Journey to Hometown, Part 13
It feels like I've written more about Hometown...The Musical! than any other subject. In addition to this blog series, I have written articles, newsletter stories and myriad other things about this adventure.
"Don't you run out of things to write about?" asked one person. The answer is delightfully no. There are so many layers, story lines, personalities, theatrical complexities running through this experience that pulling out something of interest to write about is as easy as breathing.
I missed the stumble through on Thursday night, a first stab at trying to put all the pieces together and crash through the musical from beginning to end. My focus was on emceeing the Mayor and Council's Toast of Champions banquet, the end result of our re-imagined Civic Recognition Program. I had been working closely with our awesome staff at the Municipality to make this celebration sizzle, and it absolutely did.
Several Hometown cast members were in the room, including Sonia Burke-Smith, who among 19 nominees, was selected as one of 8 Champions celebrated this year. Hers is an incredible story, of survival, of finding her gift and pursuing her creative passion. Reinalie Jorolan nominated Sister So and eloquently shared why in this beautiful video piece that was unveiled to a full room of over two hundred guests, including Mayor and Council.
You can watch the webcast of the event here.
"We sure missed you last night," said Jack Bartlett, the young fellow playing my grandson in the show.
I've worked with a lot of young performers over the years, and I can confidently say that young Jack and Natalie Farahani are among the most natural, engaged, respectful and talented. They are an integral part of my onstage family and when one isn't there - like Natalie last night, delayed by another commitment - it just doesn't feel right. So, I appreciate their forbearance in allowing me to miss last night's entire rehearsal and thank my friend Francis Menningke for stepping in on my behalf.
I'm still finding it incredibly difficult to sing and squirm myself through the choreography at the same time. But, I'm not giving up. I'll keep working at it, moving the steps, turns, and jazz hands from my head to my heart.
"I'm so glad that you're in front of me," I said to Dustin Young last night, a fellow alum of The Farnsworth Invention, and a talented actor, singer and dancer who seems to go through the choreography effortlessly. I'm envious and watching ever so closely.
Thanks to technology, we are able to go to a private Facebook group to watch videos of the various segments on our own time and in the comfort of our own domains. I love discovering new utilitarian uses for social media and this is a great one, as it gives instant access to the ensemble of over 100 people without having to send a singe email. I think that's cool.
While we focus on our transitions and cues this weekend, work continues behind the scenes to coordinate a vast number of costumes, complete video filming and editing for multi-media segments that will be featured throughout Hometown, and put the finishing touches on myriad details that will "lift the painting off the canvas" as they say in the art world.
Do you have your tickets yet? There are seats left for every performance, but a number of them are beginning to dwindle in supply as opening night approaches, especially the Friday and Saturday evening shows. We also have an entire performance on January 20th that is sold out, purchased in its entirety by a local company as a customer appreciation event.