Peter's Comic Book Ramblings

Monday, October 30, 2006


Week two of 42nd Street ended on Sunday night - the show is basically all blocked and choreographed and we had our first "walk-thru". It's rough in many places but we have until Nov.7th - the first official Preview - to clean it all up while adding costumes, lights, costume changes, etc. We get onstage this Wednesday which will be the first of many adjustments.

The cast is solid but at the moment, the little things that make 42nd Street 42nd Street are missing. Some of these moments will find themselves as we keep connecting for sure. Others may never appear. I've done the show twice - and have "lived" with the show when the ex went on tour in 2002-2003 and then onto Broadway from 2003-2004. I then choreographed the show in the summer of 2005. So I see unfinished moments or beats and choreography that just doesn't seem to fit. It'll still be a good show - because the cast is strong - and the audience may not notice anything. But diehard musical lovers will. But I'm still having fun and I love being back in Philly.

I don't have a computer with me in Philly so my updates will be scarce. And, I'm currently on my Monday day off back in Reading, to find that my home computer has been obliterated by careless family members and Best Buy can't process a financial plan from my crazy credit.

Oh joy.

So if I seem hard to get or if I seem like I've vanished - just now I'm busy rehearsing or watching TV like a zombie or I'm soaking in epsom salts or sleeping like a bear during winter.


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Monday, October 23, 2006


One week done. Man does Tuesday - the first day we rehearsed - seem so long ago. We ran over most of Act One today skipping parts here and there. It went fairly well. There are a few parts that stray too far from the traditional I'm finding. Not that it needs to be staged the same way as previous versions, but there are certain nuances and styles that should play in the same world. I'm sure it'll all smooth out eventually.

The ensemble had a great moment of togetherness today. We were asked to audition for the opening lines of the whole show. "Julian Marsh is doing a show!" "Jobs!" etc etc. We made it into this little spoof on auditioning and laughed and cheered for the people who finally got the lines. Much fun.

I also hit South St. today. Basically down to the comic shop and for some pizza. And Tower is going out of business! It'll be gone by December. Yikes.

So looking forward to my day off tomorrow. I need to pack and move in to the hotel tomorrow night. I'm bringing a short box of comics to take with me so I can read read read. Yay!

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Saturday, October 21, 2006


We continue along - learning the "Dames" number and the chorus opener for the second act. Fairly easy stuff. The guys really aren't the focus of this show at all I'm coming to realize. Even when I choreographed it last summer, I never noticed how in and out the guys are in some numbers. But that's okay - the costume changes will make up for it.

I saw Walnut St.'s Windy City last night. What a strange strange play - it's just dying for a rewrite and for someone to nail down somekind of consistant style. The performers were excellent - and it's great to see live theatre again - but damn, that musical was confusing.

I ran into a friend on the street today - clearly out of the blue. That's the second random person I've seen in two days that I know from my Philly years. The first one yesterday, I haven't seen in 10 years. The one from today, who's doing Opera work, I last saw about 2 years back. Very cool.

About the greatest thing today was once again scarfing down a Philly cheesesteak. Yum.

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We continue to learn more and more dances - "Money", "Habit", "Getting Out of Town" etc. Starting to learn a bit more about my castmates - people that we know, other jobs, etc. Nothing major or new to announce. The way the director/choreographer go against tradition for a few 42nd Street "staples" is good for the show but it's tough to shake some of that from what my body/mind wants to do. The tapping continues to be challenge and I'm pretty sure our Opening Number is one of the hardest versions I've done. It's not exactly the way I would do it, but I like the change.

And man oh man is it great to just walk around Philly again. I've missed it.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


No tapping today. Boo. But we did the "Habit" number which is always light and fun. My partner for the first part of the dance is a trip. We swear we know each other from somewhere but we haven't nailed down the specifics just yet. Otherwise, we just did music and had some stretches where we just sat.

I found out yesterday that Philly is now smoke free which is just great. I ate at one of my favorite diners this morning and didn't have to worry about smelling like smoke the rest of the day.

Walnut St. is doing "Windy City" at the moment. I bought this CD years ago and gave it one listen. It didn't grab me at all at the time so I'm looking forward to seeing it onstage.

And I'll be living in Philly starting on Monday. Yay!

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I love the Walnut Street Theatre. They welcome each new cast by bringing in almost the entire Walnut Street managing/creative/advertisting/etc. staff. And stuffed us with bagels and fruit and pies and all kinds of goodies. The cast is small for 42nd Street. This will be the third time I've performed in this musical, and the fourth I've been involved with (I co-choreographed a version last summer). Of course this show has been a part of my life since 2002 when the ex was on that Nat'l Tour and, later, on Broadway for the remainder of the run.

I know quite a few people in the cast already. Kevin Dietzler from Upper Darby Summerstage in his first professional job, Brandon Rubendall who took lessons with my younger sister Alli, a girl from my first Walnut St. job Singin' in the Rain, another girl who's sortof from the Reading area, and other people that I've done other types of gigs with. It makes me less nervous, and more relaxed and more at home in a sense. Sometimes going into a show cold can be daunting. It's not hard to make friends in the theatre business, but you can also feel like an outsider at times.

Another interesting thing is that the director, the choreographer and the music director have NEVER worked on 42nd Street ever before. That's amazing. And it excites me as well - it means we'll get some new fresh eyes and ideas. We learned the Opening number today and, although it may start "traditionally", it moves to so many other areas - some influenced by the old black and white movie, and others from Mary Jane's experience. It's major fun.

And I have another big announcement - big to me anyway - that I'll talk about once everything is solidified.

All in all - I'm looking forward to a great run.

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Friday, October 13, 2006


"Get out your Tap Shoes...!"

Rehearsals for 42nd Street at the Walnut Street Theatre starts in four days.

Four days.

I'm excited and nervous and just so happy to be working there again. I know about 6 people in the show already - which is comforting. Plus the director and choreographer are the same from when I was in "Singin' in the Rain". So I'll feel relatively relaxed going in.

Mostly it'll feel good to get back on stage. To reassess some things I've been thinking about lately concerning theatre, my abilities, etc. It's been awhile since I've performed in a show - after that it was all staff positions, mostly as choreographer. It's always good to practice what you preach yes?

The convention season is over now, so this is a welcome change of pace. Plus, it'll fire me up for next year's convention season starting at the NY Comic Con.

Info can be found here if anyone's actually interested.

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