Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, August 2018
Directed by Marieda Kilgore
Choreography by Amy Barnes
Seven Brides was a beast of a show. Although the casting is comparable to other shows I've done recently (bare minimum is a cast of about 26), it's kind of a machine to put together.
This was my second opportunity to work with Marieda, after the success of our production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, I was glad she asked me to come back and work with her again.
Much of this show rode on the choreography, and this was ably handled by Amy Barnes, a fantastic local choreographer, teacher, and actress. She created original choreography for the entire show, including at least 3 lengthy dance sequences that I didn't have to worry about.
One of the biggest challenges of this show is the amount of melodrama. There are many extended sequences where the music sets the pace for a scene by punctuating certain moments or easing the transition through a scene change. Fortunately everyone was willing to work together to make the show flow smoothly, even if it did take extra time in rehearsals to coordinate.
We also had a challenge casting the show. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, we did not have enough men show up at auditions to completely cast the show. This mean that we entered the rehearsal process with only the brothers and one of the adults cast. I sincerely appreciate the cast's patience and help to find, recruit, and retain enough men to put the show on.
For this show, we used tracks provided by MTI, who seems to have taken over from The MT Pit. The functionality is basically the same, and I found the app to be quite user-friendly. Since this show did not come with a piano-vocal score, I appreciated having the track to model. It also made it easier for Amy to choreograph without me having to be present in all of her rehearsals.
Performances were August 31-September 16, 2018.