Saints, The Musical

Saints, The Musical

Friday, June 26, 2015

STAGE 12: Opening's here already???

Ten days have gone by in the blink of an eye! Adam Ramsey and Rob Ferland, have done wonders technically in a matter or days! Tech Crew of volunteers from Saint Raphael Academy are on board. Everything has miraculously come together and we are ready to perform.

I thought I'd be nervous or concerned, even worried, but I'm not. So many talented people have come together to make this happen and Happen It Will!!! So looking forward to having an audience view this work and finding out how they feel will be a tremendous shot in the arm. This is a Workshop Production where the emphasis has been on the Script, Music and Lyrics. The cast decided to present it with some costuming and set pieces which were borrowed, bought or scrounged up somehow! It looks sensational. Yes, the audience will have to use their imaginations to fill in the blanks but for the most part it feels like a full blown production. I think that what makes this show a good one is the love and respect shown by the cast for one another and a creative team that believed in this project from the word - GO!

I am truly one lucky fella!!! My thanks go out to everyone involved. I know I can't thank you enough nor can I express just in words how much you all mean to me....just know that "I'm Awfully Glad I Met You"!!!

Love to all and to all a GREAT OPENING NIGHT!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stage 11: Dance 10 - Looks GREAT!!! What a CREATIVE TEAM!

Watch your step! Or in this case watch all the steps as the choreography by William 'Bill' Evans is really creative and innovative. He is a master at his craft and we were so lucky to have him on our creative team. When I watch 'My Motorcycle' it seems as if the guys are really on motorcycles. And that's just one number.

The whole world's a stage and there are some really fantastic numbers staged by  Sandy Cerel, Co-Director. In particular, 'I'm a Salesman', where the cast truly thumps bibles in a rock'em sock'em revival-type meeting for perspective salesmen and one saleswoman.

Tow the mark and mark your scripts when Lila Kane our Musical Director expects and receives nothing short of perfection from singers who give their all in every song and dance. Lila's husband, Kevin, has arranged "We're Awfully Glad We Met You", in true barber shop harmony which would make my Uncles and Father, who sang that song beautifully in the 1930's and 1940's, very proud!!

Annie Colannino, Co-Director, holds everything together. There's always one person who seeks no special attention nor desires to be singled out and that's Anne! Working as hard if not harder than everyone else she has managed to get us through the rough times with laughter and always a kind and understanding word. So helpful and creative, she has been teacher, mentor and dear friend for many, many years.

Marianne Douglas, my dearest friend and support, is billed as Assistant to me but she's more than an assistant. She's taught me so very much on how to be happy and to make others around me happy and I am so very grateful to her. Organized, amazingly talented and so beautiful inside and out it amazes me that she gives me so much of her time when she's so busy with so much else going on in her life. I could write a whole musical on all her accomplishments....who knows maybe one day I will!!!

Stage Left: Lights, Camera, Action!!! Technically speaking...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stage 10: Another Opening, Another Show

But it's not another opening of another show! It's the opening of a show that was written for my brother with love and appreciation for all he's done for me and my siblings. It's my attempt to turn his extremely funny novel into a musical. I hope I have done him justice.

On that note (pardon the pun I can't help myself) I've been thinking lately that it may be somewhat intimidating to the cast and the Directors to have the author of the book and the creator of the musical sitting out in the theatre watching them at every rehearsal breathe life into the characters Don and I knew so well.. But they shouldn't worry or be nervous as we are thrilled with the results of the work that these very dedicated actors and directors are achieving. For both of us it's an exhilarating  experience seeing it all come to life through the talents of this cast and crew.

It's getting so close to opening night. These last two weeks will be exciting and arduous but also a lot of fun. This show is really a lot of fun. I am so interested in seeing an audience react to what we are all creating. For those of you old enough to remember, or for those of you who watch old TCM's the closest thing to a Mickey and Judy movie ( if you don't get the reference ask your mom or dad or grandma or grandpa) I'll ever experience!  They would write a musical, get a cast of talented young people, find a barn and put on a show that when performed was a sensation and it was all supposed to be done without any money or support whatsoever....except they had MGM studios to make it look like a huge Broadway success!!! We don't have MGM but we have a terrific show.

Come see what we've done. You, the audience, are all we need in two weeks time.

Stage Left: "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

STAGE 9: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Not sure who said it nor whether or not I'm quoting it correctly but - 'If you hire the right cast then half your work is done for you!"  We have hired the right cast!! I have never worked with a more giving, hard working and truly beautiful group of talented professionals.

The rehearsals can be long and tiring but everyone of us looks forward to them. The cast has made the show better every time we get together. The script is tighter, the songs are enhanced with nuances only truly gifted performers could bring to them, the dance by William Evans and Sandy Boyer is so thrilling and exciting and the accompaniment by Lila Kane is flawless.

