1999 (when I tracked down my copy) it was rare. It was a disc that had circulation only in the numbers purchased. This disc will be a long range collectable now.

Here I will talk about personal theories on how collectibles work. Please note, my numbers are illustrative estimates and not in any way related to hard data except where stated. The industry of collectibles is (like the stock market) a field that has so many variables that a crystal ball or monkey with a dart may be just as effective.

A closer analysis of collectables