Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Adding Machine: A Musical - post mortem
Adding Machine: A Musical closed this past Sunday night at The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. This show was such a labor of love for all involved, and I am so proud to have been a part of it.
The entire experience has been such a creative playground, and such a classroom for me. Seldom does an actor, especially in musical theatre, get to delve into such a deep, rich and twisted character. And to be directed by one of the creators of the piece was also very rewarding and insightful. Jason Loewith( our director, and co-author of the piece) was so fantastic to work with in this process, and knew exactly how to create these monstrous characters while keeping them human and real.
This being the first time that I have worked at Studio Theatre, I was a bit nervous and feeling like a kid transferring to a new school mid-semester. These fears were quickly put to bed when upon the first rehearsal, Joy Zinoman hugged me fiercely and whispered into my ear that she was so happy to finally have me in her theatre. Little gestures like this go such a long way to make a newcomer feel at ease in a new environment. The staff and creative team did their best to make us feel welcomed and supported. I had such a fantastic time working there, and hope that this was only the first of many adventures there to come.
Whatever cast that you belong to in any given show becomes your extended family for whatever period that you spend with them. This family was a hilarious bunch of kooks, just like me, so I felt right at home. Along with spending time with some wonderful actors that I have worked with in the past, I met several new faces that will remain in my life from now on. (To name the names, Katie Nigsch-Fairfax and David Benoit, our Mr. Zero.)
What to say about David? He is a force of nature. I watched his "Zero's Confession" every single night, and I never once failed to be in utter awe of the entire performance/song/total package. This song truly is the male "Rose's Turn". Such a bombshell of a song. And the performance that he gave was nothing short of remarkable. Watching him self destruct and explode and then be reduced to a sobbing pathetic mess was breath taking. Adding Machine was, of course, not your typical musical. Both David and I had songs in which we both basically had total mental breakdowns set to music.
Also, in saying this, I would be remiss if I did not mention how in awe of the actors that made up the Quartet I was. Katie Nigsch-Fairfax, Channez McQuay, Joe Peck, and Thomas Adrian Simpson were a four person machine. They functioned as one, and were impeccable. I would never want to be in the position that they were with all of their difficult harmonies and all of those numbers...imagine - try memorizing all of the random numbers that they sing throughout the show. It is damn near impossible. They had a very taxing rehearsal process that was very hard on them, but the results were more than worth the toil. Not many of the reviews spent much time (as per usual)talking about the ensemble of the show in depth. Our quartet were damn near the best thing in the show, and gave a foundation to the whole shebang. Without them, there was no show. My love and respect go to every one of them. I had it much easier than any of them.
This show is also the last full staged show that I will be doing in the foreseeable future, so as the lights dimmed on Sunday night, my heart felt a sad pang. I know I will miss it so much. But till I get hired again for a show, I will not be on a stage for quite awhile (at least the rest of this theatrical season). This closing was very bitter/sweet. But, time off will only make me love and appreciate my craft more. I know this.
In the final analysis, Adding Machine was one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am so blessed to have been a part of it. I thank everyone who came to support it, and Studio Theatre for the wonderful experience that it was. I thank the cast and crew for their amazing work. I thank Jason Loewith and Josh Schmidt for creating such a fun house for an actor to run through and play.
Here is a video that features our music director, Christopher Youstra discussing his excitement about starting the rehearsal process.