This is really not Day 1 because most of our cast has already done the workshop of the show seven months ago, but it is in many other ways Day 1, because of what was learned by doing the workshop and all the ideas that we will begin to try out starting from today … that is, of course, after we learn the vocabulary of the choreography. Did I tell you it was Hip Hop? Oh yes, physical movements alien to the bodies of most of our cast. Speaking of the cast, allow me to introduce some of my exceptional colleagues …
Meet Lillias White …
Meet Kay Walbye
Meet Madeleine Doherty
Meet Lenora Nemetz
Meet Lori Tan Chinn
Meet Diane Findlay
If you look up these remarkably talented people you will realize that on the stage at all times will be several hundred years of experience singing and dancing their hearts out for you.
Gotta go, Gotta Dance.
In the spirit of … “Be careful what you wish for it may come true” … I am venturing forth into the … for me … as yet untested waters of joining the cast of an original, big budget, blockbuster Broadway musical and blogging about the experience … Is that too many Bs”?
I began my career as a dancer who could sing, then I transitioned into an actor who did neither, followed by quite a few musical productions where I sang and did not dance, finally coming full circle in the springtime of my senility to a full blown singing and dancing part in a musical based on a true story which I think of as “The Golden Girls meets a Chorus Line!” The show is called “GOTTA DANCE” and it’s the story of a seniors’ dance team conscripted to perform in a half time show at a basketball game played by the New Jersey Nets, as depicted in a documentary called “GOTTA DANCE” filmed and produced by Dori Berinstein who is the driving force and lead producer behind bringing this story to the musical stage on Broadway.
Dori managed to galvanize an amazing team in order to realize her dream; Jerry Mitchell, one of the hottest directors / choreographers in musical theatre today (“KINKY BOOTS” and “LEGALLY BLONDE”); Nick Kenkel our co-choreographer (“PEEP SHOW” and “BROADWAY BARES”); Bob Martin, co-book writer (“DROWSY CHAPERONE”); Chad Beguelin, co-book writer (“ALADDIN” and “ELF”); Nell Benjamin, lyricist (“LEGALLY BLONDE”); Charlie Alterman, music director (“PIPPIN” and “NEXT TO NORMAL”); Bill Damaschke, producer (Chief Creative Officer for Dreamworks Animation); Matthew Sklar, composer who took up the fallen baton after his mentor, the fabulously talented Marvin Hamlisch, wrote five songs for “GOTTA DANCE” before he sadly passed away. Matthew was not only an admirer of Mr. Hamlisch, he was one of his protégées and has already gone on to write successful musicals such as “ELF” and “THE WEDDING SINGER.”
Not only are these people talented but much to my delight and surprise, they are nice. They love what they do and they treat us actors as collaborators not as indentured labor to be whipped into submission by the dictates of a hierarchy … as I have more than once experienced in theatrical endeavors. Maybe it’s this new generation, whatever the reason I am thrilled to work for and with them. Oh … Oh! And did I forget to say … to realize my own dream. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to do not just a musical on Broadway but an original musical on Broadway, to originate a part which thereafter will be known as mine and I will have to set the bar as high as I possibly can. But when dreams become realities it is something else. Dreams don’t have aches and pains, dreams don’t have butterflies in your stomach or trepidation or self-doubt … ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself because rehearsals haven’t even started yet.
If you would like to join me as I wade into the water of my dream, come and dial in, turn on, click whatever you click, and come with me as I chronicle my adventure on … Doing a Broadway musical.
Gotta go … GOTTA DANCE