First of all, April was filled with rehearsals for the new musical "Eastland," written by Andy White. We workshopped the show for a couple weeks and it was such a fantastic experience. The locations alone were so much fun. We started out in Lookingglass' rehearsal space high up in the Hancock building, and then moved to the Pritzker Stage in Millennium Park. (Plus there was a pit stop at the Intercontinental Hotel to sing at the Lookingglass gala. Not too shabby.) The material was emotional and moving. Workshopping a show is great because you can feel like you are contributing (in some small way) to the progress of the show. Each day we'd get changes in the script and music which would continue to shape the show. We performed three nights in the park to very responsive audiences. In fact, real life family members of some of our characters, as well as the authors of the Eastland books came out to see us. The full production of Eastland will be at Lookingglass next spring, and I can't wait to see how the show develops.
I also took a short trip to NYC to see the opening of People in the Picture on Broadway. My little sister is the wig supervisor and took me as her date. The show isn't getting as much attention as some of the other shows on Broadway right now (*cough cough Spiderman*) but it really was a gem of a show. There are some songs that are really powerful. And Donna Murphy gives a Tony-worthy performance. I got to meet Chip Zien (the original Baker from Into the Woods) as well as Paul Huntley (one of the two major wig designers working on Broadway). The reception party was at the Marriott Marquis and was filled with odd food and awkward people standing around. The usual. But I still love openings. (Although I miss the opening parties at Tavern on the Green when we could pose with the "bangle" tiger and the 47 chandeliers.) And it is always fun to see my sister and the hair crew.
Some of you might know that I also work as a bridal designer, and this season has been crazy! I had to pull three all-nighters last week to keep up with wedding deadlines. Luckily I had a Vegas vacation planned for the weekend, so I got to relax for a few days before I jumped right back into work. As I write this I am covered in alencon lace bits and threads. Since I didn't have a show lined up for this season, I took on a lot of design clients. A lot. I'm going to be working 14 hour days every day for... well... until July. With small breaks to see some shows and maybe take a shower once and while. This will be a record wedding season.
Then in July I'll be starting rehearsals for one of my favorite. shows. ever. Sweeeeeeeeney! I'm so excited about it I get a little sick to my stomach when I think about it. I will be playing Johanna. A crazy shut-in with a yearning for romance and a tendency to sing to animals? Right up my alley. I am so happy I will be back at Drury Lane. It is a bit unbelievable. In fact, I keep waiting for someone to call and tell me they made a mistake and that I wasn't supposed to be cast in the show. But it is too late now. I'm showing up for rehearsals no matter what. They can't get rid of me now!
And now I just have to figure out when I can see all the shows I want to see! I'm going to see my gal Megan Long in Always, Patsy Cline tomorrow at Fox Valley Rep, and then I'm seeing White Noise with my gal Anna Hammonds on Sunday. Seeing shows will be my sanity breaks between sewing marathons. Let me know if there is a show I definitely shouldn't miss! Alright... It is 2 AM and I have to get back to work!