Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Opening Night and Max Has Done it Again

Tonight is a milestone for me as I will be on stage for my twentieth show at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. About seven years ago my oldest daughter was asked to be in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as one of the schoolchildren. As it turned out, they needed a Jacob. I had done stage before in HS and at the UW, and since I would be taking her to rehearsals anyway I auditioned and got the part. I wish to point out that I was younger than two of my sons in the show, but never mind. That was the start of many shows to follow, thanks of course to the patience of my wife and kids.

Boys From Syracuse, Babes in Arms, Big River, Urinetown, My Fair Lady, Little Shop of Horrors, South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate and more. When the Tacoma Children's Theater was launched I got to be Mr. Toad in Wind in the Willows and most recently was directed by the wonderful Chris Serface in Phantom Tollbooth, I also was the fox in Pinocchio, directed by Maria Valenzuala, which I did with my second oldest daughter. In one show, Radio City Music Halls A Christmas Carol, the entire family was up there including wife and four kids. Thanks for these many opportunities to Jon Douglas Rake who is the Managing Artistic Director for Tacoma Musical Playhouse.

Tonight is opening night for The Producers. Great cast, great show and once again an amazing orchestra led by Jeff Stvrtecky. Written by Mel Brooks and based on the movie of the same name, it is incredibly funny and the songs and dance numbers are all great fun. If you have seen a number of shows at the theater then you will recognize many of the cast.

I don't believe I have ever had more costume changes in a single show before. In the first act alone there are five changes. In the centerpiece of act two there are four changes in ONE number. Peasant, Rolf, Heigh-Low and storm trooper. It was fun to see so many folks supporting us at dress rehearsal and now it is on with the show.

This is definitely not a show for the youth going audience. Thirteen and up please. But then, I don't believe Mel has ever written Children's theater.

"Step One, we find the worst play ever written.
Step Two, we hire the worst director in town.
Step Three, I raise two million dollars...One for me, one for you. There's a lot of little old ladies out there.
Step Four, We hire the worst actors in New York and open on Broadway.
And before you can say Step Five, we close on Broadway, take our two million and go to Rio!"

Frank Kohel
Scott Polovitch-Davis
Chris Serface
Gregory Conn
John Huddlestun
Jenny McMurry
Nelwyn Brady
Susan Sipes
Wendy Cohen
Andrew Fry
Kody Bringman
Carol Richmond
Mark Rake-Marona
Ashley Coates
Hailey Hays
Katin Jacobs-Lake
Christine Riippi

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