Being a new work no one really knew what to expect. Our Co-Directors, Anne Colannino and Sandy Cerel, have dedicated hours upon hours of preparation to make sure that rehearsals go smoothly and as quickly as possible for all involved. Cast members are on time and ready to  work with an attitude that 'this is really fun!'

Once in a great while magic happens onstage and if our rehearsals are any indication of that then we have cornered the MAGIC Market!

I know, I're thinking of course he's going to say good things about the show...after all he wrote it....but let me tell you I didn't know just how amazing it could become until the rehearsal process began. Sometimes, if you're lucky, a cast comes together and becomes a family. We are a family. Everyone doing their part to make things be the best that they can be, sharing ideas and talents, helping one another with intricate and difficult dance routines, making the whole process be fun. Yes, rehearsing can be fun!  Who knew?

Please come see our show. You'll be treated to an evening of joyous entertainment and before you leave us you'll be part of our family too!

STAGE LEFT:  Getting awfully close to OPENING NIGHT!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stage 8: A live audience makes all the difference in the world!

We hope to professionally tape the performances and create a demo tape that we can shop around to places that produce musicals. One of the most important parts of this equation is, of course, the audience. The reactions of the audience are tantamount to the success of this workshop production. They will be the judges as to where there might be some weak spots that need strengthening and also whether or not the show should even continue on.

So far everyone I have played the score for has really liked what they've heard but surprisingly almost each and everyone has a different favorite song. Is this a good thing? That's one of the things we'll find out in June. I am sure that audience feedback will make a big difference for our very talented cast members.  They are so dedicated to this production which makes me hope that maybe...just maybe...this show has what it takes to become something truly entertaining and enlightening.  We shall see.....

Please join us on Friday, June 26th at 7:30 pm, Saturday, June 27th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, June 28th at 5:00 pm at Saint Raphael Academy, Pawtucket, RI. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at :

Stage Left: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practise, practise,practise....How do you get to Broadway?  Rehears, rehearse, rehearse...the process will be explored!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stage 7: To Thine Own Self Be True - applies to lyrics too!!!

So, if the characters ring true, is it because they stay true to themselves not only in dialogue and actions but in what they sing too? Absolutely!  A lyric must reflect the personality, style and type that has been established initially by the character. Book, Music & Lyrics must meld together and make perfect sense to the audience. The plot develops and the story line moves along through the actions of the characters, so what they say, do and sing are very important.

As luck would have it, the cast members for SAINTS the Musical are phenomenal. They sing, dance and act bringing the characters to life with amazing accuracy and authenticity. I never realized how much fun rehearsals could be until I watched William Evans, Lila Kane, Anne Colannino and Sandy Cerel being to life, before my very eyes, the characters in Don's book and our musical.

Time is growing short and before we know it our Workshop Production will be on the boards! We have only three performances: Friday, June 26th at 7:30 pm. Saturday, June 27th at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 28th at 5:00 pm. All performances will be at Saint Raphael's Academy in Pawtucket, RI which is the location for Don's book and, of course, our musical. The excitement is mounting with each and every rehearsal. The only missing element is YOU! Please come and see what these fantastically talented people have created. An evening of pure FUN is awaiting you!

Stage Left:  How do YOU, as an audience member, fit into the making of SAINTS the Musical?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Stage 6: Do your characters ring true?

If ever there were characters in a book, the characters in 'Friends Are Thicker Than Water', are definitely 'characters'. They all truly did exist and Don wrote them with all their glorified, humorous and endearing foibles and characteristics.

Having such well defined and funny characters to work with made creating this musical comedy a true joy. Don't get me wrong, I did question Don on some things I felt needed explaining; such as, some of the names of the characters which I felt just couldn't be real, some of the situations that occurred which led to such outrageously funny events plus the innocence and naivete of some characters. I felt that these things just had to be contrived and created in his imagination, All,however,  were admonished by Don as being totally accurate. To Don's credit, our brother, Marty, who was involved in much of the books adventures corroborated the fact that these characters and situations were in fact real and accurate. I was only seven at the time and was usually not privy to the goings on of my older brothers, but, yes, many things and characters I do remember and Don did do them justice.

Now I had to replicate theses characters in SAINTS the Musical as well as Don had done in his book! Keeping the humor from becoming slapstick was at times challenging.  But the humor comes from the situations and the characters reactions to the situations. There's no laugh track in live theatre so the audience has to experience the comedy as it unfolds before them and be tickled by what they see and hear on their own. What was funny when read can become hilarious with talented actors adding their own adept interpretations into the fray and hearing an audience laugh at what you had hoped they would find funny is extremely rewarding!

I can only hope I have done these wonderful characters justice. We shall see!

Stage Left: The Do-Re-Mi and ABC of the Music & Lyrics!