Cheering is life. And I live it.

I truly don’t think I could have asked for a better experience than the one I just had with CHEER WARS. There’s nothing quite like four years away from a piece to make you fall in love with it all over again, and there was no more wonderful way to get back into it than with the amazing team we had. And I have to name them all:

Director Hunter Foster and MD Vadim Feichtner, our (literally) fearless leaders, gave us the fullest vision of the show we could ever have hoped for in such a short amount of time – and Associate Director Greg Santos deserves a special shout-out for lending us some cheer authenticity in addition to his valuable input and warmth. SM Rebecca McBee and ASM Chris Flores kept us all sane and happy (and kept smiles every time I handed them new pages.)

Then there’s the cast. Oh, the cast. I still feel like I have to pinch myself that I get to work with Annie Golden and Mary Testa – two performers who did the impossible and somehow made me even bigger fans of theirs since I’ve gotten to work with them. And even after spending a week in the room with her, I can’t help but giggle in amazement that I got to work with Sally Struthers and experience her legendary kindness and generosity (and chops) firsthand. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to meet and work with Britney Coleman, Stephanie Hsu, and Michael Dean Morgan for the first time; and I feel extra lucky to have finally gotten to work in this setting with Alyse Alan Louis and Molly Hager (after years of jealously watching them onstage in concerts or in my friends’ shows.) It was beyond wonderful to have Robb Sapp back in the show, seven years after his first go as Randy at NYU, being just as heartwarmingly hilarious now as he was then. I was so happy to get to watch Dana Steingold back in the world of cheer (after coming with me to the worlds of pregnant teens and Anita Bryant over the last few years) as she brought Halle front and center. And, of course, I’m grateful that the streak continued with Amy Linden, who has been involved in more iterations of the show than anyone other than Karlan and me.

Thanks to Jim Morgan, Andrew Levine, Seth Christenfeld, Amber Wallace, and everyone at the York for taking us on.

Until next time!

How lucky am I?

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Today I get to go into a room with these eleven amazing people!  I still can’t quite believe the cast we’ve got for this presentation…  Come on down to the York next week to see Mary Testa, Sally Struthers, Annie Golden, Michael Dean Morgan, Dana Steingold, Alyse Alan Louis, Robb Sapp, Britney Coleman, Molly Hager, Amy Linden, and Stephanie Hsu.  And, while you’re there, pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming…

 

Philly, here I come!

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It’s the first day of rehearsal!

This spring, Julia and I get to head down to Philly on the weekends to work on PIED! at the University of the Arts.  We’ve got a cast of 11 wonderful students working with director Ben Kamine and music director Christopher Tolomeo to bring the show to life.

And, if you’re in the Philly area, check out the Polyphone Festival at the Merriam Theatre in March! We’ll be kicking the festival off with PIED! on Tuesday, March 24 – but that week will also include performances of THE THREEPENNY OPERA, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Cesar Alvarez’s ELEMENTARY SPACETIME SHOW!, and Stew & Heidi Rodewald’s THE TOTAL BENT. 5 shows, 5 days, $5!

More info to come…

CHEER WARS is back, y’all!

On Thursday, February 19 and Friday, February 20, the York Theatre Company will present readings of the show.  Hunter Foster is directing and Vadim Feichtner is back on board as our MD.  Casting and more information will be coming soon.  Be on the lookout!

I’m SO happy to get back to work on this show and Karlan & I can’t wait to share it once again!

That was some good PIED!

tumblr_ngzydq7uqi1sb2xq3o1_1280I had the best time watching a chunk of the show get up on its feet for the first time.  After 5 hours of rehearsal, we presented 15 minutes for an enthusiastic crowd.  Thanks to Portia Krieger and Rich Silverstein for leading the way, along with our wonderful cast – Libby Servais as Anita, Sam Heldt as Tommy, Dana Steingold as Mary Ann Mobley (RIP)/Sandra Bryant/Lisa-the-meanest-girl, Amy Linden as Joanne Lucille “Runner Up” McDonald/Kay/Sharon, and Adam Stasiw as Bert “Emotionally Putting Out a Cigarette” Parks/Dick Clark/Sister Dorothy.

If you don’t know about the Musical Theatre Factory, check them out!  It’s an all-volunteer-run organization that is fully devoted to nurturing new musicals, run by the fearlessly wonderful Shakina Nayfack.  Go see a show there, volunteer to tend bar or usher, or (best of all) give them money!