The First Rehearsal for WHITE CHRISTMAS

Last night was the first rehearsal for WHITE CHRISTMAS.  First nights are always fun and very infor­ma­tive.  It is the first time that the cast is together to read through the show and hear the music. Before the read-thru starts the stage man­ager always has announce­ments to make, there are forms to be filled out, and basic rules, and sched­ul­ing appoint­ments for the cos­tumers to take mea­sure­ments. Then we get down to it.  Every­one is seated around tables and intro­duces them­selves and says what role they are playing.

Last night I was able to show some pic­tures that our designer, Kenichi Taka­hashi, had sent me from New York, so that every­one can see what the con­cept. I am not going to share that with you, you will have to come see the show for that!  Then we play the over­ture from the CD and we are off and run­ning!  This show is based on the 1954 film of the same name that starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rose­mary Clooney, and Vera Ellen.  In our pro­duc­tion those roles are being played by Shaun Baker, James Reed, Lydia Merriam-Pigg and Tiffany Davis. There is more music in the show than in the movie, and some great Irv­ing Berlin favorites have been added. We read through Act 1, then take an inter­mis­sion, and then we are back from Act 2.

As a direc­tor, the first read is very impor­tant and infor­ma­tive. Although your cast is just read­ing and start­ing to find their way through the script, you get a sense of what they will be like, and also starts you think­ing about char­ac­ter points that you want to stress when stag­ing starts.  It also sets your mind at ease, or not, that you have made the right choices in cast­ing.  I did make the right choices, because cast­ing is a huge part of what makes the show work.

Tonight we start, and over the course of the next 7 weeks, WHITE CHRISTMAS will be born. A rather short preg­nancy, don’t you think???!!!

We have assem­bled a won­der­ful group of peo­ple for the show.  I am work­ing again with the won­der­ful Eve­lyn Bar­ney, who chore­o­graphed 42ND STREET for us.  Eve­lyn is a very kind and warm taskmas­ter, and all who work with her want to please her.  We have some new tap­pers in the show, and it is indeed thrilling to see them learn and grow.  James Sny­der is my assis­tant direc­tor, Cyd Lobb is mak­ing her SCT debut as Stage Man­ager, and my good friend and col­league, Elaine Sac­ulla is the Pro­duc­tion Super­vi­sor, and she will over­see and men­tor Cyd with this big pro­duc­tion. Elaine has lit­er­ally done it all. She acts, she has worked crew, she has been prop mis­tress, stage man­aged (SWEENEY TODD), and directed last season’s I DO, I DO!.  I love her atten­tion to detail, and I always feel like I don’t have to worry with Elaine around.

So, hope­fully, this has given you some insight into the begin­nings of a show.  I will post more as we progress, and maybe we will get some video footage and photos.

Until next time,

Jim Cole­man

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One thought on “The First Rehearsal for WHITE CHRISTMAS

  1. Jeanine Michael

    Jim, I am so excited about this show. I have often said that if I could get you and Shaun Baker together you would cre­ate magic.

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